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Monday, August 4, 2008

It’s the *@$#&% Economy

posted by on August 4 at 15:02 PM

A reader asks:

In May of 2007 there was a splash of news … about a four-star hotel to be built on Ballard Ave. It was big talk back then, but nothing seems to have happened, and I wonder if developers thought better of it. But I can’t find any updates anywhere on the web. I’m curious whether Sloggers can sleuth out the latest. Thanks!


Dearest Brooks, the Slog Bloodhound Gang is at your service. Malli Anderson, a land-use planner for the city, confirms that in 2006 the Olympic Athletic Club applied to build a shmancy five-story hotel on Ballard Avenue NW, across the street from Hattie’s Hat. But those applications have since stagnated. The permit, she says, “is not even close to being issued.” However, she didn’t know why.

“I believe the owners are trying to find the best financing,” says project architect Gordon Lagerquist, who adds that the market for new construction is shitty right now. “We’re just trying to stretch the permitting process as far as we can,” he says. Rather than the original completion date of January 2009, he says the owners now don’t expect to break ground until later that year.

So is dragging out a permit this long weird? “Not to me,” says Anderson. “Usually it’s hurry up and wait.” But she says things have been slower at the Department of Planning and Development lately. She says when she used to work in the application service center, where developers and architects go to file plans and ask questions, “We used to have 400 people a day.” But when she worked last Friday, she says, “We had one person all afternoon.”

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If this happens this truly will be the death nell for Ballard being a neighborhood I would want to live in.

Posted by elswinger | August 4, 2008 3:13 PM

would they be tearing down the Olympic Athletic Club, or something else? I thought the buildings in that area were historical?

Stupid fuckers are determined to fuck up one of the few remaining interesting and historic parts of Seattle...

Posted by michael strangeways | August 4, 2008 3:36 PM

They'll be leaving the existing OAC building intact. But Lagerquist says they already razed the one-story wooden building and will tear down the brick warehouse soon.

Posted by Dominic Holden | August 4, 2008 3:41 PM

@1 - "knell."

Posted by death nellie | August 4, 2008 3:45 PM

I have no comment other than to say that I'm glad you wrote about something other than drugs. Good show, Dominic.

Posted by Gomez | August 4, 2008 4:29 PM

They were also supposed to build 22 to 44 story residential and hotel properties on 14 acres - yes, acres - in downtown Seattle, but that vaporized when the CBO-financed fraud collapsed and changed the world.


I wouldn't hold my breath.

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 4, 2008 4:45 PM

I wrote about the two new hotels planned for Ballard a few weeks ago in the Ballard News-Tribune. One will be next door to the OAC and the other will be on Shilshole Ave. where the closed-down Yankee Diner is. The landmark board apparently already approved a design for the OAC hotel.

Posted by wait, no one reads community newspapers? | August 4, 2008 4:54 PM

Why would anyone want to stay in Ballard? Unless you want to look at shitty duplexes, and an ever-increasingly banal business district, there is nothing there. It went from nowhere to nothing really, really quickly.

Posted by Ba-lard | August 4, 2008 5:26 PM

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