Home AEC 171-Unit Development in Ballard Unanimously Approved at Early Design Guidance Meeting

171-Unit Development in Ballard Unanimously Approved at Early Design Guidance Meeting

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Seattle, VIA Architecture, Carmel Partners, Murase Associates, Urban Evolution, Ballard, Early Design Guidance meeting, Market Street
Rendering courtesy of VIA Architecture

By Jack Stubbs

A new mixed-use development on the edge of Salmon Bay in Ballard is on the way.

On Monday, May 14th, a 171-unit development in Ballard’s commercial district was given the green light at an Early Design Guidance meeting. At the meeting, VIA Architecture presented preliminary plans to the northwest review board on behalf of developer Carmel Partners. Landscape architect Murase Associates and Urban Evolution are also on the project team.

The development, located at 2417 NW Market St., calls for the construction of a 6-story project that along with 171 units will also include 6,800 square feet of street-level retail/commercial space, an outdoor courtyard and 101 below-grade parking stalls.

Beginning the applicant team’s presentation, Jim Bodoia of VIA Architecture discussed the primary objectives for the project, some of which include creating a building that reflects the maritime industrial history of Ballard’s commercial district; creating a vibrant streetscape along Market Street; and successfully integrating the building with the planned extension to the Burke-Gilman Trail, which is occurring adjacent to the project. Bodoia presented the applicant team’s three massing options and emphasized how the project’s design would reflect both the industrial and residential character of the neighborhood.

Most of the board’s clarifying questions focused on how the development would be programmed and how the building would fit into the surrounding neighborhood context. Board member Mark Brand asked for more information about whether the proposed commercial and retail space would successfully activate the streetscape, and also expressed concern with the orientation of the building and the courtyard along Market street. The board also asked for clarification about how vehicular and pedestrian circulation around the site would be impacted by the expansion of the Burke-Gilman Trail.

There was one public comment expressed during the meeting by a representative from the Ballard Oil Company, who urged the applicant team to further investigate whether the building would conform with the industrial character of the surrounding neighborhood. He also echoed one of the board’s sentiments, expressing concerns about vehicular and pedestrian circulation around the site in relation to the Burke-Gilman Trail.

During its deliberation period, the board discussed the various pros and cons of the applicant’s proposed massing options at length, and also explored how the project would fit into the historic industrial character of Ballard’s commercial district. Specifically, the board emphasized how further consideration would need to be given to which materials were incorporated into the building’s exterior, and also asked for more detailed plans about how the project would fit into the surrounding neighborhood context and relate to the adjacent streetscape.