July 26, 2010 – Seattle
Ballard on the Park expects to receive a final certificate for occupancy from the City of Seattle this week. Nevertheless, 47% of the units have already been leased and 95 are currently occupied. The unexpected rapid lease up, especially for a partially complete building, is a strong indication of the rebound in the apartment market for well designed and located projects.
The complex has been receiving a series of temporary certificates of occupancy since January 13, 2010, when QFC opened a new 45,000 sf store on the ground floor. The first apartments above the store were completed and ready for tenants two months later on March15, 2010.
A phased occupancy, by floor, allowed the developer, Seattle-based Security Properties, to begin leasing units even while the floors above were still being finished. The top two floors, with two-story penthouse units and spectacular views, are expected to receive approval for occupancy this week.
The eight-story steel and concrete project replaced a surface parking lot and a QFC half that size with an interactive pedestrian experience and all below grade parking. Bumgardner Architects designed the project including a 120’ long public patio covered by an even larger wood and glass canopy that drains to a single glass bowl. Seattle glass artist Rodman Miller designed the art glass bowl and a series of glass and metal mobiles for the rainwater to pass through before flowing along a runnel lined with glass stones at the edge of the patio.
Ballard on the Park shares a full city block with the new Ballard Commons Park, which opened in 2005. The completion of Ballard on the Park marks the completion of a major portion of the Ballard Municipal Center Plan, created in 2000 which envisioned both the public park, the private mixed-use development and the new Ballard Public Library, kitty corner to the park, which also opened in 2005.
The first apartments to be completed were the two-story townhouses which front Ballard Commons Park. Ground related townhouses also front the residential street on the north.
The 268 unit mixed-use building on 1.46 acres is the largest to date for Ballard. In addition to the QFC, the facility contains a 5,700 sf private club and a 10,000 sf private park, all on the second floor.
Bumgardner took design cues from Ballard’s more subtle Scandinavian past, evoking the Danish Modern sense of clean lines and the northern countries’ need to capture and magnify daylight.
In contrast, the same team of Bumgardner and Security Properties created the art covered Epicenter in Fremont which reflects the in-your-face boldness of the Fremont approach to art and activism. That building, containing a PCC Natural Market, has won national awards, been featured on numerous magazine covers, been the subject of a documentary and most recently was featured in Icelandic Air’s national advertising campaign as one reason to visit Seattle.