Visualize Ballard

Remember this post? 

Well, we hadn’t seen nothin’ yet.  The nightmare has become fully realized with the design review board’s acceptance of the development at the former Denny’s site in Ballard.  Even compared to earlier posts on this blog about this project which only showed (or mocked) the beginnings of what was obviously going to be a dog-of-a-development, the architects have honed this travesty even further. Check it out.  You can also go here to see some “better” renderings.


Ballard Denny's Site






19 Responses to “Visualize Ballard”

  1. Jeff

    Holly cow! those are 6-laned streets with double turning lanes! That there is a big no no, do you know how freakin dangerous that intersection will be?

  2. Matt the Engineer

    (psst… that’s the current street setup) Not that it would be a bad thing to put 15th on a diet.

  3. Gary

    Was the design-review board drunk? Really, how could the board possibly sign off on this development. The zoning code is broken. The design-review system is broken. Hey, Sally Clark, what do you plan to do about it?

  4. Joshua Daniel Franklin

    But what about the important question: has Denny’s agreed to be the retail anchor?

  5. Andrew Smith

    It’s not the ugliest building approved (the one in the linked post is one of them, though), but it’s pretty bad. That Denny’s was ugly, too, btw.

    It hasn’t become “fully realized” since it hasn’t been built yet.

  6. Ryan

    Holy wow. That’s incredibly bad. That building will be an outright eyesore within 10 years. It looks like a freakin’ Marriott Residence Inn!

  7. Kathryn

    Honestly WHAT do you all expect? What with the construction materials that are available for a halfway reasonable cost and the fact that it needs to be built as big as can be to be worth it. Monster fake mansardishy so we can pretend we are in Merrie England is sort of par for the course.

    I’d love separate buildings with one seriously taller and all farther set back to get more variety and not be on top of the street (gee those sidewalks look narrow), but you let them go higher and they STILL build it out as far as possible.

    Wonder what it will really feel like if anyone ever actually walks down those streets – past them probably being the operative word.

  8. Ellery

    Kathryn, Big doesn’t have to be so ugly and uninspired. Leva on Market and Hjarta are just down the block and did a much better job on design. I’m not too keen on the color palate for Hjarta, but at least it doesn’t scream “suburban Marriott Inn” as the Market Landing design does.

  9. Matt

    Wow that is a massive development. What kinds of changes could be done to make it less of a nightmare?

  10. kt

    Leva looks like a wall with plastic windows. The 21st century version of K street in DC? And what are those out of context entrances about? At least this project is broken up – not saying it’s my cup of tea. hjarta looks like there are some interesting details but I did not see any full on picture.

    What I like and always liked about Seattle is there is no monolitic architecture. Over time I appreciate wierd and funky. Mainly I appreciate a hodge pdge of styles. Can do without TOO much ‘copying’ of the past tho. And I agree at least the one building is way too Mariottish.

    I figure if some love, some hate, but mainly if it WORKS for people to live in or walk around we are doing better.

  11. Joshua Daniel Franklin

    DanB covered the intersection in 15th and Market: Fuggettaboudit: “From the perspective of the pedestrian, this intersection is a lost cause. And it will be for a long time to come.”

  12. Ellery

    Yeah, and that Fuggettaboudit pic was taken before the new Safeway gas station (with a billboard that says: hey, our energy is generated by wind – so it’s all okay!) went in on the southeast corner. Should be interesting to see whether a BRT alignment could change the intersection at all — it’s one of the alignments being considered for RapidRide D Line.
    Problem is that the underlying zoning for that whole intersection is Commercial instead of Neighborhood Commercial. So you get new gas stations. And condos with at-grade parking and drive-through pharmacies.
    It’s incredible that there would be the market for two gas stations and two drive-through pharmacies at the same intersection.

  13. mahanoy

    I’ve got to agree with Dan Bertolet on this one. The City of Seattle should ban all tacky and tasteless condo projects. Let all those uncool people live in the burbs, where they belong.

    By the way, I’m solidly upper-middle class, and the condo building where I own a home makes this Denny’s project look like an architectural masterpiece.

    So I have an additional proposal. Besides banning all tacky and tasteless condo projects, we should require that all condo projects that meet the approval of us Seattle hipsters be at least 50% “affordable housing” so that we Seattle hipsters can afford to live in them.

  14. dan bertolet

    mahanoy@13: I didn’t write this post! Please pay attention to the “posted by” credit. There are other authors who contribute to HAC now and then.

    For the record, I love the proposed building so much I want to see it stretched to 30 stories tall:

  15. mahanoy

    Apologies to Dan Bertolet. See #14. I suppose it’s WB I’m agreeing with on this one, although I suppose we’re all in agreement in this case. See:
    “A generic monstrosity, a poster child for soulless multifamily design,…”

  16. Kathryn

    OMG it actually improved a little when they got rid of all those peaked roofs. Now the tower…

  17. dan cortland

    Now the tower is blue, with dainty feet.

    Maybe its blue tint is a Viagra joke.

  18. tessa

    Can you provide more information on this? i have read other websites that are on similar subjects.

  19. anne

    Very nice information. Thanks for this.its great to see someone with a like mind.

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