Ballard Outreach meeting with Avalon Bay Communities

April 23rd, 2009
8:30am – Ballard Neighborhood Center Conference Room
Derek Bottles, Avalon Bay
David Kelley, Ankram Moisan Architecture
Jay Lazerwitz, Sustainable Ballard
Bridget Smith, Sustainable Ballard
May Lou Olson, EBCA
Amy Lavarnway, EBCA
Erin Goodell, EBCA
Shannon Dunn, EBCA
Dawn Hemminger, EBCA

Design Review scheduled for Avalon Bay Communities 6 story apartment complex at 1400 Market St (formerly Sunset Bowl) will be held on Monday April 27th 6:30pm at Ballard High School. A preview of their latest drawings/proposals are available on the DPD site at

Discussion on schedule:

  • Construction is scheduled to start by next summer
  • Asbestos abatement is currently being scheduled and should happen within the next few weeks

Right of way improvements and proposed design discussion:

  • Avalon Bay is proposing wide sidewalks on the west side with a narrow median with trees/plantings in the street with a curb bulb on the west side of Market and 14th. They received a lot of push back from the city for wanting to not have a curb on west side to allow bioswales.
  • These designs will be detailed out more as the construction approaches. At this time, the street improvements are a baseline for meeting requirements of the Design Review meeting.

Building design discussion:

  • Going for LEED for Homes certification
  • There will be plugs in the garage for electrical cars
  • Parking will be available in the garage for business patrons
  • No shading will be provided on the south side, only LowE glass
  • High efficiency boilers
  • rainwater capture tanks will be installed underneath the building

Summary of recommendations from EBCA and Sustainable Ballard:

  • Those in attendance approve of the proposed landscaping, however we recommend that the sidewalk planting areas be designed as bioswales and that Avalon Bay work with SDOT, along with EBCA and Sustainable Ballard to approve bioswale installation. Even if the city is not allowing them at this time, we recommend that the planting areas be set up so that they can be bioswales at a later date.
  • Consider porous materials for sidewalk
  • Ensure space is available inside the building for hosting community meetings/events. At the meeting, we discussed that there are plans for a 750 ft room inside the building for such use.
  • There is a large amount of “blank” wall on the north and south ends of the west wall of the building. This is an excellent opportunity to engage locals artists and the community in creating meaningful public art.
  • The top of the building should be softened in order to fit better into the neighborhood. It has been recommended that Avalon Bay install planting along the roof edge that will grow at the edge and possibly spill over. This should be very easy to do at the green roof location. Planters on the balconies and along the walls of the building would also be nice. This will not only soften the sharp edges, but also add neighborhood character and interest.
  • We encourage Avalon Bay to design the street level floor, where businesses will be located, to have more of a small/neighborhood store feel then the currently “big box” design. Derek and David advised that Avalon Bay will re-design store fronts based on the businesses requests. The hope is that doors will be able to slide open like garage doors to allow seating area to spill out onto the sidewalks. Signage can also help with creating a smaller neighborhood feel.
  • Include EBCA when it comes time to detail out the landscaping so that it fits into the East Ballard branding and beautification effort.
  • When available, the attendees of this meeting would like a copy of the LEED score card.

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