The Viking is one of the businesses which might be developed over to make way for a new apartment complex.
Development on block with The Viking and 2 1/2 Happy Barbers moves forward
Developers have submitted the Land Use Application for the block housing The Viking and 2 and 1/2 Happy Barbers on NW 24th Ave, between NW 64th St and NW 65th St, according to the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) Land Use Information Bulletin.
The application will move forward plans to turn the block into the "Ballard Lofts," a six-story, 90-unit apartment complex with two or three levels of below-grade parking. One part of the building has already made it through the permitting process, so this application is only for the southern side, which comprises 60 residential units and where businesses 2 and 1/2 Happy Barbers and The Viking sit.
The development caused some online controversy last July, when many residents found out for the first time that The Viking tavern, which has been around since 1950, might be developed over. At the time, the property owner and developer Bill Parks said he had not set anything in stone whether or not he would include The Viking in the new apartment building.
“I met with Tim Cannon and I’m open to the idea,” Parks told the Ballard News-Tribune in the July 20 article, "No promises for businesses in new development."
But at the time, Parks skirted around the issue of whether The Viking was not friendly enough for his vision of the new development. He said it was simply too early to tell.
“There’s some things we do feel strongly about. (For example) having a pool of people that smoke outside is not the character we want.”
Some community members, especially considering that part of the building has already been permitted, felt that they had no voice, either at the meeting or through comments.
One community member, going by the name Andy, had this to say in the Ballard News-Tribune's comment section for the July 24 article "Community questions development, but little outrage":
"I was at the meeting and it was made abundantly clear that the project was a foregone conclusion. We were told the meeting was only to discuss the 'design' of the building - comments going beyond the scope of that discussion were not only discouraged but cut off. Furthermore, the developer made it clear that the Viking does not fit into his 'family friendly' (stated repeatedly) vision for the project. So - yeah, few people spoke up, but other than to vent what would have been the purpose?"
Two conditions are required for the application to go through: a design review and a SEPA environmental review. If residents have any concerns about environmental impacts of the proposal, comments may be submitted through Nov. 14 to DPD Planner Beth Hartwick at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 684-0814. Or click here.