Demolition of the old Ballard Branch Library on 24th Ave NW has finally begun.
Demolition begins on old Ballard Library site
Finally, over six years after planning first started, the old Ballard library building at 5711 24th Ave NW -- and formerly the home of Abraxus Books -- is getting demolished. Today.
Going in the space will "Ballard West," be a six-story building containing 9,572 sq. ft. of ground level retail and three live work units with 107 residential units above. Below grade parking for 80 vehicles to be provided.
Back when plans were first coming together for the building, it was still just the beginning of the high-rise apartment craze.
In a 2007 Ballard News-Tribune article, residents expressed concerns over parking, traffic and population growth. For some, it spelled the end of a sleepy and comfortable neighborhood.
"If all these people move here, I don't know where they are gong to park," said Ballard resident Ted Pederson at the time. "Nobody's really looked into it and planned for what the impact is going to be. It's not going to be the same nice neighborhood - it's going to look like downtown." "It seems like overkill. These buildings are too big.
Progress on the apartment building was delayed due to timing and finances. In 2007, the development of other high-rise buildings caused the developers, Pryde Johnson Developments, to stall the project. In 2009, developer Curt Pryde said that financing simply wasn't available during the economic downturn.
Abraxus Books, which occupied the space for a few years, had moved to lower Queen Anne and has since closed for good. In the Ballard location, the owners had trouble paying the rent and still owed $80,000 to the developers when they left. Pryde had said it devastated them financially.
But now, after years of sitting vacant and fenced off, things are moving forward for the property.
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