Time To Retire – Ballard Bookcase is Closing.

Ballard BookcaseDriving by Ballard Bookcase1101 NW Ballard Way, it’s hard to miss the ‘For Sale’ sign attached to the peak of the main building. The sign has been aloft for almost a year asking interested buyers to call CBRE.  One recent rainy Thursday, I stopped in to find out what was happening with the building.  My fear was that the property owner was giving Ballard Bookcase the boot so they could lease the location for a higher price or sell to a developer. I was wrong… sort of. In this case the owners were also the hard working, small business entrepreneurs behind Ballard Bookcase – Carol & David Entrikin.

Carol was in the shop when I dropped by and she shared with me that they were excited about life’s next chapter.  By my March 10th visit, the building was already pending sale, and the pair were planning their relaxing retirement together. Think sandy beaches and margaritas.  She didn’t tell me how much the new owners had agreed to pay, but the real estate listing shows an asking price of $3.2 Million for this 10,000 square foot parcel. Who’s moving in?  She didn’t tell me that either, but she did mention “breweries” several times during our conversation.  Dropping hints?

A Bit of History: 

In the 1970s, Carol & David were living on Capitol Hill, raising their family and commuting to Ballard each day for work at their antique store, Al’s Second Hand. The shop was located in the Sanborn Building at 5323 Ballard Ave. NW.  Customers were constantly asking for bookcases, so David went to Sears and bought a table saw and started making them by hand.  As soon as one hit the sales floor, a customer would purchase it.  That was 1980 and gradually the bookcase business became their primary source of income. They closed the antique store and moved to their current location in 2003.  The building was so large that the couple decided to live there as well, and the second floor became their home.  David has been building bookcases for schools, libraries, and private homes for 25 years.  You can see some of his work HERE.

One Giant Moving Sale:

They didn’t sell everything when they closed the antique store, but instead stored much of it at Ballard Bookcase.  Now that the property is sold, Carol told me that everything needed to go. She gave me a tour of the building, including the woodworking room where she was creating a floor to ceiling display of many of the antiques she had saved.  The books, china, and other home goods will all be sold during the Ballard Bookcase Moving Sale, April 1st – 3rd.  They will also be auctioning off the woodworking equipment sometime in mid-April. Their last official day open for business is April 2nd.  Once the official announcement is posted to their webpage, I will update here as well.

Thank You Carol & David:

Carol & David have been members of the Ballard small business community for 40 years and will be missed.  When the doors close in April and the sign is removed from the building, I’ll smile knowing that these business owners closed up shop on their own terms, and did very well in the end.  Congratulations on your retirement!