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!

SPD: Increase In Car Prowls

The following message was received 03/15/2016 from the Seattle Police Department regarding increase in car prowls.

To date there have been almost 3000 car prowls in the city for 2016. This number is up more than 500 from last year.

We have identified some repeat locations and created a graphic for this week’s SeaStat meeting.

There are some simple ways to lower the chance of having your car broken into.

1. Remove all your valuables.
2. That gym bag full of dirty clothes from today’s workout, toss it in the trunk. A bad guy just sees a bag to steal.
3. Before leaving your parked car, always remove the keys, roll up the windows and lock the car.
4. If your car is stored in a carport or parked near your house, leave your exterior lights on throughout the night.
5. If you park your car in a dark or isolated area, consider the City Light Area Lighting Program, which permits additional light fixtures to be placed on existing poles. The cost is less than $5 per month per light. Call (206) 684-3000 for more information.

Finally, if you find yourself the victim of a car prowl either call police or report it online at: http://www.seattle.gov/Police/report/default.htm

Without a report we can’t track crime and direct patrols into the area to stop emerging crime trends.

The Major Crimes Task Force continues to investigate these crime trends and we will keep you updated as noteworthy cases are closed.


Greenwood Explosion Relief Fund

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Front window at Seattle ReCreative, 03/09/2016

Our hearts go out to everyone affected by yesterday’s natural gas explosion in the Greenwood Neighborhood. The explosion leveled a building which was home to Mr. Gyros, Neptune Coffee, and Greenwood Quick Stop.  The explosion also damaged 36 other small businesses, including Seattle ReCreative, located directly across the street from the blast.

Seattle ReCreative was founded by two West Woodland Neighborhood Mom’s – Emily Korson & Jenna Boitano – and is closed until further notice.

How You Can Help:

Seattle ReCreative is planning a volunteer clean up effort on Friday, March 11th for all those who wish to pitch in and help with the clean-up effort.  Once additional infromation is received, I will update this post.

Financial Support:

If you’re unable to physically pitch in, there are other ways you can help.  Phinney Neighborhood Association is accepting tax-deductible donations for the Greenwood Explosion relief fund and you can donate here:  http://phinneycenter.org/greenwoodrelief/.  

You can also donate directly to Seattle ReCreative here:  http://www.seattlerecreative.org/financial-support/

With your help, we will see Seattle ReCreative & the other the Greenwood small businesses back open soon!

Photo of Seattle ReCreative store front courtesy Seattle Fire Department.

Show your Support for Safety Improvements at 6th Ave NW & NW 65th St.

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On Wednesday, March 9th, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways (SNG) and Ballard Greenways will be presenting, on behalf of the West Woodland neighborhood, at the Ballard District Council meeting.
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SNG is asking for funds to create pedestrian safety improvements at the corner of 6th Ave NW & NW 65th Street, currently a dangerous crossing along the proposed 6th Ave NW Greenway.

Neighbors who support the 6th Ave NW Greenway, and pedestrian safety improvements along this proposed path, are asked to attend this meeting in a visual show of support! Securing funds to improve this corner is critical to moving forward with the proposed greenway.

Meeting Information:

Date: March 9, 2016
Location: Ballard Library, 5614 22nd Ave NW
Time: 7:00 PM
Event Information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1680838418862447/

About the meeting:

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways will be given 5 minutes to present their proposal. This 5 minutes will include: 2 minutes to describe the problem/ issue needing to be addressed, as well as backup/ support documents or graphics, testimony from other supporters and 3 minutes Q&A time about the proposed project. The Q&A time may extend beyond the time allotted at the discretion of the Ballard District Council President.

You are under no obligation to stay for the full meeting. We just need applause & cheering for the SNG presentation.