Keller Williams Greater Seattle, Ben Kakimoto, Seattle Condo Agent

The Ballard Four

Over the past few years Ballard has been reinventing itself. Long the establishment of Seattle’s Scandinavian heritage, Ballard has seen a new group of people migrating to this once sleepy neighborhood. Driven by affordable housing and short commute to downtown people from all walks of life have influenced Ballard’s rebirth – nightlife, a triving neighborhood business center and higher density living.

Four new condominium projects have been completed, under construction or are planned for Ballard, adding nearly 500 new homes – Metropole, NoMa, Canal Station & Hjarta.

Metropole (24th & 57th)
metropole.jpg Metropole is the first to be completed and is move-in ready (upper floor units). It’s a boutique condo with only 31 homes ranging from 709 sq ft to 1,376 sq ft. Floor plans include one bdrm, one bdrm + study, two bdrm, two bdrm + study and two bdrm + office. The homes come standard with upscale finishes. In fact, Metropole does not offer any upgrades.

  • Slab granite countertops
  • Stainless steel appliances with commercial styled gas range
  • Curved interior walls drawing you from the entry to the living area
  • South units with canal & terriorial views
  • Roof-top deck
  • Pet friendly policy
  • Secured parking

Because Metropole is a small building, it does not come with many amenities that the competition offer such as a fitness room & club/entertainiment room. Prices range from $340,000 to over $600,000.

View available Metropole condos for sale.

NoMa (24th & 56th)
noma.jpg Across the street from Metropole to the east is NoMa which offers 90 studio, one- and two- bedroom homes. Like Metropole, NoMa features many upscale finishes but does offer an upgrade option (e.g. slab granite, glass inset cabinet doors & accent tiles). Standard features include:

  • Bamboo floor in kitchen & entry
  • Maple or Walnut cabinetry
  • Granite tiled countertops
  • Stainless steel appliances (electric)
  • Carpeting in living room
  • Private deck or patio
  • A/C for East and South facing units, plus top floor units
  • Fitness room
  • Library/Reading room & Conference Room
  • Roof-top deck
  • Secured Parking

Of the 90 homes only 20 one and two-bedroom units are available ranging from 696 sq ft to 1,167 sq ft. Prices for the available units range from $305,950 to $524,950. Interesting to note, there has been no price increases for the two bedroom units since sales began. Occupany will begin starting in October 2006.

Both NoMa and Metropole are located 24th Avenue NW, a fairly business North/South road, and on a Sunday afternoon was somewhat noisey.

View available NoMa condos for sale.

Canal Station (Leary Way)
canalstation.jpg Canal Station was among the first of the four projects to start selling units in it’s Phase 1 building. Phase 1 has sold all of it’s 169 units except for two junior one-bedroom units, both priced under $310,000. Phase 1 occupancy is slated for Spring 2007.

Canal Station is now gearing up for Phase 2 which will add an additional 109 homes. Phase 2 will include junior one-, one-, one + den, two- and two-bedroom + den units ranging from 530 sq ft to 1,250 sq ft. Features will include:

  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Granite countertops
  • Maple or Cherry cabinetry
  • Electric fireplace
  • On-site manager + concierge
  • Owner’s lounge
  • Outdoor spa and deck w/BBQ
  • Business center and Private conference room

Pricing for Phase 2 has not yet been released and presale is expected to begin in August for registered buyers.

View available Canal Station condos for sale (Phase I & II).

Hjarta (Market at 15th)
hjarta.jpg Differientiating itself from the other projects, Hjarta (“heart” in Swedish) is built green and is targeting LEED Silver certification. To be LEED Silver certified the building must use sustainable materials and be energy and water efficient (some of Vulcan projects are LEED certified as well). The LEED features include:

  • Central gas boiler instead of individual water heaters
  • High-performance windows
  • Low-flow kitchen & bath fixtures
  • Water conserving toilets
  • Drip irrigation
  • Low Volatile Organic Compounds – carpet, paint and sealants
  • Recycled content materials – building materials, countertops, railings, carpeting, etc

Additionally, the building will feature:

  • An expansive roof-top deck with P-Patches
  • Yoga studio & spin room
  • Bike storage, Flexcar & charging stations for electric cars
  • A community room with KidSpace (an interative room that includes educational play areas, tree house hideout, climbing walls, rope swings and slides)

Because Hjarta is a green building, it does not have the upscale sheen of the other buildings (granite, designer tiles, high-end wood cabinetry). Hjarta’s first phase includes 79 one- and two-bedroom units. Initial prices range from $309,000 to $574,000, but since pricing hasn’t been finalized, expect it to change…upwards. Currently, Hjarta is accepting Holds (not reservations) without deposit for units on floors 3, 4, 5 & 6. The model showed two buildings, though sales is only for the south building.

View available Hjarta condos for sale.

What building to choose? The units are fairly similar in size and price range, but do different in amenities and style. Metropole, NoMa & Canal Station’s interior finishes are nearly identical and are reminiscent of the downtown projects, though Canal Station offers more amenities for it’s residents. Hjarta, on the otherhand, will appeal to those who are more environmentally conscious.

One of the questions I hear a lot is why Ballard? I can’t answer that for individual buyers, but overall Ballard is revitalizing itself and it does have a quieter, slower lifestyle than downtown. Residents can enjoy Shilshole, Golden Gardens, Sunset Bowl and Green Lake which are all just minutes away. Plus, downtown is a short commute so it’s perfect for people who work & play downtown but don’t want to live downtown. And it’s resonating with buyers. Canal Station Phase 1 is sold out, NoMa is nearly 80% sold and Metropole is over 50% sold.

Map of the four condo projects.

Updated 8/5/06

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About the Author

About the Author: Ben Kakimoto is a Seattle condo and urban real estate marketing & listing specialist. Contact Ben to learn more about the Seattle condo and loft real estate market or about buying or selling a Seattle area condo. Find Ben on Twitter and Facebook. .


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