Ballard Project Could Spark an Eco District

Source:  Marc Stiles, Daily Journal of Commerce, September 12, 2011.
Greenfire Campus in Ballard will promote “sensible” and “social” sustainability.

Construction of an under-the-radar mixed-use project in Ballard should start next spring, says the architect, Ray Johnston.

On Friday, he released details of Greenfire Campus, which he said will emphasize “social” and “sensible” sustainability. The approach combines patience and common sense with long-term green strategies that are achievable, make financial sense and can be expanded incrementally to neighboring projects to create an “eco district.”

While Johnston laid out the physical plans, he declined to say who’s financing the market-rate apartment and office project between Northwest 56th and 57th streets and 20th and 22nd avenues. He said the group is made up of people who hold the ideas of sustainability “very dear.” Unlike many developers, who build in hopes of making a profit in five or so years, Greenfire members see this project as a long-term, multi-generational investment.

The Seneca Group is the project manager, and Walsh Construction is the contractor. Other team members are Robin Chell Design, interiors; The Watershed Co., landscape architecture; WSP Flack + Kurtz, mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering; 2020 Engineering, civil; and DCI Engineers, structural.

The two buildings will be about 18,000 square feet each. That’s smaller than what a previous owner had planned for the site that is east of the Ballard Library and a block north of Swedish Medical Center. Schnitzer West planned 157 units of housing. Zoning allows heights up to 65 feet. Greenfire’s apartment building will be five stories with 18 units and the commercial building will be three and a half stories.

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