Gemenskap Park Development (formerly 14th Ave NW Park project)

Updated: July 17, 2018

Summer 2018

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is getting closer to completion of the Park. Most of the work is completed and we are waiting on water to be installed to the Park. Once we have water we will finish the remaining planting and install grass.

We anticipate completion of the park in late August 2018 and thank you for your patience during the construction.

This park will provide open space for the Ballard neighborhood by converting two full blocks of 14th Ave. NW between NW 59th and NW 61st streets to a new park space. The park will replace the gravel parking median and portions of the existing concrete roadway. The project includes green infrastructure and incorporates safety improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.

The Parks and Green Spaces Levy Acquisition Fund provided $24 million for the acquisition of neighborhood parks in up to 20 identified areas throughout the City. The Ballard Residential Urban Village was included in that list and the community prioritized this development project in lieu of acquiring additional property.

Rendering of Completed Gemenskap Park

Location

Ballard, 14th Ave NW between NW 59th and NW 61st Streets

Budget

Approximately $2.9 million Parks and Green Spaces Levy acquisition funding will be allocated to the development of this project. Anticipated construction cost based on schematic design is $1.65 million.

Schedule

Planning: 2012 - 2013
Design: 
October 2013 - 2017
Construction:
Early Winter 2018 - Summer 2018
Completion:
Late August 2018

Project Description

The project converts two full blocks of 14th Ave. NW to a new park between NW 59th and NW 61st streets with transition lanes to the park from the north and south. A park will replace the gravel parking median and portions of the existing concrete roadway. The project includes green infrastructure and incorporates safety improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.

In February 2012, eleven Kwanzan cherry trees and two big leaf maples within the park project area were reviewed by SDOT arborist.  All cherry trees were infected with tortrix which is an invasive insect that feeds on the bark and girdles the tree leaving it open to other infestation; nine of the cherries were low retention value and two were moderate retention value.  Kwanzan cherries also have a short life expectancy of 15-25 years and all eleven will be removed.  One of the two big leaf maples was identified as a high risk tree and removal was encouraged.  The other maple was identified as healthy. This tree has been retained in the design and the multi-use path is designed with paving to accommodate the tree and root system. During the community process the tree removal was discussed and the community provided input about the desire to plant flowering trees.  As part of the buildout we will be including serviceberry in the stormwater planting area.  With the planting of the serviceberry we will be replacing the trees at the required 2:1 ratio. The design team did explore ways to work with the existing trees, however, the remaining usable area was quite limited because the multi-use path width of 12' required it to be located west of the existing trees which split the available open space rather than consolidating it. 

The design and construction of this project are funded by the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Acquisition Fund, which provides $24 million for the acquisition of neighborhood parks in up to 20 identified areas throughout the City. The Ballard Residential Urban Village was included in that list. The community prioritized this development project in lieu of acquiring additional property.

The 14th Ave. NW project  was named Gemenskap Park in 2016. Gemenskap (pronounced Yuh-MEN-skawp) is the Swedish word for community. Because this was a community initiated project and because of the area's Swedish history and influence, the Park Naming Committee believes this unique park will help build community by turning parking into park space. While there are several Ballard parks that have Norwegian names, this is the first with a Swedish name.