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

Updated: January 11, 2018

Winter 2018

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is moving into the construction phase of this project. We awarded the construction contract for Gemenskap Park to Jansen, Inc. and construction will begin January 8, 2018. Jansen, Inc. has experience with this type of project and we adjusted the construction schedule to facilitate the shortest construction time-line while still providing a safe pedestrian and vehicle accessibility on 14th Ave NW during construction. Construction will require a three month detour route on 14th Ave. NW between 59th and 61st streets. To encourage through traffic flow around construction and to avoid heavy use of residential streets adjacent to the construction area, signs will be posted at 14th Ave NW & NW 65th St and at 14th Ave NW & NW Market redirecting through traffic to 15th Ave NW or 8th Ave NW to avoid the construction area.

We anticipate completion of the park in late spring 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 - Spring 2018
Completion:
Late spring 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.