I’ve been covering the complete demolition and rebuilding of 60th Street NW in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood since last year. I posted an update in May 2016 and did this video walkthrough ten days ago. (The story was also popular on Slashdot due to the relationship between Amazon’s growth and growth in Ballard.)

Then, on Saturday, the third floor wall of one of the buildings collapsed onto the street below. Thankfully, no one was walking on the sidewalk — and therefore no one was killed.

Ballard Construction Collapse

Birds Eye View of Ballard Construction Collapse

The residents remaining on the street filed complaints with Seattle’s building inspector. Amazingly, no action is being taken against the contractor.

Here’s the inspector’s response:

No hazard at time of inspection. Spoke with contractor, advised him to keep sidewalk and ROW (Right-of Way) clear. … Should you observe anything else you would like to report please feel free to contact us at 206-615-0808 or you can complete an online complaint form. Thank you.

Since the inspector wasn’t there when the wall collapsed, there’s no problem with the ongoing construction and they won’t take any action.

The residents on the street believe that the city of Seattle has cozy relationships with the local developers that directly lead to the lack of enforcement of safety at job sites.

You can view the walkthrough video from a week before this incident (it sounds like one person on site is threatening another):

And see more pictures below from the incident:


Front View of Ballard Construction Collapse

Ballard Construction Collapse

Sidewalk View of Ballard Construction Collapse

The developer is Pasha Afichuk of Modern Homes LLC and the architect is Justin Kliewer
Playhouse Design Group.

If you’re unfamiliar with the construction boom in Seattle driven by Amazon’s growth, I encourage you to check out my photo essay: Amazocalypse.

amazon cranes seattle growth

Cranes Surround the Space Needle in Seattle

Posted by Jeff Reifman

Jeff is a technology consultant based in the Pacific Northwest.

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