Is St. Luke’s closing?
Not at all! We will hold worship at a nearby Ballard location during construction, then return to a new space on the southwest corner (57th & 22nd) to continue our worship and service. Our new flexible, multi-purpose space will allow us to host community events, respond to neighborhood needs, be more energy efficient, and nurture our vision of seeking to form Beloved Community, which is welcoming and diverse, with Christian worship and service at our heart.
What is the plan for the current buildings?
All of the buildings will be demolished. The ages of the buildings range from 60-100 years old. None of them were built to be energy efficient, ADA accessible, or to last for the ages. Select elements from the Chapel and Bennett Hall will be salvaged for the new space. Other items will be made available to individuals and organizations. We also hope to recycle as much material as possible. Two buildings will replace the chapel, sanctuary, outbuildings, and cottages: one for affordable family housing, and the other for mixed income apartments with a new St. Luke’s with flexible space to make room for community events and services.
Why are you taking down the original church?
It would cost over $1,500,000 just to make it ADA accessible. Many of our members and visitors cannot climb the stairs or navigate their way to the two small bathroom stalls in the basement. St. Luke’s has not conducted any regular worship services in this space since 2012.
What will happen to all the trees?
Many trees will be saved and some new ones planted. The grove of exceptional trees along NW 58th have been incorporated into the design with the addition of beautiful landscaping around in a 30’ set back from the sidewalk. Attention to sustainable planting is part of the design. Parking strip trees on 57th Street and 22nd Ave will be saved, with new ones planted in the parking strip on 58th Street. Our Rainwise cisterns will be donated to another local project.
How tall will it be, and how many units?
There will be two buildings, both eight stories high. The affordable, family-focused housing will have 84 units. The mixed-income building will have 206 apartments, 42 of which will be at reduced rent. The church will have space on the ground floor of the mixed-income building.
Who will live here?
First of all, no affordable family housing has been built in District 6 (Ballard/Crown Hill) for over 25 years. St. Luke’s is making it possible for lower income people like nursing aids, janitors and baristas to be able to raise their families here. The affordable housing will not be housing first (people coming directly out of homelessness). Nyer Urness House, Cheryl Chow Court and Toft Terrace in the neighborhood provide that. The St. Luke’s building will have tenants similar to other apartment buildings nearby.
What will happen to the St. Luke’s Urban Garden (aka the SLUG)?
It’s never easy to give up a garden. St. Luke’s has made the difficult decision to offer the lots with the garden and cottages in a ground lease at half the assessed value to BRIDGE Housing in order to make room for affordable family housing. There will be a beautiful landscape program for both buildings, including a 3rd story courtyard in the St. Luke’s building and rooftop gardens for both the affordable housing and the St. Luke’s building. Those plants, shrubs and trees that will not be incorporated into the new landscape will be offered to gardeners who wish to transplant them to a new location.
What about the people you serve at Edible Hope Kitchen?
Edible Hope Kitchen will move to a new site that should be easier for our guests to access. It will still be a ministry of St. Luke’s, as it has been for over three decades. We will continue to serve breakfast to those in need of a meal.
We are working with partners who currently serve our guests to locate the Kitchen near other agencies where our unhoused neighbors spend time. We plan to continue providing meals to those we have come to know as friends and neighbors. Our mission to feed people in body, mind and spirit will continue during construction and when we move into our new church space.
So, how might this affect the neighborhood?
Families and individuals who would otherwise be priced out of Ballard–unable to enjoy its maritime vibe, proximity to downtown, and shoreline amenities–will now be able to make their home here. Our immediate neighborhood will be more lively with new residents activating the street and park. Green space on the property will be preserved for the next century. The new church space will be open for community use and gatherings, providing services and resources for those living nearby.