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Will The Ballard Apartment Boom Go Bust?

As the novelty bumper stickers say, Ballard's long-time residents "welcome our new condo overlords." The irony is that those stickers were made a few years and the apartment and condo complex boom in Ballard is really only just now coming to fruition. Anyone who has driven down Market St. in the past few months can tell you that what was once a wide-open space is now a corridor running through a maze of impending residential & retail monoliths.

With roughly 1,200 Ballard apartments currently under construction, the Seattle Times ponders whether or not developers have bitten off more than they can chew, or in this case, fill. Especially when that doesn't even include the 750 units that haven't even begun construction yet.

As one researcher put it, the apartment inventory in the growing neighborhood is basically doubling over the course of a couple years.

Will the overwhelming supply and dwindling demand kill off some of these projects and doom others to sit mostly-empty?

Publicola seems to think that their doom and gloom predictions are a little off-base. Or at least incomplete. Mainly because their story doesn't actually get any gauge of the Ballard renter market or speak with any renters.

It seems unlikely that landlords will be able to price gouge or dictate strict terms to renters given the overwhelming glut of choices consumers will have in the area. Those new overlords the bumper stickers are referring to might not be the condo owners, but the people living in them.

What do you think of all the complexes going up in and around Ballard? Too much, too soon? Or just what renters looking for an edge need?
· Ballard's apartment boom comes with risks [Seattle Times]
· Seattle Times Overlooks a Key Factor in Ballard Rental Market—Renters [Publicola]