As part of the ongoing remake of the southern part of Stone Way, Seattle Bouldering Project plans to expand into a new location at 3535 Interlake Ave. This is the space immediately behind (east) of Hashtag and the Stone Way Cafe (two businesses whose future seems in doubt given the Land Use Action sign out front). A small building to the north will also house some SBP facilities.
For those unfamiliar with bouldering, SBP offers this definition: “Bouldering is rock climbing, without using ropes or harnesses, on climbs that don’t go too high off the ground.” So rocks and heights won’t spoil your fun, and in the case of SBP, a bouldering gym, our nasty winter climate won’t ruin your day, either. And if you should fall, thick pads on the floor assure you aren’t likely to get injured. Having done quite a bit of climbing and bouldering myself, I can say that the attraction comes from the intellectual challenge of finding a good way up and around a route coupled with the physical challenge of pulling off the needed moves.
SBP offers more than just bouldering. Their current location, at 900 Poplar Pl S near the intersection of I-5 and I-90, offers spaces for yoga and fitness classes, locker rooms complete with saunas, a bar and a “kids and family climbing area.” Given the size of the building at 3535 Interlake, I suspect the new facility will offer many of the same amenities, if not more. The smaller building to the north, strictly for bouldering, may open as soon as this winter while the main building at 3535 Interlake is expected to open next summer.
Folks living in that part of the neighborhood have seen quite a lot of development over the past decade or so. I’m not sure if news of more will be met with excitement, anxiety, or just simple resignation. However, judging from a sign Seattle Bouldering Project had posted at the site (a sign which has since disappeared), they are trying to be good neighbors:
We are cognizant that as construction develops on the satellite building Fremont community members will have questions about our plan for parking. Right now, the parking appears more limited in scope than it will be when the project is complete. The plan is for parking to be housed at both the main location on Interlake Ave., North, and neighboring offsite lots.
We are also aware that the community will have questions about the noise levels to expect once we open our doors. This north satellite building will be a small and quiet bouldering only facility, with floors covered by thick padding. Bouldering by nature is not a loud activity. Our full fitness facility will be contained within the main Fremont building and will be well insulated from the outside. We will be mindful of sound and do not anticipate any noise to be a presence in the neighborhood.