I have a feeling we're not in Old Ballard anymore.

Image: Zoe Sayler

If you too have been wondering about the telltale black-and-white stripes that popped up on the corner of 46th and 14th in Ballard recently, let me—or the newly erected Sephora sign—confirm your suspicions. The national beauty retailer will open its fourth Seattle store at the Ballard Blocks on April 23, joining locations in downtown Seattle, Denny Regrade, and U Village.

Sephora is, perhaps, the most hypeworthy tenant in what has become one of Seattle's more confusing shopping centers. Looming on the southern end of Ballard's industrial district, the LEED-certified complex is anchored by Trader Joe's, PCC, and an unusually sparse Ross Dress for Less; filled in by locally owned businesses, like all-day breakfast spot The Egg & Us and Top Pot Doughnuts; and home to a baffling mix of lesser-known national chains like Sharkey's Cuts for Kids and Nrgize smoothie bar.

There's even a dilapidated single-family holdout called the Edith Macefield House, famous for its eponymous owner's refusal to sell to the surrounding development (and the rumored inspiration behind the house in Disney's Up—hence the occasional balloons tied to the fence). Regency Centers, the developer behind the Blocks, has indicated plans to turn the house into a site for community events or restaurant popups.

Sephora's opening is just another indication that Ballard has strayed from its grittier roots. But if the Blocks are at the center of that transformation, well, at least it'll stay weird. Check out more details on Sephora's opening weekend here

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