With many buyers deferring their purchases till next year, you'd think the condo-hotel projects would be slowing down a bit as well. As it turns out, buyers looking for this class of property seem to be fairly unaffected by the national market concerns. So far, the Seattle condo hotel market has proven quite resilient. Recently, I put together a table comparing each of the top Seattle condo-hotel projects for one of my clients and put an abridged version here as well as put a quick summary below for SCR readers. Hope it helps!
Olive 8, the fourth hotel/condo project in Seattle has a scheduled completion in late 2008/early 2009. Its reasonable pricing and modern design atop the Hyatt hotel has been receiving a great response from the public. Even though some of the west facing units’ views are blocked by Qwest Building, home buyers do not seem to mind. The developer added 3 more levels on top of the originally planned 36 story building. Since a lot of units are sold, there is not a whole lot of selection available except for the top 3 levels. Olive 8 probably has the best value compared to the rest of the condo/hotel projects.
Across from Olive 8, standing at about the same height is AVA. Most developers assign the higher floors for penthouse residential units to maximize as much revenue as possible. In AVA's case, they have chosen to allocate a portion of the space on the 38th level as their owners’ lounge and media room with an outdoor deck! Both AVA and Olive 8 enjoy close proximity to I5 and the transit Terminal making it easily accessible for out of town 2nd home owners. This makes for a great location to hop on to the soon to be opened light rail to get to the airport.
1 Hotel's most appealing offering is the City Suite. Unlike AVA and Olive 8 which have their own hotel rooms owned by the hotel, the City suites are owners' own condominiums (fully furnished) which allow them the option to participate in a managed rental program. You can either go with the Hotel Operator’s rental program or rent it through an agency of your choice. After deducting the miscellaneous fee, you are probably looking at close to 40% split on the total rental revenue for your condo. The 40% is not likely to cover a substantial portion of your mortgage but it will probably make you feel less guilty for splurging on a 2nd home that you use for a few days a month or a few times out of a year. The only downside to the City Suites is that they do not come with parking.
Some buyers value premium brands, demand the highest quality and expect more exclusive, personalized service and world class amenities. If that sounds like you and price is not an issue, your best bet is the Four Seasons which will be completing in Summer 2008. Four Seasons is the closest project to the water front (which allows you to enjoy water views -- even from your luxurious bathroom tub).