I've been learning about a new Belltown project summarized below. I also interviewed the developer as well as agreed to post an SCR survey to give my readers the opportunity to help design the project and to help make sure they build something that people want. Feel free to fill out the 10 question survey, it'll take you a couple of minutes and I'll post results in a couple of weeks so we can all see what people thought.
Western and Blanchard, a mixed-use project will be located on the parking lot west of Continental Place Condos. (across the street from Belltown Billards). This project would be a 6 story wood framed building with approximately 116 units, 80 of them will be around 600 square feet. The top 2 levels will feature views of the water while other units may have either Space Needle or City views. Most of the units will be priced under $400,000. Interiors will feature 10' clear ceilings. Amenities would include (2) media rooms, fitness center, business center, roof top deck and perhaps part-time concierge.
Sample floor plan for their small "price point" units
(1) Sounds like you're launching a new project into what appears to be a soft market. Do you know something that the bears don't know?
The market is dynamic and has up’s and downs. We have seen 3 different cycles in Seattle and have built through them. Our product won’t hit the market until 2010-2011.
(2) With so many new condo projects in Seattle, how will this one stand out from the pack?
We have designed our product to hit the market below the “towers” in town. We are going to have lots of product in the $300,000’s and $400,000’s. We are staying away from the high end of the market. Our product is unique in that we have an excellent location, great amenity package, great specs and affordable units. We are a block north of Pike Place and just off of 1st Ave. With the 2nd lobby we have designed into the building, you are literally steps away from the action in Belltown.
(3) Are you considering making them apartments? How do you address buyers' concerns that you might convert them to apartments before the project is complete?
This is being designed as a condo. We expect to keep it that way. The wave of apartments are coming.
(4) I heard there will be 10' ceilings, what do you mean by that?
We are taking advantage of the 85’ height limit. We have added height to each floor. The floor to floor will be right at 10’. That is different from most other projects in town.
(5) What kind of buyers are you targeting for this project?
Our buyers will be a mixture of buyers across a wide demographic. Most will be younger, urban, professional buyers. Our buyers will be first time buyers and move up buyers. Our buyers want to be in the “action” of the city, but don’t want to spend a million dollars on a condo. Our buyers will also be folks wanting a second home in the city, but again don’t need the high rise, high price experience. You will be able to buy a condo, in the city in the low $300’s. If you were in the market for a 2nd home anywhere within 3 hours of Seattle, you’d spend more than that. Our upper 2 floors will have great views of the Puget sound. We will have other unit stacks that have great “in city” views, space needle, and our views to the north are really nice. We have a courtyard that is very private and unique. There are no units that look into one another on the courtyard, which will be a nice feature.
If you are interested in participating a survey, please fill it out here and help shape Belltown's newest project.