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February 2015
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March 2015

Update on New Construction Building at 2nd and Virginia

Tower 12Back in June of last year we reported on a new building being constructed at 2nd and Virginia, just south of Cristalla and just east of One Pacific Tower condominiums. After speaking with Continental Properties, the Developer of this new building, we have an update for you on the name, construction start time frame and use.

  1. First off, the building will be called Tower 12.
  2. As for the construction start, they indicated that construction will be begin on the project in the next few weeks.
  3. When I asked them whether the building would be apartments or condominiums, I was told that they are currently slated to be apartments. They did indicate that there is an option to switch the use to condominiums but as of now, it will be apartments. This decision can still change during construction and will largely depend on market conditions, both of the rental and purchase markets. This decision, according to an article by the DJC back in October, will be finalized by the end of 2015.

A recap of the building details based on the DJC article from October (though details are conflicting between the various sites reporting on the building):

  • 34 stories
  • 314 units
  • Anticipated completion in early 2017
  • Amenities: rooftop deck with barbecues, fire-pits and views of Elliott Bay, a gym with sauna and hot tub, a lounge and library on the top floor, theater, conference room, concierge,  and a 6th floor outdoor deck with barbecues, a fire-pit and water feature
  • Retail on the ground level

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.
Photo courtesy of Continental Properties


Perks of Living in a Condo Above a Hotel

Olive 8 - 5There are only a few condominium buildings in Seattle that are above or part of a hotel. And though they are few, they do have some perks we thought our readers might want to know about if considering buying a condo.

The condo buildings that fit in this category are 2200 Westlake, Olive 8 (pictured to the right), Madison Tower and Four Seasons Residences.

In general the bonuses to living in a building that is combined with a hotel are:

  • Spa services are only an elevator ride away
  • Room service
  • Housekeeping
  • Gym
  • Business center
  • Valet to call you a cab
  • Restaurant dining and a bar right in your building
  • Discounted hotel stays for you or your guests
  • Discounts at the spa, restaurant and bar (at certain buildings only)
  • Often times the quality and amount of amenities available to condo owners above a hotel, in general, are bit more comprehensive than most condo buildings because the expenses are supplemented by the hotel so the condo owners benefit from those higher caliber of shared amenities
  • The hotel staff are masters at hospitality, so it’s a great feeling to know that you and your family, as well as your guests are take care of

Continue reading "Perks of Living in a Condo Above a Hotel" »


Selling Your Seattle Condo in Today’s Dynamic Seller’s Market - a 3 part series

Document1Springtime is an ideal time to get your condo ready for the market here in Seattle.  Those that jumped on the market right after the holidays have been sold, and they have helped set the market for the rest of the spring and summer months.  So let’s get you ready to have your condo on the market in the next 3-4 months. This series will help you make the most of your time and get you and your condo in tip top shape to maximize your potential sales price, and speed of your sale.

PHASE ONE- The Mental Preparation Phase

Even before you need to have your broker come out to meet you and see your condo, Phase One is an important process to go through as a seller of your condo to get you mentally prepared as well as free up brain space for the rest of the process coming later.

Top 5 Things To Do First (feel free to take 3-5 weeks to complete this phase, no rush)

  1. Size up your condo’s competition- Set up an automatic search for competition
  2. Rate your condo on a scale of 1-10 – Make a list of what it will take to get it to a 10
  3. Rent an offsite storage locker*- Trust me, just do it
  4. Tag your condo’s non-essential contents*- Super important if you plan to live in your condo while it’s on the market
  5. Fix things in your condo that are not working

(*Note: If you are planning on moving out of your condo before you sell, no problem, steps 3 & 4  will be slightly different)

Continue reading "Selling Your Seattle Condo in Today’s Dynamic Seller’s Market - a 3 part series" »


Insignia North Tower Grand Opening - Pricing and Floorplans Released

20150125_103746With the south tower 70% sold, Insignia will be releasing it's north tower units at a grand opening event March 21st and 22nd. So if you missed out on a particular floorplan in the south tower, you might be able to snag it in the north tower.  Keep in mind though, that the floorplates in the two buildings are flipped to mirror images of each other for the most part, though they are not identical. For example, a SW corner unit in the south tower would be a NW corner unit in the north tower.

DETAILS FOR THE NORTH TOWER:

  • Estimated closing and move-ins: Summer 2016
  • Deposits: 10% total with a 5% initial deposit and 5% due 3/1/16
  • HOA Dues: range from $448-$1653/month and include cold and hot water, gas, sewer capacity charge, garbage/recycling, landscape, common area maintenance, earthquake insurance
  • Notes:
    • I was pleased to see that the 06 stack has had some alterations. Based on my personal walkthrough, I felt like the SW corner unit (06) in the south tower, which is a 2bd plus den home, had a cozy living/dining area because of the den location. This floorplan has been slightly modified in the north tower (where it is a NW corner unit), above the 20th floor, with the den being removed leaving a much more generous open living,dining and kitchen space.

PRICE RANGES FOR THE NORTH TOWER:

  • Floors 2-8
    • 1 bedroom 1 bath, 834-836sf: Priced from low $500,000s
    • 1 bedroom + den 1 bath, 868-1,051: Priced from the high $400,000s
    • 1 bedroom + den 1.5 bath, 1,403sf: Priced from the high $600,000s
    • 2 bedroom 2 bath, 1,038-1,326sf: Priced from the mid $600,000s
    • 2 bedroom + den 2 bath, 1,226-1,433sf: Priced from the high $600,000s
  • Floors 9-27
    • 1 bedroom 1 bath, 773-792sf: Priced from the low $500,000s
    • 2 bedroom 2 bath, 1,003-1,270sf: Priced from the high $600,000s
    • 2 bedroom + den 2 bath, 1,270-1,523sf: Priced from the high $900,000s
  • Floors 28-36
    • 2 bedroom 2 bath, 1,003-1,269sf: Priced from the low $800,000s
    • 2 bedroom + den 2 bath, 1,252-1,523sf: Priced from the low $1,000,000s
  • Floors 37-40
    • 2-3 bedroom + den 2.5 bath, 1,955-2,528sf: Pricing available upon request
  • Notes:
    • Prices in the north tower are up, all over the board, from the south tower, but not by a set percentage

BUILDING AMENITY RECAP:

  • 41st floor party room
  • 7th floor terrace with BBQs and fireplace
  • Indoor lap pool and spa
  • Steam room and sauna
  • Fitness center with yoga studio
  • Theater room
  • Outdoor pet area
  • Pet wash and grooming area
  • Bike storage
  • Electric car charging stations

If, before the grand opening, you should have any additional questions about the north tower, let us know and we will make sure to get you the additional information you need!

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


Quick Market Snapshot

We have a widget in our Multiple Listing Service called the Market Watch that we can customize in order to see a snapshot of the market segment we choose. Our Market Watch shows us the activity on all condominiums in Seattle within a 24 hour period. Sometimes it is hard to articulate how low inventory really is out there but we thought just providing you with a screenshot of our Market Watch would get the idea across. And the trend you see below is what we have been seeing for the past year. The number of condominiums going under contract, or going pending, is almost 3 times as high as the number of new listing coming on the market. So, if you are considering selling, consider it more seriously. 

Market Watch 3.3.15

For selling, spring and summer are ideal times for this.  Buyers are out there and they need more options, and as a seller there are great options to consider for short term housing while you look for your new place.  We see some sellers hesitating to sell out of fear that they can't find a new place to buy, but be creative.  Perhaps consider things such as : 1) a rent back from the buyer of your home 2) make a short "staycation" out if it and rent somewhere you have been wanting to try living in as there are short term-lease options, and then 3)  there is always your family and friends who often are more accommodating for things like this than you might think.  Just some ideas for those who are considering selling but need some help on "bridging the gap" of where to live,  while looking for a new place.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


Downtown Seattle Condo and Apartment Demand Continues

CranesLast week, the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) held its annual breakfast where they delivered the 2015 State of Downtown Report.  The recent article by the Puget Sound Business Journal did a great job of highlighting some of the key points of the DSA’s Report, and I thought it would be interesting to share information from the article regarding the upcoming demand for downtown housing, which includes both condo units as well as rental units.  I often get questions from buyers and sellers with regards to whether or not Seattle is building too many downtown housing units and whether or not we will see a glut of units that might cause a softening in the condo sales market or a softening in the rental market in the near future.  

While the report didn’t specifically say yes or no to the question of whether or not there is a bubble coming or a future glut of inventory, one key item in the PSBJ article and the report from the DSA that I feel might calm this concern a bit, is the overall increase in downtown’s residential population and job growth. 

Key Points:  

  • Since 2010, downtown’s permanent population has increased 8%, which equates to 65,000 people who now live in the downtown area.  That number is expected to increase 10% more in five years.
  • About 3,000 units are under construction now.
  • 2,650 more units are planned for 2016.
  • According to the article, “The overall job growth in downtown is twice that of the region as a whole. 243,995 Seattleites work downtown”. 

Although, according to the DSA’s report, a combined 5,650 units are coming between now and end of 2016, I believe that with millions of square feet of office space coming, this will result in a continued increase in the downtown area workforce.  This growing workforce will likely increase the desire to live in or near the downtown area for many reasons, but most likely due to our traffic issues that seem to be continuing to get worse.  This will continue to increase the demand for housing downtown, and at least to me, seems to reason this demand will easily gobble up all the upcoming condo and apartment units that are under construction or planned.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.