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Condo Review – Enso Condominiums in South Lake Union

Enso Condominiums in South Lake Union
820 Blanchard Street

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Enso Condominiums was built by Vulcan and designed by Callison Architects and was one of the first anchor condo buildings in the Denny and Westlake corridor that helped kick off all things in this part of South Lake Union and the Denny Triangle. Enso was also one of  Seattle’s first LEED certified condo buildings. It’s unique characteristics are that is sits on an angled axis on its lot and the eastern side has a unique curved curtain wall glass exterior, which allows for unique view corridors up and down Denny and Westlake Avenues. At the time, it was considered the higher-end of the 3 Vulcan built condominium buildings due to it’s luxury finishes (Veer Lofts and 2200 Condominiums being the other two).

To see a video of an example of an actual unit at Enso Condominiums click here.

The stats:

  • 135 units – studio, one and two bedrooms ranging in size from 589 square feet for a studio on the 9th floor to a 2,279 square foott two story corner unit
  • Built in 2009
  • 19 stories
  • All units have at least 1 parking space and all condos have a storage unit
  • 4 units have sold in the last 6 months ranging in price from $510,000 for a 794 sq ft one bedroom to $1,499,000 for a 1,893 sq ft 2 bedroom unit on the 18th floor; at the time of this post there is 1 unit pending a sale listed at $528,000 on the 5th floor. There are no active units on the market.
  • HOA dues include: garbage, water, sewer, central hot water, natural gas (cooks top and ranges), building maintenance, professional property manager, earthquake insurance
  • Amenities: Party room with terrace, TV room, gym, yoga room, guest suite, concierge staff

The pros:

  • The location is ideal and very central to the city's work centers, transit corridors, and surrounding neighborhoods
  • LEED Silver building so energy efficiency helps with lower utility bills and HOA expenses
  • It is a newer building and the finishes are still very modern and high-end
  • Concrete and steel construction makes for quieter interior spaces
  • Building has a very nice assortment of amenities
  • Residential entrance is separate from the commercial entrance of the attached office building

The cons:

  • The deck sizes are a bit on the smaller size, but most units do at least have a small deck
  • Some of one bedroom and two bedroom floor plans have oddly shaped bedrooms, which make them feel small and limit layout options for larger beds, due to the double sided fireplaces
  • Its ideal location also has it right in the middle of it all as well, therefore, road noise, transit, sirens etc. are something you need to be used to living here
  • Currently it is in the epicenter of major new construction development in the immediate area, which means view obstructions are likely for many of the units, especially those on the west side of the building
  • The building is connected to an office building so privacy can be an issue on the condo’s outdoor common terrace
  • Financing new purchases or refinancing is difficult for some buyers and lenders due to the higher ratio of commercial square footage to residential square footage -certain lenders have the ability to loan on the condo building, while others will not be able to depending on the borrowers qualifications

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

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