Seattle Condos Feed

Westbank's Skyscraper at 2000 3rd Ave Will Be Condos Called First Light

Original Design 6The 500 foot skyscraper planned for 2000 3rd Ave will be built as condominiums according to the project developer, Westbank of Vancouver, British Columbia.

The lot is currently a surface parking lot and a sales center pavilion is being constructed on the site at this time.

Some of the buildings proposed highlights:

  • 459 condominium units
  • Cantilevered rooftop swimming pool
  • Podium will have retail space
  • 6 floors of office space
  • 38 floors of residences
  • 3 floors of amenity space
  • Will be a luxury project

We will know more about this project once Marco returns from his trip this week to Vancouver to meet with the development and sales team and learn more about the developer, the architect and this new building, which will be called First Light.

Rendering from James KM Cheng Architects and MG2

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


Fannie Mae Changes Lending Guidelines for Condos

Fannie Mae recently changed their condominium lending guidelines. These changes were meant to simplify policies and increase underwriting flexibility.

Here is a list of some of the most beneficial changes:

  • Waive the single-entity ownership percentage requirement when the purchase transaction will result in a reduction in the single-entity ownership concentration People Holding Moving Boxes
  • Not include units held by non-profits, affordable housing programs, or institutions of higher education in the percentage of single entity ownership calculation
  • Allow single-entity ownership in projects with 21 or more units to increase to 20%, up from 10%
  • Increase allowable commercial space to 35% of the projects total square footage, up from 25%
  • Exempt commercially owned or operated parking spaces from the project’s commercial space calculations
  • Allow a new condo project to be reviewed as an “established” project if requirements are met
  • Condo properties approved by FHA's HUD Review and Approval Process (HRAP) will only require a limited review
  • Waive project review requirements on smaller properties (two to four unit condo projects)

These updated guidelines better reflect current trends in condo development and provide additional flexibility for condominium lending reviews. The loosened requirements permit many condominium buildings which previously did not meet lending review criteria to qualify for conventional financing, creating additional inventory for home shoppers and a simplified financing process.

Specifically in Seattle, the commercial space percentage limits and calculation changes will be helpful for condo communities such as 2200 Westlake, Enso and Tribeca.

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


New Condo Tower Planned for 2nd Avenue in Downtown

MapThe site at 1516 2nd Ave, across the street from Fifteen Twenty-One condominiums, will soon be a new condo tower. The Chromer Building on the site will be torn down and replaced by a 45 story building containing 498 condo units and ground level retail.

The Developer is Pinnacle Plus is a joint venture of Plus Investment, who is also developing condo project in South Lake Union just announced.

The website for the new tower describes the tower this way, "Designed by the award-winning HEWITT team, the project demonstrates strength, femininity, and careful place-making. At once a destination and a gateway, it will join a family of historic and new buildings which nestle around the city’s heartbeat: Pike Place Market."

This building is across the street from Fifteen Twenty-one condos and across the alley from the Fischer Studio condominium building.

Map from Google Maps


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


Condo Project Coming to South Lake Union

1170 Republican4A new condominium building has been announced in South Lake Union. It will be a mid-rise building and will be located at 1170 Republican St, where the charming Row House Cafe is currently located.

This new building will contain 113 condominium units and should start construction in early 2019.

The developer for this new project is Plus Capital Partners, who recently sold their controlling interest in the Elev8 project n Bellevue.

Rendering from MZA Architecture.

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


403 13th Condominiums Coming Soon to Capitol Hill

403 Thirteenth403 13th is a new boutique condominium building coming soon to Capitol Hill.

Though their website has very little information, it does say that this building will be a collection of studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom condos. The building is being constructed by BrightWork Builders, who are known for building custom and floating homes. They are indicating that the building will be move in in winter of this year 2018.

The website describes the homes as "thoughtfully crafted with a focus on maximizing space and timeless, sophisticated finishes."

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

 


The Neighborhood Collection - 3 Seattle Apartment Projects Will be Condos

Wallingford 45, Edison and Atrium are the newest condominium projects to be announced. Previously planned as apartments, these three buildings will now be condominiums and comprise the Neighborhood Collection.

A three projects are mid-rise buildings and collectively will deliver 133 condo units to the market.

Atrium is located at 750 11th Ave E, Edison is located at 121 12th Ave E and Wallingford 45 is located at 1601 N 45th St. All three buildings are nearly complete and will be ready for occupancy this fall. They are targeting prices from below $400,000 to more than $800,000 for the units, which will be studios and one bedrooms.

A preview center will open in September at 1420 E Madison St. Homes can be reserved with a price range for a $5,000 deposit. Tours inside the buildings will open up in September as well.

WALLINGFORD 45:
W45-12 W45-10 W45-2 W45-6

EDISON:
Edison Edison5 Edison7Edison3

ATRIUM:
Atrium2 Atrium4 Atrium6 Atrium5
   


Spire Condominiums Renderings and Price Guidance Released

SPIRE Condominiums has released new rendering and pricing guidance.

Spire17Just for a reminder here is some information on SPIRE:

  • Located at 600 Wall St in Belltown
  • 350 units
  • 41 stories
  • 4 floors of common areas
  • Parking option included for some homes while others are optional for an additional $75,000
  • City Suites:
    • On floors 4-23
    • Ranging from open 1 bedroom/1 bath to 2 bedroom/2 bath
    • Approx 520sf to more than 1,170sf
    • Introductory pricing from below $450,000 to more than $1.6M
  • Tower Residences:
    • On floors 24-37
    • Ranging from 1 bedroom/1 bath to 3 bedroom/2 bath
    • Approx 550sf to more than 2,000sf
    • Introductory pricing from below $700,000 to more than $3.5M

Continue reading "Spire Condominiums Renderings and Price Guidance Released" »


Solis Condos Coming to Capitol Hill

SolisSolis condominiums are coming to Capitol Hill. The building will be constructed at 1300 E Pike St and will be built using super-green "passive house" design and constructions methods.

Solis will be a 6 story building with 45 condominium homes. The units will be between 475sf and 850sf consisting of studios, one and two bedrooms. They will be priced from the mid $400,000s to just about $1 million.  Construction will begin in the next few months with completion set for early 2020 according to the Developer, SolTerra.

The contractor is Cascade Built, a leader on passive house projects, and the architect is Weber Thompson.

This building was originally planned as an apartment building but will now be the first condominium building to be constructed in Capitol Hill in ten years.

Weber Thompson Rendering

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


What’s Happening in the Market? Shift, Change, Adjustment or What?

JUNE-SEATTLE-2018-MONTHLY-TALKING-POINTS_Page_2We have all seen the news media articles over the past few weeks reporting that there has been an over 70% increase in our current market inventory, that the market is slowing down or that there is another recession coming, and so on. If you are a seller, let’s not panic or get into modes of desperation just yet.

We have to keep in mind, we see a seasonal slow down every year in our market during mid-summer (due to factors such as buyers and their agents being on vacation and sellers putting their homes up for sale at a higher rate in order to move before the school year starts, etc. - see photo for seasonal trends), so I wanted to chime in and speak to what I am actually seeing out here.

We are seeing, what I would call, a shift in the mindset of buyers. There are less multiple offer scenarios on both condos and single family homes as well as a lot of buyers doing more of a wait see approach to the offer review dates. This is quite opposite of what we were seeing earlier in the spring, which was a very aggressive approach of doing pre-inspections, waiving all contingencies, and being willing escalate well above list price. Also, there is a significant increase in the inventory. Homes and condos are still selling, but they are going into contract slower than they were in the spring.  We are also seeing the percentage over list price not being as aggressive. This will apply to most neighborhoods of Seattle, and appears to happening in most price segments as well. 

Now, does this change how I, as a broker, might approach the market? Yes, of course, our strategies must change with adjustments in market conditions. But does this mean we are in a changing market or a just a slightly more aggressive seasonal slowdown? I’m not sure yet. But my sense is we have some slowing due to general buyer fatigue and frustration and increased summer market inventory from sellers who are trying to ride the coattails of the spring sales pricing. Sadly, we are also seeing a lot of homes that just aren’t presented well, such as not being in the best of condition, poor quality flips, or disadvantaged locations, etc. These condos and houses might be too aggressively priced by sellers and agents that are just too optimistic that the hot market will have buyers buying anything they can. The buyer fatigue is stalling sales on homes that simply aren’t properly prepped and priced for the summer market conditions. I do think that these factors are causing some lethargic market conditions right now that are affecting even those homes and condos that are spruced up and ready to sell as the mere fear of a slowing market will cause more slowing in the market.

I’m predicting that the market will absorb, although slowly, the summer inventory and we’ll see a bit more of the frenzy return in the fall when buyers and their brokers are returning from vacations and ready to be realistic and get back to the market.  

Timing is everything, and we might have missed a bit of a window for some sellers, so holding off until fall might be a new thing to consider. If you are thinking about selling, make sure you are realistic about how long it will take to sell your home and what price you are likely to get.


Tower Near Space Needle Will be Condos & Named Spire

Spire3Laconia Development, who is developing the triangle shaped lot located at 600 Wall St, has announced that they will be building condominiums and not apartments.

The 41 story building will be called Spire and they will break ground today. There will be 352 residences from studios to 3 bedroom plus den homes. They are indicating that pricing will range from $450,000 to over $5 million. This Developer will also allow units to be combined. Amenities will include 2 rooftop decks. They anticipate the construction to take 28 months due to the challenges associated with the small sized lot.

This switch from apartments to condos reflects the softening rental market due to the influx of new buildings being constructed and the condo price increases that we are seeing in our current real estate market.

Being located on the intersection of Denny Way, Wall St (the current off-ramp from Aurora) and 6th Avenue is a definitely a busy intersection to be located on. We will see if that location in Belltown can fetch prices near $5M.

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