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May 2007

Anhalt Condos

12th_and_johnThe Anhalt, located at the intersection of 12th and John, is an excellent example of the fine architecture visible in Frederick Anhalt’s Depression-era, luxury apartment buildings.

Anhalt’s contribution to Seattle architecture is legendary and tends to include revivals of earlier styles. The Anhalt condos are no different and are constructed in French Normandy style. The units are currently being converted and are expected to be available in July.

The Anhalt building contains 7 units. Four of the units are approached from the interior of the building and 3 are stand alone town homes.

The interior units include a studio, a 1 bedroom, a 2 bedroom and a 4 bedroom. The small studio with 443 sq ft is priced at $255,990. The 624 sq ft, 1 bedroom is on the market for $355,990 while the 2 bedroom is 1054 sq. ft. and is available for $526,500. 

The 2,446 sq ft, 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath home comes with a tandem garage and is priced at $990,990. The other 3 units are all 2 bedroom townhomes with ~1000-1100 square feet and are priced from ~$495K to ~$500K.

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Icon Tower

Icon_tower_2_2I just received this press release on Icon Tower which is scheduled for construction in early 2008.  Here is the official Icon announcement link if you want to read the official spin on this project.

My thoughts?  Condo buyers and investors have to think about a lot of things before picking a project such as location, amenities, pricing and the market overall (among other things).  In the case of Icon, you have to think about all of that plus you have to convince yourself the developer, architect, and builder are able to turn this approximately 11,000 square foot triangle into a successful 224 unit condominium project.

This project will probably end up having a lot of lookie lou's who will wait till the building is complete before considering buying a unit.  Investors with a higher risk appetite who buy into the project pre-construction may end up making a very good investment if the Icon team can really pull it off.  This is especially true since I wouldn't expect them to forward price given the unique risks of this project. On the other hand, if the bleeding edge design doesn't work and attract the interest as advertised, early buyers may find it difficult to move the units when it's time to resell.

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Madison Lofts update



Madison Lofts, a low profile loft project, is currently under construction. Last year, half of their units were auctioned off with sales prices undisclosed. The remaining units will become available this September.


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Seattle Condo Expo Update

Seattle_condo_expoSponsored by the Seattle Times and The Seattle Post Intelligencer, the “Mega Open House”, Seattle Condo Expo and Realtor Symposium took place yesterday with approximately 2,500 visitors. The expo included exhibitors from many of the high profile new construction projects in the core of Seattle as well as Bellevue.

The main highlight was the presentation given by Senior Principal and land use economist, Matthew Gardner, and Blaine Weber, principal from Weber + Thompson Architects.  Matthew touched on the inventory coming on the market as well as the outlook for the next few years. Here is some interesting data he presented (Here is my own analysis from May 12th):

• The average project size for new construction is around 150 units for 2007-2009 inventory and 300 units for 2010 inventory.

• Condos completing in 2007 are mostly sold out. 50% of 2008 inventory is reserved and 9% of 2009 inventory is reserved.

• In Seattle, the biggest portion of inventory, approximately 3500 units is proposed for 2010. However, these inventories may not all come through.


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Luxe Condos Update

Luxe_exteriorLuxe condominiums will be starting their pre-sales event this weekend for priority registrants. This Queen Anne conversion will feature one bedroom, two bedroom and penthouse units. Prices start at the mid $300,000's with estimated move in date around early July.

Brought to you by the same developer who converted Plaza Del Sol and Mezzo on Capitol Hill, Luxe condominiums interior will feature the following finishes:

• African Tay / Koto wood cabinets
• Cork, marble and hardwood flooring
• Designer inlaid tile in bath
• Custom kitchen countertops with inlaid mother of pearl
• Full height Italian tile backsplash in kitchen and stainless steel appliances

Luxe_living_roomThe developer did a pretty good job in Plaza Del Sol and Mezzo conversions. It is also unusual to find hardwood floorings in a wood framed building -- this will be a major attraction for the top floor owners -- potentially a mixed blessing for those with upstairs neighbors. We'll have to see if they carry out similar work in Luxe.

Slideshow on Luxe condos.


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Seattle Condo News

Demographic_breakout_4The Seattle Times has an interesting report on how prices are driving single women from the downtown condo market. Read full article.

Here are a couple of statistics they mentioned:

• Half of downtown condo buyers are couples, a third are single men and the remaining 17 percent are single women.

• Seattle's downtown population has grown 61 percent since 1990.

• People in their 30s comprise the largest group of condo buyers, but baby boomers are gaining.

Other related news:

Apr 05- Single woman heat up real estate market
Jan 07- Downtown mainly a male domain


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Ballard Condo News

Ballard_library_4Ballard News Tribune ran a story about the Ballard Library demolition which appears to be delayed. Below is an excerpt, click here for the full article.

"Ballard's old library, now home to Abraxus Books, is safe from the demolition axe - at least for now.

Pryde Johnson Developments own the building at 5711 24th Avenue Northwest. It's sat empty for the last two years until the bookstore moved in March 1 from a warehouse on Seaview Avenue.

The developers had planned to build a mixed use, retail-residential building there with about 94 units and 120 below grade parking stalls. A design review meeting was held last spring, but the project was put on hold while other developments in the neighborhood are underway, including Pryde Johnson's own Hjarta Condominiums on Northwest Market Street."


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Seattle Real Estate Market Update

The April stats are in and it appears we're at an exciting chapter in the Seattle condo market boom. One thing that jumps off of the table below is how much listings grew compared to the same time last year and how closed sales grew compared to last year, but at a fraction of the rate of listing growths.

Many buyers will be happy to see increasing inventory and stablilizing prices. Owner residents can also find comfort knowing the last couple year's exuberance is now settling back towards more sustainable long-term growth without giving up their recent gains.


(NWMLS statistics. Information deemed accurate but not guaranteed.)

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Cinema on the Lawn

Cinema_on_the_lawn_2Partly in an effort to make South Lake Union a more liveable neighborhood, Vulcan (along with fellow sponsors) will be holding their third annual Cinema on the Lawn event every other Friday from June 29 to August 10 which start at 7.00pm. For those of you who are interested to catch some of these movies, visit their website at

June 29, Friday- Breakfast at Tiffany
July 27, Friday- Election
August 10, Friday- Little Miss Sunshine

The event is brought to you by Vulcan, KEXP FM, KUOW FM and the Seattle International Film Festival Group (SIFF Group), the outdoor film series will display several cinematic comedy favorites and offer music, a movie-themed photo booth, and gourmet treats by Whole Foods, plus beer, wine and soft drinks. The event's proceeds will benefit the radio stations and SIFF Group.

If this piques your interest in SLU living, check out some of these links below:
Previous post on South Lake Union condos
Questions on South Lake Union condos
2200 Westlake


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