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July 2007


Matae_2Completed in 2006, the Matae is located on the north edge of Belltown on Denny Way, the road that separates Belltown and Queen Anne. "Built Smart," the Matae's exterior is comprised of corrugated metal siding, exposed concrete, and innovative fiberglass windows.

This is a six story wood framed building with concrete on the lower floors.  The building features studios, one bedroom plus den's, and two bedroom units. Amenities include a roof top deck, club room and exercise room.

Some of my observations of this building:

  • So far, the units that I have viewed come with hardwood floors throughout the living area. This is kind of unusual for a wood framed building considering many homeowner assocations face the complaints brought up by their neighbors on noise.
  • Since there's nothing particularly outstanding about this building, this is probably not top condo of home buyers' minds but nevertheless, a decent condo to consider if you prefer to be close to the Belltown and Lower Queen Anne and might be priced out of more popular buildings.
  • North facing units will deal with the road traffic noise from Denny way.

-About Wendy


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Belmont Lofts

Img_0821Another apartment conversion, Belmont Lofts in Capitol Hill (231 Belmont Ave E) is coming on the market in August. Previously known as the Belmont Place apartments, the building is currently going through some exterior work consisting of new siding, decks and windows.

The conversion will feature 42 studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom units. 12 of them are either studio lofts or one bedroom lofts which are on the higher levels.

The condo is purported to have views of downtown, Lake Union and Space Needle. Homebuyers can expect hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, slab countertop and Italian cabinetries to be offered with this project. The units range from less than 400 square feet to the largest unit of 920 square feet. Average selling price for these units will be around $529/square feet.

The VIP event will take place on Aug 10th, 11th and 12th Aug 31st from 10.00am to 9.00pm (Updated on 08/30/07). Prices start in the $200,000's.

-About Wendy

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Seattle Condo Market Update and Analysis

The figures for condos in Seattle came in from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service for the 2nd quarter 2007 with some interesting signs. 

Some takeaways from my point of view:

  1. We are still seeing a fairly balanced market showing stable pricing and healthy sales activity.
  2. Looking at specific neighborhoods or buildings, buyers looking for highly sought after neighborhoods or buildings will still pay top dollar but may not have to worry as much about escalation clauses and multiple offer situations. 
  3. Looking at the overall Seattle numbers, buyers looking for more common or less popular properties will have more time to prepare their offers and will likely have some wiggle room if they find the list price too aggressive.
  4. June year-over-year growth in new listings added to the market (a key driver in holding or even lowering prices) was far smaller than April and May year-over-year growth.  This suggests prices as they are now may remain stable or appreciate mildly for the foreseeable future.

The Seattle condo market seems to be expanding with both more buyers and sellers; we are seeing the volume of both new listings and closed sales outperforming first half of 2006.  By end of June 2007, the total active (existing and new) listings on the market was 1,332 (671 Resale condominiums + 661 new construction condominiums), just about double the first half of 2006 largely due to all the new projects launched this year.  Sold listings showed a more modest increase of a little over 25% from 2006 to 2007 growing from 1472 to 1853.  This should not be too worrisome given the extreme seller power we saw in the first half of 2006.   (See the chart below for Belltown condo pricing over the last 5 years courtesy of  Zillow).


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Stadium Lofts

Plumbing_buildingWhile the owners of Smith Tower are waiting for the Pioneer Square Preservation board approval, Stadium Lofts got their approval Last November.

Now the developer is going even further, instead of adding 3 levels, they are requesting an additional level on top of this historic building. If approved, 16 units will be added to the already approved 69 units. Read more.

Previous post on Stadium Lofts

-About Wendy

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Smith Tower

Smith_towerThe City of Seattle has approved the conversion of the Smith Tower from an office building to a condo. However, the developer still has to get another approval from the Pioneer Square Preservation Board. Read more.

Previous post on Smith Tower

(Update 03/30/08-There are plans to convert only the top 12 floors (from 22-33) to condominiums with one unit per floor, roughly 2,000 sq ft each. Floors 2 through 21 would remain office space. Read more here.)

-About Wendy

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Connecting communities


Roads_and_transit_map_2_4 ____________________

Most homebuyers will agree that commute time to work may be one of their top considerations when picking a condo. This would probably be a major consideration if you are or would like to use public transportation to get to work. For those who are already living in their new condo, how are the transit plans going to affect your resale value? Here are some updates:

1.) The newly retrofitted Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel is reopening for weekday bus service Monday, Sept 24, 2007.

2.) Sound Transit Link light trains will join buses in the tunnels when the 13.9 mil rail line from Westlake Station to Tukwila international Blvd station opens in summer 2009, with a 1.7 mile extension to Seattle- Tacoma Internationl Airport opening by end of 2009.

3.) In 2008, light rail work is scheduled to begin on a 3.15 mile extension from downtown Seattle to Capitol Hill and the University of Washington.

4.) If the proposed East Link light rail project is approved this November, another 50 miles of light rail would extend to new destination on the Eastside, Pierce County and Snohomish County and connect the University of Washington with Safeco and Qwest Fields, downtown Bellevue, and Port of Tacoma.

-About Wendy

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Florera update

Img_0774I had the chance to visit Florera yesterday and took a hard hat tour and spoke with Linda, the sales manager.  Here are some tidbits from our conversation:



  • The model unit will not be available for viewing until the end of the month. The project is divided into two phases with the first phase consisting of 59 units scheduled for move-in in September. Phase 2 will have 25 units and won't be ready until fall 2008.
  • The lobby will feature an 8 foot waterfall using recycled glass. Seven retail spaces will occupy both phases. There will be a central broiler for the building so you won't be seeing any hot water tank in your unit. 
  • So far, 30% of phase 1 units has been sold with one bedroom plus den units being the most popular floor plan. Besides the central garden courtyard, a club room and rooftop garden / recreation area will also be available. Some of the 2nd level units have their own private patios looking out to the courtyard which will have plants and bushes.
  • One interesting thing to point out is that elements of the sidewalks, bus stop and bike racks will be designed by local artists.

When asked on what are the selling points for Florera, Linda Gordon, sales manager responded:

Continue reading "Florera update" »


Img_0816It’s great to be back after a long vacation. It looks like there has been several comments on 2200 Westlake post. Thanks for sharing your views on the project. So what’s going on this weekend? Florera, a new construction seeking for LEED Certification is having their opening event this weekend in Green Lake.

Time  : 12.00pm to 5.00pm.
Place : 420 NE Ravenna Blvd, Seattle
Date  : Saturday & Sunday (14th & 15th)
          Saturday & Sunday (28th & 29th)

Sales for Florera started last November, the condo is located right across Gregg’s cycle and features studios, one bedroom's, one bedroom plus study's and two bedroom floor plans. The condo is scheduled for completion late fall this year.


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Pomeroy condos

Pomeroy_condos_2The Pomeroy is a quitely elegant building located in the heart of Belltown on 1st Ave and Battery. Interestingly shaped like a triangle, this 8 story concrete and steel building houses 52 condominiums which comprise several open and enclosed one bedroom, one bedroom plus den, two bedroom, and two bedroom plus den units along with one 2,700 square foot penthouse.

The open one bedroom units feature a layout with a raised platform bedroom right off the entry way. While this is a bit unconventional, what you also get are high quality finishes, a spacious layout, and a great amount of windows.

Pomeroy's most outstanding amenity is the roof top deck, probably one of the best in Belltown. This exclusive perch allows residents to enjoy a panoramic view of the city and the Puget Sound while grilling summer dinners. One might think that since it is located so close to the viaduct, traffic noise is unbearable. You would be surprised since the units have excellent sound insulation, air conditioning, and the overall quality of construction is top notch.

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