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August 2007
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October 2007

September 2007

Alex Condos Update

Alex_condosWhen completed, Alex Condos will be in the epicenter of Belltown on the corner of 1st Ave and Bell St. The project started construction a few months ago and is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2008.

Developed by Saltaire and designed by Snell Partnership, this 9 story new addition to the neighborhood will feature one and two bedroom floor plans. Prices range from $500,000 to over $2 million and home sizes will range between 600-1,200 square feet. On first glance, these prices seem way out of line with the market -- not sure if there are lots of people looking to pay half a million for 600 square feet or $2M for 1,200 square feet -- we'll have to see if the developer continues to aspire for those prices and if the building can really attract buyers at those price points. 

Nevertheless, I am impressed with the choice of concrete and steel structure for a fairly short building and the proposed classy look of the exterior. You also can't beat the location if you're a true urban dweller. The building's exterior is inspired by Seattle's historic brick buidings and features muted red brick and dark green window frames. A classic canvas canopy will cover the residential entrance, and iron and glass canopies adorn the sides. A locally designed mural will also be displayed along Bell Street.

Unit interiors will use a combination of classic materials, refined fixtures, imported appliances, and extensive floor to ceiling case work.

Address :2233 First Avenue

Estimated occupancy : September 2008

Construction : Concrete and steel

Amenities : Pre-screened Housekeeping, dry cleaning, meal delivery, grocery delivery and reservation services available through a private "cyber" concierge

The project aims to create a historic design with a mural on the street fascade. Artwork will also be installed on the sidewalk to create a more interesting personality for the building.

(Alex has been renamed as Volta in 2010.)

Snell Partnership portfolio of projects located near Alex:







        Pomeroy                     Austin Bell

Award winning 8 story     Restoration and seismic
concrete building with     upgrade of 1893 buidling.
52 condominum units.

Related Posts:

Alex condos- Epicenter of Belltown

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Featured Listing- Queen Anne Studio

The Parc Update

The Parc has started closing on their units and home buyers have already started moving in to the building. Earlier this week, they had their grand opening to showcase the model unit. So far, they are about 90% sold with 25 remaining units still available.

Here are a couple of my observations:

  • Compared to its sister project, Avenue One, The Parc has a slightly more appealing lobby with water features and modern design. However, the clubroom does not have the outdoor deck like Avenue One.
  • Even though both buildings are constructed on a slope, Avenue One has more units closer to street level (especially the east and south units) with windows facing either the parking garage right across the alley or the street.
  • The quality of the finishes in the Parc is consistent with Avenue One.
  • 26170097_3Img_1031_3





         Avenue One Club room                    The Parc Club room

So how was last week's condo tour for them? As it turns out, close to 850 visitors turned up. Most of the visitors were folks from the east side taking advantage of the tour to check out some of the new developments in the more interesting side of the lake ;-)

Related Posts:

Best ROI poll results
Rent a condo or hotel?
The Parc

Available units on the market.

-About Wendy

Cameo Update

CameoIf you are planning to go to the sneak preview event for Cameo on November 2nd, they have just announced that construction has been delayed and the event is postponed.

"The construction timeline for Cameo has been modified due to a delay in obtaining building permits from the City of Seattle. This delay has made it impossible for the General Contractor to fulfull the contract because of scheduleing conflicts. The Developers for Cameo are actively interviewing new general contractors. When a new contractor is selected and new timelines for our VIP event are established, we will announce it on the Cameo website as well as get a notice out to you."

Related Post:
Cameo- coming soon

-About Wendy

AVA Sneak Preview Event

Recently, there has been alot of buzz about hotel/condo projects, the most recent project is AVA. AVA had their sneak preview sessions last week. The events were so well received that they are scheduling the 2nd series of sneak preview events for Oct 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

During the events, an hour of presentation was given by Blaine Weber, Principal architect for Weber + Thompson. Among a number of other things, Blaine talked about the location of AVA relative to the neighborhood buildings.


  • To the north side of AVA is a high end apartment building, Olivian Tower currently under construction.
  • Across the street from AVA is Olive 8, another luxury hotel/condo project scheduled for completion in late 2008 -- about the same height as AVA.
  • To the east of AVA is a historic building, the Camlin Hotel.

With the transit terminal right below the huge lot to the east, they are unlikely to obstruct the views of AVA's east-facing units.

Continue reading "AVA Sneak Preview Event" »

Microsoft Supports Belltown Condo Market?

0906connectorI was walking my dog this morning and noticed a number of MSFT employees congregating on the corner of First and Wall.  Apparently, Microsoft is now offering a regular shuttle service from First/Wall in Belltown (and other Seattle locations) to the tech giant's Redmond campus! 

This is great news for Belltown condo owners / MSFT employees.  In fact, this is literally on the same block as the lucky folks at Belltown Court.

Here's the official release from MSFT.

-About Wendy

1 Hotel & Residences

With all the doomsday media coverage of the sub-prime credit market, many Seattle home buyers have been anxiously hoping for prices to drop considerably. So far, while $5-10k reductions are becoming more common, it doesn't look like the market is giving up too much of it's gains accumulated over the recent years.

How are the hotel/condo projects affected by this? Apparently, not too much. 1 Hotel, which will be launching their private purchase appointments next month, claims to have been receiving great interest in their units. So far, 70% of their 176 city suites and 50% of their residence units are reserved (reservations require a refundable $10k deposit).



City Suites: 9th-16th floors

While the sales center itself is still in the works, prospective buyers are eager to find out more about the City Suites, the first of its kind in our market offering homeowners fully furnished units and the ability to participate in a rental program. The City Suites model displays clean lines, neutral colors, and 5 star hotel like finishes. Unlike many other projects which have upgrades available for homebuyers, the City Suites and Residence units will each have their own fixed offerings with no upgrades.

What you can find in the these homes:

  • Flat panel TVs
  • Dual flush water closets
  • 5 fixture bathroom with soaking tubs


Continue reading "1 Hotel & Residences" »

Fed cut rates!

Great news for homebuyers. The Fed cut rates by 1/2%!

"The Fed announced a cut of .50% to the Fed Funds Rate and an additional .50% reduction to the discount rate.  In the statement the Fed indicated they are concerned about the recent problems in the credit markets stating "Today's action is intended to forestall some of the adverse effects on the broader economy that might otherwise arise from the disruption in financial markets".  Unlike the last meeting, it appears that the Fed is willing to take action to support the challenged housing market."

Read more: Stocks spikes after Fed surprise with half point cut

-About Wendy

Seattle Condo Market Update

August 2007 statistics came in from the Northwest Multiple Listing service. Last month's numbers show a reduction in closed sales compared to the same time last year. Pending sales went down for Queen Anne/Lake Union/Magnolia area by 34.21% compared to same time last year. Capitol Hill/Central/Madison Park are also experiencing a drop in pending sales by 19.31%. Belltown/downtown bucked the trend, showing an increase in pending sales by 11.29%.


Overall, in Seattle, pending sales went down by 7.25%. One of the big reasons is probably buyer hesitation as a result of the sub-prime mortgage news. Many home buyers are choosing to wait to play it safe and hoping prices will drop. So far, major price reductions don't seem to be happening too much, at least not in a big way. Looking at the median price for Aug 2007 compared to July 2007, prices are still holding up even though demand has decreased for the month of August. 

Continue reading "Seattle Condo Market Update" »

Seattle Condo Tour

Seattle_urban_condo_tourThis month, Fisher Broadcasting has organized a Condo tour for homebuyers to check out a list of participating new construction and conversion projects in several neighborhoods. If you have just started the search process, this may be a good chance to make use of their map to get around to check out the condos. (You may also find my SCR Map useful.)  Fisher Broadcasting is providing a complimentary shuttle service to cart you around from sales center to sales center.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you plan on using a Realtor to represent you if/when you buy, be mindful when you register at the sales centers. Just fill in your Realtor's name when they ask if you are working with a Realtor, otherwise you risk needing to pay more out of pocket or getting limited service should you retain the services of a Realtor later.   

When: September 22nd & September 23rd (Saturday & Sunday)

Where :Shuttle service starts at Fisher Plaza (11.00am)

List of condos : visit

Related posts:

Do you really need a buyer's agent?
Pre-construction purchase
Picking and working with a Realtor

-About Wendy

1,400 Microsoft employees in Seattle

Happy news for condo owners: Microsoft announced today that they will be expanding its office space in Seattle, eventually adding almost 1,400 employees in the area. The expansion will include a lease of a 126,000 square foot office in the Westlake/Terry Building in the South Lake Union neighborhood and two other new locations in Pioneer Square and 505 Union Station. 


Related news:

Microsoft setting up new office sites in Seattle
Microsoft moving into Paul Allen project in Seattle
Microsoft plans expansion into Seattle

-About Wendy