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February 2008
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April 2008

March 2008

South Lake Union Park Grand Opening


South Lake Union Park phase 1 will be open to the public on April 30th, Wednesday from 11.00am-1.00pm. This 1.6 acre parcel of green space is part of a 12-acre waterfront park development plan. The Seattle Parks Foundation is completing its campaign to raise $20 million in private contributions to develop the SLU park. During the grand opening, the public can enjoy a free salmon bake, live music, boat rides, historic vessels, educational activities, demonstrations, and prizes. You will also be able to see the plans for the entire 12-acre park which will be open in 2010.

No doubt, this is an exciting development for South Lake Union. It's great to see more green space in the city especially with so many new construction projects coming up over the last few years and probably more developing moving forward. Retaining some land for green space will definitely enhance the area's appeal as it attempts to evolve from its more commerical vibe.


McKean Update


McKean's Grand opening is going to be next Thursday (04/03, 6pm-8pm), they opened their doors to the public today.  Only one model unit is available for viewing while the rest of the units are still in the works. Here are some observations from this vintage conversion:

  1. Great amount of sunlight for the above ground units.  This is largely due to the big windows and west & southwest orientation.
  2. Bathroom is a little tight.  If you are someone who is used to having a large bathroom, this will probably not work for you.  I know it will not work for me ;-)
  3. Den area is right next to the entrance with sliding doors that allow you to separate the den from the dinning area and living room.  A nice feature to create privacy if you're having a guest visiting.  The den area is definitely big enough for a office table and chair but not as a full scale office if you work from home full-time.
  4. #401 has the best view! (Picture above)
  5. The homeowner dues are going to be in the $300's/month which is fairly reasonable for a building this age.

Floor Plan.



Overall, the building is in a pretty good shape, interior work is done nicely, it's a little out of the way (from all the conveniences) but at least it comes with parking space (uncovered) which a lot of vintage conversion projects lack.


McKean-Vintage Conversion

Mckeanlogosmall_2McKean vintage conversion condos set on Queen Anne (1404 Olympic Way West) will have its grand opening next Thursday, April 3rd from 6pm to 8pm.  This boutique conversion project features eight one-bedrooms and one bedroom plus den homes retained in an original 1929 brick exterior. Two ground-floor homes start at $334,950. Most homes will come with views with prices starting from $409,950.  Here are some of the details:

  • Authentic archictectural details- The 762 square foot homes feature original hardwood floors and window frames, original hex-tile bathroom flooring, refinished cast-iron tubs, archways from living to dining, and dining to kitchen, and high ceilings that arch into walls.
  • Building has been re-wired, re-insulated and replumbed.
  • Kitchens are fully updated with espresso-stained cabinets (some with glass inset doors) that extend to the ceiling, finished with crown molding, slab granite countertops with subway tile backsplash and tile flooring, stainless-steel appliances, under cabinet lighting, 8" deep stainless steel sink, and gas range.
  • Each unit has a front and back door. Reserved off-street parking is located at the rear of the building with a bridge into the back entrance (now you know why you need a 2nd door). Each home comes with a storage unit.

Homebuyers interested in this project can register at their website. The condo will officially open for weekend tours on Saturday and Sunday, April 5th & 6th from 12pm to 6pm.





Montage is a built-smart new condo project located on the corner of Pike St and Bolyston Ave and will be ready for occupancy in 2 to 3 months.  The 23-unit building showcases three different floor plans: open one bedroom, one bedroom and two bedrooms, some with dens and master suites.  Prices for these units range from the mid $300,000's to over $600,000 with square footage ranging from 661 to 1,121.  Units feature stainless steel appliances, slab kitchen countertops, high-tech cabling, gas fireplaces, and balconies/terraces.  Two interior packages will be available from which homebuyers can select.  Stay tuned for a detailed review on this project.

Related post:

Montage Update


AVA Update

Ava_3_2AVA, a downtown hotel/condo project, has received their Master Use Development Permit and is anticipating construction to commerce this fall. The sales center, located at the corner of Olive Way and 8th Ave, will be open to homebuyers by appointment only beginning next month. A large scale model of the tower, interior model vignettes of the kitchen and bathroom, final floor plans, views, finishes and other exhibits will be available for homebuyers to preview as well. To make a reservation, a $10,000 refundable deposit will be required. The reservations provide homebuyers the first right of opportunity to purchase the home within a provided price range. If you are interested in my opinion on this project, check out my previous review here.

Related posts:

Seattle Condo Construction Update
AVA Sneak Preview
AVA Condos
8th and Pine


Poll Result- Sellers

Poll_result_2So what are SCR readers planning to do with their condos before the fall? Our recent poll suggests most sellers who are planning to list their property will be doing so within the next few weeks or in the summer.  If this is representative, we are most likely going to see an increase in inventory on the market.  This is not unusual since inventory usually picks up in the spring and summer anyway.  However, there are still a moderate number of homesellers waiting to see how the economy performs and is willing to wait till listing their units.  60% of the respondents are happy where they are and not looking at selling their condo anytime soon.


1111 East Pike Update

1111_east_pike_logo_31111 East Pike will be a six-story condominium building with retail space on the ground level and two levels of underground parking. The condo will be a Built Green three-star certified project and include fourteen open one-bedroom's, twelve one-bedroom's and one two-bedroom penthouse.  Prices range from mid $200,000 to low $500,000 and the penthouse will be in the $800,000's.  Unit sizes are 600-1125 square feet with most units including one parking space.  One neat feature is a puzzle door that slides along the ceiling to open or enclose the kitchen.  The project is slated for completion fall this year.


More features:

  1. 9-foot floor-to-ceiling windows and doors
  2. In-unit moveable hanging puzzle walls
  3. Custom built "Urban RV" (moveable multi-purpose storage and countertop unit designed by Tom Kundig) available for purchase
  4. Modernist roof line
  5. Randomly-placed peepholes in the exterior front door and unit entry doors (sounds kind of creepy but perhaps it will be neat once we see it implemented)
  6. Rooftop terrace


1111 East Pike

1111_east_pike 1111_east_pike_2

A new condominium building is coming soon to the Pine/Pike corridor.  1111 East Pike is the first condominium building designed by Tom Kundig, the architect and principal at Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects.  A home designed by Tom Kundig would normally have a hefty price tag; however, for this project, the 27 homes will be offered at a more affordable price point. One of the lead architects from this firm has also designed the Pike and Virginia Condos in the Pike Place Market. Stay tuned. More information coming soon.


    Pike & Virginia Condos


New Bill to Protect Renters

Finally, after many months of talks on a bill to protect renters from conversion projects, a new bill will be passed requiring apartment owners to give tenants a 120-day notice of conversion (up from 90 days). The bill will also allow cities and counties to require owners to pay relocation assistance of up to three months' rent to low-income tenants (up from the current $500) and bar interior conversion work during the notice period. I think this is a fair arrangement for tenants.  If apartment owners are going to profit from the sale of the building, renters shouldn't be penalized to move out earlier or go through the inconvenience of the conversion work while looking for a new place if they had a lease.

Read more


Have you seen this yet? 121 Jackson Conversion

121 Jackson, a conversion project set in Pioneer Square started selling last year. The previous 7 unit apartment building was converted into 6 two story condos with two apartment units combined as a large loft. 1 bedroom's start in the mid $500,000's with the largest unit priced at $1.25M. The units range from 627 square feet to a spacious 1,776 square feet.

121jacksoninterior1_3 Picture_or_video_026

             One bedroom                            Two bedroom loft

Built in 1902, the building has gone through extensive remodeling including rebuilding the wall on the south side of the building and a complete retrofit for earthquakes. I had the chance to check it out last weekend and here are a few unique features that stood out to me:

  1. Interior of the units feature exposed brick and wood beams with more contemporary finshes. A touch of the old meets new feel.
  2. With the exception of the studio, the remaining units have its own private deck right off the bedroom. There is no water view but you are getting city views of brick buildings.
  3. Instead of engineered hardwood floors, real hardwood floors are installed along with a gas fireplace.
  4. If you are wondering about the systems of the building, the developer has updated the plumbing, electrical systems and ducting.

This is probably one of the nicest conversions in Pioneer Square. If you are not looking for the more plentiful highrise concrete condos with soaring windows and want something with a little bit more personality, 121 Jackson may be a good alternative.