Previous month:
June 2008
Next month:
August 2008

July 2008

Downtown Seattle Condos: Market Place Tower Condo


Market Place Tower Condo is a 18-story mixed-use building located on2033 1st Ave. Unlike traditional condos, Market Place Tower has retail spaces on street level, business offices that go up to the 13th floor and 7 exclusive residential condos occupying the top 5 levels of the building. Condominium homes are on the larger side ranging from 4,046 to 5,146 square feet. They are currently owned by corporations and individual owners.

Ultra High End Condo


Market_place_tower_seattle_5Last week, a private broker's open house was held in the Market Place Tower penthouse near Pike Place Market. If you are wondering what you can get for an ultra high-end $12M condo, check out this Penthouse.

The penthouse was originally built for local renowned developer, William Justen back in 1988. The building was designed by architect Bill Bain of Naramore, Bain, Brady and Johanson (NBBJ), the fifth largest architectural firm in the world.

This home was sold to a 2nd owner in 1998 and was remodeled by Rocky Rochon. The entire home is approximately 4,663 square feet with 2,711 square feet of wrap around terrace. It includes a master suite with a spa room, guest bedroom, media room, home office, lap pool, and..... views, views, more views of the city, Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains.

Like rare designer jewelry, it's not for everyone.

 (Update 04/13/11: This penthouse was sold on January 09 by Edward Krigsman and Carol McDaniel)



Market_place_tower_penthouse_1_3 Market_place_tower_penthouse_2 

Photo gallery


2nd and 3rd and Bell at Night

The PI has a great article calling out the homeless and drug transactions on 2nd and 3rd and Bell.  As a recent Belltown resident, I have to say the aggressive panhandling and open drug use on the southern side of Belltown in the evenings were definitely not my favorite parts of in-city living.

I'm sure some folks choose not to live in Belltown for those reasons.  It will be interesting to see if the City is able to do anything about this issue. 

Read the article here.  The references to Rudy Giuliani's efforts in New York were interesting. That's definitely not Seattle's M.O. but who knows, maybe this issue will start getting some more attention soon.

Housing and Economic Recovery Act

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.  The Bill is expected to be signed by the President this week. This is a pretty significant event for the housing market.  Here are a few provisions in the bill.

1.) Tax incentive- (Updated on 08/05 :In order to qualify for the first-time home-buyer tax credit of 10% of the home purchase price (up to $7,500), buyers must not have owned property within the last three years and must make their purchase between April 9, 2008 and July 1, 2009. The credit phases out for individuals making more than $75,000 or joint filers making more than $150,000 a year. The credit functions much like an interest free loan from the government. It is not a tax deduction and must be paid back in equal installments over 15 years.) 

2.) Increasing limits on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-backed loans from $417,000 to $625,000. (varies by area). In Seattle, the estimated limit for FHA and conventional loan will be $522,100.

3.) Creating a line of credit to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, enabling them to continue backing existing loans.

On top of that, the bill will also include creating an independent agency to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

This obviously won't address the oil prices and non-housing macroeconomic challenges but no doubt will provide some relief to the housing market woes.  It's welcome news for distressed owners and first-time home buyers.  The last time Congress passed legislation like this was in the 1970's (subsequently, the housing market saw a significant increase in activity).  I think it is about time for us to hear some good news instead of the constant media attention on national foreclosures.  Read more here.

200 West Highland

200_west_highland_condos_seattle_4200 West Highland is new high-end construction project on the south slope of Queen Anne and right across from Kerry Park. The project is developed by Lorig Management and designed by Mithun, who is also the architect for Mosler Lofts and Cosmopolitan. 200 West Highland is going to be a 5 story concrete and steel construction building.

The condo will showcase 25 homes catering to home buyers looking for a larger homes. Only two and three bedroom floor plans are available in this building with the smallest two bedroom starting at 1,499 square feet and three bedroom plus den at 2,852 square feet. Top floor homes come with almost 12 foot ceilings. All homes will be air-conditioned and include 2 parking spots, and most of them have outdoor terraces. Prices start from $1.2M to $3.9M (yes, that's right, they start at $1.2M). Completion date is scheduled for December this year.

Here are some of the highlights from the hard hat tour:

Continue reading "200 West Highland " »

1521 Update

Picture_003_2The 1521 project is coming along nicely. The building really stands out in downtown Seattle skyline. I took this picture a couple of weeks ago during a good day but didn't get the chance to upload it.  Right now, they are almost finished with the windows.  Move-in date is scheduled to start in December 2008.  There are only 5 units left with the lowest price condo starting at $1.85 million.  Even though the Seattle condo market is a bit soft, in hindsight, 1521 will probably prove to be one of the best investment opportunities with their attractive pre-sale prices, striking architecture, design, location, and views. 


Related posts:

Fifteen Twenty One Opening Ceremony
Fifteen Twendy One receives 14 awards
Fifteen Twenty One, not just another number

Best Neighborhoods?

Seattle_magazine_5This month's Seattle Magazine has an interesting article on 110 Seattle area neighborhoods. Whether you are looking for the best value, most affordable or best up-and-coming neighborhoods, they have something for you. It's a very helpful guide if you've just moved to Seattle or have been here for a couple of years and are thinking of making a local move. Of course, when in doubt, you can always consult your Realtor : )

Here are some of the highlights from the article:

Best Value Neighborhoods
Delridge/Highland Park, Beacon Hill, Mountlake Terrace, and Shoreline

Most affordable Neighborhoods
Tukwila, Rainier Beach, International District, and Marysville

Best Up-and-coming Neighborhoods
Lake City, Burien, and Bremerton/Manette

Continue reading "Best Neighborhoods?" »

Marselle Condos

Marselle_condos_seattle_3Marselle condominiums is the latest addition close to the South Lake Union, Downtown and Belltown neighborhood on 699 John St.  This 7-story, wood-framed building will hold 132 units with the smallest unit starting at 347 square feet to the largest ones at 1,740 square feet.

The building will offer a variety of floor plans from studio, one bedroom with den, two bedroom and a penthouse level including 10 2-level homes.  Marselle pricing is expected to average around $475/square foot.  Studios will start at under $200,000 and go up to $600,000's.

Each home will include one parking and storage unit.  Interior will feature natural walnut floors, slab granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances with many homes coming with an island kitchen.

Amenities: 3 rooftop decks, dog patch, fitness center, yoga space, and resident lounge.

The project is scheduled for completion in summer 2009 with the sales center probably opening up sometime in January/February of 2009. The developer's goal is to produce a condominium with equal or better finishes compared to other projects but at a lower price point than any other new construction in Seattle. The location was picked because of it proximity to downtown and the Seattle Center; the biggest reason was probably the price of the land. So far, 21 homes have already been sold to the developer's family and friends.

Even thought the location is close to Belltown, South Lake Union, and Downtown, the building is situated at the busy area of Aurora Ave.  This would add more traffic to the already congested Denny Way.  However, on the other hand, if home buyers can get it at a very affordable price point, this may be seen as a fair trade off.

Related Posts:

Moda: Small, smaller, smallest

Moda Update

Seattle Condo Construction Update

A number of projects are either on hold or delayed -- while most are coming later, some of them will be bigger than originally planned when they do arrive. If you have been keeping your eyes on new construction, here are some updates:

Ava_3_2AVA: Hotel/condo on 8th and Pine was originally scheduled to break ground in late 2007 but have delayed construction. They have received their Master Use permit and are in the final design process.  They are waiting for the final building permits from the City of Seattle which they expect to be around the end of this month. AVA will probably break ground in spring 2009 with estimated completion around 2011/2012. The sales center is opened by appointment only at 720 Olive Way. 

(June 2008 Update: AVA project is on hold.  Read more on PSBJ.)


2nd_and_pine1 Hotel Residences- Starwood has acquired 100% on the development site and is working on revising its design.  The sales center will be closed until early next year when they announce their new vision. Due to changes within the commercial guideline, City Suites may not be offered.

(October 2009 update: Starwood Capital Group was unable to obtain construction financing .  The construction site was a giant pit and it had been filled and turned into a parking lot. Read more on Seattle Times.)



1913_fifth_aveHeron and Pagoda: Plans for this twin tower, 43 story building will be delayed. Ground breaking was initially set for next year but the developer is now seeking partners for the project and also waiting for the market to turn around. Read more on Heron and Pagoda.

(Update:  The developer for this twin towers lost half the site to foreclosure to New York lender G4 Capital Partner.  The foreclosure ended the plan for this project  Read more on Seattle Times.)


1915_condos_2 1915 2nd: Intracorp, the developer for 1951 2nd Ave is filing for a new application to go higher. The initial permit allows for a 240 foot building but they feel that it makes more sense to go taller. The new application calls for up to 400 feet. If approved, the new plan will house 432 condominium units. Read more on 1951 2nd Ave.

(Aug 2008 Update: Intracorp has put the property up for sale on Moran & Company's website



Related posts:

Top Seattle Market Developments and Trends 
1 Hotel Residences Update- 1 Hotel or None Hotel?

Seattle Condo Market Update - Belltown Inventory Dips Below 2007 Levels


With the weather warming up, is Seattle condo market doing the same? The 2nd quarter report has some interesting data with most metrics as soft as last month but one number that suggests things might be starting to turn the corner in Belltown.

1.) Pending condos sales continue to be at the same level for the last three months -- ~40% lower than the same month in 2007.

2.) Total inventory for the month of June in all of Seattle is 18.24% more than June 2007 but that is less than half the overage of previous months' year over year comparisons.  For May and April 2008, the total inventory was 43.3% and 42.66% over same period last year.

Continue reading "Seattle Condo Market Update - Belltown Inventory Dips Below 2007 Levels" »