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March 2014

Condo Review – Austin Bell in Belltown

Austin Bell in Belltown
2324 1st Ave


Austin Bell is a unique condominium building in Belltown because of its original historical brick façade that was maintained from the original construction back in 1909 but has updated interiors that were constructed new in 1998 when the building was built as condominiums.  Currently, with the future removal of the Battery Street tunnel, there is some future improvement likely coming for the area immediately in front of the condo building at the south portal of the current battery street tunnel (see information in a previous post).

The stats:

  • 44 residential units & 5 commercial units – studios, one and two bedrooms ranging in size from 333 to 1,417 square feet
  • Built in 1998 – façade from 1909
  • All units have at least 1 parking space
  • Most units have storage lockers, but a few do not
  • 2 units have sold in the last 6 months ranging in price from $190,000 to $289,000; at the time of this post there are no pending units and there are 3 units active that are priced from $255,000 to $645,000
  • HOA dues include: garbage, water, sewer, building maintenance, professional property management, earthquake insurance
  • Amenities: Courtyard and rooftop terrace

Continue reading "Condo Review – Austin Bell in Belltown" »

400 Foot Residential Tower Near Belltown and Pike Place Market

According to the PSBJ, Continental Properties, the developer of the Cosmopolitan Condominiums downtown, just purchased a lot on 2nd Avenue and Virginia Street near the Pike Place Market with plans to build a 400 foot tall residential tower.

Currently the site is a surface parking lot and is just south of Cristalla Condominiums. The plan is to construct at 400 foot tall residential tower with 324 units but what is not known is whether they will be apartments or condos. Continental Properties has built both types of residential properties in the past.

Map of New Construction Site on 2nd & Virginia

Condominium Buildings Affected:

  • Cristalla- All of the units on the south side of Cristalla will have their views affected with the addition of this building as they will look directly into it
  • One Pacific Tower- The outlooks from the bedrooms and kitchens in some of the units will now look into this building - SE corner units will be most affected
  • Market Place North and Market Place Tower condominiums- These condos will likely be affected by the construction inconveniences as well as their east facing views toward the city and South Lake Union area will change

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.

Quick Insignia Sales Update - 100 Units Sold

InsigniaInsignia condominiums in Seattle announced yesterday that in 6 months they have sold 100 units.

According to the NWMLS sales data (Download Sales Data 3.21.14), which shows 97 sales as of today, the average list price of the pending condo units is $786,966 with an average square footage of 1,113 and an average price per square footage of $671.21 (based on the list price and not the sales price as those will not be published until the units are actually closed when the building is complete).

The breakdown of pending units is this:

  • 42 one bedrooms are pending
  • 54 two bedrooms and 1 three bedroom are pending

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.

Update on 4 New Residential Towers in SLU

Onni BuildingAs we previously posted in November, Onni Group out of Vancouver BC is planning to construct 4 new towers in South Lake Union. They have released some new information on what will be built on the site, which is between Boren Ave N and Fairview Ave N and from Denny Way to Thomas Street.

According to the PSBJ, the current plan is to build a two-towers at 40 stories with over 1000 residential units for the block fronting Denny Way. Then on the block to the north, they plan to construct  two towers, each at 24 stories. Together there will be almost 2000 units in the project.  By comparison, Insignia Condominiums, currently under construction in Seattle, will be roughly 750 units between the two 40 story towers.  If this Onni Project is built and completed as condominiums, it would surpass Insignia as the largest condo development in Seattle. 

Still no word if this will be apartments or condos at this point, and looking at Onni's website it appears that they build both apartments and condominiums so either is a possibility.

Rendering courtesy of PSBJ/Onni Group

 By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.

Condo Review – Canal Station in Ballard

Canal Station in Ballard (south building)
5440 Leary Ave NW


Canal Station in Ballard is made up of 2 buildings but those buildings have separate Home Owner Associations, are managed by different property management companies but share common amenities. It is a unique set up. The buildings were completed in 2007/2008 just as the recession was hitting so originally saw several short sales and foreclosed units,  but have been rebounding nicely ever since and recent sales have been moving quickly for the most part.  This post features information about Canal Station South- 5440 Leary Ave NW.

The stats:

  • 169 units – studios, one and two bedrooms ranging in size from 517 to 1,343 square feet
  • Built in 2007
  • All units have at least 1 parking space, some have 2 spaces and some even have 3 spaces
  • Most units have storage lockers, but not all
  • 4 units have sold in the last 6 months ranging in price from $299,500 to $459,000; at the time of this post there are 3 units pending that are priced from $265,000 to $539,950 and there are 2 units active that are priced from $235,000 to $294,950
  • HOA dues include: garbage, landscaping maintenance, building maintenance, concierge, professional property manager, earthquake insurance
  • Amenities: Party room, gym, business center, outdoor spa, sauna, common terrace with BBQ, and concierge

Continue reading "Condo Review – Canal Station in Ballard" »

Condo Conversions on the Horizon in Seattle

Residences on 5thAs reported by PSBJ, commercial real estate brokerage Marcus and Millichap issued their 2014 Apartment Report last month where they indicated that apartment developers will begin chewing over the possibility of turning apartment buildings into condominiums. (Photo of Residences on 5th, a condo conversion completed in 2007).

Overall, the report shows the rental market in favorable light in Seattle. But because Seattle has so many apartment units being delivered to the market (8,000 units in 2013 and an estimated 8,100 in 2014), they did move Seattle down to the 7th strongest apartment market in the country from its position at 5th strongest last year.

Even though there appears to be a glut in apartment building construction, the report seems to think we will remain stable due to job growth that should support demand. Another factor that will temper the supply will be developers who will convert rentals into condos. Since the supply of condo units is extremely low this makes conversion attractive to developers.

In summary, the report states that Seattle had a large number of apartment units delivered in 2013 with more coming in 2014, which will push the vacancy rate up slightly but with good job growth and likely condo conversions that vacancy rate will go back down in 2015.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.