Belltown condos Feed

Additional Information on Spire Condominiums

We released details and information on amenities and price ranges for Spire back in October but have since visited the sales center and gathered some additional information you might find helpful in determining if Spire is the right fit for you.

Basics:

  • 41 stories
  • 370 units
  • Ceilings- 9ft up to 23rd floor, 9ft 6in from the 24th to 37th floors, 10ft ceilings on the penthouse levels
  • 80% of units have balconies or decks
  • Residents entrance is on the 6th Avenue side, which is much nice than having to enter from Denny Way
  • HOA Dues will be .75- .90 sqft  depending on whether or not you have parking

 Parking Information:

  • 266 parking spaces
  • Parking is available to purchase for $75,000 for units 700 square feet or larger one bedrooms
  • Parking is included in the list price for units that are one bedroom + den and larger
  • Some 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom units have the option to buy a 2nd parking spot
  • Parking is via an automated valet system-
    • It will take an average of 1-3 minutes to get your car
    • Sotefin is the Swiss company that made the parking system
    • There are limits on the size care you can have - no large pickup trucks or large SUV's
    • There are 9 levels of underground parking
    • There are 3 parking portals from which to drop your car off at or receive your car in
    • The system is on generators so will still function if there is a power outage
    • Here is a video link of how the system works, it's pretty amazing

Location and Lot:

  • Triangular shaped lot allows for expanded view angles for the units that have views
  • Full streets on all sides, no narrow alley width separations from other buildings
  • Easy access to new 99 tunnel
  • Current Battery Street tunnel getting filled in so Wall Street will be quieter and new streetscapes will be added
  • On the edge of the high rise zoning as across Denny to the north the zoning changes to only 85ft which leaves a lot of view opportunities to the north and west (assuming the zoning doesn't change in the future)

Standard Features and Options:

  • Standard features-
    • Pedini cabinets
    • Manual roller shades
    • Closet systems (not a wire shelf and hanging bar!)
    • Advanced light switches and dimmer panels
    • Bosch appliances
    • Nest thermostat
  • 3 bedroom and larger sized units get the penthouse higher level of finish package with waterfall edge countertops, SubZero and Wolf appliances, glass upper cabinets and more
  • A buyer can still choose their desired color palate - there are two options, Dusk and Dawn
  • Smart Home Option with WiPliance - controls nest with energy use monitoring, personalized and integrated audio visual, lighting, security, entertainment and window treatments

Floorplates and Floorplans:

  • Floor plans go clockwise through the building with A starting on the NW corner
  • 10 homes per floor up to the 32nd floor
  • Generally 2 bedrooms are on the corners
  • 33rd and 34th floors have 3bds
  • 35th to 38th floors have 4bds
  • 38th and 39th floors are the penthouse levels

 Amenities:

  • Level 1: retail, 24 hr concierge, coffee shop wine bar in lobby with public access
  • Level 3: co working lounge, yoga and spin studio, theater
  • Level 4: storage and guest suite
  • Level 40 (Spire Club): terrace, exhibition kitchen with dining room, billiards lounge, several terraces, lounge space with indoor outdoor fireplace
  • Level 41: fitness and dog run

 Sales and Completion:

  • Just over 20% sold
  • No reservations needed as buyers are now able to go straight to Purchase and Sale Contracts
  • 5% earnest money
  • Completion slated for the end of 2020 with move ins early 2021

 Team:

  • Developer- Laconia Development from Bay Area (they developed the Cielo Building on First Hill)
  • General Contractor- PCL Construction
  • Architect- VIA Architecture
  • Designer- Robin Chell Design

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


Floorplans Released for The Emerald Condominiums in Seattle

EmeraldThe Emerald Condominiums in Downtown Seattle, located at 121 Stewart St, has released floorplans and views. They plan to begin sales in early 2019.

Basic Details:

  • 40 story tower
  • Studios on floors 4-16: range from 569-675 square feet
  • 1 bedrooms on floors 4-16: range from 579-791 square feet
  • 1 bedrooms (some with dens) on floors 17-33: range from 771-957 square feet
  • 2 bedroom with one bath on floors 4-16: range from 897-1,128 square feet
  • 2 bedroom 2 bathroom (some with dens) on floors 17-33: range from 1,041-1,189 square feet
  • Penthouse levels are from floor 34-38 and those floorplans were not released
  • One block from Pike Place Market
  • Many units have panoramic vies of Elliott Bay, mountains and/or the city

Amenities:

  • Full-floor rooftop amenity space with indoor/outdoor lounge
  • Media room with catering kitchen
  • Outdoor firepits, dining tables and grills
  • Guest suite
  • Fitness center with open-air terrace
  • Yoga studio
  • Lobby entrance
  • Electric vehicle charging stations
  • Outdoor pet run and spa
  • On-demand luxury electronic vehicle carshare

Finishes:

  • Floor to ceiling windows
  • Operable triple pane windows
  • Wide-plank European white oak hardwood flooring
  • Wood cabinetry in kitchen and bath(s)
  • Quartz countertops and backsplash in kitchen and bath(s)
  • Bosch stainless appliances - dishwasher and refrigerator with panelized door, gas cooktop
  • Kohler kitchen faucet
  • Chrome bath and shower fixtures
  • TOTO toilet with soft close seat
  • In-unit washer and dryers

Observations:

  • Most units do not have individual outdoor spaces - 2 stacks of units have decks on floors 4-13, only 1 stack of units have  a deck on floors 14-16 and there are no decks above floor 16
  • All of the kitchens are in-line style kitchens (no islands)
  • Most units have walk-in closets
  • No units have powder rooms so you either have one bath or two baths

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


Unique Condo Offering Coming Soon to Downtown Seattle - First Light by Westbank

KK091_0017778_VIEW_04It’s not often I truly get excited about a condominium project that is coming down the pipeline, but after a recent trip to Vancouver to personally meet the developer, Ian Gilespi of Wesbank, and hear his story, learn his philosophies on development, and discover the visions he has for our condominium market here in Seattle and how Westbank would like to fit into that, this feels different and very unique to me. I also had the opportunity on to tour current and past projects of Westbank’s in Vancouver, such as Vancouver House, Shanghai-La Hotel and Residence, and community changing Woodword's.  I am looking very much forward to First Light based on what I saw and experienced.

Why? Well, I am really looking forward to something innovative, fresh, with high design that will truly raise the bar here in Seattle. Living in our condo in South Lake Union now and in our Belltown condo in the past, I feel our developers have been building a lot of the same type of thing over the years, and I’m excited for a condo developer that hopes to have an impact not only on our local condo market, but also positively impact the way we live in our condos, have an impact on the community, and inspire others. I think First Light will be just that condominium community.

As the developer rolls out new information and announces the sales process to the public in the coming weeks, I want to start to get the word out to our clients, both past and present, so that you can decide if this might be a condominium community you could possibly see yourself being a part of.  So read on, and let’s set up time to connect so we can get you in a position to set up a private session.

What Makes Westbank Different?

In this first post about First Light, I’m going to skip talking specifically about the building itself, the unit sizes, the potential price points, layouts, etc. and will instead highlight some of the things about Westbank and this condominium project that I feel are unique, iconic and worth considering for my clients, and who knows, maybe even possibly for Loren and I.  I will focus on each of these in more detail in upcoming blog posts.

  • Bettering the Community They Develop Within

Each and every project incorporates a way to truly improve or help make the local community better.  And I’m not just talking about giving money to affordable housing, which all developers are basically required to do, but going further and actually investing money and resources in the very neighborhood they are developing within. Westbank recently announced they will be working with Food Life Line as their chosen charity and will contribute money from each and every sale at First Light. In addition, at the event I attended this past week, they announced a large $10,000 donation to Food Life Line, to get things started. Chefs Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau, who both sit or have sat on the board at Food Life Line and attended the event, said this would contribute to 40,000 meals here in Seattle.  

  • Art/Culture, Music, and High Design are Requirements of Westbank’s Projects

For Westbank, the condo project has to be more than just a building with condo units and some building amenities, and ground floor retail. I appreciate how they intentionally work to ensure that art, culture and high design that inspires are required elements of their projects. I encourage you to do your own research and look at the works of the Architect, James Cheng, and local glass artist John Hogan, who will be creating several elements that will be a part of First Light. 

  • Development that is Diverse and Commitment to Specific Markets Long Term

This is one thing I’m really focused on when I make recommendations to my buyers and when I consider buying for myself.  Is the developer committed to the local market, or they building a “one and done” building. Westbank maintains long term ownership and involvement of their buildings. While most developers build and sell off the retails spaces, Ian likes to maintain ownership and have Westbank manage the retail and office spaces in their buildings. First Light is not the only building they are constructing, in fact Westbank has already broken ground on another multi-family development in Seattle, 1200 Stewart, and the Frye Building on First Hill is soon to come as well. Both are likely to be rental apartments and each incredibly unique and inspiring on their own. And there is more to come, as Ian made mention that he is looking to be developing in Seattle for at least the next decade and beyond. Westbank has chosen Vancouver, Toronto, Tokyo, and Seattle for markets that they are committed to and will focus on.

This is just the tip of the iceberg on information I have about First Light and more information will be announced in the coming weeks by Westbank and their sales team, and I look forward to sharing more about the specifics of the building, and having just received the floor plans, I’m excited to share my favorites with you!

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


Update on Spire Condominiums in Belltown

Spire3Here is an update on the details, amenities and units with price ranges for Spire Condominiums in Belltown.

Details:

  • Located at 600 Wall St in Belltown
  • 352 residences
  • 41 stories
  • Concrete and steel construction
  • Fully automated parking systems
  • Floor plans maximize efficiency
  • Walls of windows
  • Many homes include outdoor balconies or covered terraces
  • Ceiling heights of 9 to 10-feet
  • Solid-core interior doors
  • Smart thermostats
  • Engineered hardwood oak flooring
  • Kitchens with gas cooking, Pental™quartz countertops, Pedini™ cabinets with under cabinet lighting, Bosch or Sub Zero/Wolf ™ appliances and Kohler™ plumbing fixtures
  • Energy-efficient LED lighting throughout
  • Customization: two color schemes
  • Upgrades available: closet systems, automated or manual window shades, smart home lighting, security and integrated home theater systems
  • Occupancy 2020

Amenities:

  • Floor 1: Two-story lobby lounge with concierge and bike storage
  • Floor 3: co-working lounge,  yoga and spin studio, conference room, theater, terrace, gaming room
  • Penthouse SPIRE Club (floors 40 & 41): exhibition kitchen, private dining room, BBQ terrace, Billiards room, lounge, view terrace, dog run, gym
     

Homes:

  •  One bedrooms (531 - 823 sf): $466,000 - $1,210,000+
  • One bedroom + dens: (1,000 - 1,011 sf): $892,000 - $1,435,000
  • Two bedrooms (929 - 1,183 sf): $840,000 - $1,999,000
  • Three bedrooms (1,825 sf): $1,658,000 - $3,588,000
  • Penthouses and unit combinations also available

Sales:

  • Pre-sales have begun with 5% earnest money


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

 


Westbank's Skyscraper at 2000 3rd Ave Will Be Condos Called First Light

Westbank's skyscraper at 2000 3rd Ave in Seattle will be new condos called First LightThe 500 foot skyscraper planned for 2000 3rd Ave will be built as condominiums according to the project developer, Westbank of Vancouver, British Columbia.

The lot is currently a surface parking lot and a sales center pavilion is being constructed on the site at this time.

Some of the buildings proposed highlights:

  • 459 condominium units
  • Cantilevered rooftop swimming pool
  • Podium will have retail space
  • 6 floors of office space
  • 38 floors of residences
  • 3 floors of amenity space
  • Will be a luxury project

We will know more about this project once Marco returns from his trip this week to Vancouver to meet with the development and sales team and learn more about the developer, the architect and this new building, which will be called First Light.

Rendering from James KM Cheng Architects and MG2

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


The Shift from Building Apartments to Building Condos

The Seattle Shift from Building Apartments to Building CondosThere have been several recent announcements about new condominium buildings being constructed in Seattle. For the last few years, the only residential developments being built in Seattle were apartments, minus a few outliers like Insignia and Gridiron, but we are starting to see a flood of new condominium projects hitting the scene again.
 
Why the switch from apartments to condos? Well, we think it is due to apartment buildings not being as profitable as they once were. Major investment groups who were once willing to buy apartment buildings at high price/unit price tags are not as bullish right due to the softening of the rental market. That softening is likely due to an oversupply of apartments entering the market, around 6600 rental units are coming just to the South Lake Union neighborhood by 2019. It is now more profitable to build and sell condos. Developers are very market driven so they will make these decisions based on what is happening right now in the apartment and condo markets, but it seems to us that they don’t put onus on the future market conditions that their developments might cause. For instance, if we had built a mix of condos and apartments over the last few years perhaps we wouldn’t have an apartment building glut right now and be starved for condos, we might just have balance. Instead it appears that their decisions are reactionary, if apartments are profitable then they build a ton of apartments, flood the market, the apartment market softens, then they switch to building condos and so forth and so on. Perhaps someday we will see a balance of what is being built, helping both the rental and real estate markets stay more stable over time.

Here are some recent articles on new and upcoming condo projects around Seattle:
2nd Avenue Condos in Downtown  
South Lake Union Condos
403 13th Condos in Capitol Hill
The Neighborhood Collection Condos in Capitol Hill & Wallingford
Spire Condos in Belltown
Solis Condos on Capitol Hill
Emerald Condos in Downtown
Condos in Bellevue

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


Spire Condominiums Renderings and Price Guidance Released

SPIRE Condominiums has released new rendering and pricing guidance.

SPIRE Condominiums, a new Seattle condo development, has released new rendering and pricing guidance.Just for a reminder here is some information on SPIRE:

  • Located at 600 Wall St in Belltown
  • 350 units
  • 41 stories
  • 4 floors of common areas
  • Parking option included for some homes while others are optional for an additional $75,000
  • City Suites:
    • On floors 4-23
    • Ranging from open 1 bedroom/1 bath to 2 bedroom/2 bath
    • Approx 520sf to more than 1,170sf
    • Introductory pricing from below $450,000 to more than $1.6M
  • Tower Residences:
    • On floors 24-37
    • Ranging from 1 bedroom/1 bath to 3 bedroom/2 bath
    • Approx 550sf to more than 2,000sf
    • Introductory pricing from below $700,000 to more than $3.5M

Continue reading "Spire Condominiums Renderings and Price Guidance Released" »


Downtown Seattle Area LID Assessment Information

We have received a ton of questions about the potential local improvement district (LID) assessment for the waterfront improvements that would affect some property owners in Downtown Seattle, Belltown and South Lake Union.

Since we live in the boundaries of the LID we received additional information on the proposed assessment and thought we would summarize what we know for our readers:

  • The Seattle City Council passed a Resolution declaring their intent to initiate the formation of the LID to construct certain elements of the Waterfront Seattle ProgramQuestions about the potential local improvement district (LID) assessment for Downtown Seattle, Belltown and South Lake Union.
  • The LID is a funding tool by which property owners are assessed to help fund the costs of a public improvement that they benefit from by way of a increased property value due to the improvement (special benefit)
  • The LID assessment cannot exceed the property's total special benefit
  • The LID only pays for a portion of the Waterfront improvements
  • It is the city's intent that the LID shall be a one-time assessment and shall not include any future supplemental assessments
  • There are still public hearings you can attend where you can submit your public comments in support of or objecting to the LID
  • The preliminary assessment percentage is 48.23% of the estimated special benefit of the LID improvements for each specific property
  • For example:
    • Our estimated special benefit of LID improvements to our condo: $823.50
    • Our estimated assessment for our condo: $397.14

What we heard from our readers and neighbors, who own residential property in the LID boundary, was that they anticipated having to be thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars for their LID assessment. This was causing a bit of panic for people and causing several of those concerned to sell or consider selling their properties to avoid having to pay the LID assessment. We were also hearing concerns voiced from potential buyers that they didn't want to buy a condo within the boundary of the LID not knowing what they would be on the hook for in terms of this LID assessment amount.

I would think that this information will help quell people's fears a bit as it is much less than we heard most people were anticipating. Hopefully this news, and the Head Tax being squashed, will help the Downtown area condo market to heat back up and maybe open the dam a bit on the buyers who were sitting on the sidelines fearing the Head Tax and LID assessment repercussions.

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


Tower Near Space Needle Will be Condos & Named Spire

Tower Near Space Needle Will be Seattle Condos and Named SpireLaconia Development, who is developing the triangle shaped lot located at 600 Wall St, has announced that they will be building condominiums and not apartments.

The 41 story building will be called Spire and they will break ground today. There will be 352 residences from studios to 3 bedroom plus den homes. They are indicating that pricing will range from $450,000 to over $5 million. This Developer will also allow units to be combined. Amenities will include 2 rooftop decks. They anticipate the construction to take 28 months due to the challenges associated with the small sized lot.

This switch from apartments to condos reflects the softening rental market due to the influx of new buildings being constructed and the condo price increases that we are seeing in our current real estate market.

Being located on the intersection of Denny Way, Wall St (the current off-ramp from Aurora) and 6th Avenue is a definitely a busy intersection to be located on. We will see if that location in Belltown can fetch prices near $5M.

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


Tower Site at 1516 2nd Ave Sold to Original Elev8 Developer

Chomer BuildingUrban Visions sold their tower development site near Pike Place Market, located at 1516 2nd Ave across the street from Fifteen Twenty-One condominiums, to the developer who was planning the 4 tower Elev8 mixed use project in Bellevue, which includes offices, apartments, and condos. The developer, Plus Investments USA, has sold its controlling interest in Elev8.

Will this tower now be developed into a condominium building? It is unconfirmed at this time but according to the PSBJ article "the plan seems to be a condominium project". So we are hopeful! The previous owner of the site, Urban Visions, was planning a building containing retail and office space so condominiums would be a shift so we will have to wait to see what this new developer plans for this site.

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