Update on Solis Condominiums in Capitol Hill

KitchenSolis Condominiums, located on Capitol Hill at 1300 E Pike St, is getting ready to resume their sales and marketing push later this week. We thought we would remind you about this project in advance of this relaunch.

CURRENT DETAILS (may update at relaunch later this week)

  • 45 units
  • 6 stories
  • Studios at 445 square feet
  • 1-bedrooms ranging from 489 to 674 square feet
  • 2-bedrooms at 878 square feet
  • Pricing from the $500,000s to high $900,000s
  • Parking: Certain homes will have option to purchase parking for a price range of $50,000 to $65,000
  • Finishes & Features: real wood floors, high 9 foot ceilings, induction cooking, optional upgrade to Bosch appliances, in-unit washer/dryer, and exterior automated shades on south and west facing units
  • Amenities: rooftop deck with lounge area, BBQ, views of Downtown and dog run, bike storage room
  • HOA Dues: estimated at $.70 to $.75 per square foot per month
  • Initial investor saturation will be limited but the Public Offering Statement does not include a rental cap
  • Built to Passive House Standards
    • Better air quality
    • Lower heating and cooling bills
    • Much smaller energy footprint
    • Each unit fully equipped with a state of the art advanced climate control Perfect Temp system with air-conditioning
  • Ground floor retail
  • Completion early 2020

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


Groundbreaking Ceremony at Koda is Tomorrow

RenderingThe Groundbreaking Ceremony for Koda Condominium Flats, in Japantown at the heart of the Chinatown-International District, will take place tomorrow Thursday February 28th from 10am to 12pm.

The event will feature members of the design, development, marketing and sales teams along with government officials. The Chairman of the Development group behind Koda will speak along with several special guests.

If you are attending this event and see me there, please come say hi, I love meeting Seattle Condo Review readers.

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


Condo Law Reform Might Be Coming Soon

Spire3The Washington State Condominium Act is a barrier to seeing more condominium buildings constructed in our region but also affects the prices of those that are being built.

Why is it a barrier? Well, simply put, it makes it easy for condo owners to sue condo building developers, even over minor construction defects. This litigation is costly, both in insurance and legal costs to the developers and in order to make the project profitable, if they do decide to take on the risk which most are not, the developers have to tack those costs into the cost of the units making condo units more and more expensive.

Over the years, there have been efforts to reform this liability law in Olympia with no success. However, several bills are currently gaining steam amid the shortage of affordable homeowner options in our state. One of those bills, which will make it harder for condo owners to sue developers, has passed unanimously through the state senate and is on its way to the House. The bill is being described as a compromise that will allow condo owners to still bring legitimate lawsuits if warranted, while protecting developers. It will raise the bar for what condo owners can sue over and any lawsuit brought will will need to prove the construction team violated state building codes and that not only does the defect exist but it would cause harm. This bill would also reduce the personal liability of the condo association officers by granting them immunity, as it stands under the current laws these officers could be forced to pay to repair defects in their building if they do not sue the builders, which further incentivizes HOA Boards to sue preemptively to protect themselves.

Two other bills currently on the floor would exempt condo buildings under seven units from some of the legal risks and another would require condo owners to secure a majority vote of the HOA members before they could move forward with suing.

Our state legislators admit that these changes won't suddenly spur a flood of new condo buildings being constructed around the region but believe that once the the real estate and insurance markets react that these changes will help encourage a more significant amount of condo development.

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


Relaunch: The Atrium Condos are Now Called 750 on the Hill


As we reported back in August, the Neighborhood Collection, a set of three buildings, switched use from apartments for rent to for sale condominiums. The three buildings were being marketing together and were known as the Neighborhood Collection, comprising of Atrium, Edison and Wallingford 45. The collection has been split up and each building is now being sold and marketed by separate sales teams.

This post will focus on Atrium, located on E Aloha Street and 11th Ave E in Capitol Hill, which has changed it's name to 750 on the Hill and relaunched it's marketing efforts.

DETAILS:

  • 34 units
  • 5 stories
  • Studios, open one bedrooms and one bedrooms
  • Pricing from the high $300,000's to the mid $600,000's
  • No parking in the building - zone parking in the neighborhood and option to rent parking in lot across the street for after hours and weekend parking only
  • Pet friendly
  • AirBnB friendly (a rarity in condo buildings)
  • Stainless appliances, quartz counters, luxury plank flooring
  • Some homes will come with Murphy beds installed
  • Some homes have outdoor spaces
  • Washer and dryers in-unit are included
  • Blinds included
  • Ports for portable A/C unit venting installed
  • HOA Dues: from low $300 to mid $500 per month
  • Location: quiet neighborhood feel, close to Volunteer Park, close to Broadway and 15th Ave districts and a half mile from the light rail station
  • Amenities: gym, terrace, rooftop deck with city, Sound, Needle and mountain views, BBQ and lounge space
  • Sales: building is complete, taking purchase and sale contracts now

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


Sonata Condominiums Now Encore Condomimiums Are Excepting Reservations Feb 23rd

Encore Rendering 2Encore at Columbia Station, formally released as Sonata Condominiums, is situated in Columbia City across the street from the Columbia City light rail station. Encore will be accepting unit-specific reservations at their Open House event on February 23rd.

THE DETAILS (updated):

  • Located at 4689 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S
  • 96 units
  • 4 stories
  • Studio 1 Bath: 348-483 sf from below $300,000
  • Urban 1 Bed 1 Bath: 495-569 sf from below $400,000
  • 1 Bed 1 Bath: 505-670 sf from low $400,000s
  • 1 Bed + Den 1 Bath: 696 sf from mid $500,000s
  •  2 Bed 2 Bath: 864-976 sf from the high $600,000s
  • Optional parking available for $29,000 to $39,000 (for most homes) - 80 stalls available
  • Emphasis on efficiency and attainability
  • Oversized windows and soaring 9-foot ceilings
  • European-inspired inline kitchens with optional islands
  • Engineered hardwood floors
  • A/C ready (optional)
  • Two color palettes with home personalization options
  • Amenities: controlled access parking, concierge, grand lobby, co-working lounge with coffee bar, work stations and projector, club room with kitchen and outdoor patio, gym, bike room and rooftop terrace with BBQs, in-building dog run, terraces with fireside seating and an outdoor theater
  • Blocks from amenities, restaurants, cafes and services of Columbia City and across the street from the Link Light Rail station (15 minutes to Downtown!)
  • Groundbreaking is scheduled for early 2019 with occupancy in late 2020

SALES DETAILS (updated):

  • Public Pop-Up Open House scheduled for Saturday February 23rd  during which a limited collection of homes will be offered for unit-specific reservations with set price ranges in exchange for a $2,500 fully-refundable deposit
  • Reservations will be converted to Purchase and Sale Agreements when the Sales Center opens in Spring 2019
  • The Developer will also offer qualified home buyers a rent-to-own opportunity in which consumers will have an option to rent at the Sonata Apartments across the street from Encore with 15% of the lease payments being credited towards the future purchase at Encore
  • Additional inventory will be held for public sales in the spring
  • 5% down payment options are available

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


The Emerald Condominiums Are Getting Ready to Start Sales

 



The Emerald Condominiums in Downtown Seattle now has a Sales Center and will be scheduling private appointments starting February 23rd where potential buyers will be able to enter into a Purchase and Sale contract on any of the available first release condominium homes. If you would like to schedule a private appointment at the Emerald before the building opens to the general public, let us know and we are happy to help get that booked for you!

After visiting their Sales Center this week here is some updated information on The Emerald-

Basics:

  • 265 units
  • 39 stories
  • Targeting LEED Silver

Starting Prices & Square Footage Ranges:

  • City Homes - floors 4 to 16
    • Studio: 569-595 sf starting from $499,000
    • 1 bed 1 bath: 579-791 sf starting from $695,000
    • 2 bed 1 bath: 983-1,083 sf starting from $749,000
  • Panoramic Homes - floors 17 to 33
    • 1 bed 1 bath: 770-951 sf starting from $1,029,000
    • 2 bed 2 bath: 1,041-1,189 sf starting from $1,499,000
  • Penthouses - floors 34 to 38
    • 2 bed: 1,139-1,601 sf pricing available upon request
    • 3 bed: 1,455-1,770 sf pricing available upon request

Amenities:

  • Amenities are on floors 3 and 39
  • 24 hour concierge and package room on lobby level
  • 39th (top) floor amenities-
    • 2 outdoor terraces with grills, TVs and fire pits
    • 2 party rooms - the Olympic room has 20ft ceilings facing west and the City View room
  • 3rd floor amenities-
    • Outdoor dog run and dog wash spa area
    • Gym
    • Guest suite ~ $125 to $150 a night
    • Terrace

Location and Lot:

  • Purchased air rights above the Broad Acre building to the south
  • Building to west is 12 stories high so if you purchase above floor 12, you will see over the building to the west
  • From the alley to the west, the current zoning height limit is 85 feet  and slopes down to the water so it is less likely that the views would be blocked
  • Building is set at an angle so that units on the southeast side are slanted to look between the Helios apartment building and 1521 Condominiums and then angled back so that the units on the southwest side have water views

Floorplates and Floorplans:

  • Lobby entrance on Stewart Street
  • 2 retail spaces on main level
  • Floors 4 to 16 are the City collection - 8 units per floor
    • 1 unit is a Studio
    • 5 units are one bedrooms
    • 2 units are two bedroom 1 baths
    • Only city homes have outdoor space (not all)
  • Floors 17 to 33 are the Panoramic collection - 8 units per floor
    • 6 are one bedrooms
    • 2 are two bedroom 2 baths
    • Many units have dens
  • Floors 34 to 38 are the Penthouse collection - 5 units per floor
    • 2 and 3 bedroom units

Parking:

  • Parking accessed via the alley off Stewart Street
  • 5 levels of underground parking
  • 64 parking spaces total
  • All 24 penthouses get parking and then only 2 bedroom units will have the option to buy 1 space for $100,000
  • Studio and 1 bedroom units have no option for parking
  • Car share in the garage will be Envoy  - they are planning to have 2 Teslas, an S and an X model (still confirming)

Standard Features and Options:

  • Central heat and air conditioning
  • White oak wide plank flooring in all units
  • Walnut cabinets by Kuhlmann in all units
  • Bosch appliances in City and Panoramic homes
  • Miele appliances in Penthouse homes
  • Panelized refrigerator and dishwasher
  • Gas cooktop
  • Quartz countertops in choice of grey with white veining or white grey veining for City and Panoramic homes; Penthouses have natural stone countertops
  • City and Panoramic collections have the same finishes and Penthouses have upgraded finishes
  • City homes have 9' ceilings, Panoramic homes have 9'4" ceilings and penthouse homes have 10'5" ceilings
  • Owners can download app to control lights and Latch keyless entry system
  • Optional upgrades: window treatments, glass shower enclosure and closet organizers

HOA Dues:

  • 88 cents per foot for HOA Dues

Other:

  • LID tax passed on to home owners
  • Storage units - not one to one and will be an additional cost
  • Only a few units have decks and all are in the City collection
  • Investor concentration limited to 40% on Developer sales

Sales:

  • First release will start Saturday Feb 23rd with a limited number of homes available for purchase by private appointment only - specific pricing will be released that day
  • Straight to Purchase and Sale Contract, no reservations
  • 5% earnest money deposit
  • Pre-approval with approved lender or proof of funds

Completion:

  • Summer 2020 completion

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


Bosa Purchases More Land in Bellevue

New Bosa SiteBosa Development has purchased another lot in Bellevue located at 201 Bellevue Way NE. This is the 4th development site that they have purchased in the Downtown Bellevue area.

One88 condominiums is their project that is under construction currently in Bellevue. One88 has fewer than 12 units remaining to sell.

It seems that Bosa is focusing it's development on Bellevue and not Seattle although they do have one development site in Seattle, which is the Civic Square site, located between 3rd and 4th and Cherry and James.

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


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.


2019 Economic & Housing Forecast

Matthew Gardner 2019 Forecast (2)_Page_1Windermere Real Estate's Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, has released his 2019 Economic and Housing Forecast. Although it is not specific to condos, we think the information is valuable for anyone who owns real estate, or is thinking about buying and/or selling real estate in 2019. Here are the highlights.

THE US ECONOMY

  • He expects the US Economy to have one more year of relatively solid growth before we likely enter a recession in 2020
  • Any cyclical downturn will not be driven by housing
  • This cyclical downturn in 2020 (not 2019) will likely be caused by either the ongoing trade war, the Federal Reserve raising interest rates too quickly, or excessive corporate debt levels

THE US HOUSING MARKET

  • Existing Home Sales - In 2019, he anticipates that the number of home sales will rebound modestly and rise by 1.9%
  • Existing Home Prices - In 2019, he expects prices to continue rising, but at a slower rate as we move toward  a more balanced housing market and he forecasts the median home price to increase by 4.4%
  • New Home Sales - In 2019 he expects that sales of new homes will increase by 6.9%, the highest level since 2007, but this is still well below the long-term average and will likely be higher-priced homes being built which does little to meet the substantial demand by first-time buyers
  • Mortgage Rates - In 2019, he expects interest rates to continue to trend higher but we may see periods of leveling and will likely end the year with the 30-year fixed rate at around 5.7% and jumbo rates will remain competitive

CONCLUSION

  • He does not see this as a housing market bubble, just because a market might be overvalued does not mean a bubble is in place
  • The big story for 2019 will be the resurgence of first-time buyers - he believes those buyers will purchase more homes in 2019 than any other buyer demographic

Click this link to read the entire report: Matthew Gardner 2019 Economic & Housing Forecast.


Only Six Units Left at Hendon Condominiums in Phinney Ridge

Hendon Condominiums in Phinney Ridge is down to 6 units.

To hopefully sell out the remaining units, they are having a 72 hour sale from this Friday 1/11 through Sunday 1/13 with discounted prices on 5 of the 6 units still remaining. The one unit not included in the sale is #407, a 1 bedroom 1.5 bath 836sf top floor unit with a private roof top deck and parking.

Here are the 5 units Included in the 72-hour Sale:
Hendon 72 Hour Sale_Page_1

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