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New Venture with Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty

February 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured

sam-dean-stacyFirst off, we want to thank not only Windermere for the years of service and support, but would also like to thank our many peers who have expressed their congratulations towards our new and exciting merger with Realogics and Sotheby’s International Realty:

Thank you Jeff!
Windermere Yarrow Bay

Thank you Matt!

Thank you Ashley!
NW Property Group LLC

Thank you Ben!
John L. Scott

We’ve been working hard towards this new venture for approximately a year now.  It was a carefully thought decision for both James Stroupe and Moira Holley to leave Windermere and become Founding Directors, but the opportunity to work alongside Dean Jones with Realogics and recently appointed designated broker Sam Cunningham (previously with Windermere On-Site) under the Sotheby’s International Realty Brand was too hard to resist.

Our interest in teaming up with Dean Jones & Sam Cunningham at Realogics goes back before the collective choice to affiliate ourselves with Sotheby’s International Realty.  Our brokerage will now be able to offer clients international exposure on Sotheby’s International Realty global website with many other marketing platforms at our disposal.  However, we of course are not limiting ourselves to just luxury properties.

“As the new construction pipeline closes out we’ll see a sustained surge in resale activity,” said Sam Cunningham. “We monitor supply and demand closely and we’ll apply these insights for buyers and sellers at all price points and product types.”

Over the next few days, we will be making our final transition and adding all of our current sellers to our new international marketing programs laid out by Sotheby’s International Realty.  We are excited by this next chapter and we look forward to working closely with all our friends at Windermere (thank you Dave Hale and Claudia Case), plus the other firms in this wonderful industry.

Additional Press:
Puget Sound Business Journal
MSN Money
RIS Media

King County Weekly Condo Sales Ratios for February 17th, 2010

February 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Downtown (MLS Area 701), Weekly Sales Ratios

Condo Only, NWMLS Area 701 (Belltown & Downtown Seattle)

Active Listings and Pending Sales by NWMLS Area 701

Active Listings and Pending Sales by NWMLS Area 701


The Four Seasons Makes Substantial Price Reductions

More and more new construction projects have been slashing prices and looking to unload any remaining inventory as quickly as possible.  It appears that the Four Seasons has joined this new trend and has released new pricing today.

The Four Seasons has sold 23 of 36 homes since completing construction a little over a year ago, and is now reducing prices as much as 47 percent.  With an original price tag of $2,098 per square foot, the new pricing has brought the average down to $1,464 per square foot (remove the two massive penthouses from the average and the price per square foot is even less).

Here’s a summary on new prices:

Old Price
New Price
1505 $2,412,000 $1,475,000
1605 $2,517,000 $1,525,000
1104 $4,522,000 $2,440,000
1404 $4,652,000 $2,490,000
1206 $4,815,000 $3,013,000
1702 $3,420,000 $2,670,000
1804 $4,820,000 $2,555,000
1204 $6,501,000 $3,705,000
1101 $8,659,000 $6,120,000
1501 $8,706,000 $6,306,000
1801 $9,778,000 $7,155,000
1902 $8,520,000 $7,845,000
200 $10,819,150 $8,650,000


Opus Northwest is Looking for a Buyer

February 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Opus

Opus Northwest started more than $200 million in fee-based construction works in 2009 and has signed more than $175 million in third-party construction contracts this year.

Purchasing Opus Northwest would give the buyer a quick entry into several Northwest markets and potentially some real estate holdings and in-the-works projects. But the purchase could also entangle a potential investor or buyer in the ongoing legal disputes involving Opus Corp. and the Rauenhorst family.

Full Article

View StroupeCondoBlog on Your iPhone!

February 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, Featured Technology

iphone-screenTechnology is great isn’t it?  Especially for you iPhoners who get a kick out of telling everybody about all the cool things you can do that we Blackberry and Trio users cannot.  In spirit of all you can-doers, we’ve installed a new program that allows you to stay on top of the downtown Seattle real estate market using your iPhone.  In this circumstance, we would love for you to talk about how cool your iPhone is.

iPhone Guy:

“Hey man!  Check out all the cool things I can do with my iPhone!  Not only can I pretend to use this Star Wars light saber, but I can even stay current with downtown condos at”

Blackberry/Trio Guy:

“Yeah, cool man.  Anyway…”

Just a couple of features…

  • Full search is built-in, allowing you to easily find what you’re looking for.
  • Loads more posts inline using Ajax, into an iPhone application-like experience.
  • Post images and other content are scaled and handled automatically on touch mobile devices.
  • Users can easily send native e-mail with the title and a link to the post they’re reading.

King County Weekly Condo Sales Ratios for February 10th, 2010

February 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Downtown (MLS Area 701), Weekly Sales Ratios

Condo Only, NWMLS Area 701 (Belltown & Downtown Seattle)

Active Listings and Pending Sales by NWMLS Area 701

Active Listings and Pending Sales by NWMLS Area 701


Escala’s Club Cielo is Now an Amenity

February 8, 2010 by  
Filed under ESCALA, Lifestyle

We had the pleasure to speak with one Bob Rennie of Rennie Marketing regarding Club Cielo.  Rennie Marketing has sold over $1 billion dollars’ worth of condos each year for the last eight years and counting.  Mr. Rennie and the ESCALA partnership are working on the revamped project, and we were privileged to be updated on the latest news.

First off, Club Cielo is no longer!  Let’s call the 25,000 sq/ft spa, gym, and wine cave… amenities.  There are a few influencing factors in play.  First, the public found the HOD too high.  Second, there is a belief that a condo owner should not have to pay for services they don’t use.  Third and perhaps the most important, lenders had difficulty in funding buyers.  Club Cielo allowed membership from the outside, and this issue presented problems to lenders with ownership in the HOA without an actual condo ownership.  Outside ownerships were discontinued.

The new arrangement now will be a user-based system.  If an owner wants a massage, give a call to Columbia Hospitality and they will send someone to meet you in the spa.  If you want to do a banquet, call and everything will be set up for you. All of the amenities are physically there, but not staffed full time. This will help HOD get much more in line with the new economy.  So far, it’s working.  HOD’s have been reduced from $0.79/sq. ft. to $0.58, with a goal of reaching $0.55.

The question on everyone’s mind is, “What are the new prices”?  We understand that the new prices are still being ironed out and we hope to have them by the 19th.  Not a definite date, but priority update subscribers at will be the first to find out.

After the prices are determined, the current buyers will be contacted first.  I would assume that many will like the new prices.  Obviously, many will still not close.  It has been a long time for some of these buyers and life changes as years go by.  The questions we do not know yet are if the buyers will be allowed to move into other units and the big questions of earnest money to buyers who do not wish to close.  Personally, we hope Escala makes the decision to create goodwill in the city and creates a positive movement.  Enso went to their buyers in contract and treated them properly.  And now, look how well that project is going.

Escala’s new team is proving to be much more transparent and many of our interested buyers have a revitalized excitement for the project.  In fact, Escala is turning out to be a good example of what it feels like to take a long deep breath of fresh air.  Regardess whether or not you like the project, we think we can all agree that the success of Escala would be beneficial to the whole community.

Sneak Peek of Hard Rock Cafe and Memorabilia

February 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, Lifestyle

2nd-floor-bar-postIn efforts to revitalize the Pike Street corridor, the vision for Seattle’s new Hard Rock Cafe started over three years ago when the space had previously been approved for a 14-story condominium development.  Today, the space is now the first restaurant to meet Gold LEED certification standards.  The building itself has been incredibly restored with northwestern woods and stone, and area vice President Stacey O’Bryan chuckled as he pointed out the complimenting exposed brick which was found behind sheet rock during the restoration.

Of course the memorabilia includes various collections from Jimi Hendrix, Quincy Jones, Pearl Jam and Nirvana. But it also features a  heavy brown suede patchwork jacket that Elvis Presley purchased in Colorado, which he later wore to stay warm when performing in the snow for a crowd of 16,000+ at Seattle’s Sick’s Stadium.  The Seattle Hard Rock is also the first to employ a new feature allowing you to get the inside story on each piece of memorabilia by simply dialing 206-204-4666.  Get more information on Bobby Keys with the Rolling Stones by entering 56, Chad Manning from Nirvana by entering 47, or information on Eddie Vedder’s acoustic with hand written lyrics (Memorabilia Designer Giovanni Taliaferro’s favorite piece), by entering number 55.

rooftop-westSome other great facts about the 14,000 square foot cafe:

  • * Creating more local opportunity by hiring an approximate 140 employees;
  • * Much of the cafe was constructed with local recycled materials;
  • * 13 booths have interactive touch screens; and
  • * The 15-foot Fender Mustang guitar was installed as a tribute to Kurt Cobain. 
  • Additionally, the Hard Rock could have saved money by tearing down the existing building and replacing the current unprotected structure. To their credit, the corporate restaurant executives from Orlando decided to preserve much more of the local culture than just music.  Kudos!

View a copy of full specs

Other than missing just one Seattle music icon, the Hard Rock did a fabulous job in capturing a unique history of our local music scene.  Enjoy the photos and be sure to stop in to see much much more!

King County Weekly Condo Sales Ratios for February 3rd, 2010

Condo Only, NWMLS Area 701 (Belltown & Downtown Seattle)

Active Listings and Pending Sales by NWMLS Area 701

Active Listings and Pending Sales by NWMLS Area 701


New Pricing Hints for Escala

February 4, 2010 by  
Filed under ESCALA, Featured, MARKET TRENDS

We had an opportunity to visit ESCALA this week.  There is so much to absorb as more details are being ironed out as ESCALA undergoes their three weeks of resetting for the current market.   We had a quick (very quick) glance at the proposed pricing and it will be quite compelling.  Again, with an asterisk, everything is still being worked out and prices have not been formalized.  From what we can tell at this time, the pricing may be at least 30% under the previously published prices.

We at the Stroupe Group couldn’t be more excited for buyers that have that have expressed interest in ESCALA.  From what we’ve gathered, an approximate 200 units will be priced under $500 per square foot and sure to draw a lot of attention from all buyers interested in downtown.

If you are a regular reader of our post, you know we do not get overly excited with marketing news coming from projects.  Their job is to create “hype” to encourage movement in a project. We do our best to see the project regardless of the marketing.  That being said, if these prices at ESCALA are indeed what we expect, this is a great opportunity for a buyer looking for an exceptional product at a very attractive price.  Think of what buildings are ESCALA’s competition and what the price per square foot are in those buildings.  We cannot speak for the motivation for this drastic discount but we cannot wait to see how the public responds.

With such compelling prices, it may be likely that ESCALA will get a lot of attention over the next couple of months as the marketing for the building steps up.  Expect a BIG media splash soon.

We are currently working to get some images of the project and perhaps the exceptional furnished models.  They were also installing the chandelier over the concierge desk.  That should be fun to see.

We have an appointment on Monday morning where we expect to have significantly more information.  Perhaps some established prices too.  Be sure to register on our new website for ESCALA at where you can view floor plans, sign up for listing updates, and get more details on the building overall.  We will also be sending out pricing updates and pictures as we receive them to those who have registered.

Stay tuned.