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Olive 8: Living the Turnkey Life

June 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, Olive 8

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If you’re in the market to buy a second home, Olive 8 has something special for you! A quarter of Olive 8′s recent sales have been to second homebuyers seeking an urban resort lifestyle, complete with access to hotel amenities and services. As a result, Olive 8 developer RC Hedreen Company has announced a marketing partnership with Alchemy Collections to offer turnkey furniture packages, with full price offers on remaining open one bedroom floor plans. 

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Olive 8 is unique in the Seattle condominium marketplace in that the 229‐unit condominium is built above the Hyatt at Olive 8 hotel. Amenities include concierge and room services, a 65‐foot saline lap pool, complete fitness center, restaurant, bar and lounge. Its residents‐only great room on the 18th floor has a billiards room, media room, catering kitchen, outdoor terrace with BBQ’s, and even a dog run.

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Olive 8’s location is an amenity in itself. With a Walk Score® of 98 and a Transit Score™ at a perfect 100, Olive 8 is within walking distance to downtown Seattle shopping centers, major department stores, theatres and parks. The South Lake Union Streetcar is a couple of blocks away, and there is easy access to I-5. Life at Olive 8 is also environmentally friendly. It was the first hotel/condominium development in Seattle to receive LEED Certification (Silver).

All in all, Olive 8′s Turnkey Package is yet another sign that the Seattle condominium market is not only stabilizing, but that buyers are beginning to view real estate as a lifestyle choice, and not just a commodity.

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Olive 8’s Sky Suite Collection starts at $370,000 for a 650‐sq. ft. home offering high-end appliance and finishes, plus awe-inspiring views of the downtown Seattle skyline and Elliott Bay. With a 20% down payment, furnished homes are available for just $1,961 per month including principal, interest, HOA dues, gym membership and real estate taxes (assuming a 5/1 ARM at just 3.0% interest or 3.267% APR). For more information or to schedule a private tour, please call us at (206) 910-5000 or send an email to urgent@stroupe.com

Olive 8: A Sales Spring, and a Spring Event!

May 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Olive 8

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Signs that the selling marketplace is rebounding continue at Olive 8, where 25 new condominium sales have been accepted since January 1!

Sharper prices, record low interest rates and improving consumer confidence helped garner robust sales momentum in downtown Seattle. A new report released last week by Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty tracked the supply and demand of new downtown condos.  It indicated that 40% of unsold developer-owned inventory was sold during the past year, resulting in only 342 new condominiums available within the center city!   The news is the same for the condo resale marketplace– new listings and available supply are at their lowest levels in over two years.

olive-8-condo-200x300With literally no new Seattle condo projects on the horizon, what’s currently have on the market will have to satisfy buyer demand for some time to come.  How significant is this?  New construction condo prices have corrected back to “pre-boom” levels but new construction delivery levels are now “pre-millennium”! 

Watch for supply and demand price hikes to hit the condo marketplace, just as it’s now happening with the apartment sector. Prices are stabilizing and there’s even been competition for more-preferred inventory. As the market continues to improve, asking prices and selling prices will continue to narrow, with fewer concessions being made. 

However, you still have a great window of opportunity at Olive 8. Called The Spring Event, Olive 8 has one-bedroom residences, starting on the 28th floor, for just $395,000. Two-bedroom residences start at just $825,000. Need more?  Try this– The Spring Event’s incentive program provides for no closing costs and special financing starting at just 1.25% (2.821% APR) for qualified purchases. Also, the seller will pick up HOA dues and health club membership fees for the first year.

The Spring Event is set to expire on Tuesday, May 31, 2011, but you still have time to get in on a great opportunity to live in one of the finest condominium communities in Seattle.  Give us a call at (206) 910-5000 or drop us a line at urgent@stroupe.com for more information or to schedule a private tour.  See you soon!

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Luxury Condo Sales Up 177%!

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1521 logoIn a further sign of a market turnaround, Northwest Multiple Listing Service has released data showing that 23 luxury condominiums, priced at over $1 million, have closed during the first three months of 2011!  This compares with only 13 sales in for the same period in 2010.  Better yet, another 13 multimillion-dollar homes are currently pending. This will provide a strong lead-in for second quarter, and it’s a powerful indication that a luxury home sales trend is firmly in place– and accelerating.

escalaWhy now?  More market liquidity because contingent homebuyers are successfully selling their homes, enabling them to now buy a condo. Mortgage financing has loosened up over the past year for qualified buyers.  The economic outlook is improving, and so is buyer confidence.  Seattle enjoyed a number of huge commercial real estate transactions in 1Q11, and job opportunities are resurging.  

olive-8-condo_thumbieThose are all good reasons, of course, but more telling was the shift in momentum when November 2010′s Washington State Ballot Measure I-1098, which would have imposed a state income tax, took a pounding at the polls. We heard from a number of buyers, primarily from outside Washington, whose decision to purchase a multimillion-dollar home was contingent on the outcome of that vote. Not having a state income tax is an influence which may have been flying under the radar for some time, but it is now proving to be a real dealmaker in deciding to buy a Washington State property. Out-of-state buyers are snapping up homes for business, pleasure, or both. Baby-boomers are booming here too.  Retirees are either looking to downsize to condominiums, or to spend time in multiple homes in different states. All in all, prospective buyers are getting more savvy about investing in Washington State– no income taxes, sharpened prices and a lock-and-leave lifestyle.

bellevue towers logoAnd the good news keeps coming. The Washington State Department of Licensing reported a 25% increase in drivers license registrations as of February 2011, compared with 2010 (based on a rolling 12-month period). One-third of 11,237 new state residents relocated to King County.  And, thanks to the 2010 U.S. Census, Washington State grew enough over the last decade to snag another congressional seat, plus another vote in the Electoral College.

rsz_harvard_logoNo high-rise condominium project has broken ground in Seattle since 2007.  That’s when the housing market peaked, and a global credit crunch either deferred or canceled dozens of projects. It’s safe to say that Seattle was saved from overbuilding! 

rsz_200_w_highland_logoWe now find that the majority of the most premier, view-oriented units have been quietly absorbed. Inventories at the most preferred properties are finite and prices are firming up. There’s a flight to quality, and sales occur where the value is present.  Some examples:

•  Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue, a tower averaging nearly $2 million per unit, is 77% sold with seven new sales pending during the past 45 days alone.

•  Olive 8 has sold 18 homes since the New Year, with only a few of the coveted northwest corner units remaining.

 • Escala has effectively sold out of its larger west-facing plans.

•  Fifty homes have either closed or sold at Bellevue Towers since the beginning of this year.

 • Harvard & Highland, which opened in November 2009, have closed 22 of their 38 homes, with five pending.

•  200 West Highland, which went on the market in November 2010, is down to only two homes out of an original number of 17. 

Currently, 65 condominiums priced at over $1 million are on the market  in King County.  There are all kinds of wonderful places for sale, and we’re in the know about which ones can best fit your lifestyle.  Send an email to urgent@stroupe.com, and let us work on the perfect home for YOU!

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Stroupe Group Lands Bulk Buy at Olive 8

February 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, Olive 8

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olive-8-condo-200x300We are extremely pleased to announce that we have successfully closed a bulk buy of ten units at Olive 8!

The buyer is a foreign investor, represented by Julie Roh and James Stroupe of the Stroupe Group. For our buyer, improving market conditions and the investment value at Olive 8 were compelling.  We helped our client make an informed decision using our experience and research tools found at www.stroupe.com   Our buyer could have selected any metro area in the US, but preferred our economic outlook and the fundamentals of supply and demand for in-city condominiums.  It’s a reminder that Seattle is on the radar of many interstate and international buyers; whether it’s for lifestyle or investment purposes. In this instance, Olive 8 provides for both.

We also point to a convergence of sharper pricing, low interest rates, the prospect of job growth downtown, rising rental rates and the fact that no new condominiums are planned for the future.  The new construction supply pipeline is shut down.  Based on trends we watch very carefully, we believe the resale market is going to shore up property values in the near future.  

We are continuing to see clients come to us, asking about current market conditions.  As this latest tranaction demonstrates, there are some opportunities in the market that are worth exploring.  If you would like to schedule a meeting with us to discuss your personal goals, please contact us at (206) 910-5000, or by email at  urgent@stroupe.com.

Olive 8: The New Pricing!

January 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, Olive 8

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Here’s what all the buzz is all about!  Below are samples of the new “reset pricing” of Olive 8.  AND, these prices also represent reductions from the original presale pricing and range between 30-40%. 

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Additional floorplans from the 28th floor and up are also available. Interested in more information about all Olive 8 has to offer, or to schedule a private tour? Contact us at this Stroupe Group link.

Olive 8 – Your chance to own a piece of “The Sky”

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Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty became Olive 8’s new listing agent on January 1st, and it is open for business!  Dubbed “The Sky Collection”, up for sale at Olive 8 are homes located from the 27th floor and up. Tap on this Olive 8 link to check out a five-minute video with author and syndicated columnist Tom Kelly.  He examines the new condominium development market in Seattle, specifically focusing on this exciting property.  

The video also refers to the amount of new condominium homes available in the Seattle area, and below is a copy of the graph as referenced by Dean Jones, Principal and Owner of Realogics Sotheby’s. 

Courtesy of Realogics Sotheby's International Realty

Courtesy of Realogics Sotheby's International Realty

Note the amount of available condominiums in orange, in comparison to the number of condominiums that were converted to apartments (apartment conversions) in green. As a result, Olive 8 represents 25% of the available new condo market.*

Olive 8 is a 39-story luxury hotel/condominium building on the corner of Olive Street and 8th Avenue in downtown Seattle. Atop 17 floors occupied by the Hyatt at Olive 8 hotel, it includes one-bedroom and two-bedroom luxury view homes, plus three world-class penthouses. Your new home at Olive 8 will boast panoramic views and high-end touches, combined with world-class hotel amenities and services. Better still are special privileges for homeowners including private elevators and controlled access, a 24-hour concierge, a private residential club lounge and discounted rates at Elaia Spa.

olive-8-condo-200x300Fans of green living are in for a delightful surprise with Olive 8, the first hotel/ condominium building in Seattle to receive an LEED Certification (Silver)!   Its green roof, one of the largest in Seattle, provides an urban habitat for birds, bees and butterflies while reducing storm water runoff to city sewers. Olive 8′s dedication to the environment also results in 36% less water usage (approx savings of 2.4 million gallons annually) and 23% less power usage.  

Olive 8′s environmental stewardship also reaches far beyond its walls. It was the first Seattle building to participate in King County’s Transfer of Development Rights program. In exchange for building higher, developer R.C. Hedreen Company contributed nearly $1 million to preserve 284 acres on Sugarloaf Mountain in rural King County, as well as vital salmon habitat.

We’re busy retooling our own websites for the new Olive 8 opportunities.  In the meantime, you can stay in touch on the latest Olive 8 news, or schedule a private tour with us by contacting this Stroupe Group link.   

*Units are identified as being sold as a non-refundable earnest money deposit (pending) or closed.  Please note that title reports are often late with real time information and often show fewer homes sold than actual. 

Olive 8’s New Listing Agent? Realogics Sotheby’s!

olive 8 seattleRealogics Sotheby’s International Realty is ending 2010 on a very high note, and it could result in an amazing buy for you in 2011.

An exclusive listing agreement was signed last week with developer RC Hedreen Company to sell all of Olive 8‘s remaining inventory, now starting from the 27th floor and up.  Olive 8 is a 39-story, 229 unit mixed-use condominium and hotel ( Hyatt at Olive 8 ) high-rise located at 8th Avenue and Olive Way in downtown Seattle.

In order to maintain 50% project sales as required by Fannie Mae lending guidelines, 32 units at Olive 8 were recently sold at auction to replace mostly investor presales that were unable to close in today’s credit environment. The auction helped establish a base for current market values, enabling RC Hedreen to restructure its construction debt with US Bank, providing a long term runway to sell into an improving marketplace.

“We’ve eliminated many of the pressures that we faced, so it’s now time to realign values for today’s market,” said Dick Hedreen, RC Hedreen’s chairman. “2011 represents a new beginning for Olive 8 and Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty is uniquely positioned to lead us through a successful sellout.”

Dean Jones, Principal of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, added that there is a finite supply of new construction condominiums in downtown Seattle. No new developments have broken ground since the credit crunch in 2007 and since that time, several condo projects reverted to apartments and sold to REIT’s, reducing inventory.

According to Jones, fewer than 450 new condominiums remaining unsold in the city center and most pundits agree it could be many years before any new condominiums are developed. RC Hedreen and Realogics Sotheby’s are researching home values by retaining appraisers and meeting with real estate brokers and potential homebuyers to reassess the marketplace. Olive 8 is expected to be reintroduced to the public in 2011 with new lower pricing.

rsz_1olive-8-condo_logo for text“I’m confident that our business philosophy will make perfect sense to those homebuyers that have been waiting on the sidelines for an opportunity,” says Hedreen. “And considering that our available inventory now starts on the 27th floor, we saved the best for last.”

We are in the process of retooling our own websites for the new Olive 8 opportunities. If you would like to stay in touch on news or private tours when Olive 8’s new releases come on market, please contact us at this Stroupe Group link.   

Olive 8: Auction Results and Stats

Success!  Over 200 bidders filled a room at the Hyatt at Olive 8 on September 19 to try and snag a deal on 32 units from Floors 18 – 26 that were on the block. By day’s end, very happy new owners walked away with homes averaging 30% off the original price. Here’s a list of the sale action, sorted by square footage.

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Sales are subject to seller acceptance and escrow closing.

We are fairly certain this information is accurate… if it changes, we will repost.  We continue to pride ourselves on accurate information.  During the auction, six units were removed from the auction (four 1-bedroom units, two 2-bedroom units).  As the auction progressed, the four 1-bedroom units returned for bidding. By the end of Sunday, all but four units had acceptable bids and the celebration began for those lucky buyers.  The remaining four units were short of the reserve bid.  The seller has a few days to decide what to do with those units.

Although it took an auction to do a significant move of inventory for Olive 8 management, the number of bidders that registered and appeared may be a sign that the Seattle real estate market is entering a more positive phase. In addition, over 1,500 potential buyers viewed the properties prior to auction, which could serve as a great base for future Olive 8 sales down the road.

The number of participating bidders also says something else about Olive 8. They confirm that Olive 8 is a special property, with a wonderful downtown location and a dizzying list of amenities including services through its downstairs neighbor, the Hyatt at Olive 8.  A little over 100 units remain for sale. Check out our website, olive8seattle.com for more details, then fill out our Contact link.

Olive 8: Anatomy of an Auction

September 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Downtown (MLS Area 701), Olive 8

We’ve been telling you in previous posts how special the upcoming Olive 8 auction will be. Located in the heart of downtown Seattle, Olive 8 has amazing views and numerous amenities, all at once-in-a-lifetime prices. However, the clock is ticking… the auction is on Sunday, September 19th, at 1:00 p.m. sharp but more importantly, you must be pre-registered by Thursday, September 16th at 6:00 p.m. If you still have questions or even qualms about the auction process, so maybe our handy-dandy guide below will help:

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Review the Properties – Check out our link at olive8seattle.com, where you’ll find details of the 34 homes from Floors 18 through 26 that are on the block. Under “The Auction”, there’s a .pdf with unit floorplans. Then, hit our big green contact button and tell us which ones you’d like to see. When we meet, we’ll first discuss what you’re looking for in a home, then physically tour the properties to see which best fit your lifestyle needs and financial means.

Financing – You must be pre-approved through one of two lenders, Bank of America Home Loans or Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Even if you’re a cash buyer, assets must be verified through either of these two lenders. By doing this, you will know that everyone at the auction will have the ability to bid.  Have a pre-approved credit line ready and bring the letter with you.  If you choose to use either one of the lenders, then the seller is offering a $5,000 credit towards non-recurring closing costs (subject to lender guidelines, please check for details). Don’t forget that financing is subject to credit approval, loan document completion and property appraisal. Finally, you will need to bring a cashier’s check for $5,000 plus a personal check for the remaining balance of your earnest money.

Pre-Register – All buyers must be registered in order to attend and bid. The form is simple, and on our website under “The Auction” tab. On auction day, check in for your bidder package. The doors open around 11:00 a.m., but you should arrive no later than 12 noon. Your window to register is a now a short one…  forms must be submitted to the Auction Office prior to 6:00 pm on Thursday, September 16th.  You will not be allowed to register at the door.

The Auction Team – The auction will be conducted by Kennedy Wilson, an international real estate investment and services company based in Beverly Hills, CA. Assisting the auctioneer will be professional floormen to make sure that all bidders are recognized and all bids are reported. Floormen can also answer questions before and during the auction, including asking the auctioneer to pause if needed.  

Before Bidding Begins – The auction will start promptly at 1:00 p.m. with opening remarks summarizing terms of sale, bidding method, and any last-minute changes or disclosures. This only takes a few minutes, ending with the auctioneer conducting a practice auction session.

Be Ready To Bid – You wouldn’t think auctioning 34 homes would go by quickly, but it’s estimated that the entire event should only run an hour. Our meetings with you will also include your bidding strategy, and we’ll be at your side when your condo number is called.

Start the Bidding – Get ready to chime in with your price! If you make a mistake, just correct it with either the floorman or the auctioneer. The auctioneer will say “sold” or “high bidder” as soon as it’s determined the final bid has been made.  When you hear, “Going once, going twice…third and final call”, that’s the cue the auctioneer is prepared to announce a winner. He’ll most likely say something to the effect of, “Sold subject to seller acceptance”.  At that time the buyer will go to another room and sign a contract based on the winning price. Within the next few days, the buyer will know whether or not they’ve made the reserve price.  Seller has the option to counteroffer to meet its minimum reserve if needed. If this does occur, buyer does not have to accept the counteroffer.

The auction will take place at the Hyatt at Olive 8, 1635 8th Avenue in downtown Seattle. Coincidentally, this is the base of the Olive 8 building and part of its great amenities package. Give our website a spin and call us right away!

What Do Olive 8 Homeowners Say? Plenty!

September 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Downtown (MLS Area 701), Featured, Olive 8

We can’t tell you enough about how exciting the upcoming Olive 8 auction will be.  September 19th is the date when 34 condominiums go on the block. This auction will offer you a once in a lifetime opportunity to move into one of the most exciting living experiences in Seattle.  But don’t take our word for it. Here’s some current owner feedback:

  • Amenities – What a list to choose from! They enjoy the exercise facilities with a state of the art gym, swimming pool, yoga room and private sauna/steamroom access.  It’s a great place for pets, too. A secluded exercise and grooming area assures them that Olive 8 pampers their four-footed residents, too.
  • A Hotel as a Downstairs Neighbor – You can’t beat living above the Hyatt at Olive 8 Hotel. Owners love to go downstairs to the restaurant for a quick meal, or unwind at the coffee and wine bar.  Don’t feel like dressing to go out? Order room service! Too tired to clean? Call for housekeeping! As one couple said, “…it’s like living in ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’!”
  • Views – For one owner, waking up to a view of Mt. Rainier is not a bad way to start a morning.  She also loves the light that fills the rooms of her home. Any of the stunning Seattle views can be admired either from the large picture windows, or from the privacy of your own deck.
  • Neighborhood – One couple mentioned that that they “live in the most electric part of Seattle”. Others mention that they love the location, that “you can go downstairs and walk to everything”.
  • The Homes – Owners also love the high-end appliances, the generous use of marble in the baths, the nuanced finishes, and the overall style of the floorplans.

If you’re interested in becoming another happy Olive 8 owner, take a tour of our Olive 8 website, then fill in the Contact tab.  Specializing in the downtown Seattle condominium market since 1994, we at the Stroupe Group have participated in a number of auctions and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.  –

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