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Cristalla: Happy Ending, New Beginning

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rsz_1cristalla1After two years of litigation, we are pleased to report news that Cristalla’s Homeowners Association Board has reached an agreement with its developer to settle all outstanding building litigation claims, with a court dismissal of the lawsuit expected within the next thirty days.  Terms of the settlement are confidential and will be disclosed to homeowners in more detail at a private meeting in early July. 

Cristalla’s architect is working to finalize detailed plans to start repairs to the roof (Sky Terrace and external ledge, or its “eyebrow”), additional remediation treatments to the South Wall at parking levels to reduce the chance of further water intrusion (check out our coverage on last fall’s repairs here), plus a complete rebuild of its 6th floor Steam Room. Within the next few weeks, Cristalla’s Board intends to select a general contractor to complete the work. 

One of Seattle’s most beloved high-rise condominiums, the Cristalla took its inspiration from the Crystal Pool, an Italian Renaissance structure built on the site in 1914.  Architect B. Marcus Priteca planned a high-relief, neo-classical façade of glazed terra cotta with domed corner entries.  Arched steel trusses supported a glass roof, which covered a huge pool with salt water piped in from Elliott Bay.  At the time, it was one of the most popular recreation spots in Seattle.  Priteca later designed a building which has lasted a little longer… West Seattle’s Admiral Theater.

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Today, the base of Cristalla hearkens back to those times.  And, in addition to the lobby’s elegant staircase and two-story water feature, Traver Gallery and artist Anna Skibska provided artistic decor throughout. Interior designer Mandy Reed continued the theme of the building’s history by maintaining a prevalence of water through the use of translucent panels on Cristalla’s doors, and glass panels on its upper kitchen cabinets.  All homes feature hardwood flooring plus carpeted bedrooms. Studios, 1-bedrooms, 2-bedrooms and penthouses range from 420 to 2,800 square feet.

You’ll never lose your western view at Cristalla, either.  Developers bought the air rights above the neighboring property, capping any future growth to eight stories.

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The Cristalla enjoys a Walk Score® of 97 and a Transit Score™ of a perfect 100. As you can see by this link, its location is amazing. You’re steps away from the best of Belltown in any direction.  The Cristalla is pet-friendly too.  There’s even a dog run on the rooftop!  Lots of other amenities as well, ranging from a 24-hour concierge to a rooftop BBQ area.  Check out our Cristalla website for more details.  Our website also has a Listings tab on available properties.

Getting a loan at the Cristalla during ongoing litigation was often a challenging task.  With litigation now resolved, obtaining a loan will be much easier.  There is a lot to love about the Cristalla.  We invite you to learn more about this special place, and even arrange for a  private tour.  Just give us a call at 206~910~5000, or send an email to urgent@stroupe.com.

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South Lake Union – Before, and Which After?

April 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, Land Use, NBBJ

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slu alternativesLast week we ran a story regarding the public meeting on March 28th which focused on the City of Seattle’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the South Lake Union Height Alternatives, outlining four Alternatives, or plans, for the future development of South Lake Union (planning for the next 25 years and beyond).  The Draft EIS was compiled by the City’s Department of Planning and Development.  We stayed for 35 minutes of the public commentary and during that time, most of the speakers advocated Alternative One, which offers the greatest height and density zoning.

You can hit this link, select the Draft EIS plan, then go to Section 3.10, Aesthethics, and see how all the Alternatives stack up visually. Draw your own conclusions as to what you think would be best for South Lake Union.  Our attachment here only focuses on the Alternative 1 scenario, but it presents some compelling visions as to the full potential of SLU.  slu alt 1 graphics print

How the Alternatives differ:

Alternative 1 – outlines the greatest potential for height and density increases for commercial and residential development

Alternative 2 – mid-point between Alternatives 1 and 3, it contains lesser height and density increases for commercial and residential development

Alternative 3 – provides the least potential for height and density increases, and only cover residential  development

Alternative 4—“no action”, retaining existing zoning, and no height increase incentives

Finally, two things that all the Alternatives will share: it was stated during the March 28th meeting that there will be no changes to current shoreline designations, and that views to designated South Lake Union viewpoints would not be obstructed.

If you would like to read more about any of these Alternatives, please go to the full Draft EIS on this link.  It’s 659 pages long, but the document is also broken out by sections.   The DOPD engaged a number of consultants to help prepare the Draft EIS, and the Alternatives renderings shown here and in the Draft EIS were done by NBBJ, which worked on aesthetics, light/glare, shadows and viewshed for this project.

Finally, if you have comments or opinions, good or bad, about which Alternative to select– or about anything else covered in the Draft EIS, send an email to jim.holmes@seattle.gov no later than Monday, April 11. After that, the DOPD will commence work on a Final EIS, which should be finished this summer.  We’ll let you know when that report is released.

Map: USGS, 1897– from the Draft EIS

Another Unique Project Offers Bulk Buy Option for Buyers!

1111Eleven Eleven East Pike is also taking part in the “bulk sales” approach in efforts to sell one-third (nine) of their vintage designed homes in one of Capitol Hill’s most trendy areas.  Auctions don’t typically do as well if it’s not one of the first to take place, so the bulk buy strategy seems to be getting some momentum when it comes to reducing prices and attracting new buyers.

With the first release of homes being released at prices between $255k and $379k, price reductions are down 20 to 25 percent from their original list price.

As with the bulk buy option that was set up for Decatur, buyers can get in for a refundable deposit of only $500 until the end of the month, and they must be scheduled to close by November 30th.

Developer William Justen is also reported in a DJC article expressing some concern for needing to take this approach since the address is somewhat of a boutique project designed by an acclaimed architecture firm.

“It doesn’t seem to matter what a buyer is willing to pay anymore, it only matters what an appraiser thinks because that affects what a lender is willing to lend,” said Justen. “The reality is that our industry is being commoditized by the lender community, and that means that a niche development like Eleven Eleven East Pike, which was never designed for the masses, is nevertheless being held back by a homogeneous appraisal market”.

The project is certainly unique with its red exterior, custom-designed puzzle walls, along with Cupcake Royale occupying its retail space.  The project is located on a section of East Pike Street filled with eclectic shops like the Ferrari/Maserati/Alfa Romeo store, a couple of different record stores, tons of pubs, and just as many small diners.

Other projects designed by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects include 98 Union, Hillclimb Court, Pike and Virginia Building and the redesign of Merrill Place–all very desirable properties with unique boutique addresses.

New Lake Union Condos at Wards Cove: The Enclave

June 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Eastlake, Enclave, Featured, NBBJ

enclave_modelWhile developers are stalling on new projects, Trinity Real Estate, Inc released plans for a new 21-unit lakeside community today at Wards Cove–Lake Union.

SEATTLE, WA. (June 24, 2009) – Officials at Trinity Real Estate, Inc. today released plans for their newest project “The Enclave”, a 21-unit lakeside community nestled within the 5-acre redevelopment known as “Wards Cove” on Lake Union. The coveted site is considered by many the last of its kind on what is now a largely built-out waterfront in King County. Its developers say that the project is designed like a horizontal high-rise from a quality standpoint but unlike a high-rise, The Enclave can be developed in distinct phases to help with construction financing. The announcement arrives at a time when few, if any, new developments have commenced since the onset of the commercial credit crunch in the summer of 2007, two years ago.

“It’s one of those rare never before, never again opportunities that developers cherish,” says Michael Yukevich, Investment Manager and partner in Trinity Real Estate, Inc. “It’s an irreplaceable location and an unparalleled opportunity for our homebuyers to own the quintessential Seattle lifestyle.”

enclave_patioAmazingly, construction will start this year, and occupancy is planned for 2010!  The new lakeside community will consist of three-level, two bedroom plus den homes ranging from 2,500 to more than 3,000 square feet.  Homes will come with private garages and options include private elevators.  Additional amenities include access to the Wards cove Marina Club which includes a fitness center, conference facility, guest suite, and full-service moorage.

“The Enclave provides a compelling alternative to high-rise condo living by putting the penthouse right on the lakefront,” says Nick Glant, the listing agent with Northwest Group Real Estate. “For those that desire the sea, city and sky – we’ve got your address.”

Introductory pricing will start just over $1 million and Dean Jones (president of Realogics, and who will be marketing the boutique address) feels that the announcment and decision to move forward is a “savvy development practice right now.”  In the press release, Jones points out that today, new homes need to offer more unique attributes to make a difference.  For Seattle boaters, this may be a perfect chance to get an in-city home that has yet to come to our market–and never expected to come available again.

New $3.5 Million Housing for the Homeless on 1st & Cedar

April 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, SMA Architects

A resident at Harbour Heights provided us with a rendering of a new project supposedly holding a groundbreaking ceremony on May 14th, beginning a projected 15-month construction timeline on the corner of 1st and Cedar beginning June 1st. Ironically, it’s currently a vacant parking lot believed by many to be unbuildable.  Not much information has circulated about the project since the news originated from the Real Change newspaper (a program to get homeless off the streets by putting them on the streets asking for spare change to buy the Real Change paper).  Designed by SMA Architects, the 7-story building will provide 84 units with full bathrooms and kitchens, with each studio unit averaging 250 square feet.  One of the reasons we believe the building is being approved for construction is because there will be no parking provided.  The first floor of the building will primarily be for the care facility and staff, with another 2,000 square feet of retail space.

Applicants do not need to have clean criminal records, a stable renter’s history, or proof of freedom from drug or alcohol addiction. “You take a person where they are, and then you provide the level of services they need to succeed,” (Joanne) LaTuchie (Seattle Office of Housing) says.

We have yet to find out why Plymouth Housing Group is pushing for that particularly high-priced location (Belltown being some of Seattle’s most expensive real estate) over other areas, or information as to the need of such a facility on 1st Avenue in Belltown.  Also, based on the location, a long waiting list is likely to develop.  At the same time, a comment left on the SLOG made mention that the new affordable housing could provide downtown with a lower-income based workforce.

How and why the deal was made

Exciting Bay Vista Upgrades are in the Works!

Back in March of 2008, Bay Vista began identifying some new improvements they were going to be making to their 6th floor amenities.  Bay Vista already has one of the most unique amenities in the city with an outdoor jogging path and pea patch.  However, the decor has turned out to be rather outdated, considering the building was built in 1982.  Architects Degen & Degen have been in charge of the new design and they seem to have planned it well.  The new design goes well with the existing exterior and interior design.

Here are some renderings and photos of the construction (taken yesterday).

New Kitchen & Bar

New Kitchen & Bar

The new kitchen and bar will now have wheelchair access with 2 different types of hardwoods.  With the new layout, the door leading to the outside jogging path with Western facing views will welcome much more impressive opportunities for entertaining guests.

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A few other new improvements to the Bay Vista Club Room include recarpeting the sitting area and adding some new shelving where the TV will be placed.  There will also continue to be a thoughtful divider between the room’s entrance  and open space where residents are watching sports games, political speeches, etc.

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Probably one of the most exciting new changes for residents at Bay Vista is the addition of space to the fitness room.  They’ve about doubled the space, which before has been pretty small (the outline in the pictures below represent the additional space).

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A brokers open will be scheduled after completion.  To get even more of an idea how the outcome will look, click through the photo gallery below for more renderings and texture provided by Melissa Walling at Degen & Degen.

Team 1521: From Start to Finish – Time Lapsed Video

November 26, 2008 by  
Filed under 1521, ALL CONDOS, Featured, Justen Company, Opus, Weber + Thompson

In combination with the completion of Four Seasons, a hard hat tour for Olive 8 & Rollin Street, the last couple of weeks have been rather exciting for Seattle’s new construction.  Even better news is that they’ve all sold impressively well, and Fifteen Twenty-One is no exception.  Today, there’s only 8 currently available in the 143 unit high-rise.  Four Seasons has 10 remaining of their 36, and Olive 8 had reported they sold approximately 75% of their 231 available units when we toured about month ago.

The team that made it all possible is also one of the most experienced and reputable groups of professionals anyone could ask for.

Architecture

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Blaine Weber/Weber Thompson Architects – Project architect and founding principle at Weber Thompson Architects, the award-winning firm has also designed the 5-star Hotel 1000/Madison Tower on 1st Avenue, the much anticipated AVA, and one of Seattle’s most cherished condominium high-rises The Cristalla (from which Mr. Weber had lived before 1521).

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Interior

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Susan Marinello Interiors – Another local based firm who has an impressive portfolio designing upscale residential, commercial, hospitality projects. .Susan has also trophied her work at the Four Seasons Private Residences, The Condominiums at One Lincoln Tower, and the Hyatt Regency.

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Development

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Opus/Samis Land Company – Opus (one of the top ten developers in the country) worked together with William Justen (managing director of Samis) who is one of the states largest commercial landowners and has made a significant impact on Seattle’s urban development.

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Enjoy this 10-second time-lapsed video of 1521′s construction:

Heron Pagoda Towers – 1913 5th Ave., Seattle, WA 98101


Status: Postponed
Neighborhood: Downtown

CONDOS FOR SALE

Here you can find all active listings at Heron Pagoda Towers. If your dream condo is not listed, sign-up to be instantly notified by email.

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DESCRIPTION

Offering high-end hotel, condominium and office space, as well as deluxe retail space at ground level, developers of the 1.2 million-square-foot building at 1913 5th Avenue.  Above the glass-walled base, containing a large atrium, would rise the northern tower, nicknamed Pagoda. It would contain nine floors of hotel space, with 22 floors of condos above that.  Pagoda would be architecturally distinctive on its exterior to distinguish it from the all-residential south tower, nicknamed Heron. Separated from Pagoda by 70 feet, Heron would house 32 stories of condos.  Each sleek, angular tower would be topped by a V-shaped roof over a 50-foot-high combined open-air arboretum, roof garden and enclosed recreation space. Photovoltaic cells and microturbines would generate about 7 percent of the building’s electricity, and cisterns collecting rain would partly offset water use.

ADDITIONAL OPINIONS & REVIEWS

seattle condos and lofts emporis nwsource urbnlivn seattle condo review stroupe blog entries

*Data is deemed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. In some cases, number of units may include commercial and residential spaces and/or height may or may not include a 13th floor.

AVA

October 29, 2008 by  
Filed under 8th, Pacific Place, Paramount, Weber + Thompson


Status: Postponed
Neighborhood: Downtown

CONDOS FOR SALE

Here you can find all active listings at AVA. If your dream condo is not listed, sign-up to be instantly notified by email.

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DESCRIPTION

Where the cosmopolitan energy of the city meets the serene sanctuary of the home – proving that opposites do indeed attract.  Explore downtown’s dynamic collection of upscale boutiques, fine dining and entertainment venues – recharge with peaceful residential spaces and exclusive hotel amenities.  Life at AVA, Seattle’s newest contemporary high-rise residences and estates above an intimate luxury hotel, is that of high design and enduring elegance.  It’s ZEN living in the ZING of downtown.

ADDITIONAL OPINIONS & REVIEWS

seattle condos and lofts biz journals emporis nwsource urbnlivn seattle condo review stroupe blog entries

*Data is deemed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. In some cases, number of units may include commercial and residential spaces and/or height may or may not include a 13th floor.

1915 Second – 1915 2nd Ave., Seattle, WA 98101


Status: Proposed: 2011
Neighborhood: Downtown

CONDOS FOR SALE

Here you can find all active listings at 1915 Second. If your dream condo is not listed, sign-up to be instantly notified by email.

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Sign-Up to receive an instant email notification of new 1915 Second condos for sale as soon as they hit the market. Membership also includes a monthly review of all activity for this building.

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DESCRIPTION

Located near the Pike Place Market and crowned by a 35-foot Western Red Cedar, 1915 Second Avenue will have a distinctively Seattle appearance. An elegant, chiseled, faceted and layered façade of metal, glass and masonry emphasize the tower’s vertical elements and slenderize the tower. Retail spaces and a residential lobby will front Second Avenue, and the building will include amenity spaces for the residents. A variety of home sizes and price points are planned to accommodate a range of homeowners.

ADDITIONAL OPINIONS & REVIEWS

seattle condos and lofts emporis nwsource urbnlivn seattle condo review stroupe blog entries

*Data is deemed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. In some cases, number of units may include commercial and residential spaces and/or height may or may not include a 13th floor.

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