It’s been one of the hottest rumors around and now sources have confirmed that developer Schnitzer West is converting The Bravern’s second tower in downtown Bellevue from condominiums to luxury apartments. Its North Tower is 33 stories high and will have 211 apartments available. Units range from 600 to over 2,000 square feet, and rents will start at $1,550.
Schnitzer acknowledged that while the North Tower received conditional mortgage financing approval through Fannie Mae and FHA, sales demand simply wasn’t there. All purchase agreements have been terminated, and earnest money deposits are being returned. The Bravern’s first residential complex, its South Tower, also started out as luxury condominium building. Lack of demand caused Schnitzer to convert it to apartments in April 2010. Also 33 stories high, 65 percent of its 236 apartments are currently leased.
The Bravern isn’t the only complex experiencing slow sales. Units in two other downtown Bellevue high-rise condo projects aren’t doing big business either. However, the Bellevue apartment scene is a different picture. Demand for in-town living is increasing across the Seattle area, causing rents to rise and vacancies to shrink. In addition to The Bravern, Schnitzer converted its 204-unit Equinox condo complex in Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood to apartments in 2009. At least four recently built Seattle projects have converted from condominiums to apartments.
Why is this a silver lining for the Bellevue condo community? Conversions to apartments means more inventory is off the table, further solidifying its condo market. And, Schnitzer sees its actions as a temporary situation. Its press release states that “…a structural shift has occurred in residential demand from owned to rental housing. Over time, we expect the pendulum to shift back to more normalized market conditions and The Bravern Residences will be positioned to capture ownership demand when market conditions warrant.”
We can’t emphasize enough how good a time it is to buy. With apartments approaching historical highs, plus home pricing and interest rates at historical lows, maybe it’s time to take a second look at sticking your rent money into an investment, and a place, to call your own. Contact us at this link and let’s get you started!
As of our most recent visit this afternoon, several potential buyers have already visited Gallery to tour some of the homes going up for auction. Unfortunately, any of those buyers signing in as a guest who will later want representation from an agent will be denied that request. Therefore, it’s important for you to decide if you wish to have representation before you go to visit these two properties. There are several important things to consider before making this decision. We’ll be doing a more detailed post tomorrow as to what those benefits are, but we have had a client who was unable to bring us as their agent during the Lumen auction because we were not present during their initial visit. They were very disappointed that they had to attend the auction without any professional insight. The bottom line is that auctions can get very emotional, and you will need a ‘game plan’, with numbers figured on how much you’re willing to pay. Most all units at Lumen sold for over $100k from the starting bid, and not all of those who won a purchase really made a “great deal”.
Schnitzer’s goal is to auction off enough units to get FHA approval, then adjust the prices on the remaining units afterwards to match current market value determined from the auction. Not a bad strategy in this market.
In the meantime, here is a copy of what units will go up for auction at Gallery (we’ll post Brix tomorrow), and you can see some of them online by visiting our condo profile for the address here. If you would like us to put together a game plan to take full advantage of the up-and-coming auction for either of these projects, please give us a call and see how we can help you. Representation doesn’t cost you anymore money, but getting wrapped up in an auction without it could.
January 7, 2008 by James
Filed under 2nd, Belltown, Concierge, Dog Park, Exercise Room, Gallery, Game/Rec Room, Guest Suite(s), Mithun Architects + Designers + Planners, PCL Construction, Schnitzer West, Seattle Center, Terrace
Address: 2911 2nd Ave., Seattle, WA 98121
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Designed by architects Mithun Architects + Designers + Planners and developed by Schnitzer West, Gallery condominiums is built with an emphasis on contemporary art. The 13-story community built by PCL Construction consists of a variety of floorplans including two-story, one bedroom plus den, 18-foot ceiling sky lofts, internalized bedroom open-plan homes, traditional one and two bedroom homes, townhomes and penthouses. Homes also offer personalized designs by MNID Inc. which cater to individual personalities such as the expressionist, minimalist, modernist and individualist. Unbeatable amenities include location off 2nd Avenue and Broad in Belltown, rooftop deck with Puget Sound views, extravagant 2-story lobby entrance, private dog park and more.
- Year Built: 2008
- Number of Units: 233
- Number of Stories: 13
- Exterior: Brick, Cement/Concrete
- Parking: Common Garage
- Pets: No Restrictions
- H/O Dues Included: Central Hot Water, Earthquake Ins., Garbage, Water/Sewer
- Common Property Features & Amenities: Cable TV, Club House, Concierge, Disabled Access, Dog Park, Elevator, Exercise Room, Fire Sprinklers, Game/Rec Room, Guest Suites, Lobby Entrance, Rooftop Terrace
- 1st Denny Market
- 76 Station
- Car Toys
- Jenny Craig
- Killer Looks
- Lighting Supply
- Musicians Union of Seattle
- Sushi Kyo
- Tully’s Coffee
- Vespa Seattle
- Wild Fish
ADDITIONAL OPINIONS & REVIEWS
*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.