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New Construction Photos for Olive 8: July 2008

July 10, 2008 by  
Filed under Olive 8

Enjoy these pics of Olive 8. The hotel is planning to open in August/September December, so watch out for this tower to really start coming together in the next month or so.

From I-5 Overpass

From I-5 Overpass

Facing South

Facing South

Be sure to check out several other photos of downtown on our new Flickr album.

Industry Professionals Mock Downtown Inventory

July 10, 2008 by  
Filed under Downtown (MLS Area 701)

Pie in the Sky

The Building Bust Could Kill Some of Seattle's Most Ambitious Towers ...more

The Stranger interviewed me regarding the recent hold on the new construction of high-rise developments in the city. Here’s a look at what was reported by myself and other industry professionals regarding the future demand for downtown condos.

Alan Justad: Spokesman for Department of Planning and Development

“In terms of intake, the number of permits [is] down by about 8 percent,” says Alan Justad, spokesman for the city’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD). “But the value of those permits… is down about 40 percent,” indicating that fewer ambitious projects are being planned. Indeed, records from DPD indicate that 35 major projects have stalled in the design-review process since this time last year. Several more whose developers have filed permit applications or submitted updated designs are in doubt.

Matthew Gardner: Land-use economist and principal of real-estate analysis firm.

“I do not expect any new residential [towers] to break ground this year.” While Seattle’s economy is faring better than parts of the country that have a glut of condos and few buyers (like Miami), the strained national market is forcing developers to prove they can presell many of the units before they get financing. Buyers, meanwhile, have a hard time getting loans to buy the presale units. Gardner adds: “Unless you are digging a hole, I’m not quite sure it’s going to happen.”

Me

But next year may not look much better for condo developers, says downtown realtor James Stroupe. “Right now, if you don’t see a crane for new [condo] construction, it’s not getting built until 2011,” he says. Stroupe says developers will probably build the project on Second Avenue—eventually—but not others. “Just look at the ones that look ridiculous,” he says. “They probably won’t get built.”

Alec Carlin: Heron and Pagoda Towers developer.

“Timing is everything,”

Dean Jones: President of Realogics

The paradox in the doom-and-gloom forecast, however, is that demand is expected to resume at roughly the same moment supply disappears. “For year-to-date, we’re effectively balanced for total condo sales as the past years,” says Dean Jones, president of Realogics, one of Seattle’s preeminent development consultants. But, he says, “We’ll have a real dearth of condos by 2010.”

Artic Club Hotel Photos

July 10, 2008 by  
Filed under A. Warren Gould

If you live here, or plan on living here, you must love early 1900’s architecture. One of Seattle’s most unique structures has officially reopened as a hotel yesterday. The Artic Club Hotel was originally built in 1917 and is known for the walrus heads that surround the structure. Many people are also familiar with the “dome room” which I’ve heard has been a location for various types of receptions. According to the general manager, the process was a painstaking process in getting the structure up to code. It sounded like one of the biggest concerns was of course what could happen in the event of an earthquake. For whatever pain the team had to go through in getting the place open, it’s a truly impressive piece of work. From the molding, furnishings, grand lobby, and black and whites hung throughout, the hotel should do well with it’s fairly isolated downtown/business district location. Enjoy the pics!

Main Entrance

Main Entrance

Grand Lobby

Grand Lobby

3rd Avenue Entrance

3rd Avenue Entrance

Banquet Room

Banquet Room

2nd Floor Dome Room

2nd Floor Dome Room

Be sure to check out several other photos of downtown on our new Flickr album.

New Construction Photos for ESCALA: July 2008

July 10, 2008 by  
Filed under ESCALA

Just a couple of pics of ESCALA from Westlake Mall and across the street on 4th and Virginia:

From 4th & Pike

From 4th & Pike

From 4th & Virginia

From 4th & Virginia

Be sure to check out several other photos of downtown on our new Flickr album.

New Construction Photos for Four Seasons: July 2008

July 10, 2008 by  
Filed under 4Seasons

Wondering what the western facing side is looking like? Here’s a couple pics:

Facing East on 1st Avenue

Facing East on 1st Avenue

Facing West

Facing West

Be sure to check out several other photos of downtown on our new Flickr album.

Peek-a-Boo of AVA Sales Center

July 9, 2008 by  
Filed under AVA

There’s only one window that really lets you get a peek inside of AVA’s sales center, and all there is to see is a scale model of the building. So, there’s not much to see, but here’s what I got:

Lower Price and Cost You a Higher Monthly Payment

July 9, 2008 by  
Filed under Finance

Reported yesterday in the P.I., by Aubrey Chohen, on the front page, and above the fold was an article making an attempt to sway picky buyers into making a move. Probably the best article yet since headlines a few months ago which warned local buyers and sellers of a potential slump.

The short of it is that buyers can end up paying more, or get less of a home by waiting for prices to drop.

Someone who could pay about $2,600 a month, assuming a 30-year fixed-rate loan with 20 percent down, could afford a $562,500 house at an interest rate of 5.75 percent, $533,062 at 6.25 percent and $506,000 at 6.75 percent.

Considering this, smart buyers are doing what they can to lock in historically low interest rates, rather than waiting for listing prices to fall.

…the average King County house sold for 98 percent of its original list price, declining from $450,000 to $441,000. The monthly payment would have been $100.15 lower with the original price and the lower interest rate.

New Construction Photos for 1521: July 2008

July 9, 2008 by  
Filed under 1521

Here’s a few photos of Fifteen Twenty-One’s progress. The new luxury high-rise is coming together well, and looking fabulous.

Be sure to check out several other photos of downtown on our new Flickr album.

1521 From Westlake Mall
From Westlake Mall at 5th and Pike
From 4th Ave. and Pike/Westlake Park

From 4th Ave. and Pike/Westlake Park

Facing West

Facing West

From Watermark Tower Rooftop Deck

From Watermark Tower Rooftop Deck

Mosler Lofts Getting Soaked in Legal Disputes

July 9, 2008 by  
Filed under JE Dunn NW, Mosler Lofts, Schuster Group

A puddle of lawsuits have been reported in the P.I. since we last posted about the $6.7 million lein on Mosler Lofts last week. A battle between who’s responsible has erupted between JE Dunn and the Schuster Group. The Schuster Group has responded to JE Dunn claiming that they (Dunn) were in breach of contract for substantial and costly delays.

Additionally, more liens on the property have flowed over to subcontractors and suppliers.

In its lawsuit, Belltown Development Partners says it paid JE Dunn for subcontractors’ work and materials suppliers furnished, but Dunn did not pass on the money.

If that wasn’t enough, another lawsuit filed in December is asking the developer for a minimum of $325,000 to repair damages to the Kroll’s Map Co.–Mosler Lofts neighbor. The claim is asking to compensate Kroll’s for lost business and physical damages from not properly protecting the building during construction.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like anyone will be swimming out of this one anytime soon.

Intracorp Application to Potentially “Trump” Justen Co. Proposal

The Seattle Times has reported that Intracorp is having a new proposal reviewed for a taller tower at 1915 2nd Avenue. Their current land-use permit, which will expire in Nov. 2009, was approved to build a 240-foot tower. Now, Intracorp is looking to build 400′ residential tower which may prevent the Justen Co. from building their proposed hotel/condo project at 1931 2nd Ave., due to an 80-foot separation standard set by the City Council.

According to Intracorp’s Seattle president, Mike Lierman, zoning changes and current market conditions since the initial design review have given them reason to explore other options.

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