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Your Chance to Weigh in on the Central Waterfront

September 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Belltown, West Edge


From a field of 30 applications, the City of Seattle has narrowed the list of lead designers for the Central Waterfront to four firms.  All of them have strong experience nationally and globally, a deep pool of designer expertise, and multiple design awards. We’ve provided links to their websites so you can check them out. They are:

Gustafson Guthrie Nichol – Based in Seattle with an office in London, GGN was founded by partners Kathryn Gustafson, Jennifer Guthrie, and Shannon Nichol. 

james corner field operations – Based in New York and founded by James Corner.

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates – Based in Brooklyn, NY with an office in Cambridge, MA and founded by Michael Van Valkenburgh.

Wallace Roberts & Todd – Based in Philadelphia, with seven offices nationwide. Founded by David A. Wallace, William Roberts and Thomas Todd (fka Wallace McHarg Roberts & Todd).

The winning team will lead the designing of over nine acres of new Central Waterfront public space and a new surface street on Alaskan Way. Design work begins in October and will run until 2015, with construction scheduled from 2016 to 2018.

Want to see what these firms have in mind, ask questions, and weigh in on your top pick?  Public presentations are scheduled for Wednesday, September 15 at Benaroya Hall’s S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium (200 University Street, Seattle) from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. All four firms will present their credentials, explain their approach to this project, and answer questions from the public. The City will select the lead designer shortly after this event, in part based on the quality of these presentations and their ability to engage the crowd.

Can’t make it to Presentation Night?  The Stroupe Group website will keep you informed on the winner!



Wards Cove’s newest neighbor: The Enclave

September 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Eastlake, Enclave, Featured

Love Lake Union?  Wish you could live there, taking full advantage of all it offers?  Your chance is here with a unique little development (most likely the last of its kind for our area) currently set to rise on the Eastlake shores across from Wards Cove Marina.

enclave interiors for site

The Enclave will consist of only 21 three-story townhomes with 2,500 – 3,000 sq ft of open floorplans, rooftop terraces and western exposure to best capture all the Seattle views .  Clean, open and modern floorplans designed by local award-winning architecture firm atelierjones will integrate green strategies and materials while keeping the site’s natural elements intact.  The Enclave’s interiors include skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows to bring in lots of light. There are three color and natural material palettes to choose from, along with European inspired custom cabinetry, fireplaces, and a list of options you can choose to further customize your home.  For the exterior, you can’t beat a private rooftop terrace with an integrated fireplace and built-in BBQ. You have options to customize here too… how about an optional outdoor spa, wet bar, or a green roof system?  Or all three?  There’s plenty of parking too, with spaces for 2-3 vehicles available.

Did we mention your HOD includes memberships to Wards Cove Marina Club? What amenities this provides!  A state of the art fitness room, conference room, overnight guest suite and storage are some of the perks for landlubbers. The seafaring soul in you is about to become very happy, too.  You’ll get marina access to five 100 foot slips and moorage for personal watercraft.  Community beach access is yours as well, and there’s places to launch your kayaks and canoes .

You’re also in a prime Eastlake spot, within walking distance to its array of boutiques, local shops, cafes and restaurants. Outdoor fans will enjoy the nearby Burke-Gilman trail for riding, biking and walking.  Easy freeway access completes the package.

With introductory pricing in the low $1 million range, and most likely your last chance to get true lake living in Seattle, The Enclave is something worth checking out, and soon! The project is currently in the presale stages. Ground breaking will begin once there are a few firm commitments, with occupancy slated for 2011. For more information, fill out our contact form at this Stroupe Group link. We’ll stay in touch as The Enclave develops.

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.  —


Cristalla’s Green Wall is Changing Color (while staying Green)

September 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Cristalla

As you walk past the south end of the Cristalla, you can’t help but notice a big green wall with soft brown panels creeping up from below.  These are the final steps in constructing a permanent south wall for the building, now underway through CDK Construction Services.

2015 and cristalla

At the time the Cristalla was finished, the south wall was sheltered by an adjoining building set to become the 2015 Second Avenue project. That building was razed during the downtown condo boom, with construction permits filed and things going nicely in 2008 (it was even scheduled to open in 2010). However, like most projects later that year, the recession hit and everything stopped. This left the Cristalla with a now- exposed south wall.  Resulting weather damage finally caused management to repair damages and work on a permanent fix. Now that the south wall will be permanently protected, the Cristalla will no longer have to worry about major maintenance problems or structural concerns—which will also bring a sigh of relief to potential buyers and their lenders.

The green part of the wall is a rain screen manufactured by Knight Wall Systems. Rain screens are exterior infrastructures which sit away from an outside wall’s weather-resistant barrier.  They create a cavity allowing moisture to pass through and away from the building. The resulting airflow between the rain screen and the wall accelerates residual moisture evaporation. There’s also room for additional insulation, which increases energy efficiency and adds LEED credits to the building.

Another LEED feature is the brown part of the wall. North Clad® composite panels have a recycled content of approximately 30%+ pre and post-consumer recycled content. These lightweight panels reflect energy from the sun, reduce heat absorption and are graffiti-resistant. Aesthetically, it’s beautiful material, creating an illusion of a fabric-covered wall. Noel Foster, CDK project manager, added that they’re very pleased with the results.

The Cristalla South Wall project is well ahead of schedule and should be completed in September. The 2015 Second Avenue project is still in play, but no resumption date has been announced.

A Garden in the Middle of Downtown

September 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured

Imagine a typical walk downtown passing building upon building, cars roaring by…  when all of a sudden, you come upon a huge wave of greenery and dazzling mirrors with the sounds of water raining through glass, welcoming you to an oasis of nature and light.

Sheraton_Garden_Walk_GGN for stroupe news

Courtesy of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol

Your oasis is scheduled to appear in the spring of 2011.

The Sheraton Seattle Hotel , already an award winner in green-inspired hospitality, is literally turning greener.  They are hard at work transforming their 7th Avenue walkway into a $2 million “Garden Walk”. The plans are for this currently blank wall to sport a thick carpet of lush, climbing vines. Large-scale mirrors, set to reflect the historic façade of the Eagles Temple Building and the Washington State Convention Center across the street, will also be positioned to show movement and color, creating the illusion of a constantly changing space.

And just when you think that’s enough, it gets better.  Anchoring the corner of 7th Avenue and Union Street will be a 27-foot kinetic water feature.  Celebrated glass artist Ginny Ruffner’s sculpture, “An Urban Garden”, plans to blend in harmoniously with Garden Walk while also creating a “wow” factor as you enter downtown Seattle from I-5.

The Garden Walk is being designed by award-winning Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, landscape architects whose work can be found locally, across the country, and worldwide.  Current Seattle projects also include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Campus, as well as the University of Washington School of Medicine. GGN was gracious in spending a little time with us, and they also provided the artist’s rendering you see here.

The Sheraton Seattle is located at 1400 Sixth Avenue at Union Street, within walking distance of Union Square. In 2009, it earned the Good Earthkeeping Award in the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s “Large Property” category, and is considered to be one of the top ten green hotels in the country by Mother Nature Network.

We’ll keep you posted as the Garden Walk progresses.

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