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272 Less Rental Units in Belltown, Rents Expected to Rise

There have been several rants posted about the teardown regarding the infamous McGuire apartment building, which has been an eyesore in Belltown for years.  The scaffolding has been leached along side the exterior for what seems like ages, and now infamously blends well with the building’s paint job.

First off, this is a positive story for a couple reasons:

  1. It’s the most interesting thing so far this year!  As opposed to a decline in home prices, or more fallout in the mortgage industry, the biggest news to hit the downtown Seattle market is the teardown of an ugly building. 
  2. For those who have investments downtown, there are now 272 less rentals available, and several people are expected to raise their rental rates somewhere around $100+ more per month.  This will influence supply and demand.

The questionable part of this news was brought to attention by Tim at

This brings up an interesting question to me. Eight to ten years from now as the plentiful high-rise products of the housing bubble begin to age, how many similar situations will we see cropping up? With this so-called “upscale” apartment being torn down after less than ten years, I can’t help but wonder just how much attention to detail was really given to the latest batch of towers as developers rushed to cash in on the gold rush.

Tim brings up an excellent point.  Nine years ago, during the beginning of Belltown’s condo boom, the neighborhood was just starting to plant its roots of a residential urban community.  Now, almost 10 years later?  One of Seattle’s most respected architects also said this about the building on Facebook, “Top notch developer/architect/structural engineer on this project, it makes no sense.”

Now, when is demolition day and who’s selling front row seats?  Will there even be a demolition, or is it actually going to be “dismantled”?

Maybe now that prices on condos are agreeably low, many of these high-end paying renters may see this as a good time to buy… .


3 Responses to “272 Less Rental Units in Belltown, Rents Expected to Rise”
  1. jay says:

    sorry but i think this is nonsense. (just for context i live a block away from mcguire and have for 5+ years). this may have occurred at one or two buildings that are trying to take advantage of the situation. the reality is if you are living there you have TONS of options within a couple miles. there are MANY vacancies in belltown, in lower QA and in downtown. rents are falling..and continue to fall. lots of people remain in denial but that is reality. and just look on craigslist and see the TONS of inventory available. those people can likely save hundreds of dollars over what they were paying by heading to lower QA…

  2. Paul Viau says:

    The math makes sense to me. But it’s just one tower. I think renters will tend to stay renters for the next year or two. They won’t be looking at housing – no matter how cheap. Too much has happened to them in the last 3 years!

  3. Pauline says:

    So what are high end spaces going for in Belltown these days? What are people getting per square foot? How would I find that out?

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