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Rumor Confirmed! Gallery Condo Auction on March 5th

January 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, Gallery

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Last night we broke the news that Gallery Condominiums was rumored to be putting up 26 homes for auction on Friday, March 4th.  Well, our info was correct except for the date… it’ll be on Saturday, March 5th.  Here are more details, which we can now present as confirmed:

The final closeout of Gallery Condominiums’ new home inventory will go under the hammer on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Seattle, providing a rare opportunity for prospective homebuyers to purchase a new condominium at steeply discounted prices… minimum bids between $175,000 and $295,000 represent up to a 54 percent reduction in price! 

Situated at 2911 Second Ave (at Broad Street) and ideally located at the north end of Belltown, Gallery is perfectly situated to capture Space Needle views to the east, and Elliott Bay panoramas to the west. Its convenient Broad Street location allows you to easily zip up to Queen Anne, out to Ballard or South Lake Union, or deep into the heart of Downtown Seattle.

Gallery features concrete and steel frame construction and customized floor plans offering maximum use of space.  Their upscale finishes are something to behold. Try European-styled kitchens with custom cabinetry, slab granite or microcrystal countertops and premium stainless steel appliances; floor to ceiling windows; hardwood floors; and generous balconies!  Amenities include a full-service concierge staff, a two-story lobby, Owners Lounge, and an exclusive Supper Club and Sky Lounge.  From intimate dinners to large groups, Gallery can easily accommodate your special events!

The homes slated for auction will be open, one bedroom/one bath plans with a variety of square footage layouts ranging from approx 571 to 672 sq ft in size, and successful bidders will be able to choose from a number of configurations to define their living areas and bedroom areas. Also included in this sale is a one bedroom/one bath plus den at approx 883 sq ft, with exceptional views of Elliott Bay.  Whether you’re a professional or an empty nester, these homes are designed to work with your individuality, while providing you the best of city living!

Gallery is currently more than 80 percent occupied.  We will keep watch as this develops and get you the latest news as quickly as possible.  In the meantime, you can keep tabs on the auction by checking this website or our special Gallery website, GalleryinBelltown.com .  If you’d like us to contact YOU on more information or to schedule a private tour, just sign up at our Stroupe Group link.

Breaking News: Condo Auction in Belltown!

January 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, Gallery

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We’ve just heard rumors from very reliable sources that an auction will be held on Friday, March 4th, on 26 open one bedroom homes at GALLERY CONDOMINIUMS, 2911 Second Avenue (2nd & Broad), in downtown Seattle. 

Again, we state that these are rumors and we are working on securing confirmation, pricing, and floorplans.  We will post these as soon as we have all the information available.  Check back on this website, as well as our site specially dedicated to Gallery Condominiums,  http://galleryinbelltown.com/.  While you’re there, click on the Listings tab to reference past auction results.

Gallery Condominiums is a 13-story community with unbeatable amenities including a rooftop deck with Puget Sound views, extravagant 2-story lobby entrance, private dog park and more.  We’ll stay in touch!

Open House – Sunday, January 16th

January 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Klee Suites & Lofts

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Klee Lofts ~ 2717 Western Avenue ~ Unit # 634
$299,999

MLS# 169533


Sunday, January 16th, 2011

 Open: 1 to 4 p.m.

Your Host is:  Julie Roh ~ 206.354.1030 ~ julie@stroupe.com

rsz_klee_10911_02rsz_klee_10911_03Large top floor unit with bright south facing double-sized private deck. This one bedroom unit has a large den – easily used as a second bedroom or entertainment area. Unit comes with storage next to unit, and a great parking space — no car neighbor!  

 The marvelous Klee Lofts features an on-site manager, media center, fitness center, and a club room with an adjoining deck.  

Klee Lofts is located in vibrant Belltown, only steps from shopping, restaurants, Pike Place Market, the Waterfront, and Olympic Sculpture Park.  We look forward to showing you around on Sunday!

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~ AND ~

 

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Bolero ~ 1323 Boren Avenue ~ Unit # 410
$305,000

MLS# 169533


Sunday, January 16th, 2011

 Open: 2 to 5 p.m.

Your Host is:  Jim Stroupe ~ 206.910.5000 ~  james@stroupe.com

rsz bolero kit 2rsz bolero kitchenImmaculate 4th Floor corner unit with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, and plenty of natural light!  This unit also offers a gourmet kitchen with granite counter tops and newer appliances, private balcony, plenty of windows and updated carpets.

Bolero homeowners enjoy the use of  the rooftop terrace with its breathtaking views, along with a formal lobby, fitness center, community room and secured parking.  You are minutes from downtown, I-5, mass transit, Broadway, medical centers, shopping and restaurants.  This is a must-see, so see you on Sunday!

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Pike Place Market – Where to Find Everything

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If you and your guests are thinking of visiting Pike Place Market over the holiday season, you may be in for a few surprises when visiting your favorite spots.  Well into Phase 2 of its $68.6 million, four-year renovation project, a number of businesses are now undergoing relocation and in a few cases, closure within the Market.  This part of the renovation will run into the spring of 2011.

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However, construction is now in “slowdown” mode for the rest of the year. Business is currently brisk, with the vendors in full holiday mode.  Shopping is always a fun and festive event at Pike Place Market, and their website now has a link where you can get the latest news about your favorite shops and restaurants.  Click on this construction summary site for more details.  You can also sign up for an online feed to keep you abreast of the latest Market news.

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For example, five portable containers fitted with power, ramps, and water supply will be in operation in front of the Market and in place until springtime.  Choice Produce and El Mercado Latino are currently located in these containers, with Quality Produce to follow. Quality Cheese and Pike Place Market Creamery will also share a container.

Public Restrooms received a makeover too.  Rebuilding the designated women’s room in the First and Pine building is nearing completion, and a new unisex restroom on the First Avenue floor of the Corner Market should now be open.  New restroom transformation of the Rummage Hall has also been completed. You can find the Rummage Hall’s inside location at the rear of the Soames Dunn building for the winter, and its Western Avenue location will remain open until springtime.

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The focus of the renovation work is to upgrade the Market’s core infrastructure.  This includes all mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems, installing a four-pipe system serving each of its eight buildings, and implementing new main switch gear.  Leading the renovations is Turner Construction, which is also in charge of  all seismic work, adding three new elevators serving all Market floors, and upgrading the Market’s exterior skin to now withstand salt air and UV rays. 

The Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority (PDA) is working with all affected tenants on everything from packing up to temporary relocation, as well as arrangements to keep business activity going in each venue.  PDA is determined to keep the Market fully operational to vendors, residents and tourists during renovation. 

The Market will be closed on Christmas and New Years Day.  And, when construction gets back into full swing on January 3rd, a number of businesses will be affected. Keep tabs on construction with the construction summary link above, and you can also check out the entire website at  http://www.pikeplacemarket.org/

Open House: Sunday, December 5, 2010

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Open 1-4 pm

Concord – 2929 1st Avenue, Unit 600

$675,000

Mls: 133731

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Situated on the NW corner of the Concord, this unit boasts exceptional unobstructed views of Olympic Sculpture Park, Elliott Bay, Olympic Mountains and Alki point. This bright unit features maple cabinets, slab granite counters, stainless steel appliances, gas cooking, new hardwoods and A/C.  The Concord features concierge service, fitness center, spa, terraces and a business suite.  All of this, in the heart of Belltown!

Hosted by James Stroupe– (206) 910-5000, james@stroupe.com 

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For One-of-a-Kind Giving: Try an Artwalk!

Among Seattle’s great neighborhoods are a dozen monthly Artwalks, and they’re ready for holiday shoppers!  All types of media are featured, but most Artwalks also have music, food and special events, too. Artwalk hours are from 6-9 pm unless otherwise noted. Below is a timeline of what’s happening when during December, as well as when Artwalks are held year-round. Click on the neighborhood name for their weblink.

December 1st (first Wednesdays)

WallingfordOne of the largest of the neighborhood art walks, most located right on 45th St N.

 

December 2nd (first Thursdays)

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Pioneer SquareThis venue is so big, it’s best to check their website where you can choose what kind of art you’re searching for.

ChinatownThis month, they also have Shop-o-Rama events on Saturdays from December 4-18.

 

December 3rd (first Fridays)

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Fremont – You don’t need a First Friday to party at Fremont, but this month also hosts the Annual Lenin Lighting!  Join the fun at 5 pm and stay for shopping at many venues.

 

December 9th (second Thursdays)

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Capitol Hill –Hours for the Blitz Capitol Hill Arts Walk runs from 5-8 pm.  Wander around more than 50 venues, with activities varying every month.

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West Seattle – Over 60 merchants covering West Seattle Junction, Alki Beach, Admiral District, Morgan Junction, Fauntleroy District and Delridge.  This month’s hours are extended for late night shopping.

 

December 10th (second Fridays)

Greenwood/Phinney –Located along Phinney Ave N and Greenwood Ave N.

 

December 11th (second Saturdays)

Ballard — Start at the south end of Ballard Ave, work your way up the street to Market and beyond!

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Central District   — Held at 23rd Ave and E Cherry St from 1-5 pm.

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Georgetown – Art Attack at over 30 venues, covering the neighborhood, the Horton Building, south of Corson and North Airport Way.

 

December 16th (third Thursdays)

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Belltown – Art, food and music all around Belltown.

Upper Queen Anne – No active website available.  Look for the balloons in front of participating venues along Queen Anne Ave N.

 

If you’d like to see all the Artwalk information at a glance, Seattle Councilman Nick Licata has a great arts link.  Check it out for all kinds of Seattle culture information. And happy shopping!

Last Dance at the McGuire

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There’s a lot of mixed feelings as you pass by the McGuire Apartments.  This 25-story, 272-apartment high rise is only nine years old but steps are being taken to finally begin demolition and arguably, it’s the first time in Pacific Northwest history that a high rise is being de-constructed due to structural defects.  

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The last of McGuire’s renters moved out in August and most of the street level venues are gone. FedEx/Kinko’s looks to be the last retailer to turn out the lights. They’re working nearly round the clock to relocate to Fourth and Cedar, in space formerly occupied by Katie’s Formal Wear and The Christian Science Reading Room. They expect to be relocated by the second week of November or sooner.

But let’s move to the tale of a project gone horribly wrong. McGuire was built in 2001 at a cost of $32 million. Its owners, Carpenter’s Tower LLC, is a property-owning collective of Carpenters Union Local 131 and the Multi-Employer Property Trust (pension funds).  The contractor, Mc Carthy Building Companies Inc., was founded in 1864 and is now employee owned.  Headquartered in St. Louis, they are one of the top ten commercial builders in the U.S., with $3.5 billion in annual revenue and nine offices nationwide.  The McGuire location was prime Belltown property at Second Avenue and Wall Street.  This looked like a partnership made in heaven.

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Until 2007, that is, when Carpenter’s Tower filed a lawsuit against McCarthy over construction problems. Reports surfaced that the post-tensioned steel cables reinforcing the concrete slab floors were corroding because the ends were not properly protected with corrosion-preventive paint. Claims arose that the grout used to seal the cable ends and anchors was not the specified non-shrink grout and was defectively installed. This resulted in water leaking into these areas, causing cable ends to rust and corrode.  Deficiencies in the concrete material and reinforcement placement were also getting notice.  

After a number of inspections by a number of firms, it was concluded that the cables were likely to start breaking in 2011, and nearly one-third of them would fail by 2019. The Department of Planning and Development declared that the city intended to issue an order calling the building unsafe and if the problems couldn’t be fixed, that McGuire be demolished.   After trying to work out ways to save the building, it was decided to let it go.  Recently, legal questions were finally resolved between Carpenters Tower and McCarthy about the decision to raze the building and they have reached agreements with all the project’s subcontractors.  Settlement terms were not disclosed. Applications have now been made to the city for a demolition permit. A contractor has not been selected and a timeline has not been set.

So, a project filled with promise takes a final bow before fading away in plain sight. The dreams of Carpenter’s Tower LLC will be taken down piece by piece, a slower death than usual because of the building’s location.  One can’t help but feel the pain and anger of the union and the pension funds, and astonishment as to how McGuire’s construction could have so bad to have warranted an actual demolition. We’re sure we haven’t heard the last of this tale, and will keep you apprised of further developments.

A Tale of Two Fishies

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Belltown residents still mourning the loss of their beloved Flying Fish restaurant, rejoice! Some new venues are set to fill their former space at 2234 First Avenue, and it’s all good!  Marcus Charles has leased the entire space and will convert it into a café, butcher shop, cheese counter and produce store. The project is called Local 360, so named because it’s Charles’ goal to have nearly 90 percent of all products sold originate within 360 miles of Seattle. Local 360 will be the general contractor and Mallet Inc, a Seattle design and construction firm whose track record includes Café Presse, Spinasse and Stumptown 12th Avenue, will be the designer. The Local 360 venues are scheduled to open in December.

If Marcus Charles’ name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s quickly turning into a Seattle legend. Over the last 14 years, he has owned, operated, and consulted on a number of entertainment / retail properties, including The Capitol Hill Block Party, Neumo’s, Raven’s Brew Coffee, Spitfire and Marcus’ Martini Heaven, among others.  He not only is owner of the JuJu Lounge, but as a partner of the newly remodeled Crocodile Cafe, was instrumental in helping to reopen this Seattle music institution.  Both venues are located in Belltown, check them out!

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And now we move to the fish that swam to South Lake Union.  Renowned Seattle chef and restaurateur Christine Keff moved her wildly popular Flying Fish restaurant to 300 Westlake Ave North (corner of Thomas Street) in May 2010. Flying Fish is a sitdown restaturant and bar, open for lunch and dinner. Their private dining area, the Tobiko Room, seats up to 36 for lunch or dinner and up to 70 for a cocktail party or buffet.  Flying Fish also hosts culinary events such as the Annual Oyster Frenzy and Keff, a James Beard Award winner, also conducts cooking classes at the restaurant.

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The move to South Lake Union also allowed Keff to join a trend of established chefs opening smaller, more accessible spaces adjacent to their primary restaurant.  On the Fly opened in August just around the corner at 950 Thomas Street.  It features a lighter side of Flying Fish such as take-out lunches, espresso and pastries, a wine market featuring Washington and international wines, and local artisanal goods.  On the Fly shares Flying Fish’s kitchen and staff, and allows Keff to personally interact with customers, as well as share cooking tips and recommendations. More than 300 titles from her personal cookbook collection are on display, and she encourages patrons to peruse her favorite recipes. She and her staff do the same when planning the ever-changing menus.

We hope you venture to South Lake Union to enjoy one or both of Keff’s restaurants if you haven’t already, and we’ll keep in touch with you on the progress of Belltown’s Local 360.

Coming Attractions at the Cinerama – Including New Management

September 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Belltown, Cinerama, Featured, Lifestyle, MISC

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As you’ve recently heard, the Seattle Cinerama Theatre is now closed for a multimillion dollar renovation. Breathe easy, though… it’s scheduled to reopen in November.

Philanthropist and Seattle native son Paul Allen’s plans are to bring this beloved 808-seat landmark into the 21st century. This will include a new feature film screen, state-of-the-art digital sound, and 3-D viewing abilities. Plans are also in the works to do interior and exterior refurbishing.   While all of this is big news, of course, we find the more intriguing part to be an upcoming change of leadership.  Management company AMC Entertainment, Inc. has been replaced with a new management agreement under Greg Wood, owner and operator of the Roseway Theater in Portland.

 Wood was raised in Los Angeles, the grandson of a film editor and son of a director of Sony’s engineering department. After graduating from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, he decided to stay and keep up the family tradition in the Northwest instead. The first movie venue he operated was the Liberty, a vintage movie theater in Camas, on the Washington side of the Columbia River across from Portland. But while he enjoyed great success at the Liberty, Wood desired to have his own theater. The Roseway became available in early 2008.

Wood restored the Roseway’s  original art-deco decor and invested in state-of-the-art projection and sound equipment.  While most theaters would have been butchered into smaller screens, Wood kept the 500-seat auditorium intact, with 330 seats set up for maximum legroom. The upgrades made it easy for him to book major films from “Batman” to “Up” to “Avatar”. And, for those of you who enjoy great cuisine, the Roseway is reported to have some of the best movie popcorn in town.

He should work well with Allen, who grew up attending Seattle Cinerama movies. When rumors in the late 90’s arose that the Cinerama might be turned into a rock-climbing club– or even a parking lot– he bought the venue.  A full interior/exterior renovation began in June 1998, and the Cinerama reopened in full glory and to much applause in April 1999.

The Seattle Cinerama Theatre is one of only three movie theaters in the world still capable of showing three-panel Cinerama films. We’ll keep you posted on the reopening.

What Happened at the Waterfront: The Final Four Presentations

September 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Belltown, Featured, Waterfront, West Edge

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Seattle civic involvement was alive and well on Wednesday evening, September 15th when an audience of  1,200+ filled the main floor of Benaroya Hall’s S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium and overflowed into the Founders tier level. All were gathered to listen to the presentations of the final four candidates in the running for Lead Designer of Seattle’s Central Waterfront . Their goal was to present, in 20 minutes, their vision of transforming what will be 20 acres of public lands into “a waterfront for the ages—a place for all to come together and enjoy the waterfront now and beyond” as expressed by moderator Daniel Friedman, Dean of the University of Washington’s College of Architecture and Urban Planning.

We have supplied weblinks for each company, and here’s what they had to say, in speaking order:

Wallace Roberts & Todd – Ignacio Bunster-Ossa, Principal, led the presentation.  WRT created a new waterfront, revitalizing seven miles of the Delaware River, in its hometown of Philadelphia .  Their goal is to bring water into the city, bring the city to the water, and create a heart of the city reflecting the vibrancy of Seattle.  They bring a concept of “What has been, What is, What if, and What will be” to the project and visualize the Waterfront as “an open book written over time”.

james corner field operations – James Corner led the presentation.  Most renowned for designing High Line, an urban park set on top of an old railroad structure in New York. A number of Seattle consultants are involved. They refer to the Waterfront as Seattle’s front porch, and their well-done visual presentation outlined their goals for Green Urbanism, Early Wins (start changing the Waterfront NOW), and Public Engagement.

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates –Michael Van Valkenburgh led the presentation.  Designed Brooklyn Bridge Park, which will cover 85 acres and 1.3 miles of waterfront. On their team is architect and former Seattle councilman Peter Steinbrueck.  Their goal is to integrate concepts of “Civic, Boundless, Natural and Urban”. They presented their historical research on the Waterfront and were the only ones to really hone in on fiscal feasibility… they ensure the plan we’ll have is a plan we can maintain.

Gustafson Guthrie Nichol –Shannon Nichol led the presentation. Designed Lurie Garden in Chicago’s Millennium Park, but they were the only ones with a global project map, and the only ones who ran through an extensive array of past projects. Their concept is: “The City on the water, with a Bay as its central point and an entire Downtown as its Waterfront”. They were the only ones to mention the earthquake factor.  As the sole finalist headquartered in Seattle, they received a very warm reception.

A decision is expected shortly and we’ll bring it to you when it’s made. If you’d like to follow the news and the current chatter on the project, link onto

http://www.seattle.gov/DPD/Planning/Central_Waterfront/Overview/

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=467138365241
or  “#seattlewaterfront” on Twitter hashtag. 

To watch the presentations for yourself, below is a Powerpoint link to them, plus a link to raw video footage from the Seattle Channel.

PowerPoint Presentations: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/waterfront_design.htm

Video Footage: http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=5011031

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