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Central Waterfront – The Lead Design Winner & Why

September 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, Waterfront, Waterfront/Piers

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From an initial field of 30 companies, the City of Seattle announced on September 21 that the award-winning firm of  james corner field operations will serve as the lead designer over 20 acres of public lands for Seattle’s new Central Waterfront. Whittled down to a field of four, they made their pitches for the project at Benaroya Hall on September 15. We were in a crowd of nearly 1,300 and watched founder James Corner lead the presentation for his group.

Although the firm is based in New York, Corner is a native of Manchester, England. He made comparisons of the work heritage of the Seattle piers to those in Manchester, making an immediate connection that he understood the heart of both. They also presented a video clip where they interviewed people at the piers, asking them for their vision of what they’d like to have done at the waterfront. It was an interesting bit because it was hard to hear the responses with the viaduct  traffic noise in the background, but perhaps it also served to reinforce another reason why the structure needs to come down.  A compelling visual presentation drawing the audience’s imagination towards the possibilities of what the marriage of a working waterfront with an urban space, or as he referred to it, “Seattle’s Front Porch” completed their time on stage, and they ended to a hearty round of applause.

Founded by James Corner in 1998, james corner field operations is a leading-edge landscape architecture/urban design practice known for strong contemporary design across many project lines. Its signature project to date is the High Line in New York City. Formerly an old elevated railroad track on Manhattan’s West Site, it was transformed into 1 ½ miles of grass, trees, benches and pathways. The project won the firm the 2010 National Design Award for landscape design and the American Society of Landscape Architects 2010 Honor Award.

The firm will work with the Central Waterfront Partnerships Committee and there will be plenty of interaction involving public outreach and meetings. Design work begins in October, with a conceptual plan to be finished in  2012. A final design will be decided by 2015, with construction scheduled from 2016 to 2018. Four of their eleven design team partners are based in Seattle and they are:  Mithun, The Berger Partnership, Herrera, and Jason Toft.  We’ll stay in touch as the project develops.

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.

The Value of the View by William Justen

A recent study has shown that condos with a view are of course more likely to sell, but by how much?  Unfortunately there is no magic formula to accurately pinpoint the value of downtown Seattle view.  However, it sure would make our jobs easier if it could be as easy as:

slope-of-a-line-formula
Former Planning Director and owner of 22 downtown Seattle properties, William Justen, has pointed out that buyers are attracted to views of Elliott Bay more so than amenities and/or finishes.

Today about 175 units remain unsold within four condominium buildings west of 2nd Avenue. This compares to 481 units remaining between 4th and 8th avenues to the east. These view premiums can range from 25% to more than 50% over a comparable home, especially if the view is protected. That’s why the West side of 2nd Avenue may soon look like Park Avenue – there are four permitted condominium towers planned between Pine and Lenora streets, and the City of Seattle recently extended all permit holders’ development rights for six years to maintain this trajectory.

A Value of View Flyer presented by William Justen’s project Fifteen Twenty-One, shows that many downtown addresses still have threatened views.  This in turn threatens your investment’s value, and should be a well thought- out precaution before making a decision that could potentially cost you $10,000’s from something as simple as an application for a building permit.  Although many of the proposed projects that have been postponed from 2006/07 may still not break ground for another couple of years, developers are still holding onto permits as Seattle continues to be one of the top cities people relocate to.

Over the past 18 months, 123 units have been sold within six condominium towers with an average purchase price of $2 million. The top property sale was more than $9 million. In 2009, the vast majority of King County’s condo sales valued at more than $1 million were located within a single address: Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue, just a half-block east and high above the Pike Place Market. What’s the secret to such success? Every home offers a protected view of Elliott Bay.

Have you seen our zoning map?  According to specifications presented by the City of Seattle, we created an interactive map that shows how high a residential/commercial lot is allowed to go.  You can find the map under the Search button, or click here to view it now.

By the way, William Justen and all those over at Fifteen Twenty-One would like you to know…

Open House This Weekend
March 27th & 28th
12:00pm to 4:00pm

Expected Results of Lumen Auction July 11th

We know it’s old news, but everybody is talking about the auction at Lumen on July 11th.  We’re probably the last to post about it, but just in case you haven’t heard…

Based on Matt’s post about the auction results at Queen Anne High School, Lumen should do well considering the hype that seems to be getting around.  Their HOA dues are significantly higher than most other condo projects, but Ben explains why in a comment left in his post about the event.  Lumen is a unique property, and after the completion of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, it will be across the street from FOUR Seattle landmarks (B&M Gates Foundation, Seattle Center, Space Needle, & EMP–not to mention PNB, Intiman, IMAX and the Science Center).  In addition, the address offers a QFC grocery store at street level, easy access to I-5 (not so easy during rush hour), and a hop, skip and a  jump away from  South Lake Union.

At any rate, if you’re planning on going, make sure you Register.

Nobody Wants the Streetcar Expansion?

December 4, 2008 by  
Filed under Streetcar

streetcarAn article in the P.I. yesterday quoted councilmen Nick Licata in asking, “Why would you put a streetcar in a neighborhood when the neighbors don’t want it?”

Granted, gas is now under $2.00 a gallon, but the Times reported yesterday in another article regarding the progress of the streetcar expansion that ridership has exceeded what was expected.  By December 12th (the S.L.U.T. 1-year anniversary) the streetcar will have carried approximately 500,000 riders–80% of which .  150,000 more than what was estimated.  With that said, it begs the question of what neighbors Licata is referring to?

With downtown condo prices being the way they are (even in a “slump”), it would seem that the streetcar expansion would create more opportunity for those to live and work in the city without having to pay the downtown premium.

However, the argument from those who oppose is the lack of planning on how the $685 million streetcar project will be paid for.  Suggestions have been made that the money would come from a tax on local business’s.  The S.L.U. streetcar was paid for by nearby property owners, and there certainly is much more of a buzz in the neighborhood that was not long ago, not a neighborhood at all.

We want to know if you are for the streetcar?  Let us know what you think.

[polldaddy poll=1165553]

Heron Pagoda Towers – 1913 5th Ave., Seattle, WA 98101


Status: Postponed
Neighborhood: Downtown

CONDOS FOR SALE

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DESCRIPTION

Offering high-end hotel, condominium and office space, as well as deluxe retail space at ground level, developers of the 1.2 million-square-foot building at 1913 5th Avenue.  Above the glass-walled base, containing a large atrium, would rise the northern tower, nicknamed Pagoda. It would contain nine floors of hotel space, with 22 floors of condos above that.  Pagoda would be architecturally distinctive on its exterior to distinguish it from the all-residential south tower, nicknamed Heron. Separated from Pagoda by 70 feet, Heron would house 32 stories of condos.  Each sleek, angular tower would be topped by a V-shaped roof over a 50-foot-high combined open-air arboretum, roof garden and enclosed recreation space. Photovoltaic cells and microturbines would generate about 7 percent of the building’s electricity, and cisterns collecting rain would partly offset water use.

ADDITIONAL OPINIONS & REVIEWS

seattle condos and lofts emporis nwsource urbnlivn seattle condo review stroupe blog entries

*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.

Seventh @ Westlake


Status: Postponed
Neighborhood: Downtown

CONDOS FOR SALE

Here you can find all active listings at Seventh @ Westlake. If your dream condo is not listed, sign-up to be instantly notified by email.

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DESCRIPTION

Seventh @ Westlake will feature over 250,000 square feet of Class A+ office and retail space combined with approximately 200 luxury residential units. At over 32 stories tall and set back from other downtown high-rise office buildings, Seventh @ Westlake’s elegant architectural design will prominently grace the Seattle skyline and offer panoramic views of Elliott Bay, the Olympic mountains, the Seattle skyline, Lake Union and the Cascade mountains.

ADDITIONAL OPINIONS & REVIEWS

seattle condos and lofts biz journals emporis nwsource urbnlivn seattle condo review stroupe blog entries

*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.

AVA

October 29, 2008 by  
Filed under 8th, Pacific Place, Paramount, Weber + Thompson


Status: Postponed
Neighborhood: Downtown

CONDOS FOR SALE

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DESCRIPTION

Where the cosmopolitan energy of the city meets the serene sanctuary of the home – proving that opposites do indeed attract.  Explore downtown’s dynamic collection of upscale boutiques, fine dining and entertainment venues – recharge with peaceful residential spaces and exclusive hotel amenities.  Life at AVA, Seattle’s newest contemporary high-rise residences and estates above an intimate luxury hotel, is that of high design and enduring elegance.  It’s ZEN living in the ZING of downtown.

ADDITIONAL OPINIONS & REVIEWS

seattle condos and lofts biz journals emporis nwsource urbnlivn seattle condo review stroupe blog entries

*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.

1915 Second – 1915 2nd Ave., Seattle, WA 98101


Status: Proposed: 2011
Neighborhood: Downtown

CONDOS FOR SALE

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DESCRIPTION

Located near the Pike Place Market and crowned by a 35-foot Western Red Cedar, 1915 Second Avenue will have a distinctively Seattle appearance. An elegant, chiseled, faceted and layered façade of metal, glass and masonry emphasize the tower’s vertical elements and slenderize the tower. Retail spaces and a residential lobby will front Second Avenue, and the building will include amenity spaces for the residents. A variety of home sizes and price points are planned to accommodate a range of homeowners.

ADDITIONAL OPINIONS & REVIEWS

seattle condos and lofts emporis nwsource urbnlivn seattle condo review stroupe blog entries

*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.

2015 Second – 2015 2nd Ave., Seattle, WA 98101


Status: Proposed: 2010
Neighborhood: Downtown

CONDOS FOR SALE

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DESCRIPTION

2015 Second Avenue will reside on the northwestern block at the intersection of 2nd and Virginia. Currently a parking lot, the proposed high-rise will be situated south of the Cristalla, and east of One Pacific Tower. Plans also show that the building will take full advantage of the city’s revised restrictions on height with 39 stories, and toping off at 400′ with an additional 40′ of rooftop screening.

ADDITIONAL OPINIONS & REVIEWS

seattle condos and lofts emporis stroupe blog entries

*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.

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