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Escala’s Club Cielo is Now an Amenity

February 8, 2010 by  
Filed under ESCALA, Lifestyle

We had the pleasure to speak with one Bob Rennie of Rennie Marketing regarding Club Cielo.  Rennie Marketing has sold over $1 billion dollars’ worth of condos each year for the last eight years and counting.  Mr. Rennie and the ESCALA partnership are working on the revamped project, and we were privileged to be updated on the latest news.

First off, Club Cielo is no longer!  Let’s call the 25,000 sq/ft spa, gym, and wine cave… amenities.  There are a few influencing factors in play.  First, the public found the HOD too high.  Second, there is a belief that a condo owner should not have to pay for services they don’t use.  Third and perhaps the most important, lenders had difficulty in funding buyers.  Club Cielo allowed membership from the outside, and this issue presented problems to lenders with ownership in the HOA without an actual condo ownership.  Outside ownerships were discontinued.

The new arrangement now will be a user-based system.  If an owner wants a massage, give a call to Columbia Hospitality and they will send someone to meet you in the spa.  If you want to do a banquet, call and everything will be set up for you. All of the amenities are physically there, but not staffed full time. This will help HOD get much more in line with the new economy.  So far, it’s working.  HOD’s have been reduced from $0.79/sq. ft. to $0.58, with a goal of reaching $0.55.

The question on everyone’s mind is, “What are the new prices”?  We understand that the new prices are still being ironed out and we hope to have them by the 19th.  Not a definite date, but priority update subscribers at will be the first to find out.

After the prices are determined, the current buyers will be contacted first.  I would assume that many will like the new prices.  Obviously, many will still not close.  It has been a long time for some of these buyers and life changes as years go by.  The questions we do not know yet are if the buyers will be allowed to move into other units and the big questions of earnest money to buyers who do not wish to close.  Personally, we hope Escala makes the decision to create goodwill in the city and creates a positive movement.  Enso went to their buyers in contract and treated them properly.  And now, look how well that project is going.

Escala’s new team is proving to be much more transparent and many of our interested buyers have a revitalized excitement for the project.  In fact, Escala is turning out to be a good example of what it feels like to take a long deep breath of fresh air.  Regardess whether or not you like the project, we think we can all agree that the success of Escala would be beneficial to the whole community.


5 Responses to “Escala’s Club Cielo is Now an Amenity”
  1. Great post. I also hope for a successful transition for the project. I think they are off to a great start. There are still plenty of rumors flying around however. I hope the new team takes a pro-active approach to being more transparent. It will ultimately benefit everyone.

  2. Sam DeBord says:

    Great update. The 0.79/sq ft was a big drawback for one of our clients earlier. It was a disjointed sales process with the club included. Looking forward to the new pricing.

  3. Stu says:

    As much as I like the development, their timing is terrible. Projects like Enso and 1521 have grabbed a lot of the buyers who might have been considering Escala over the past year. I don’t think there are enough high end condo buyers in Seattle to fill the building in a reasonable period of time.

    Look at Olive 8, which is generally less expensive than Escala and is still 75% unsold a year after opening, averaging a couple of sales a month.

    Of course, it all depends on how deep Escala cut prices. If they get down to Gallery type pricing in the $400 per sf range then perhaps I will be proved wrong.


Check out what others are saying about this post...
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  2. […] reported yesterday by Stroupe, the on-going changes at Escala now include a very different strategy for Club Cielo.  In general, […]

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