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So Many Photos of ESCALA: New Construction/Hard Hat

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under ESCALA, Featured

We took another tour of ESCALA yesterday with John Midby since it was such a beautiful day out.  Most of these view shots were taken from the 26th floor, and of course facing west.

However, many of the southern, eastern, and northern views were just as spectacular.  Midby assured us that there really hasn’t been too much preference on buyers choosing one direction or another.  It’s all been just a matter of preference.

The most exciting part of our visit was to see that some of the units are starting to get carpets and appliances.  The photos we took of the units that are undergoing completion are those on the 4th, 5th and 6th floors.

The amenity levels hasn’t changed much since our previous visit except for the addition of the lobby staircase.  There’s also some shape taking place in and around the pool area which is starting to help paint the picture of what everything will look like.  Other than that, ESCALA is moving along quite well and the views are more impressive than we had imagined.  The photos really don’t show how great they really are.  The view we probably spent the most time enjoying was the southern view down the 4th Avenue corridor.  If only the sun had been going down and the city lights lit up around us.


15 Responses to “So Many Photos of ESCALA: New Construction/Hard Hat”
  1. Robert says:

    Whatever! It’s still over priced and John Midby will come to his senses and lower the prices to match today’s market. Regardless, if they think they are the only game in town, no one is playing (Olive 8, 1521, Alex, and a ton of quality resales) will see to that.

    They will have to lower the price of every current buyer, including yours Stroupe if they want the Real Estate Market and buyer’s market to buy his dream. People are loosing their jobs left and right and John STILL thinks that he will come out of this economic disaster unscathed. He’s got another thing coming.

  2. Jim Stroupe says:

    Robert, thank you for your post. We try to respect opinions of all. Even if we do not agree!

    As far as ESCALA, I still think it is a great product at a great value. If you do some cost analysis on the different offerings of new construction downtown, you will find that the value is there. Also, this is a long term investment for the developer and buyers. Nobody expected to see the building sell out overnight. Regardless, it has indeed sold well. What I expect to happen is when the private club and model units are completed to the point that the potential buyers can see the vision of the lifestyle, there will be a tremendous buzz for the building.

    As far as the economy goes, yes, we are indeed in some rough waters, but I speak to some very smart people that know a lot more than I ever will concerning the Seattle economy. They ALL expect Seattle to rebound in 2009 or early 2010. You have seen some of the postings on this blog, so to say “it is overpriced” –check out the competition and you cannot help but to come to the conclusion that ESCALA is a good value in TODAYS market.

    As far as “people are losing their jobs left and right,” we are indeed in a recession. We have been for a while now. However, we will not be in one forever. Many of us are seeing signs that the market is picking up. Time will tell if it has legs, but so far this is one of my best starts to a new year in my entire career since 1994.

  3. Robert says:


    You sound like Matthew Gardner 3 years. 1. Positive about the Seattle market and being insulated from the national market because of us not over building, 2.There being a demand for uber expensive luxury high rises in a city that has never had them before. 3.”Signs” of a sustainable market even in rough times.

    Well, have you seen what he has said lately. The economic professional who forecasted a bright future. Everyone wants to pitch a positive spin somewhere to give hope of a recovery. I agree, that recovery will happen eventually. However, there are no signs of it happening this year at all whatsoever! Don’t call me ignorant to that fact because I’m reading the same articles you are. 4 Seasons, Olive 8, 1521, Escala, Washington Square, Bellevue Towers and Bravern are all in trouble. They have way to much inventory to sell in a depressed market that will take them years to sell. Don’t tell me that they envisioned sitting on finished product for 3 to 4 years after completion. The banks want their money tomorrow not in 36 to 48 months. These developers pockets are not deep enough to pay close to a million dollars each month if not more to cover their out of pocket carrying cost.

    Then there is the problem with close to 30% fallout if not higher on the homes that have sold at these towers that will not close. Those buyers can’t sell their million dollar homes to close on the one that they purchased at one of the expensive towers.

    I bet you that 1521 will loose 40 to 50 current buyers before it’s all said and done. Then what?!

    You’re vested in Escala, you’re the Real Estate agent, this is how you make your living. But I am the voice of the public who thinks like me and is sitting on the fence and waiting for the sky to start falling. It actually already has, but I think that it’s just starting for these luxury towers. I think by 2010 these developers will finally see that all the articles they write, all the pictures they take, all the wine and cheese events they have are not going to convince buyers to commit.

  4. Hey Robert.

    I wanted to jump in here as someone in between. Yeah, technically I’m a Realtor, but it’s by accident. I’m just Joe the web designer. Obviously, you’re a little more in the know than your average buyer. So, there’s no dancing around the fact that you make some valid points. But what I’m curious to know, is what would it take for you to get off the fence? 20%? 30%? 40? How much more do you think ESCALA needs to come down before it’s at market value?

  5. condoboy says:

    so justin, to answer your question, I am a buyer in the know. It is really hard to tell the value of any of these condos right now as all the prices are just based on reservations… not sales( olive8,1521,escala,Enso,). James says Escala is a “value” compared to whats out there, compared to reservations maybe, but when compared to closed sales… I dont think so. Only closed sales would give a true indication of what those esacla units are worth. It is very possible that a majority of buyers at new-contsruction towers could walk from their deposits, or simply no longer qualify, making the asking prices irrelevant. There are comparable units in the millenium tower and hotel 1000 that have been on the market for YEARS. they are not selling. Sure 1521 has had some closings, but neither 1521, or olive8 have even moved a “reservation” in over a year. Am I way off base James?

    I feel compelled to write:
    Justin points out that Robert is “in the know” more than the average buyer, so only then does he decide not to “dance around” the fact that Robert makes valid points, because obviously if he was a buyer that was NOT in the know, Justin would then be forced to dance wildly around Roberts valid points.

  6. Fifteen Twenty-One has had over 40 sales since January 1st, and there’s more still in the closing process. There has also been an approximate 15 NEW purchase and sale contracts since the 1st of this year. So, there’s really nothing to fret about in regards to that building. But, here’s what I will say with no dancing; high-end is doing rather well. We’re even seeing, and making, offers on a lot of low-end (first-time buyer) properties. It’s the median priced real estate that’s struggling most. I personally believe that Olive 8 & ENSO don’t quite qualify as high-end like 1521, but at the same time they’re also not your typical median. ESCALA on the other hand, I would clasify as high-end because of it’s amenities. The ball has started to roll, and all any of us (Realtors, developers, homeowners, homebuyers, etc.) can do really is just cross our fingers.

    But, nobody can deny the fact that overall Seattle is doing fairly well compared to most all other markets in the US.

    I can understand where you’re coming from–both of you. But this conversation would probably go in a different direction if we weren’t talking about ESCALA. It’s just a damn fine piece of work, in a great location, and fairly priced. You also have to recognize the lifestyle as contributing to ESCALA’s overall value. There’s nothing else like it. 25,000 sq. ft. fitness center, spa, lounge, bar, restaurant, terrace, wine cave, private elevator vestibules that take you directly to your unit, and floor to ceiling windows in every room!? You should also see all the concrete.

    Understand that there’s nothing in this for me. I have no financial gain or benefit whether ESCALA is a success or not. I just call it like I see it, and dancing wildly isn’t something I do to protect a belief, it’s one I do to celebrate one.

  7. condoboy says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but isnt escala mostly units well over 1 million dollars. There have been 7 sales of condos over $1 million in downtown ( not including 1521 ) since july of 08, less than 1 unit per month… so in oh… 100 months or so Escala will be just fine.
    I just dot see the demand for so many multi-million dollar condos.
    IMHO we are entering a new economy/RE market that will not favor excess so much as green building, and escala is all about excess. I dont disagree that building is beautiful & will be very high quality: finish level,ameneties,huge floorplans/floorplate. This will cost a fortune, thats the problem.
    Although not scientific, I have spoken with several people who said the forced membership in club cielo was a deal breaker. And this whole raising prices bit to show your project is “appreciating” despite the crumbling market… Its ridiculous! I think this project will end badly. Granted, we are all entitled to our opinion, we shall see ( I am not a doom&gloomer by nature, but the writing is on the wall)! Believe me, I would love to be wrong, more than you can imagine… but I dont think I am.
    -I would sincerely like to hear from james on this.

  8. Anon says:

    The condo’s are overpriced (1br 1.5 bath for $600K average). You all have probably heard of the Queen Anne High School condominiums that went up for auction on 22nd March 2009. Most prices (in the $450K – $900K range) were slashed by 35% to 50% simply because no one was willing to pay the original asking price. The properties at this auction were top class.

    My guess is the developer will have to slash his prices or auction off the apartments if he wants to see some volume for 2009. Some of the cons of this place are a mandatory $250 monthly expense at the club which buyers cant opt out of.

  9. Please tell me you’re not seriously comparing Escala to Queen Anne High School… First of all, those properties were not “top class.” Not to mention that the Queen Anne market is nothing compared to the downtown market. Also, many of the people buying into Escala are doing so because of the club. It’s good networking. People will make more money living at Escala. I do web design and hosting. I know I would make a return on my investment if I joined such a club.

    SJ in Cali: You see this hater-aid? What do you think?

  10. Steven J says:

    I am a prospective ESCALA buyer who currently lives in Los Angeles, and looking to relocate in Seattle. Over the past twenty years I have lived in New York and Los Angeles. Believe me, I have seen high priced real estate, and it tickles to listen to everyone bitch amd moan about real estate prices. I am comparing ESCALA to places I have lived on both coasts, ESCALA is a reasonably priced, luxury project. ESCALA is a big city project that is being bashed by small town haters with even smaller wallets. I doubt all the ESCALA bashers are prospective buyers, or have taken a tour of the project. Don’t just compare the building to what is in town, Please look up and down the coast, look at New York, Miami, if you have the balls tkae a look at Vancouver, BC. ESCALA stands the test both economically and esthetically.
    I read the blogs doing my due diligence, and so much of this ESCALA bashing transcends mere opinion, and sounds more like sour grapes. If these bashers must insist on hating, don’t hate the player, hate the game. Be honest, are you bashing ESCALA because it is a poor product, or because you will never be able to live in this poor product?

    • steven says:

      Please tell me you are not comparing Seattle to New York or Las Angeles? I own property in both…Yes; the Escala property is overpriced and not in sync with the market. That said Seattle tops the list of overpriced homes in the county.

      Escala should lower prices raging 20% – 28% on case by case bases. Look at other major cities SF, NY, Chicago, etc, etc…

  11. Steven J says:

    I was born and raised in Seattle, graduated from the University of Washington, so my roots are as deep as anyone else. However, being lucky enough to move away and gain some perspective, I am shocked at the level of venom spewed on thses blogs. I have to wonder if ESCALA was built in Los Angeles, New York, or Vancouver, would there be the same level of vitriol spewed by the citizens of those cities?

    • steven says:

      By the way I can afford to live at Escala and plan to make an offer. I can assure the offer will be 20% -25% less asking. I’ll let you know how it turns out.


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