Subscribe to Seattle Condo Blog | Seattle Condos for Sale | Downtown Market Trends

Alex? No. Volta? No. Foreclosed? Well…

March 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Belltown, Featured


Suppose you gave an auction and nobody came?  That was about the size of it when, after no bidders came forward to buy the troubled Volta property on March 18th, East West Bank went ahead and foreclosed. 

volta 1The saga of 2233 First Avenue began with development of a project called Alex in the fall of 2007, owned by an LLC headed by Saltaire Construction.  Located at the prime Belltown location of First Avenue and Bell, this boutique project was mapped out for eight stories plus a penthouse level.  There would be 20 floorplans to choose from, units from 600 – 1,200 sq ft, upscale features, a rooftop lap pool, priced between $500,000 and $2 million. A loan was made through Washington First International Bank for $12 million.  Alex was scheduled to open in the fall of 2008– when, in its first streak of bad luck, the economic roof caved in.

Fast forward to March 2010. Construction nearly finished, it was decided to give the Alex a second chance at life by  repackaging it under the name of Volta.  Why Volta?  We checked to see if there was a meaning beyond the name of a river in Ghana.  Sure enough, listed was an Italian physicist named Alessandro Volta, whose claim to fame is inventing the electric battery.  “Alessandro” paid homage to the original building name, and its location on Bell Street was one block away from… Battery Street.  There you go. It was also repriced from $299,950 to $1,095,950 (for a penthouse shell), and amenities changed to a rooftop deck, dog run area and green space. 

Things were looking up when three months later, bad luck struck again!  The project was blindsided with a bank closure on  Washington First International Bank that June.  East West Bank, located in Pasadena, California, became the new lender.  Finally, on January 20th, 2011, East West announced that at $1.48 million in arrears plus interest and fees (on a second WFIB loan of $1.4 million), the Volta was headed for auction.

volta2That brings us to today… where we discover that the luck at this address may finally be changing.  2233 First Avenue was appraised at nearly $5 million by King County, and its location in the heart of Belltown offers amazing views of Elliott Bay, Mt Rainier and downtown.  In reality, this property is pretty hot at the moment– we’ve heard that up to 35 buyers are very interested in it!  East West is most likely biding its time a bit longer before settling on a buyer who will allow them to bleed the least on their balance sheet.  Not so lucky was WF Capital Inc., which provided a $3.75 million loan in late 2008.  There were also a number of construction liens on this still-unfinished project, and some lawsuits are still pending.  It may be some time before the property shakes free from the ashes, and rises once and for all.  However, we’re betting it will do just that.

We’ll be watching this one carefully, and will keep you posted on any developments.

Gallery Condominiums – Looking Back, and Ahead

March 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, Gallery


rsz_gallery_stack_2bThe story began on March 4th, 2011, the day before 24 units of Gallery Condominiums were scheduled to go up for auction—with a press release announcing there was now NO auction!  An eleventh-hour decision by Gallery Condominium, LLC and auction coordinator Accelerated Marketing Partners radically shifted the March 5th  auction at the Grand Hyatt to a non-compete buy on a first come, first serve basis at the Gallery itself.  

There’s much to speculate about the sudden format change.  Adding to the confusion was the press release itself.  It stated that the Sales Event would only be opened to potential buyers who officially registered during the auction campaign.  Later, we were told that the public could preview the homes that Saturday morning, then sign up at the Gallery Sales Information Center for the afternoon sale. 

A number of price incentives were in place, but tighter credit requirements and expensive conventional financing slowed the purchase process.  Buyers needed more time to obtain financing pre-approvals, and were allowed seven days to finalize their purchase.  Of the 24 homes offered that day, only eight were sold. 

rsz_gallery_stack_1The Sales Event may have been a little too much and way too late–  but the Gallery story may still have a happy ending.  We checked with management and a week later, sales are running on a positive note.  Three more homes have sold since the March 5th event, with three offers pending.  There are a total of  29 units open, building occupancy is now at 87%.

And, we still feel that the Gallery is a great property for a first-time buyer, a professional or an empty-nester.  Situated at 2911 Second Ave (at Broad St), Gallery captures Space Needle views to the east, and Elliott Bay panoramas to the west. Its crossroads location allows you to easily zip up to Queen Anne, out to Ballard or South Lake Union, or into Downtown Seattle.  No car?  Their WalkScore is ranked 92 out of a possible 100.

rsz_1gallery_bottomFloorplans offer maximum use of space. Interiors include 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, two-story lobby, Owners Lounge, plus an exclusive Supper Club and Sky Lounge to accommodate your special events.

The Gallery is back to traditional sales methods, with prices 10%-15% lower from the most previous listings. Open one bedrooms range from $225,000 to $315,000. A two bedroom, two bath is going for $459,000. Homes are available on all sides of the building—three with water views, others with great views of the Cascades and Downtown.  There is also special pricing for homes located on the lower  levels. 

Check out our Gallery website, for more information. If you would like to schedule a private tour, just drop us a line at

Gallery Condominiums – Pricing and Auction Info

January 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, Gallery


The final closeout of Gallery Condominiums’ new home inventory goes under the hammer on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. at the Grand Hyatt Seattle, located at 721 Pine Street downtown.  This is an amazing opportunity for any type of buyer, because starting prices for these homes have been slashed from 40 to 54 percent!  Below is the price list so you can see what we mean, sorted by square feet, then unit number.  

M = Models sold without furniture

M = Models sold without furniture


Gallery’s location at 2nd Avenue & Broad Street ranks a 92 on the 100-point WalkScore meter (more on that in a minute).  Its views include Seattle icons such as the Space Needle, Elliott Bay and the downtown skyline. Driving around is easy when you’re at the crossroads of easy commutes to Queen Anne, Ballard, South Lake Union, downtown and beyond!

rsz_gallery_stack_1Gallery Condominiums provide customized floor plans offering maximum use of space. Check out their European-styled kitchens with custom cabinetry, slab granite or microcrystal countertops, plus premium stainless steel appliances.  There’s plenty of light with floor to ceiling windows in each unit.  Beautiful hardwood floors plus generous balconies with prime views provide finishing touches on a special place to call home! 

rsz_gallery_stack_2bAmenities include a full-service concierge staff, a two-story lobby, Owners Lounge, two Guest Suites, a Fitness/Yoga room plus an exclusive Supper Club and Sky Lounge.  From intimate dinners to large groups, Gallery can easily accommodate any event you host!

Our own Gallery website,, provides a short virtual tour and an amenities slideshow.  It also provides WalkScore information plus neighborhood details including restaurants, shops and local attractions. Bidders have to be pre-registered, so click on our “AUCTION!” link so we can get in touch with you. 

As your auction resource, we’re with you from beginning to end.  We’ll start by discussing the auction process plus financing options, take you on a private tour of the units, formulate an auction strategy, and be at your side during the bidding and closing. Check out our site above, or just get in touch with us by clicking this Stroupe Group link.


Rumor Confirmed! Gallery Condo Auction on March 5th

January 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, Gallery


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, .  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


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,  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!

Olive 8: Auction Results and Stats

Success!  Over 200 bidders filled a room at the Hyatt at Olive 8 on September 19 to try and snag a deal on 32 units from Floors 18 – 26 that were on the block. By day’s end, very happy new owners walked away with homes averaging 30% off the original price. Here’s a list of the sale action, sorted by square footage.


Sales are subject to seller acceptance and escrow closing.

We are fairly certain this information is accurate… if it changes, we will repost.  We continue to pride ourselves on accurate information.  During the auction, six units were removed from the auction (four 1-bedroom units, two 2-bedroom units).  As the auction progressed, the four 1-bedroom units returned for bidding. By the end of Sunday, all but four units had acceptable bids and the celebration began for those lucky buyers.  The remaining four units were short of the reserve bid.  The seller has a few days to decide what to do with those units.

Although it took an auction to do a significant move of inventory for Olive 8 management, the number of bidders that registered and appeared may be a sign that the Seattle real estate market is entering a more positive phase. In addition, over 1,500 potential buyers viewed the properties prior to auction, which could serve as a great base for future Olive 8 sales down the road.

The number of participating bidders also says something else about Olive 8. They confirm that Olive 8 is a special property, with a wonderful downtown location and a dizzying list of amenities including services through its downstairs neighbor, the Hyatt at Olive 8.  A little over 100 units remain for sale. Check out our website, for more details, then fill out our Contact link.

Olive 8: Anatomy of an Auction

September 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Downtown (MLS Area 701), Olive 8

We’ve been telling you in previous posts how special the upcoming Olive 8 auction will be. Located in the heart of downtown Seattle, Olive 8 has amazing views and numerous amenities, all at once-in-a-lifetime prices. However, the clock is ticking… the auction is on Sunday, September 19th, at 1:00 p.m. sharp but more importantly, you must be pre-registered by Thursday, September 16th at 6:00 p.m. If you still have questions or even qualms about the auction process, so maybe our handy-dandy guide below will help:


Review the Properties – Check out our link at, where you’ll find details of the 34 homes from Floors 18 through 26 that are on the block. Under “The Auction”, there’s a .pdf with unit floorplans. Then, hit our big green contact button and tell us which ones you’d like to see. When we meet, we’ll first discuss what you’re looking for in a home, then physically tour the properties to see which best fit your lifestyle needs and financial means.

Financing – You must be pre-approved through one of two lenders, Bank of America Home Loans or Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Even if you’re a cash buyer, assets must be verified through either of these two lenders. By doing this, you will know that everyone at the auction will have the ability to bid.  Have a pre-approved credit line ready and bring the letter with you.  If you choose to use either one of the lenders, then the seller is offering a $5,000 credit towards non-recurring closing costs (subject to lender guidelines, please check for details). Don’t forget that financing is subject to credit approval, loan document completion and property appraisal. Finally, you will need to bring a cashier’s check for $5,000 plus a personal check for the remaining balance of your earnest money.

Pre-Register – All buyers must be registered in order to attend and bid. The form is simple, and on our website under “The Auction” tab. On auction day, check in for your bidder package. The doors open around 11:00 a.m., but you should arrive no later than 12 noon. Your window to register is a now a short one…  forms must be submitted to the Auction Office prior to 6:00 pm on Thursday, September 16th.  You will not be allowed to register at the door.

The Auction Team – The auction will be conducted by Kennedy Wilson, an international real estate investment and services company based in Beverly Hills, CA. Assisting the auctioneer will be professional floormen to make sure that all bidders are recognized and all bids are reported. Floormen can also answer questions before and during the auction, including asking the auctioneer to pause if needed.  

Before Bidding Begins – The auction will start promptly at 1:00 p.m. with opening remarks summarizing terms of sale, bidding method, and any last-minute changes or disclosures. This only takes a few minutes, ending with the auctioneer conducting a practice auction session.

Be Ready To Bid – You wouldn’t think auctioning 34 homes would go by quickly, but it’s estimated that the entire event should only run an hour. Our meetings with you will also include your bidding strategy, and we’ll be at your side when your condo number is called.

Start the Bidding – Get ready to chime in with your price! If you make a mistake, just correct it with either the floorman or the auctioneer. The auctioneer will say “sold” or “high bidder” as soon as it’s determined the final bid has been made.  When you hear, “Going once, going twice…third and final call”, that’s the cue the auctioneer is prepared to announce a winner. He’ll most likely say something to the effect of, “Sold subject to seller acceptance”.  At that time the buyer will go to another room and sign a contract based on the winning price. Within the next few days, the buyer will know whether or not they’ve made the reserve price.  Seller has the option to counteroffer to meet its minimum reserve if needed. If this does occur, buyer does not have to accept the counteroffer.

The auction will take place at the Hyatt at Olive 8, 1635 8th Avenue in downtown Seattle. Coincidentally, this is the base of the Olive 8 building and part of its great amenities package. Give our website a spin and call us right away!

Okay, so you’ve decided to participate in the Olive 8 Auction. What’s Next?

August 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, Olive 8

You’ve checked out our Olive 8 website. You’ve reviewed the amenities of both the condominium and its link with the Hyatt at Olive 8. You’ve read all about Olive 8’s Silver LEED certification and their dedication to green living.  You’ve even looked over the floorplans for the 34 units up for sale AND, you’ve decided to take the plunge and put in a bid on Sunday, September 19th.


What’s next?

A  Realtor® with proven auction experience is the best source to guide you through the bidding and closing process. That’s what you’ll get when you sign up with us. We at the Stroupe Group have specialized in the downtown Seattle condominium market since 1994, and have represented bidders on a number of successfully closed auction transactions.

We don’t start our work when the auction doors open, either.

We’ll do a thorough discussion with you upfront as to what you want and don’t want in a home. We’ll then review the Olive 8 units up for auction, and place values on those specific to your wants and needs. We’ll then take a physical inspection tour with you on the unit(s) you’re interested in to make sure the investment you’re about to make is one you are thoroughly happy with.

Now, suppose we go back to the bidding list and you like Numbers 9 and 14. You may prefer Number 9 but 14 may come up first… we will help you outline a “pecking order” and advise you on a bidding strategy come auction time.

We’ll help you wade through financial aspects of an auction. As you review the Terms and Conditions, you’ll discover it can seem a little daunting.  Plus, you’ve just picked up the part about the unpublished reserve selling price.  How can you get the Olive 8 unit you want at the right cost for you?  Moreover, how do you get in the winning bid and close the deal?

From peruse through purchase, we will start you on the auction process and be with you at every step. We’ll answer all your questions, put you at ease with the auction process and most importantly, help you get what you want at one of the premier condominium properties in Seattle.

The auction is just around the corner.  Fill out the Contact Us tab at and we’ll be in touch with you right away.

Your dream home at Olive 8 is waiting. Let us help you make that dream come true.


Olive 8 Auction Details? Find them on our website!

August 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, Olive 8

Olive 8’s auction of 34 condominiums on Sunday, September 19th promises to be the real estate event of the year.  Condominiums previously priced from $395,000 to $1.23 Million will be on the block, with some bids starting as low as $160,000.

Olive 8 Website

What’s your first step in getting into the auction process? Visit our special Olive 8 website, where we’ve accumulated all the auction details. contains detailed information about:

  • The Auction – Details on the upcoming event, including a pdf downloadable brochure, including a registration form. If you would like to be represented by the Stroupe Group, download this form.
  • Auction Listings – The 34 units for sale plus floor plan design, views, number of bedrooms/baths, square feet, plus the previous and starting bid price.
  • Living Green — Olive 8 is the first condominium/hotel combination building in Seattle to receive a LEED certification (Silver). If you have a desire to live a more green lifestyle, what Olive 8 offers is a must-read.
  • Neighborhood – At the corner of 8th Avenue and Olive Streets in downtown Seattle, this section details Olive 8’s easy access to transit and freeways, plus many attractions within walking distance including restaurants, shopping, even jogging/biking trails. All this can be found within walking distance.
  • Amenities – A staggering list of Olive 8 amenities, including those shared with the Hyatt at Olive 8 Hotel.   The interstate is also just a few blocks away, and the Sound Transit station is just a couple block.
  • Floorplans – Detailed floorplans of the Olive 8 units for sale.

So take a tour of our Olive 8 website and fill in your contact information at the Contact Us tab.  Specializing in the downtown Seattle condominium market since 1994, we at the Stroupe Group have participated in a number of condominium auctions and have helped our clients successfully close on their dream of a lifetime. Let us help you with your dream, too.


Auction Results for 5th and Madison

March 30, 2010 by  
Filed under 5thMadison, Featured

All the final bids are subject to the seller’s acceptance which should be finalized within the next four days. The penthouse did not sell.

The auction was standing room only, attracting over 300 people for the units in this 24-story tower known for its sustainable living features. The building was named one of Natural Home Magazine’s Top 10 of America’s Best Green Condos and designed to be 20% more energy efficient than industry standards.

Unit Number Floorplan Beds/Baths Approx. Sq. Ft. Original Price Starting Bid Selling Price
1102 ? ? ? $550,000 $235,000 $350,000
1200 00 1 Bed/1Bath 913 $580,000 $235,000 $392,000
1402 02 1 Bed/1.5 Bath 978 $499,000 $235,000 $353,000
1702 02 1 Bed/1.5 Bath 978 $615,000 $235,000 $358,000
1703 03 1 Bed/1.5 Bath + Den 978 $600,000 $235,000 $391,000
1705 05 1 Bed/1 Bath 808 $399,000 $195,000 $348,000
1803 03 1 Bed/1.5 Bath + Den 978 $600,000 $235,000 $370,000
1805 05 1 Bed/1 Bath 808 $415,000 $195,000 $331,000
2003 03 1 Bed/1.5 Bath + Den 978 $746,000 $290,000 $476,000
2005 05 1 Bed/1Bath 807 $570,000 $225,000 $355,000
2103 03 1 Bed/1.5 Bath + Den 978 $720,000 $275,000 $415,000
2200 00 1 Bed/1 Bath 913 $760,000 $290,000 $445,000
2202 02 1 Bed/1.5 Bath 978 $700,000 $290,000 $405,000
2203 03 1 Bed/1.5 Bath + Den 978 $746,000 $290,000 $476,000
2301 01 1 Bed/1.5 Bath + Den 1,241 $899,000 $385,000 $719,000
2305 05 1 Bed/1Bath 807 $625,000 $225,000 $390,000

Next Page »