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Lake Union Real Estate

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970DennyIt seems as though all systems are ‘Go’ on a project that will bring a 40 story apartment tower to 970 Denny Way.

The project, put forth by Holland Partners Group, will include 15,580 square feet of retail space, 468 units and 359 parking spaces. Located in the “bullseye of the whole South Lake Union area”, this structure promises to boast many of high-end amenities, including a roof-top deck, gym, media room and business center, and of course, a location to boot.

Development director for Holland, Marty Goodman, said the project has been approved for a master use permit , and demolition is ready to go. Once the permits are in hand, construction will likely start within a few weeks.

Holland Group is working closely with retail experts to ensure a ground floor design that is appealing and fresh, complete with outdoor dining areas, plenty of windows and other desirable featured for retailers.

The building’s first occupants are expected to be able to move in as soon as summer 2018.

By Tommy Kulvanish, Ewing & Clark, Inc.

Greetings from Lake Union, where over the last month fireworks lit up the sky for the 4th of July, and the real estate market was booming, as well.

Yes, inventory remains low around Lake Union, but when a property hits the market, a feeding frenzy begins with the number of buyers hoping to find a home they can call their own.

Since May, 13 single-family homes have sold in the area, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS). With an average selling price of $949,000, homes are selling at an average of 1.5 percent over asking price, due to such high demand and low supply. Once homes are listed, they sit for roughly seven days before there is an offer accepted.

And we aren’t even talking about large two- or three-bedroom homes; the average size of the homes being snatched up is only 1,700 square feet. That’s it, 1,700 square feet in today’s crazy market.

And let’s not forget about the condo market, which is also very competitive. According to the NWMLS, 28 condos have sold since the beginning of May, with an average sales price of just over $401,000, for roughly 900 square feet. Properties were selling at an average of two percent above asking price. Condos did not sell as quickly as single-family homes, but still only lasted on the market for an average of two weeks.

What does this all mean, you ask? Well, if you have an investment property, there has not been a better time to sell and take advantage of this insanely hot and competitive market. If you’re looking to buy, with the lending rates hovering near four percent, now is the time! But as prices are likely to continue to increase, buyers should move quickly.

If you’re interesting in finding out what your home or condo is worth, or you’re tired of renting and want to see what is out there, please feel free to reach out to me at tkulvanish@ewingandclark.com.

If you had your heart set on buying a piece of Hollywood real estate history, your choices just narrowed by one. The houseboat that was featured in “Sleepless in Seattle” has been sold to a local tech executive for a sum that reportedly tops $2 million, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.

The houseboat, which sits at the end of a dock off Westlake Avenue North, has unobstructed views of Lake Union and is surprisingly large at 2,200 square feet. The buyer, who has chosen to remain anonymous and whose main residence is also in Seattle, reportedly bought the iconic houseboat as a convenient summer house for his family.

According to the PSBJ article, the previous owners of 21 years listed the home in 2008, only to take it off the market after hoards of photo seekers flocked to the dock where the house is moored. The recent sale happened mostly under the radar, as the home was never listed on the Multiple Listing Service.

So, if you’ve been waiting patiently to own Seattle’s most famous houseboat, looks like you’ll have to wait and see if it hits the market again some day!

 

 

If you had your heart set on buying a piece of Hollywood real estate history, your choices just narrowed by one. The houseboat that was featured in “Sleepless in Seattle” has been sold to a local tech executive for a sum that reportedly tops $2 million, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.

The houseboat, which sits at the end of a dock off Westlake Avenue North, has unobstructed views of Lake Union and is surprisingly large at 2,200 square feet. The buyer, who has chosen to remain anonymous and whose main residence is also in Seattle, reportedly bought the iconic houseboat as a convenient summer house for his family.

According to the PSBJ article, the previous owners of 21 years listed the home in 2008, only to take it off the market after hoards of photo seekers flocked to the dock where the house is moored. The recent sale happened mostly under the radar, as the home was never listed on the Multiple Listing Service.

So, if you’ve been waiting patiently to own Seattle’s most famous houseboat, looks like you’ll have to wait and see if it hits the market again some day!

 

 

No rest for the weary…er, builders in South Lake Union.  A neighborhood that has seen unrivaled growth due to Amazon.com and the tech and bio tech growth over the last 10 years is changing yet again with 3 new projects underway.

Just this week an almost one acre parcel in South Lake Union was sold to a Seattle commercial real estate developer, Schnitzer West for $15.75 million. An office building called Urban Union is planned for construction staring approximately this fall.  The 12 story project will be at the corner of Fairview Ave. N. and Republican Street.

Last week, King 5’s station manager, Ray Heacox announced the station’s headquarters at 333 Dexter Avenue will be for sale as the company looks to re-locate to a property more appropriate for the corporate headquarters. King 5 currently employs 300 people in the building which can easily accommodate 500 . The booming real estate market in SLU has made this sale a financially sound decision for King 5. The station plans to re-locate close to the central Seattle area once a buyer is finalized.

Two new Vulcan Towers will soon be developed at the corner of Denny and Westlake.  Although the project is still in the early stages of planning, the land-use and construction permits indicate a residential tower with approximately 500 residential units as well as an office building with up to 420,000 square feet as well as 850 much needed parking stalls. Vulcan is the largest real estate developer in South Lake Union.

Just last month it was announced that Kilroy realty Corporation had acquired the life –science property at 401 Terry Avenue North. The facility is one of five life science properties in the popular South Lake Union neighborhood. Current tenant, Institute for Systems Biology is leasing the facility through2021. The highly sought after location for bio-tech will make the acquisition a valuable piece in Kilroy’s portfolio of properties.

What do these newest changes mean for all of us?  Per-unit prices will continue to rise, and current properties will also see increased value.  One could venture to guess that the already great and varied food truck offerings will increase as well!  Stay on top of the changes and stay involved in your neighborhood.

Featured photo from Flickr user Will Merydith, labeled for reuse under Creative Commons.

There has been some recent activity of note in South Lake Union real estate, so we wanted to fill you in…

Vulcan Sold Life Sciences Building in SLU for $106 Million
Last Thursday, March 13th, Vulcan Real Estate sold one of its buildings in South Lake Union to Kilroy Realty, which is located out of Los Angeles. The building is located at 401 Terry Avenue North and was built in 2003. It is a life sciences and office building with 145,923 square feet of rentable space. It’s already full leased to the Institute for Systems Biology, which does biomedical research as a non-profit organization. Last year, Kilroy Realty bought a 319,000 square foot building from Vulcan for $170 million. Click here to learn the full story from the Seattle Times.

Office Development Proceeds After 7 Years of Stagnation
The Westlake Steps have been in the works since 2007, including 825,000 square feet of office space, retail and residences. However, since that year the project has not moved forward… until now. Holland Partner Group plans to begin construction of the six-story building at 1101 Westlake Avenue North this summer. That building will be comprised of 150,000 square feet of space for offices, a hotel and 570 apartment units. Click here to read the full news brief on the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Vancouver, B.C. Based Developer to Build 1,945 Residences in SLU
The Puget Sound Business Journal reported yesterday that the Onni Group (a Canadian developer) has updated its plans to build two huge residential buildings in the South Lake Union neighborhood. The plans consist of two towers with 40 stories and 1,085 residential units. These buildings will be constructed on the block alongside Denny Way, John Street, and Fairview and Boren Avenues North. In addition, the plans include another two-tower development across the street with 24 stories and a total of 860 residential units. There will be 44,000 square feet of retail space and 1,700 parking stalls between the two developments. Onni bought the two blocks of land from the Seattle Times last year for $62.5 million. Click here for more details.

Featured photo from BizJournals.com, a MulvannyG2 Architecture rendering.

This week, a Vancouver, Washington real estate group called Holland Partner Group bought a 5.5-acre site on the lake for $80 million, in Lake Union news. They propose to build a 6-story office building and 800 apartments.

The 5.5-acre property is located between Dexter Avenue North and Westlake Avenue North from west to east, and Galer Street and Highland Drive from north to south.

According to a report by the Seattle Times, “Holland proposes to spend about $165 million developing 800 apartments in phases in buildings up to 65 feet high. Holland also has a land-use permit expiring in January 2016 to develop a six-story office building with nearly 150,000 square feet at 1101 Westlake Avenue North.”

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 3.17.34 PM“We see an opportunity to take an area of South Lake Union that has been in transition over the last 10 years,” said Tom Parsons, the president of Holland Development LLC. “It’s just a phenomenal canvas that we get to paint on.”

The Lake Union site used to be under the ownership of the Casey Family Programs nonprofit, and the organization’s former headquarters at 1300 Dexter Ave. N. is one of the buildings included in the sale. An official from Holland Partner Group told the Times that they plan to refurbish the building. Other buildings on the lot will most likely be demolished, including 1271 and 1287 Westlake Avenue North.

Casey Family Programs sold their portion (most) of the site in 2006 for $52 million, and Holland Partner Group purchased it, plus some adjoining areas for $80 million this week from Equity Office Properties (based in Chicago).

This is one of the largest land purchases in the whole city of Seattle in years, and is very significant for its location on the Westlake Steps, according to Oscar Oliveira, a managing director of the Broderick Group.

Featured photo from SeattleTimes.com.

A 15-story, 283-room South Lake Union hotel is projected to begin construction in late 2014 next to the Amazon.com headquarters in the neighborhood. On Tuesday (December 10th), it was announced that the hotel’s construction project start date is estimated for the fourth quarter of next year.

The South Lake Union Hotel is going to be built by Stanford Hotels Corp., which is a company out of San Francisco. The Puget Sound Business journal reported that Stanford’s Senior Vice President, Denise Hannan said construction start depends on timely approval from the city.

The kicker on this new South Lake Union construction project? The hotel’s plans do not include any parking. You read right – not a single parking space.

How is this possible? Apparently the City of Seattle’s regulations don’t require it. The hotel is located near a stop for the South Lake Union Trolley and parking will be available in the garages nearby. But that will hardly cover the 283 guest rooms this hotel will bring to a rapidly crowding neighborhood.

City Board officials met last night at the Queen Anne Community Center to review the hotel’s design. Results have not yet been released, however we will update this post when we hear more.

The Stanford’s new South Lake Union hotel will have a restaurant and lounge and a conference center (of 7,500 square feet). No operator has been selected as of yet, however Senior Vice President Hannan told the Puget Sound Business Journal that it would be a major brand under the franchise, like Hilton or Marriott.

While the building is designed by Jensen Fey Architects, the new hotel in the neighborhood does not yet have a general contractor in place.

Featured photo from BizJournals.com/Seattle. It is a rendering by Jensen Fey Architects.

amazon

Amazon has proposed building 3 spherical office buildings instead of the less attractive box shaped one it originally had proposed. The spheres are creating some mixed feelings about the idea. The structure would range from 80 to 95 feet tall, have 5 floors and a total of 65,000 sf of workable office space as well as space to accommodate mature trees and plants found at high elevation climates from around the world. The building’s temperature will be lowered at night and humidity raised to help sustain the plants.

Some are skeptical that the concept of the structure is just whimsical and experimental and ask why would there be trees inside the building instead of outside where the public can see them? They do not believe that having to accommodate to the trees and plants will be energy efficient or cost effective. It was also pointed out that the look of the glass structure is too similar to the Seattle Public Library and the EMP Music Museum.

Amazon believes the look of the spheres will be a nice change to the city compared to all of the “vanilla buildings.” There will be open park space between the spheres and the office tower next to it which will be open to the public and  consist of a dog park and play field. The idea is to make a more comfortable and “park-like” setting for employees.

It was a point of contention for months, and it’s been in the making for nearly a decade, but the Seattle City Council ended up unanimously passing the bill to allow the South Lake Union rezone, according to a report from the Puget Sound Business Journal on Monday.

As recently as the beginning of April, it seemed like the rezone might not pass, as we reported on April 2nd. The bill that was passed earlier this week allows “raising the limits on building heights from 65 feet for office buildings and 85 feet for apartments, to 160 feet and 240 feet, respectively,” as we mentioned in a post back in March about Vulcan’s desire to build a 12-story office tower in the South Lake Union neighborhood.

And now the rezone has been allowed, which has instant affect on several construction projects in the area – as referenced in a report from Seattle Curbed.

Vulcan’s 12-story office building is now a go, and will include 312,643 square feet of office space on top of ground-floor retail space and a parking garage. In addition, Vulcan Real Estate has a hoped-for plan for three 240-foot towers on Mercer – their plan was shelved back in February, but has not yet died.

In the middle of the Amazon campus, Stanford Hotels has proposed a brand new hotel building with 283 rooms – perfect for Amazon clients, partners, and out-of-town employees to stay while they’re visiting headquarters.

A 300,000 square foot, 12-story building has been planned for the 400 Fairview Avenue address in South Lake Union. Equity Office Properties hopes to build two 160-foot towers at Dexter Ave. N and Highland Drive, but they were limited to 125-foot towers before the rezone was passed. Touchstone’s Troy Laundry has plans for a 12-foot and 13-foot tower project at Fairview Avenue and Harrison St., and Wolff is about to unveil plans for a 17-story apartment building at 8th Ave. N and Republican Street.

Finally, the Dexter station that is already under construction will be 10 stories and contain 340,000 square feet of space. Its height won’t change because of the rezone, however it might experience a blocked view if other construction projects are allowed to go higher.

“By 2031, South Lake Union will have to absorb some 12,000 households and 22,000 jobs to continue to meet its share of future growth,” said Councilman Richard Conlin in a press release. “This rezone will take the pressure off other neighborhoods and will shape South Lake Union for the next hundred years.”

What do you think about the passing of the rezone bill? Will it be a beneficial or detrimental thing for the South Lake Union neighborhood?

Featured photo from Seattle.Curbed.com