South Lake Union News


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.

Photo courtesy mamnoonrestaurant.com
Photo courtesy mamnoonrestaurant.com

By now you’ve probably heard that beloved and acclaimed Middle Eastern eatery Mamnoon will be opening a new venture called ‘mBar’ in SLU, but it seems as though that’s not enough to keep Mamnoon’s owners busy this year.

In addition to the Mediterranean inspired rooftop spot (sure to be glorious with it’s 100-seat, glass railed patio, so as to protect and enhance your mealtime view), and the recently announced ‘Mamnoon Street’, it looks like the Mamnoon team will be opening yet another spot next door at Amazon’s new 6th Ave Doppler campus.

The newest addition to the Mamnoon line up will be called ‘Anar’ meaning pomegranate in Farsi, and will focus mainly on the “ancient traditions of juice and vegetarian dishes.”

From the proprietors:

    Anar will  be an ideal destination to get energized for the day, starting with a breakfast yogurt blend, Persian mint tea, or a specially blended kombucha.  Juices will range from sweet to savory to hearty, and will include such ingredients as orange blossom, rose water and pomegranate with available additions like yogurt, cashews and chickpeas.  Food options include small plates; a mezze dish with dolma, pickled and raw vegetables, arugula and gluten free crackers with a choice of Carrot bi tahini, muhammara, or ‘Persian’ green hummus, and big plates; Fatteh with cauliflower, garbanzo, gluten-free crackers and mint cucumber salad.  For a late afternoon pick-me-up, Anar will feature desserts, snacks and ‘mocktails’, such as muddled cucumber, cilantro, mint and soda. Items from Anar will be available for take-away or to enjoy in its warm, open, colorful space.  With seating for 18, Anar will be ideal for an intimate meeting or to settle into a cozy space to work with a delicious beverage and great music.

Anar will be opening later this month at 2040 6th Avenue with business hours of Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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.

Wedding plans of dozens of soon-to-be brides and grooms went up in flames this past week… nearly literally.

Owners Roland and Amanda Crane of EM Fine Art wedding venue in South Lake Union abruptly ended their entire business with an email to clients that said a fire had destroyed the space’s electrical system.

“The cost of repair is quite high, near $100,000, and the owner of the building has elected to terminate our lease rather than repair the damage,” the owners said in the email sent Monday morning. It went on to say “we do not have any obligation to make any payments to you.”

Funny, because the Seattle Fire Department has no record of a fire in that location, according to the Seattle Times. Also funny, because that building is set for destruction and the land-use action has been in place since last month. The Cranes’ story doesn’t add up, and neither of them has been reachable since the email was sent.

EM Fine Art, located at 410 Dexter Ave N, was a beloved gallery space for weddings, art showings and events in Seattle. The venue was booked through September, leaving many Seattle couples scrambling to make new plans on short notice. What makes the situation even worse is the fact that all the deposits were paid with no sign of any money being refunded.

The most recent information reported by the Seattle Times said that the owners sent a new email this past Thursday. Their story changed to say the situation was “more complicated than we originally shared in our first letter” and “this was not a problem with the building. It was the landlord who chose to end our lease, ending our business.”

The EM Fine Art website is no longer running. Here is the venue’s Yelp page which is flooding with negative reviews from angry customers.

Featured photo found here.

The South Lake Union neighborhood has been booming ever since Amazon took over the area, and will continue to grow upwards in the next few years with plans for four new high rises.

The Stewart Street corridor in South Lake Union is Seattle’s new hot spot. Located in between Amazon’s ever-expanding campus and the Convention Center, this area is currently one of the most prime real estate spots in the city. Developers are snatching parking lots and any space they can to invest in this valuable commercial district. According to the Seattle Times, there are currently about 12,000 hotel rooms surrounding the downtown area and occupancy rates are expected to increase dramatically this year.

The addition of more than 2,000 hotel rooms, condominiums and apartments could transform the Denny Triangle area into a new hub for tourists, business travelers and downtown residents. Seattle had the fastest growing population in the country last year according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and with no sign of slowing down the demand for new accommodations is urgent.

Building of the Hill7, the first of the four hotel projects to break ground, began last summer and is projected to be complete by 2015. It will hold 11 stories of office space and a 14-story Hilton Garden Inn. The other prospected buildings are a 9th and Stewart hotel/apartment complex set for completion in 2017, Daola Tower boutique hotel/condo complex set for completion in 2017, and 1200 Stewart hotel/condo complex set to begin building in 2016 after the current permit expires.

The Washington State Convention Center will undergo a possible expansion along Olive Way, which would further affect new development in South Lake Union. The Honda of Seattle site on Howell Street and Boren Avenue was purchased by the Convention Center for future development.

Massive amounts of construction have already taken over the South Lake Union and Denny Triangle areas, and Seattle residents should only expect more in coming years to pave the way for these new developments.

Featured photo found here

Last month, another unit in the iconic Art Stable building sold for $1,700,000. Designed by world renown architect Tom Kundig, this nearly 4,000 sf unit located at 516 Yale Ave N #400 in the 6 story residential/commercial complex could work as a live work space, gallery, studio, residential home, you name it. Features include 11′ high ceilings and walls of windows overlooking the coveted South Lake Union. Built on the site of a former horse stable, this building carries it’s working history in the creativity of it’s tenants, with an array of opportunities for urban landscaping, and the versatile live/work units.

Sustainable features of the building include:

• A geothermal heat pump system running in loops through the augercast structural pilings of the building’s foundation.
• In-floor radiant heating and cooling
• Natural ventilation
• Can accommodate future use of solar/photovoltaic technology
• Flexibility of space anticipates the possibility of non-residential use.

For more information about Lake Union real estate, contact your local real estate agent today.

Each month, we provide a brief summary of Lake Union crime activity from the previous month. Read on for this month’s recap of criminal activity…

  • Police Continue Their Hunt for Homicide Suspect: On April 6th, a man was shot near 5th Avenue and Olive Way. The suspect is still at large, and SPD are asking for any witnesses or people with information to step forward. The suspect is described as being a light-skinned black male with a short, curly afro. He is estimated to be in his early twenties, about 5’11” – 6 feet tall and of skinny build. At the time of the crime, he was unshaven and was wearing a red sweatshirt and jeans. He also has a marking above his right eye.
  • K9 Officers Track Down Suspects in Attempted Burglary: SPD were called to a vacant building in the 200 block of Fairview Avenue N on Thursday, April 17th after 10 p.m. with reports of a group of men on the roof, hitting a compressor with a sledgehammer. As officers arrived on the scene, the suspects fled and hid in the building. When they ordered the men out without response, they took a K9 unit named Ziva into the building. They found two of the suspects in closets and another was hiding in a roof vent. SPD recovered a backpack filled with tools and an ax. They booked the three suspects into King County Jail.
  • Serious Injuries Result from Pedestrian-Vehicle Collision: At about 4:45 p.m. on May 20th, two male pedestrians were involved in a collision with a vehicle near the intersection of Fairview Avenue and Denny Way. The pedestrians, ages 39 and 62, were thrown onto the windshield of the vehicle that struck them. They were transported to Harborview Medical Center in serious condition. No other details are known at this time.
  • Lake Union Boat Fire & Explosion Injures One: Seattle Fire responded to the a boat dock at 2732 Westlake Avenue North at about 9:30 a.m. on May 22nd from reports of a boat fire. Medics found the owner of the boat, a 33-year-old male, with extreme burns on his upper body. According to news reports, the fire was started when a spark from a vacuum cleaner ignited spilled gasoline (the man was attempting to clean up the spilled fuel with the vacuum). The man was burned on his hands, arms, torso and face with second- and third-degree burns, before he jumped into the water. He was transported to Harborview for treatment. His girlfriend was also on the boat at the time, but she avoided any injury. The estimated damage from the fire is $55,000.

Featured photo from KIROtv.com.

If you haven’t already seen it (your peripheral vision is bound to, if you happen to pass by), there’s a huge yacht docked in Lake Union right now. What’s it doing there? It’s stopping for some repairs and supplies before heading to Alaska for the summer, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.

The superyacht, called the Vava II, arrived at the Nautical Landing marina, which has the space to accommodate such a large vessel, on Friday afternoon May 9th. The marina is located along Westlake Avenue North, just southeast of the Aurora Bridge. As the yacht traveled to the marina on Friday through the Ballard Locks, it drew a large crowd to watch it go through the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard.

The Vava II is 315-feet in length and worth about $160 million. It has six decks and a swimming pool, and costs more than $500,000 to fully re-fuel.

Swiss-Italian billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli and his wife, Kirsty, own the massive vessel. Mrs. Bertarelli is a singer, songwriter and former beauty queen in the Miss U.K. beauty pageant. The Bertarelli’s yacht is registered in the Cayman Islands – it’s rumored to be a gift to Kirsty from Ernesto.

This is the largest yacht ever to enter Lake Union, preceded last year by the 280-foot Vibrant Curiosity, who docked at Nautical Landing last June.

According to the Business Journal report, the yachting season is expected to be great this year. “We have high hopes,” said Peter Schrappen of the Northwest Marine Trade Association. “High expectations, too. We’ve traveled all over the country showcasing the Pacific Northwest, including the largest boat show in the world in Florida, and this is a result of that effort.”

The idea is to draw wealthy yacht owners to the Seattle area, so that they spend some of their riches in our local economy while they are here. The owners and crew of a yacht like the Vava II will spend an estimated $2.7 million in the Seattle area if they stay for 30 days, according to Schrappen’s calculations.

Featured photo from Q13Fox.com.

Seattle’s very own EMP is celebrating the art and history of music video in the first museum exhibition to do so through sight and sound. Music videos began with MTV in the early 80’s and have changed the music and entertainments scene ever since.

This historic weekend provides three events to choose from to follow the birth and evolution of music videos in the 80’s. Exhibit attendees will be able to relive MTV productions and see how stars used the medium to become the historic figures they are today.  Experience the early sounds and styles of icons such as Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, and other prominent artists.

Kick off the weekend with the Vivid: Spectacle Opening Night Party Friday May 16 7:00-11:00pm

Attendees are encouraged to dig into your parents’ and grandparents’ attics to come dressed as a favorite music icon or video character.  Party goers will be able to get interactive with the following music video experiences: OK Go Video Retrospective, Big Screen Blowout, I Want My MTV: 80s Karaoke Lounge, Behind the Screen, Spectacle! Live!  We’re Gonna Pop Some Tags, and Super secret special guests!

EMP Museum
325 5th Avenue N
Seattle, WA 98109

Tickets: $25 ($18 EMP members), $12 Youth (17 & younger)

All ages (bars with valid ID).

Purchase Tickets

For EMP members only, take advantage of Spectacle Member Previews: all day Friday, May 16- and up until an hour before the exhibit opens to the public on Saturday, May 17

If you are not a member, Join today and take advantage of the previews for free. Friday May 16, 2014 10:00am-5:00pm, and Saturday May 17, 2014 9:00am-10:00am

The third event of the weekend is the Spectacle Educator Opening Event: Saturday, May 17 9:00am-noon. This event is provided just for educators in a three hour workshop format. Arianne Garden Vasquez from SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) will guide educators through a variety of activities to effectively use this event in classrooms.

Team participants will use their own iPads and iPhones for the workshop. Free apps appropriate for classroom use are provided.

This event is limited to 30 adult educators, so register by Thursday, May 15.

Whether you attend the opening night party, the special member previews, or the educator opening event, be prepared for a memorable weekend of saturating yourself in the history of music video.

Featured photo from DBFestival.com.

This month in Lake Union crime, our neighborhood was the setting of some unfortunate events, including a fire and two shootings. Read on for summaries of these events…

  • Shooting Outside KC Sobering Center: Shots were fired near the KC Sobering Center around 4 a.m. on March 29th. Officers arrived on the scene and took a suspect into custody, but he was later released after being identified. Witnesses said they had seen the occupants of two vehicles shooting at each other, just south of the Sobering Center. According to reports, one of the cars was a black SUV and the other was a white sedan. SPD recovered 15 shell casings from the scene, and noted three bullet holes in the plywood construction sheets at Boren Avenue and Stewart Street. A stray bullet had hit a nearby apartment building window as well – officers investigated and found the resident of the apartment unhurt, however the bullet had pierced two panes of glass and the window shade before stopping in an interior wall. This remains an open investigation, since SPD was unable to contact or apprehend any suspects.
  • Fatal Shooting on Olive Way: An argument between two men resulted in one of them shooting and killing the other on April 6th. Witnesses saw two men arguing heatedly at about 2 a.m. near the intersection of 5th Avenue and Olive Way, when one of the men pulled out a gun and shot the other. SPD arrived on scene to find the 47-year-old victim dead, and the suspect had fled. He is described as being a black male with light skin, short and curly hair (afro), thin build, about 6 feet tall, in his early 20s. He was wearing a red sweatshirt and jeans, and has a distinct mark above his right eye. Click here to view the police drawing. If you have any information about the suspect or his whereabouts, please call 9-1-1 or the SPD’s Homicide Unit: 206-684-5550.
  • Boat Fire Damages Two Vessels in Lake Union: A marina fire at 1800 Westlake Avenue North on April 11th destroyed one boat and damaged another. Firefighters arrived on the scene at about 12:20 a.m., and extinguished the flames within about 20 minutes, but it was too late for a 33-foot vessel. Luckily, no one was hurt in the fire, although the total estimated damage to the boats and the dock where they were moored is $370,000. The cause for the fire is unknown.

Featured photo from KomoNews.com.