South Lake Union Real Estate


Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood is home to many things- fabulous restaurants, tech giants and soon, a new church?

You read that right. According to the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, the part of town affectionately known as “Amazonia” (remember that part about tech giants?) may soon be getting some new residents, but these residents won’t all necessarily have laptops and badges with them.  Some may have a Bible or hymnal in tow.

But, it’s not a done deal yet.

Preliminary plans have been filed with the city by Greystar Real Estate Management for a proposed 348-unit apartment tower and church. The site for the possible construction is adjacent to Denny Park at 200 8th Avenue North and covers an impressive 29,000 square feet.

The hitch in their giddy-up at the moment is that the property is yet to be sold, but the current owners identity sheds some light on why there is a church component in this proposed deal.

The property has been owned for nearly 60 years by Seattle Unity Church.  The sale of this land would help fund the building of a new church for a congregation whose current place of worship is “wearing out” according to church staff.

The prospective plans for the site include a 28-story mixed use apartment building, and a new church of unspecified size. The apartment building would include decks, setbacks and 4 levels of underground parking.

It’s no secret that South Lake Union’s popularity has exploded in recent years, as has development in the area, with numerous other projects in talks or already in progress right near this proposed site. Seattle Unity Church’s founders were forward thinking to have bought the expansive piece of property back in the 1960’s when SLU was called the Cascade neighborhood and Amazon wasn’t a word used in conversation unless you were naming jungles and rivers of the world.

Since the site is currently only zoned for building up to 240 feet, it would seem that Greystar has their work cut out for them to really get this project off the ground (pun intended) as re-zoning would be a must.

Stay tuned for more information and to see if this project officially gets the green-light.

After all, miracles do happen.

A new apartment complex is coming to South Lake Union, located at 403 Dexter Ave. N.   According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the quarter acre lot was sold to Wilshire Capital Partners for $4.1 million.  Recently, it has surfaced that Wilshire Capital Partners has submitted plans for a 24-story apartment complex that will house about 250 units, a small retail space and 85 parking spots. This project, though, is just another on their to-do list.

Two additional apartment towers in South Lake Union are set for construction to begin this coming fall. At 427 9th Ave. N. Wilshire is planning a 26th story apartment tower, as well as a seven-story complex at 525 Boren Ave. N.   Via Architecture, will be designing the three Wilshire apartment buildings.

With Amazon’s headquarters sitting pretty in the middle of South Lake Union, it’s caught the attention of real estate developers looking to cash in on the substantial growth of the area.  Wilshire Capital Partners are amongst many bringing apartment complexes into the area. 

The bustling area known as Lake Union has seen quite a transformation over the years as major corporations have continued to move their massive campuses  around the lake. This in turn has had a positive effect on the property values of Lake Union condos and single family homes. Low inventory, rising rents and proximity to major employers make this area desirable and extremely competitive when selling or buying. According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (MLS), condominium sales in the first half of 2014  have increased from 86 properties to 92 properties compared to the first half of 2013 and single family home sales for 2014 have increased from 38 parcels to 47 parcels compared to over the first half of 2013. The average residential sales price for 3 bedrooms increased from $678,000 to $681,000, however, the average condo sales price of a 2 bedroom increased from $338,000 to $380,000 in the first half of 2014 vs the first half of 2013. Condominiums are the driving force in this area, as they account for the majority of sales in the Lake Union real estate market. Inventory is low, as there are only 14 condominiums currently available in South Lake Union.  Despite rising prices, it is still much cheaper to buy than rent in this area. According to a Feb 2014 Trulia report,  homeownership remains cheaper than renting nationally and in all of the 100 largest metro areas. Rising mortgage rates and home prices have narrowed the gap over the past year, though rates have recently dropped and price gains are slowing. Now, at a 30-year fixed rate of 4.5%, buying is 38% cheaper than renting nationally, versus being 44% cheaper one year ago. In the Seattle Area, Trulia estimates it’s 34% cheaper to buy than rent so if you’re contemplating diving into the market, now is a great time, as prices will almost certainly be higher next year. Lake Union is a rapidly developing area and the real estate market that surrounds it is no different. It is becoming very desirable for young and old alike for it offers a little bit of everything that you would want in city living. If Lake Union sounds like a place to start a new chapter in your life feel free to contact me;  I would love to show you around this fantastic area.

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.