Plaza 600 in South Lake Union Sells for $54.9 Million

Joshua Green Corp partnered with the Urban Renaissance Group to purchase the Plaza 600 in the Central District for $54.9 million. The  20-story office tower was bought from private investor Vance Corp this week, and sold for roughly $262 per square foot. This property is currently 85% leased, and because there is significant short term rollover, the new owner will now have the opportunity to take advantage of the the potential rent growth Seattle has continued to experience. According to the CoStar Group, “noting a shortage of value-add opportunities in major CBD’s in the Western US, Shannon said this was perfect timing for the buyer given the accelerating rents in the market.” At the time of sale, almost 70% of the leases were below market value, and scheduled to roll over within the next four years. For more information on Plaza 600, the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Historic Innis Arden Neighborhood

The historic Innis Arden neighborhood in the Shoreline area is in the spotlight of the Seattle Times this week; with it’s mere 534-home small town appeal, watershed park, and beautiful private beach, it’s no surprise why so many seek to call this enchanted forest home.

Photo Courtesy of Innisarden.com

Over the past few decades, very few of the homes here have changed hands, moving from one generation to the next, and when houses were sold, they did so within days, especially those under the $1 million mark. The neighborhood itself sits on more than 675 acres, with no sidewalks in sight, and no overhead streetlights. Many of those seeking to move to the area are taking after local aerospace hero Bill Boeing, who  took off 80 years ago in search for a serene hunting and fishing retreat from his mansion in the Highlands, and stumbled upon Innis Arden. For more information on the neighborhood and it’s connection to the Highlands area, visit the Seattle Times.

4724 California Ave Design Reivew Meeting This Week

Although development has been slowing down rapidly over the past two years, we are starting to see projects pick up in various areas, such as West Seattle, and North Seattle neighborhoods like Ballard and Fremont. Plans for the 4724 California Ave project in West Seattle are still underway, and a Southwest Design Review Board meeting will be held this Thursday night at 6:30PM at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. This is the first public design meeting for the roughly 100unit building with retail space on the ground floor in the junction at the old Petco site. For more information on this project status, or other developments in the neighborhood, please visit the Department of Planning and Development.

Downtown Seattle Condos Starting to Fill Up

Downtown Seattle Penthouse Condo Available

The past two years have not been promising for the Seattle Condo Market, and condo developers are finally starting to see a turn around in the Downtown area. According to the Seattle Times, roughly two dozen new projects were at work between 2007-2010 during big the real-estate crash. Many of those who bought the pre-sale backed out and several developers ended up converting their buildings to rental units to cater to the economy. Those who stuck it out had to slash prices, and in many cases had to lower the costs by up to 40 percent.

Today the market is starting to look more appealing and beginning to have the first signs that it will bounce back. A few good indicators include Escala raising  some of their prices; one of the largest downtown projects to date, Escala did so quietly, with the majority of their condo units selling for 99% of the asking price, they’ve begun upping the anty as their inventory gets smaller. Also of the 2,500 condo projects that have been built in downtown and surrounding areas, fewer than 250 units is left unsold. There are currently no new projects in place; most developers and lenders have put condos on hold to allow the market to recuperate. If you’re interested in learning more about finding a condo in the Seattle area, here is a list of available units.

Arena Deal Under Seattle City Council Scrutiny

Seattle City Council’s Top Dogs announced yesterday that they settled an agreement with Chris Hansen, hedge fund manager, to build a $490 million dollar sports arena in Sodo, and sent the proposal off to their individual councils to mull over and decide if the arena’s financial plans are feasible, and if the added traffic will affect Sodo’s industrial area. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine came out of the meeting with a positive outlook, with protection for taxpayers and a $800 million ballpark in private investments from Hansen and his investment group, ArenaCo. $290 million of the donations will go towards arena construction, and roughly $500 million will go to purchasing a National Basketball Association team; investors also hope the arena will attract a National Hockey League in the near future.

Seattle investor Chris Hansen & Mayor Mike McGinn Shake on it; Photo Couresty of the Seattle Pi

According to the Seattle Times, this deal could mark one of the largest private capital deals for a project like this in North America. While the arena has been widely accepted as a plausible deal for the city of Seattle, the memorandum of understanding (MOU) will now go to the city and city councils, whose members have openly voiced concerns for traffic congestion in the area’s already bustling sodo district, and loose financial plan. For more information regarding arena construction updates, follow the Seattle Times.

Holland Development Plans Huge High Rise on 9th & Pine

If you’ve always dreamed of living in the highest high rise apartment building in Seattle you’re in luck…. Holland Development is planning the construction for your new humble abode right now! According to a report today in the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce,  Holland is preparing to start construction on what will soon be noted as Seattle’s tallest apartment tower. The building will sit on the Southwest corner of 9th & Pine just West of the Paramount Theater and will stand nearly 40 feet taller than the nearby Aspira building. The building is planned to be 440 feet tall, with 386 units and 269 parking stalls. While this might seem like a hefty project for Holland Development by itself, they also have 6 other projects in the works and will be responsible for putting 1,400 new apartment units downtown. For more information on the project please visit the Daily Journal of Commerce.

Buying a Home Might Not Get Much Cheaper

Many renters today are choosing to put off buying a home for several reasons, statistics show that buying a home might not get any cheaper than it is right now. Experts say that 2012 may bet the last year for buyers to take advantage of the weak housing market and foreclosure influx. According to CNN Money, home prices are down 34% Nationally from 2006, and mortgage rates are at an all time low, making it the best year yet to find the bargain deal of a lifetime.

Economists with PNC Financial Services believe that home prices will flatten out by the third quarter of this year, and might begin to climb at the beginning of next year. There are several indicators that the housing market is picking up like the decline in foreclosures, and continued job growth nationwide, and buyers will have more access to affordable mortgages as they build their credit scores. While some prospective buyers who have been wary might be more willing to follow through because of the all-time low mortgage rates and lower home values, some renters still aren’t in a position to take the next step and will ultimately miss the grace period. For more information on the housing market, click here.

Survey Shows Renters More Optimistic About Buying

Renters in today’s market may have seen the value of their parent’s homes sky rocket, then deplete, or they most likely know someone who’s home is up for foreclosure. According to a survey done by the PulteGroup, The hope of home ownership is still in the air for many who rent and want to buy. Survey results showed that 60% of renters who said they would like to buy a home in the future have increased their intent to buy a home in comparison to a year ago. 61% of those folks also said they planned to purchase a home within the next two years.

When asked if they thought buying a home was a good investment, 44% of those poled said yes. According to Builderonline.com, the PulteGroup’s responded to the overall survey results with “We are seeing a renewed sense of optimism, especially from young professionals and young families visiting our communities nationwide,” Deborah Meyer, PulteGroup senior vice president. Many factors went into this survey and interestingly enough the pole also found that just over 1/4 of those poled believe that renting is cheaper than buying, and a little shy of a quarter are still worried about a stable job. For more information on Rentals and For Sale listings in the area, visit Craistlist.

Home Prices in King County on the Rise!

For the first time in a very long time, home prices in King County rose last month, and have increased significantly in the Seattle city limits. According to the Seattle Pi, the median sale price was $360,000 countrywide in April and was $425,000 in Seattle. Rates have risen 2.9% nationwide, and 10.4% in Seattle alone. There’s something to be said for the Northwest after all.

Of course, there are still areas within King County that aren’t seeing the same increase that Seattle is, such as South King County where activity was simply OK. Lender owned homes, which generally sell for less went up this month as well, and overall sales of homes and condos were up in Seattle, and nationwide 19.2%.  Pending sales in our city have risen, indicating an increase in activity even though some of these don’t always close. It’s very promising that although the prices of homes are continually on the rise in Seattle and the surrounding King County areas, sales are just as high as ever. For listings in the Seattle area, click here.

Capitol Hill Home For Sale: $1,275,000

This beautifully restored Capitol Hill home is newly on the market, and sits directly across from Volunteer Park. The lovely designed home has been featured in Seattle Homes & other local magazines, for it’s fine craftsmanship, and beautiful mill work, with beamed ceilings and built-ins. The expansive kitchen gets a hearty amount of natural sunlight, with top of the line appliances and finishes. The master bathroom is enormous, as is the closet, and the 3rd floor even has a media room for entertainment! If you’d like more information on this wonderful Capitol treasure, with 4 bedrooms, and 2.75 baths click here.

Status: For Sale
Bed/Bath: 4/2.75
List Price: $1,275,000