‘Convertible to condos’ sign of a weakening market?

Are apartments that are built to be ‘convertible to condos’ a sign of a weakening condo market? I’m aware of two projects on Capitol Hill but I’m sure there are more.

12th and Pike Lofts

This first project is one I became really interested in as an alternative to Trace Lofts at 12th and Pike tentatively named the Agnes Lofts. In the end because I got a shot at #201 I decided to go with Trace but if I hadn’t I might very well have rented here.

1081276 2447b45120 m Convertible to condos sign of a weakening market?

  • Developer: Liz Dunn of 1310 E Union
  • Finished end of August
  • 24 units
  • Wood with some steel construction
  • Double one and one-plus bedrooms with 1.5 baths
  • 600-950 square feet
  • $1,300 to $2,400/month
  • No west facing views
  • Convert in 2-4 years
  • No balconies but 4′ sliding doors with a railing directly in front
  • Rooftop deck with BBQ, views, plantings and BBQ
  • Kitchen finishes: White cabinets, horizontal uppers and open shelving (in stainless stell)
  • Stainless appliances
  • Grayish linoleum countertop with steel back splash
  • Black track light with brushed nickel track heads will be mounted to the underside of the loft (wood decking)
  • Mezzanine loft area bathrooms will be ful size with double sinks and wall mounted faucets
  • First floor units will have concrete floors and hardwood mezzanines
  • Second and third floors will have hardwood throughout, most likely bamboo
  • See more renderings

It sounds like a really nice project.

East John Court

I found out about this project from the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog. I don’t know much about it but it certainly looks nice in this rendering.

East%20John%20Court Corner Color Convertible to condos sign of a weakening market?

From the Studio Meng Strazzara website, 15th Avenue East & East John Street:

We are designing this 33-unit brick apartment building in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The apartment is laid out so that it could be converted to condominiums. This building has one floor of underground parking, ground floor commercial retail space, and three floors of apartment units.

About Matt

Matt , Urbnlivn's publisher, has a love for lofts with industrial features and new construction condos that is only eclipsed by his passion for outdoor sports and urban living. Phrases such as “polished concrete” and “exposed brick” are music to his ears. You can also find Matt on Twitter or skiing.

  • peckhammer

    “Are apartments that are built to be convertible to condos a sign of a weakening condo market?”

    No. This is done so that the developer can hold the property until the warranty and statute of limitations for construction defects have passed. Then the building can be converted to condos leaving the developer free from construction defect law suits.

    See all those buildings around town that are wrapped in plastic? That’s what they want to avoid paying for…

  • peckhammer

    “Are apartments that are built to be ‘convertible to condos’ a sign of a weakening condo market?”

    No. This is done so that the developer can hold the property until the warranty and statute of limitations for construction defects have passed. Then the building can be converted to condos leaving the developer free from construction defect law suits.

    See all those buildings around town that are wrapped in plastic? That’s what they want to avoid paying for…

  • EconE

    “No. This is done so that the developer can hold the property until the warranty and statute of limitations for construction defects have passed. Then the building can be converted to condos leaving the developer free from construction defect law suits.”

    note to self…never buy a condo where the developer has to actually even consider the term “statute of limitations” when it comes to construction defects.

  • EconE

    “No. This is done so that the developer can hold the property until the warranty and statute of limitations for construction defects have passed. Then the building can be converted to condos leaving the developer free from construction defect law suits.”

    note to self…never buy a condo where the developer has to actually even consider the term “statute of limitations” when it comes to construction defects.

  • PhilW

    Financing is easier; especially in an overbuilt condo market (like Seattle).

    As for condo defects – most show up in the first couple of years. Always hire your own inspector when buying real estate (condos included). Take advantage of the Internet, and see what kind of materials and construction to avoid. Check out other buildings built by the developer, builder, and sub-contractors.

  • PhilW

    Financing is easier; especially in an overbuilt condo market (like Seattle).

    As for condo defects – most show up in the first couple of years. Always hire your own inspector when buying real estate (condos included). Take advantage of the Internet, and see what kind of materials and construction to avoid. Check out other buildings built by the developer, builder, and sub-contractors.

  • JDP

    This was the strategy when the Athena, Bolero, Onyx and several others were built, then they were sold to the “convertors”. There is also a shortage of decent apartments for large investors because of the conversion boom we just went through. Opus built “M” street sold it for apartments, it could have gone condo in a different market.

  • JDP

    This was the strategy when the Athena, Bolero, Onyx and several others were built, then they were sold to the “convertors”. There is also a shortage of decent apartments for large investors because of the conversion boom we just went through. Opus built “M” street sold it for apartments, it could have gone condo in a different market.

  • Jeff

    It is actually being done more because the market for apartments is so hot right now. They are building apartments and making them able to be transformed into condos in case the market turns during or after construction.

  • Jeff

    It is actually being done more because the market for apartments is so hot right now. They are building apartments and making them able to be transformed into condos in case the market turns during or after construction.

  • Trevor

    Perhaps the developer believes that Seattle real estate (especially the Pike/Pine corridor) will continue to experience robust appreciation and sees holding onto the asset as a good investment.

  • Trevor

    Perhaps the developer believes that Seattle real estate (especially the Pike/Pine corridor) will continue to experience robust appreciation and sees holding onto the asset as a good investment.

  • Bria

    Finally logged on here as this 15th & John building is starting to look completed ‘cuz I figured you’d know about it … I can’t believe it’s apartments. They look really nice (high proportion of windows), I’m surprised. Hopefully they won’t finish them crappily….

  • Bria

    Finally logged on here as this 15th & John building is starting to look completed ‘cuz I figured you’d know about it … I can’t believe it’s apartments. They look really nice (high proportion of windows), I’m surprised. Hopefully they won’t finish them crappily….

  • GW

    In the case of the East John Court project, it was conceived from day one as a rental apartment building and the owner’s intent has always been to hold it for decades, not months or years.

  • GW

    In the case of the East John Court project, it was conceived from day one as a rental apartment building and the owner’s intent has always been to hold it for decades, not months or years.