Escala instead of the Condo Expo

1129865 845ff0d9ac m Escala instead of the Condo Expo

I was a little too hungover to make it to the condo expo today (though CrazyAboutCities was there and has a report.) I’ve found that putting on a smiley face and bullshitting with sales associates requires a certain level of mental dexterity, a level I was not possessing today. I did manage to make myself some what presentable in order to go check out the just opened Escala sales center before it closed at 6pm. Had I opened either my snail mail or read my e-mail I would have found an invitation to some VIP champagne event last Thursday but I had to settle for slumming it sans-champagne this afternoon.

They definitely win the award for the largest sales center. In fact their model unit is 3000 square feet with private foyer and mock elevator. It is also very opulently decorated and targeted at the empty nesters moving in the from the suburbs (gold frames just aren’t my style.)

I was pleasantly surprised that they do have units in my price range of under $600k. ‘Residence B’ at 909 square feet definitely caught my eye and at $577,000 for a 7th floor east facing unit isn’t a bad deal all things considered at $634/square foot. HOA’s are $0.79/square foot but include membership to Cielo the private club.

I don’t think Escala is for me because while the exterior architecture of the building is striking the interior of the units feel like all the other units in the same price range. I’m looking for a nice looking building with distinctive interiors. The other things is that with so many million plus dollar units I don’t think I would really fit in. I’d go to dinner in at the club ($250/month minimum charge) in my jeans and t-shirt only to find that everyone else was thirty years my age and all dressed up (granted those are $200 jeans and a $100 t-shirt.) I think Gun Club is much more my style and doesn’t impact my HOA dues and no monthly minimum spending requirements. Though the idea of a truly private club is rather appealing to my inner-Manhattan. Hopefully Ashley buys there so I can wrangle an invitation now and then to dine amongst Seattle’s urban elite.

It’s also time that UrbnLivn bought me a new camera for my field trips. Here is a very blurry photo that gives you some sense of their sales progress to date:

1129864 53bb907d2d Escala instead of the Condo Expo

Sounds like 137 of the 275 units have been reserved and of those 137 around 50 have converted to purchase and sale.

Sales center battle: SLU vs. Escala

Going back to Sales centers cost how much!? now that Escala’s has opened – if we pitted the two sales centers against each other Escala definitely wins on size but I like the organization and flow of the Discover SLU more which still gets my vote as best sales center in Seattle.

About Matt

Matt , Urbnlivn's publisher, has a love for lofts, floating homes and mid-century moderns.

For years Matt resisted becoming a real estate agent preferring to be an executive in the startup world but he recently caved in the spring of 2014 and became an agent.

You can also find Matt on Twitter or skiing.

  • Dan

    Hey Matt, I’m a buyer there (B plan on the east side) and you’re invited to come check out the facilities once it’s built. I’m hoping it’s going to be as amazing as they say. By the way, it looks to me like there are about 100 sold cards on the board (I counted as I have a vested interest in how well it sells). Seems pretty good! I agree though about the finishes, they could be a little more high end for the price point.

  • Dan

    Hey Matt, I’m a buyer there (B plan on the east side) and you’re invited to come check out the facilities once it’s built. I’m hoping it’s going to be as amazing as they say. By the way, it looks to me like there are about 100 sold cards on the board (I counted as I have a vested interest in how well it sells). Seems pretty good! I agree though about the finishes, they could be a little more high end for the price point.

  • Jamie

    I also checked out Escala this weekend. I was really ready to be wowed since it has been so hyped up. I was amazed at the size of the presentation center and the size of the model home was pretty amazing too. But that was about the only thing I was impressed by. The finishes left a lot to be desired. In the model kitchen and bathes I didn’t even think the finishes matched. I think it was too stylized. It was such a retro art deco vibe that even with my own style/taste/furniture it still would have the same feeling. I wasn’t sure if the plastic bathroom walls came standard or if that was just the interior designer being off the wall but either way I hated it. Although the deck space is awesome and the outside fireplace is so cool. I would really like to find out what other people thought of the finishes. On another note tell me if I am crazy but I was shocked when I asked about the 6,300 square foot penthouse (5,300 sq ft interior space and 1,000 sq ft deck!) It is starting around 12 Million! Yikes $2264 per sq ft(not counting deck sq ft)

  • Jamie

    I also checked out Escala this weekend. I was really ready to be wowed since it has been so hyped up. I was amazed at the size of the presentation center and the size of the model home was pretty amazing too. But that was about the only thing I was impressed by. The finishes left a lot to be desired. In the model kitchen and bathes I didn’t even think the finishes matched. I think it was too stylized. It was such a retro art deco vibe that even with my own style/taste/furniture it still would have the same feeling. I wasn’t sure if the plastic bathroom walls came standard or if that was just the interior designer being off the wall but either way I hated it. Although the deck space is awesome and the outside fireplace is so cool. I would really like to find out what other people thought of the finishes. On another note tell me if I am crazy but I was shocked when I asked about the 6,300 square foot penthouse (5,300 sq ft interior space and 1,000 sq ft deck!) It is starting around 12 Million! Yikes $2264 per sq ft(not counting deck sq ft)

  • Charlie

    I also checked out the Escala this weekend and was totally blown away. I see what you mean, Jamie, about the retro art deco style; but I think that is exactly what Seattle needs. The “plastic bathroom walls” were a little different, but I asked about them and found out that they are high end wallpaper – which is being seen in all of the top design magazines. I guess it just depends on your taste… I thought it was brilliant. I love the thick counter tops and the flow of the floor plans. It really felt like somewhere I could live and not like a cheesy condo with no privacy. The cabinets are top of the line… the other fixtures are pretty amazing considering what has happened at other projects. I heard that even the smaller units get bosch as standard and that every unit can upgrade. I’ll have to find out more though. Either way it seems like the project is going really well. I set up an appointment for next week to find out more.

  • Charlie

    I also checked out the Escala this weekend and was totally blown away. I see what you mean, Jamie, about the retro art deco style; but I think that is exactly what Seattle needs. The “plastic bathroom walls” were a little different, but I asked about them and found out that they are high end wallpaper – which is being seen in all of the top design magazines. I guess it just depends on your taste… I thought it was brilliant. I love the thick counter tops and the flow of the floor plans. It really felt like somewhere I could live and not like a cheesy condo with no privacy. The cabinets are top of the line… the other fixtures are pretty amazing considering what has happened at other projects. I heard that even the smaller units get bosch as standard and that every unit can upgrade. I’ll have to find out more though. Either way it seems like the project is going really well. I set up an appointment for next week to find out more.

  • http://twitter.com/mattgoyer mattgoyer

    Dan, thanks, I’ll take you up on the offer in a few years :).

    “Charlie”, your IP address indicates that you are logged in from lexascompanies.com who is the developer of Escala. Naturally, I’m a little skeptical of your claims to be setting up an appointment for next week. Nice try though.

  • http://urbnlivn.com Matt Goyer

    Dan, thanks, I’ll take you up on the offer in a few years :).

    “Charlie”, your IP address indicates that you are logged in from lexascompanies.com who is the developer of Escala. Naturally, I’m a little skeptical of your claims to be setting up an appointment for next week. Nice try though.

  • Charlie

    Oh man, Matt! You caught me. At least I stated the facts. Just couldn’t take the “plastic walls” comment. can you blame me? I love those walls. Everyone has a different style… glad you made it out to check out the model.

  • Charlie

    Oh man, Matt! You caught me. At least I stated the facts. Just couldn’t take the “plastic walls” comment. can you blame me? I love those walls. Everyone has a different style… glad you made it out to check out the model.

  • Jamie

    Haha Matt! You know I always wondered if developers or agents did that on here. Posed as if they were a buyer. I don’t have any problem with people in the condo business commenting but at least be honest about it. So I don’t know if I would call Charlies comments “facts” and either are mine they were just opinions. And I would like to hear someone else’s opinions on Escala preferably not someone connected to the project.

  • Jamie

    Haha Matt! You know I always wondered if developers or agents did that on here. Posed as if they were a buyer. I don’t have any problem with people in the condo business commenting but at least be honest about it. So I don’t know if I would call Charlies comments “facts” and either are mine they were just opinions. And I would like to hear someone else’s opinions on Escala preferably not someone connected to the project.

  • jo

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    get a breath

    hahahahahahahaahhahahahaahhahahahahaaaahahahhahahahahhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhahahahahhahaahhhhhaahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahhahahahaha

    “i setup an appointment next week”

    hahhahahahahhahahaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaahahahaaahahhhhahahaa

    oh my goodness

  • jo

    hqaahahaaahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhahahaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahaahahahaahaaahhhaaaaaaaaaaahhhaahahaaahahahahahhhhhahahahaaa

    get a breath

    hahahahahahahaahhahahahaahhahahahahaaaahahahhahahahahhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhahahahahhahaahhhhhaahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahhahahahaha

    “i setup an appointment next week”

    hahhahahahahhahahaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaahahahaaahahhhhahahaa

    oh my goodness

  • Dan

    HA HA!! Well it’s good to see that Matt’s blog is big enough to attract developer attention! That being the case, I’ll take this opportunity to elaborate on my previous comment that the finishes could be better, as it seems that the developer is paying attention here.

    I reserved my unit last summer with the promise of lots of high end finish options to choose from. After all, they’re touting “luxury” and “grandeur.” When it came time to see the model and sign the PSA, the finish options were few and for the most part not what I’d call luxury. I’m talking base options here, because at nearly $700/SF for my unit I’d expect that I don’t need to spend another $100K in upgrades. I still decided to purchase my unit because I like the location, the building and the floorplan. But Olive 8 or Enso, which are at similar price points, have a larger range of base options and they’re nicer. Here’s a link to pics of each of the finishes and my review.

    http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?p=13313598#post13313598

    **Flooring, 4 options. The two center options are fairly similar, and I wish the dark wood option was a LOT darker, because that’s what I’d choose. There needs to be more variety.

    **Cabinets, 3 base options (shown left), 2 upgrade options (shown right. These are standard on the upper floor units). This is where I really have an issue. Cabinets are the most difficult (and expensive) thing to change out, and I’m not really keen on any of these. The 3 left are pretty bland, not to mention similar in tone, and the two right options are on the wild side. Again, I think there should be a dark wood option, and it would be nice if they had more woodgrain (they look like laminates). Again, needs more variety, and something in between wild and mild.

    **Carpet, 3 options. Who wants black carpet, honestly? The gray is decent. How about a nice cream color? And wool instead of nylon?

    **Granite counters, 3 options. These are pretty good, nice variations between colors. I like the light one at left. I hope they are 1.5″++ thick as shown in the model.

    **Bathroom tile, 3 options. Pretty nice stuff (ceramic), but how about a natural stone option? I think a lot of people prefer a natural material to manufactured, it looks more high end.

    **Model bathroom. Overall pretty good, I like the dark cabinets and handles. The faucets are ok, but are mid-range Kohler. I’d like to see maybe the “Stillness” line (like Cristalla) or the “Purist” line (like Enso). Kohler’s high end fixtures should be standard in this building.

    Overall I can make it work with the options provided and be fairly happy, but for a building that has marketed itself as all about luxury and customization, the reality falls short. I hope we see some additional choices forthcoming.

  • Dan

    HA HA!! Well it’s good to see that Matt’s blog is big enough to attract developer attention! That being the case, I’ll take this opportunity to elaborate on my previous comment that the finishes could be better, as it seems that the developer is paying attention here.

    I reserved my unit last summer with the promise of lots of high end finish options to choose from. After all, they’re touting “luxury” and “grandeur.” When it came time to see the model and sign the PSA, the finish options were few and for the most part not what I’d call luxury. I’m talking base options here, because at nearly $700/SF for my unit I’d expect that I don’t need to spend another $100K in upgrades. I still decided to purchase my unit because I like the location, the building and the floorplan. But Olive 8 or Enso, which are at similar price points, have a larger range of base options and they’re nicer. Here’s a link to pics of each of the finishes and my review.

    http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?p=13313598#post13313598

    **Flooring, 4 options. The two center options are fairly similar, and I wish the dark wood option was a LOT darker, because that’s what I’d choose. There needs to be more variety.

    **Cabinets, 3 base options (shown left), 2 upgrade options (shown right. These are standard on the upper floor units). This is where I really have an issue. Cabinets are the most difficult (and expensive) thing to change out, and I’m not really keen on any of these. The 3 left are pretty bland, not to mention similar in tone, and the two right options are on the wild side. Again, I think there should be a dark wood option, and it would be nice if they had more woodgrain (they look like laminates). Again, needs more variety, and something in between wild and mild.

    **Carpet, 3 options. Who wants black carpet, honestly? The gray is decent. How about a nice cream color? And wool instead of nylon?

    **Granite counters, 3 options. These are pretty good, nice variations between colors. I like the light one at left. I hope they are 1.5″++ thick as shown in the model.

    **Bathroom tile, 3 options. Pretty nice stuff (ceramic), but how about a natural stone option? I think a lot of people prefer a natural material to manufactured, it looks more high end.

    **Model bathroom. Overall pretty good, I like the dark cabinets and handles. The faucets are ok, but are mid-range Kohler. I’d like to see maybe the “Stillness” line (like Cristalla) or the “Purist” line (like Enso). Kohler’s high end fixtures should be standard in this building.

    Overall I can make it work with the options provided and be fairly happy, but for a building that has marketed itself as all about luxury and customization, the reality falls short. I hope we see some additional choices forthcoming.

  • EconE

    so…Charlie…Mr. Developer…whoever.

    did you actually purchase one of your units or are you just a shill?

  • EconE

    so…Charlie…Mr. Developer…whoever.

    did you actually purchase one of your units or are you just a shill?

  • richard

    How much can one get paid for blog shilling? If Charlie makes enough at this job to afford a unit in this price range I’m impressed. That said we’re probably seeing a real estate based remake of the dot com bubble if the pay for these skills is in the $150K/yr range.

  • richard

    How much can one get paid for blog shilling? If Charlie makes enough at this job to afford a unit in this price range I’m impressed. That said we’re probably seeing a real estate based remake of the dot com bubble if the pay for these skills is in the $150K/yr range.

  • refuGEE

    Oh dear, Charlie. This lack of sophistication in viral marketing tells me *lots* about why we don’t want to live at your place. Tsk.

  • refuGEE

    Oh dear, Charlie. This lack of sophistication in viral marketing tells me *lots* about why we don’t want to live at your place. Tsk.

  • LilSister

    Kind of a late posting, but, I went to the VIP champagne event, and how I was impressed by the sales center and the show room, the marketing was less then steller. I got one 8 1/2″ X 11″ paper, the front had some upscale rich girl, probably posing in New York City and the back listed all the amenities…LISTED…no pictures, no details. A huge list. As a prospective buyer (which I was) I saw that and thought, “They are NOT looking for someone who hasn’t done the research yet.” Mind you, I stayed and drank my champagne, had some yummy curry-chicken thingy’s and met some very interesting people.

    I guess being a marketing major in college caused me to base everything on the brochure, but I can’t help it.

  • LilSister

    Kind of a late posting, but, I went to the VIP champagne event, and how I was impressed by the sales center and the show room, the marketing was less then steller. I got one 8 1/2″ X 11″ paper, the front had some upscale rich girl, probably posing in New York City and the back listed all the amenities…LISTED…no pictures, no details. A huge list. As a prospective buyer (which I was) I saw that and thought, “They are NOT looking for someone who hasn’t done the research yet.” Mind you, I stayed and drank my champagne, had some yummy curry-chicken thingy’s and met some very interesting people.

    I guess being a marketing major in college caused me to base everything on the brochure, but I can’t help it.