Condo Conversion-alooza Displaces Seattlest

Seattlest had a post last week on the difficulties of renting downtown amid raising rents and increasing conversion, Condo Conversion-alooza Displaces Seattlest … Sort Of:

But we hadn’t planned well, we weren’t smart. We hadn’t played by the aforementioned rules.

There are no “less-expensive” 1BR apartments in Seattle. None with the space and legal allowances for two people, two cats, IKEA furnishings, and random shit that people acquire over 30-odd years. None in Queen Anne. None in Green Lake or Wallingford. None in Fremont, Ballard, Phinney. None in West Seattle.

Because what hasn’t gone condo in the last few years is going condo now. Nearly 1,500 Seattle apartments already have this year. And the conversionistas lurk, ready to pounce, fuck with tenants’ lives and tear the hopes out of their collective heart. Because, as the P-I notes, there’s no cap on condo conversions in our city.

Accordingly, two days before our expected move-in date, we got a call.

Watermarke manager: “Oops, sorry, our building was sold to condo people this weekend. We’re asking everyone to move out. So you can’t move in.”

This certainly mirrors the stories of a few of my friends looking for places to rent.

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.

  • Bob

    People who write about these things should include their price range, square footage (1 BR apt can be 400 or 1000 sqft), and amenities that they are looking for (or can do without).

    Craigslist is the place!

  • Bob

    People who write about these things should include their price range, square footage (1 BR apt can be 400 or 1000 sqft), and amenities that they are looking for (or can do without).

    Craigslist is the place!

  • kpom

    Judging from this blog, it sounds as if a significant fraction of the new condos will soon be back on the market for rental…

  • kpom

    Judging from this blog, it sounds as if a significant fraction of the new condos will soon be back on the market for rental…

  • tomasyalba

    This too shall pass. The window for conversions is slamming shut. Severe shortage of Greater Fools coming up. Just as well you missed out on the Watermarke, though: not such a great place according to friends who got out a couple years ago. Take heart – kpom’s got it right!

  • tomasyalba

    This too shall pass. The window for conversions is slamming shut. Severe shortage of Greater Fools coming up. Just as well you missed out on the Watermarke, though: not such a great place according to friends who got out a couple years ago. Take heart – kpom’s got it right!

  • Steve

    New apartment buildings are being built left and right from what I can see driving around day to day. Apartment buildings are still visibly marketing themselves telling me they have units available to rent. Its is not the Apartment owners responsibility to provide low rent apartments for those who did not plan their lives well or have had unfortunate things happen to them. Maybe instead of acquiring random shit over 30 odd years you should have saved for a downpayment on a home. We live in America where people have the right to free enterprise what do these people think will happen when we tell apartment owners that they cannot use their property for their highest and best use? Most of the apartment buildings that I see being converting go from a building in a downward life cycle to something that is rejuvenated bringing life to neighborhood and people who will frequent the neighborhood bars, shops and restaurants making the neighborhood stronger, its called gentrification. It basically comes down to the fact that when you rent you are putting someone else in control over where you live and that is the price you pay for a lower month to month payment. If conversion products, which are the lowest priced form of home ownership, goes away it will force people to continue renting thus never building equity and stuck in a eternal cycle of renting. Like it has been stated before it will come down to economics. It is not the responsibility of the city to tell apartment owners what they can and cannot do with their property.

  • Steve

    New apartment buildings are being built left and right from what I can see driving around day to day. Apartment buildings are still visibly marketing themselves telling me they have units available to rent. Its is not the Apartment owners responsibility to provide low rent apartments for those who did not plan their lives well or have had unfortunate things happen to them. Maybe instead of acquiring random shit over 30 odd years you should have saved for a downpayment on a home. We live in America where people have the right to free enterprise what do these people think will happen when we tell apartment owners that they cannot use their property for their highest and best use? Most of the apartment buildings that I see being converting go from a building in a downward life cycle to something that is rejuvenated bringing life to neighborhood and people who will frequent the neighborhood bars, shops and restaurants making the neighborhood stronger, its called gentrification. It basically comes down to the fact that when you rent you are putting someone else in control over where you live and that is the price you pay for a lower month to month payment. If conversion products, which are the lowest priced form of home ownership, goes away it will force people to continue renting thus never building equity and stuck in a eternal cycle of renting. Like it has been stated before it will come down to economics. It is not the responsibility of the city to tell apartment owners what they can and cannot do with their property.