A Tour of 1521

Thanks to Sam, Susan and Tara for the tour of 1521 today.

They didn’t trust my amateur photography so I’ll post “official” photos just as soon as they shoot them and send them over.

I won’t blog about the usual details that you can find on the 1521 website but note some of the highlights instead:

  • 11 (of 143) units left
  • Cheapest unit remaining is $975k.
  • 7 sales in January
  • The views from all units are AMAZING. Normally I’d never buy a north or east facing unit but every floor plan had killer views and got lots of light (I visited at around 1pm.)
  • Cabinetry is all custom and from Quebec. They did this instead of the Pedini, Poliform, etc. so it could be completely custom built to match their interiors and so they weren’t relaying on an overseas vendor in case something went wrong.
  • Buyers had the option of a 38″ counter height. Many took it. To me it felt like the right height for the bathrooms (I’m 5’10”.)
  • I don’t see what the fuss about the “A” stack is. I wouldn’t have noticed I was in the hotly contested A stack unless it was pointed out to me what the problem was.
  • Air rights for surrounding projects have been secured. The lot to the west is owned by the same developer and will be re-built as a seven story building. The lot to the south-west is turning into a deluxe Starbucks with 30 year lease. The Deja Vu has 12 years left on their lease.
  • The units come with window coverings
  • The master bath has a Toto Neorest remote controlled heated seat toilet + bidet combo. We talked more about the toilet than a lot of other details of the condo. Apparently it’s the Bentley of toilets. I had no idea there was demand for bidets but apparently there is and with square footage being at a premium the Neorest is perfect for condos.
  • No trash chutes. Each floor has a recycling and garbage room where you put your stuff. The service elevator opens up to this room where magic happens and the trash is taken out for you.
  • Each unit has a “water cop” that monitors for water leaks and will shut down your water supply if it finds one.
  • I’ve never thought about the need for two entrances to a unit but some of the units on the higher floors have them. Apparently they’re for live-in help.
  • Maybe I haven’t been to a gym recently but their fitness center has machines with built in iPod docks and TVs.
  • There’s a kids room for the grand kids.
  • They sold 25 work studios in the garage. They were approx 200 square feet, empty shells, with water roughed in. They all sold. Price was $60-100k.
  • Buyers are predominately local. 50% were already living in downtown Seattle.
  • Average buyer makes about $750k/year
  • Many buyers are older and aren’t on email or have cell phones.

Anyone catch the lighting of the whole building at 5 PM? I was in meetings all afternoon & evening.

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.

  • http://stroupecondoblog.com Justin Bowers

    Dang it! don't you have anything else better to do than be the first to post. You pretty much covered all the good stuff. Great highlights. That toilet was pretty cool, of course Sam's enthusiasm had a lot to do with my excitement. Too bad everybody was there. Couldn't get the full experience….

  • justanotherludditeinthecity

    “Many Buyers are older and aren't on e-mail or have cell phones”??? …Did Sam really SAY that? Well..that is just so…TRUE. But wait until the revolution comes — Sam will be the very first to come to us Luddites and Neanderthals for advisement on how to plow his fields and sow his oats. Oh…sorry, I guess that last one was already taken care of. All kidding aside, GREAT POST, Matt. And just for the record, most of us that bought unit in this building did not get to where we are in life by avoiding technology. In fact, believe it or not [PLEASE do NOT tell Sam this] we actually do own Blackberries, I-PODS, cell phones with cameras, and YES … computers and sophisticated peripherals that we know how to operate. Imagine that! Not only that, but we know how to log on to UrbnLivn and raise havoc with Matt Goyer! So I guess [even though it might be obvious] it should be stated as a disclaimer that I am a happy Luddite homeowner at Fifteen Twenty-One so anything in this post should be taken under advisement. But here is the point: us Luddites are a pretty happy lot, having purchased units in a pretty damn good looking building where our 'hood is all the joie de vivre of the Pike Place Market, our views are of Elliot Bay and the fabulous lights of the city, we can walk to the Triple Door, Matts at the Market, Le Parisian, and the best Skeriaki in the city. In short, its the very best of what we like to call UrbnLivn, baby.

  • voight-kampff

    when you say “7 sales in jan.” are you referring to reservations that closed, or new purchases? a very important distinction in my book.

  • http://deflationland.blogspot.com christiangustafson

    The fools …

    In two years HUD will own 1521 and it will be mostly Section 8.

  • The MD

    I looked up the information, and there have actually been 8 closed sales in the building as of January 15th. Those 8 units so far in January averaged $1.466MM and some change, according to King County records. All, except for 1, were ranging from floors 18 to 25. The exception was a single unit on floor 8. Unfortunately, the records do not display whether or not it was an preexisting reservation or a brand new sale from “off the streets” this past month.

  • Onehoonose

    I'm wondering how difficult it is to live in a high rise with an elevator, being a Luddite & all. Aren't you supposed to avoid all modern inventions? Also I've heard Sam was raised by hippies & grew his own food until he became a real estate agent last year. I bet he uses a blackberry too.

  • nitsuj

    Hey luddite, how do you get the film in the camera??

  • nitsuj

    Doh, I’m an idiot, should have said in the phone….FAIL

  • FatReport – Frosaker

    Thanks for the sales data… I just called the site and they wouldn't tell me how many were sold. They also said they only had 140 units. You made a comment recently that Bill Hurme with JLS propagated regarding buyers distrust of sales people because of all the BS they have been fed in the past years. I'd say the worst is when marketing groups try to operate behind a curtain of secrecy. Haven't they learned yet… Truth and transparency is the way to make sales and gain trust. Hats off to MCM who seems to have nothing to hide.

  • voight-kampff

    christiangustafson
    I would like to know whay you frequent condo and realestate blogs, if you think these new highrises are so insidious ( I have heard you claim that olive8 will die? what ever that means ) What happens to the other 100 or so buildings that are downtown, do they “die” to. Dont get me wrong, I am not of the belief that things are going to be all rosey downtown ( even though I am buying at olive8), but I am curious if you are just trying to get people to read your blog or if you secretly want to live in one of these diabolical towers? I suspect the latter :)

  • The MD

    Voight-Kampff, I have to agree with you. I don't see downtown being all “rosy” as you put it. But, downtown Seattle didn't really have THAT much building going on when compared to other major U.S. cities. The one good thing about being late to the game in the real estate boom (when other cities were building at a rate of 5 to 1 compared to Seattle) is that we have also mitigated our potential losses more quickly and appropriately. Also, some downtown Seattle developers very were smart – they forced potential buyers into signing agreements that prevented buyers from selling in less than one year after closing and yielding the profits. Otherwise, all profits realized in a sale would go back to the Seller/Developer. This action helped further the prevention of copious amounts of flippers in buildings, thus mitigating large devaluation in unit sales and prices in the future.

    I mean, honestly, we all know how many buildings we heard were going to be built in downtown at the time (when things really started to seem like they were heating up) maybe a little over 18-24 months ago. But, how many of those buildings have come to fruition? In the grand scheme of things, not that many. That's a good thing for downtown Seattle buyers and current owners.

    We shouldn't dislike or speak badly of downtown buyers or the buildings they chose to live in. Because, in fact, most of those people that have bought in downtown have bought those spaces as their homes – not quick deals. Of course there were flippers, but not to the degree realized in other areas across the country. I feel, to the contrary, we should continue cautiously and methodically with urban planning and development, keeping in mind density, true livability, and creating the infrastructure needed to support it.

    This, I believe, is still the way of the future – not suburban sprawl – as we face global warming, increased energy costs, increased food costs, increased commute times, etc. Downtown cores with density and true livability will play an important role to battling many of those issues.

    So, christiangustafson, let's stop implying how “dumb” downtown buyers are, or wishing ill financial will on them, regardless of how you may feel, okay? These are their homes, and they like them. Funny thing… I never really have noticed any downtown buyers blogging about how people in the outer-lying neighborhoods are “fools” as you would put it for buying their homes….10+% depreciation outside of Seattle's downtown core, vs. 3% depreciation in Seattle's downtown core… just a thought to consider.

    And for the record, I live in a great little neighborhood just North of U-Village. I'm not a “downtowner,” but I certainly do respect them.

  • Onehoonose

    Well said MD! Comments like Christian Gustafson's discredit this blog, which many people read often for accurate factual information about what's going on in our neighborhoods. He reminds me of the guy down on 4th & Pine with the “Jesus is Coming- repent or die” sign. “You're all gonna get it good! Hahahaha!!!! ” Would you have us dress in white sheets, burn our mortgage papers & turn in our keys & wait for the great reckoning on rooftops?

  • voight-kampff

    I have lived downtown for 11 years ( mostly at 4th and pike ) and I have lived without a car for 10 of those years, I take the bus to work in kirkland. I save enough money by not driving to aford a nice condo downtown. I am not an investor, just someone who likes living downtown. I agree with you MD, about density. A highrise is built on the same footprint as 2 single family homes with a yard, however it contains some 300 homes. I hope condos dont suffer too badly… we'll see!
    In all honesty, I dont have a problem with christiangustafson and his opinions, I am just thinking he has some form of condo envy :)

  • EconE

    LOL.

    OK…yeah…sure. And the Four Seasons will become a homeless shelter.

    I think we can reserve “HUD” status for the bazillion condo conversions.

  • EconE

    LOL.

    OK…yeah…sure. And the Four Seasons will become a homeless shelter.

    I think we can reserve “HUD” status for the bazillion condo conversions.