Update on Escala: Move In Oct 2009

I recently received an update on Escala. Surprisingly it was a rather plain email though rather text heavy. Here’s the most interesting part:

Escala is fully funded and will be complete in late Summer 2009. We expect homeowners to begin moving into their homes in October and November 2009.

Our 1 bedroom homes are located on floors 3-19. We have 2 floors plans one with a 909 sq ft interior with a 136 sq ft covered terrace and one that has a 934 sq ft interior with a 120 sq ft terrace. Our 1 bedroom homes are priced from $595K-$900K.

Our 2 bedroom entry level homes are located on floors 3-24. They have a 1600 sq ft interior with a 176 sq ft covered terrace. They are priced from $950K-$1.8M.

Our 2 bedroom estate homes are located on floors 20-24. We have 2 floors plans one that is 2 bedroom, 2 bath, plus den with a 1942 sq ft interior with two 120 sq ft covered terrace (240 total) and one that is 2 bedroom 2.5 bath with a 1920 sq ft interior with a 283 sq ft covered terrace. They are priced from $2.2M-$2.8M.

Our 3 bedroom homes are located on floors 25-29. They have a 2410 sq ft interior with a 531 sq ft covered terrace. They are priced from $2.6M-$4.2M

Of course the catch is $0.79/square foot HOAs and a $250/month minimum club spending fee.

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.

  • CameronRex

    Any knowledge on what percentage are already in contract? By my figuring, between the HOA and club minimum its roughly a $1000 per month for the smallest 1 bedroom.

  • CameronRex

    Any knowledge on what percentage are already in contract? By my figuring, between the HOA and club minimum its roughly a $1000 per month for the smallest 1 bedroom.

  • The MD

    Es”crap”a is doomed. Last I heard from a credible source, only about a week ago, the building has less than 80 units under contract with Purchase and Sale Agreements. Fully funded or not, these units simply will not sell at these prices, especially when considering the horrid interior selections. Not to mention the continuous negative impressions that are overwhelmingly voiced in the downtown community, specifically at the tacky architecture inside and out. Also, the HOAs that are essentially a profit center for the developer. Its a joke, and Seattleites appear to be more educated than the developer and marketers have anticipated. Well, I'd love to see how many are closed by Summer of '09. That's only six months away and the entire place has been on sale for well over two years. By my estimates, these marketers better get busy and start with a new strategy, or they're going to be sitting with a building that is less than 40% sold when it finally opens.

  • The MD

    Es”crap”a is doomed. Last I heard from a credible source, only about a week ago, the building has less than 80 units under contract with Purchase and Sale Agreements. Fully funded or not, these units simply will not sell at these prices, especially when considering the horrid interior selections. Not to mention the continuous negative impressions that are overwhelmingly voiced in the downtown community, specifically at the tacky architecture inside and out. Also, the HOAs that are essentially a profit center for the developer. Its a joke, and Seattleites appear to be more educated than the developer and marketers have anticipated. Well, I'd love to see how many are closed by Summer of '09. That's only six months away and the entire place has been on sale for well over two years. By my estimates, these marketers better get busy and start with a new strategy, or they're going to be sitting with a building that is less than 40% sold when it finally opens.

  • Dan L

    I signed there a couple of years ago on a one bedroom (it seemed like a good idea at the time), but there's about a 1% chance I'll be closing. Say what you about the building and its interiors – I like both of them a lot – but a $600,000+ one bedroom just doesn't make sense anymore, and I'm sure never really did.

    MD, you are correct that they have about 80 reservations, but I know several people who have bought there and are already looking to back out however they can. That 80 will become 40 very quickly when it comes time to close.

    I wonder, if they have 40 sales in a building that has 275 units, can they continue as condos? Is apartment conversion feasible with the club and high construction cost?

  • Dan L

    I signed there a couple of years ago on a one bedroom (it seemed like a good idea at the time), but there's about a 1% chance I'll be closing. Say what you about the building and its interiors – I like both of them a lot – but a $600,000+ one bedroom just doesn't make sense anymore, and I'm sure never really did.

    MD, you are correct that they have about 80 reservations, but I know several people who have bought there and are already looking to back out however they can. That 80 will become 40 very quickly when it comes time to close.

    I wonder, if they have 40 sales in a building that has 275 units, can they continue as condos? Is apartment conversion feasible with the club and high construction cost?

  • The MD

    Dan L., I hear exactly what you're saying. Unfortunately, it looks like the developer and marketers were way off the mark when they thought the Escala would be an easy sell for Seattle. Simply put, I believe its just too “frilly” at the base, and feels somewhat artificial with its pre-stamped concrete adoration adhered to the sides of the building.

    As for it going to apartments, I honestly do not know how that would “pencil out” either, given the high costs involved in developing the project. If it were to go apartments, they would probably have to be somewhere at 2 times the market rate just to make sense. And, given this economy, that's a tough sell as well as people are pinching their pennies more now than ever – yes, even the rich.

    The only way for it to go apartments, in my opinion, would be for the remaining units that have not yet been completed to undergo a complete redesign in way of interior finishes, making the units less costly to build. Still, though, they'd be pretty expensive.

    As for them going condos? Well, you said it best, Dan L. – We'll only probably see 40 of the existing Purchase and Sale Agreements come to fruition. That would simply mean exhaustive carrying costs on the developer and investors involved in the building. This is feasible if they feel the economy is truly going to turn around in the next several months, but I think we all can agree that simply isn't going to happen at this point. So, it would leave one thing… LOWERING PRICES SUBSTANTIALLY… and I do mean substantially – probably by 25% or more. How would this fare for Realogics or Windermere Onsite when they're trying to keep prices solid in downtown Seattle? Seems to me, they'd have a LOT of angry buyers on their hands not only from Escala, but from other buildings they've been selling too as it would directly negatively impact those current buyers.

    Its an interesting scenario, no doubt. I think it would be in the interest of building a better downtown, and in the best interest of existing downtown home owners, for the City to begin getting more involved in the process with this building as it would also potentially negatively impact their tax revenue stream to have a big, mostly-empty building filling up that space. Also, I find it reckless that it was recently reported the second tower will be coming in the next year or two. We ALL know this is a banquet of bull sh*t, and its insulting to our intelligence. This was a mere ploy to garner additional interest in this development as the marketers and developer know its flopping like a dead cat. It's quite a predicament.

  • The MD

    Dan L., I hear exactly what you're saying. Unfortunately, it looks like the developer and marketers were way off the mark when they thought the Escala would be an easy sell for Seattle. Simply put, I believe its just too “frilly” at the base, and feels somewhat artificial with its pre-stamped concrete adoration adhered to the sides of the building.

    As for it going to apartments, I honestly do not know how that would “pencil out” either, given the high costs involved in developing the project. If it were to go apartments, they would probably have to be somewhere at 2 times the market rate just to make sense. And, given this economy, that's a tough sell as well as people are pinching their pennies more now than ever – yes, even the rich.

    The only way for it to go apartments, in my opinion, would be for the remaining units that have not yet been completed to undergo a complete redesign in way of interior finishes, making the units less costly to build. Still, though, they'd be pretty expensive.

    As for them going condos? Well, you said it best, Dan L. – We'll only probably see 40 of the existing Purchase and Sale Agreements come to fruition. That would simply mean exhaustive carrying costs on the developer and investors involved in the building. This is feasible if they feel the economy is truly going to turn around in the next several months, but I think we all can agree that simply isn't going to happen at this point. So, it would leave one thing… LOWERING PRICES SUBSTANTIALLY… and I do mean substantially – probably by 25% or more. How would this fare for Realogics or Windermere Onsite when they're trying to keep prices solid in downtown Seattle? Seems to me, they'd have a LOT of angry buyers on their hands not only from Escala, but from other buildings they've been selling too as it would directly negatively impact those current buyers.

    Its an interesting scenario, no doubt. I think it would be in the interest of building a better downtown, and in the best interest of existing downtown home owners, for the City to begin getting more involved in the process with this building as it would also potentially negatively impact their tax revenue stream to have a big, mostly-empty building filling up that space. Also, I find it reckless that it was recently reported the second tower will be coming in the next year or two. We ALL know this is a banquet of bull sh*t, and its insulting to our intelligence. This was a mere ploy to garner additional interest in this development as the marketers and developer know its flopping like a dead cat. It's quite a predicament.

  • bryso

    I'm surprised people are downing the architecture. I've met the architect (I work at the next-door hotel) and he seems to be credible with a solid portfolio.

    This project has provided us with headaches for going on 2 years, no one will be happier to see it completed. Regardless of whether or not they sell the units. Can't wait to see all the fancy cars in the neighborhood though.

  • bryso

    I'm surprised people are downing the architecture. I've met the architect (I work at the next-door hotel) and he seems to be credible with a solid portfolio.

    This project has provided us with headaches for going on 2 years, no one will be happier to see it completed. Regardless of whether or not they sell the units. Can't wait to see all the fancy cars in the neighborhood though.

  • newbuyer

    I thought I was the only one who thought the building was ugly and ostentatious. There is no way those will sell unless they reduce prices dramatically.

  • newbuyer

    I thought I was the only one who thought the building was ugly and ostentatious. There is no way those will sell unless they reduce prices dramatically.

  • The MD

    Bryso, if they don't sell the units (which we've determined when closing begins they'll be lucky to have about 40 sales, which is less than 15% closed), you won't be seeing ANY fancy cars around that neighborhood because they'll have to reconsider this development's position in the market as either a lower-priced condominium or as apartments.

  • The MD

    Bryso, if they don't sell the units (which we've determined when closing begins they'll be lucky to have about 40 sales, which is less than 15% closed), you won't be seeing ANY fancy cars around that neighborhood because they'll have to reconsider this development's position in the market as either a lower-priced condominium or as apartments.

  • Chris

    gimme a break, MD. This project might force the developers in BK, it might sit largely vacant for some time, but it will certainly be “high-end” one way or another. Maybe not geared for those with outrageous wealth, but certainly a high-income, professional crowd.

  • Chris

    gimme a break, MD. This project might force the developers in BK, it might sit largely vacant for some time, but it will certainly be “high-end” one way or another. Maybe not geared for those with outrageous wealth, but certainly a high-income, professional crowd.

  • The MD

    Chris, nobody said it wasn't “high end.” I said the project's architecture is tacky – and it is. Kinda like a high-end, Donald Trump project. As for the project being geared to those with “outrageous wealth,” as you would put it, well, you made that an argument – not me. In fact, I believe I was the one saying prices will have to be lowered. So, seriously, give me a break, okay?

  • The MD

    Chris, nobody said it wasn't “high end.” I said the project's architecture is tacky – and it is. Kinda like a high-end, Donald Trump project. As for the project being geared to those with “outrageous wealth,” as you would put it, well, you made that an argument – not me. In fact, I believe I was the one saying prices will have to be lowered. So, seriously, give me a break, okay?

  • bryso

    I should have clarified that I meant once Tom Douglas buys the building and turns it into his largest, most opulent restaurant yet. They'll need valets, no?

  • bryso

    I should have clarified that I meant once Tom Douglas buys the building and turns it into his largest, most opulent restaurant yet. They'll need valets, no?

  • John Kramer

    Great news..isn't it? Hearing that the home owners are return to their homes in late 2009 is dream of everyone who love their nation..Thanks for providing the updates and share them here..Keep writing..
    cat condo

  • whislingdixie

    Any word from your credible source on where Escala is at now? I heard they are suppposed to be moving in soon. are they substantially sold out yet?

  • F Plan sucker

    Anyone have a credible update on Escala? I simply don't feel the sales person is being honest with me in saying it's 54% sold. I also found they have a provision in their public offering statement giving the developer the ability to run a portion of the building as a time share (section 11:13, see escala's website, POS). Is this legal or possible to run a time share in a residential building? Also has anyone been successful in getting out of a contract there? Any updates please?

  • whislingdixie

    Any word from your credible source on where Escala is at now? I heard they are suppposed to be moving in soon. are they substantially sold out yet?

  • F Plan sucker

    Anyone have a credible update on Escala? I simply don't feel the sales person is being honest with me in saying it's 54% sold. I also found they have a provision in their public offering statement giving the developer the ability to run a portion of the building as a time share (section 11:13, see escala's website, POS). Is this legal or possible to run a time share in a residential building? Also has anyone been successful in getting out of a contract there? Any updates please?