The Stranger Looks at Schnitzer

This week The Stranger takes a look at look developer Schnitzer, Schnitzer Hits the Fan – Developer Took Big Risks at the Worst Possible Time.

Schnitzer’s construction crews are finishing hundreds of new condos and scads of office space just as the real-estate market is bottoming out.

Yes, they are striking out: Gallery (<10%), Brix (50%), Equinox (<30% pre-sold). However, Seattle Met will tell you buying a condo downtown may not be all that reckless.

Re: Brix. Last I heard they’ll pay your closing costs, HOAs for two years, and are flexible on price.

Re: Equinox. Last I heard they were attempting some funky sub division of Equinox trying to get all the pre-sale buyers into one tax parcel so they could qualifying that phase for financing.

If I were you and interested in a Schnitzer development I’d wait out the summer and wait until end of year.

Update: Schnitzer wrote me with the latest numbers on Gallery: We have closed over 26% of the units and have another 15% under contract for a total of 40% closed/pending and a few that we are negotiating with right now.

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.

  • Justin Bowers

    I have to say…I do like Gallery. Thought it would have been a little cooler if the SE corner arched at the 3rd floor. They didn't argue what you posted about Brix or Equinox?

  • Chris

    Have you seen the finishes? I wasn't very impressed for the price. I saw a lot of poor craftsmanship, and I wasn't looking that hard. Check out the floor in the some of the demo units, scratched up after a few months…

  • newbuyer

    I live close to Gallery and walk by it almost everyday. It has brightened up that corner of the neighborhood for sure. I really like the look of the place, but I keep waiting for their prices to go down dramatically before I look too seriously. It is overpriced in my opinion. Like it, but overpriced.

  • Justin Bowers

    I went through and took some pics while it was under construction, but haven't personally gone in since it finished. Regardless of finishes though, you're looking at under $500/sq. ft. in Belltown. I really don't beleive there's any reason to complain about price when considering that one of the most desired areas to live in the country is priced at $275k for a 1 bedroom on the corner of 2nd and broad, 1 block from the needle, 2 from the water, around the corner from pretty darn good sushi, internet cafes all around, yadda dadda da.

    The saying still goes that a good buy is location location location. Not finishes finishes finishes. It could be laminent and any buyer should feel like they're getting a “GOOD DEAL” because it most certainly is!!!!!!

    Not like we're talking about bad plumbing. Scratches give a unit a bad price?

    On another note, as a new agent I always thought sellers should paint if the place needs it. But, new paint truly doesn't make much of difference. If anything, w/ Gallery priced so low…inexpensive finishes seem like a good opportunity for someone to come in and do some custom upgrades and turn around to upgrade to another condo themselves in a couple years.

    Right newbuyer below? Just asking…what's your basis on saying it's overpriced? I can be convinced. Just need a logical explanation based on fact and not one of opinion or speculation.

  • Justin Bowers

    question for you above…

  • EconE

    You mean this one?

    Basically a McStudio (hardly a 1BR) looking into a wall that has been listed for 670 days with a piddly $9,100 price drop?

    Sounds like the market has spoken…hardly any value in that.

    Even less of a value if one has to gut the place…even though you seem to feel that the buyer should be ok with that. It's new construction…why serve up crappy finishes at top $$ prices? Especially the bullsh** aluminum oxide coated engineered wood flooring (three strip or not). Have fun trying to replace that. That IMHO is the biggest disservice that whoever chose “finishes” for much of the new construction did for the consumers.

    Time for people to dust off those boring old Economics textbooks…Marketing is soooo 2007.

  • The MD

    One more thing – I think it will be a very good thing for the Seattle market as it will help to break up the incestuous and shady practices so often witnessed across our marketing firms. Seattle simply needs more competition. Competition breeds excellence, even if there is growing pains.

  • Justin Bowers

    Touche–maybe. Looking at comparables, what would you go for? I'd maybe consider ours at the Bellora;) Really like the Concord, but those studios are tiny. The Matae? Site 17 North?

  • EconE

    Any condo w/o outside space is not even one that I would consider…especially the way that the windows…or in many cases…the one window that opens…hardly open more than a crack in most cases. (See 2200 studios/ Open 1BR's for a prime example) It's a personal preference. Setting that aside…

    Ceiling heights in the Concord kitchens are way too low for me. It feels too claustrophobic and If I buy a Toyota, I want to be able to jump up like they used to do in the commercials without bumping my head. Not really into the galaxy black granite/white tile/glass counter combo either. I can see where it was a nice gimmick, and “trendy” for it's day, but it really seems dated now. They should have stuck with simplicity, extended the counters out and use counter height seating rather than barstool height.

    Matae & Site 17 are stick built aren't they? Boo on that.

    Bellora…It's nice that the cabinets are wood rather than the melamine used all over. The floors in your listing still look like the 3 strip floors, yet the countertops are listed as concrete when they appear to be honed absolute black granite. Pretty optimistically priced but that's not my call to make.

    The banks will make their way here in due time…they'll set the market price if the current sellers (Builders/Homeowners) choose not to. Agents are just caught in the middle.

  • Mark W

    The old Watermark Credit Union building at 8th and Stewart now has a For Sale sign on it. It shares the block with two of the Schnitzer office buildings mentioned in the story, and I think Schnitzer had planned to put another 14-story office building there.

  • EconE

    Matt…can you tell us why when Schnitzer relisted unit 409 in Gallery that the cumulative days dropped from the nearly 700 days to less than 400?

    They still have only dropped the price $9,100 since the peak of the market.

    And the unit still sucks IMO

  • EconE

    Matt…can you tell us why when Schnitzer relisted unit 409 in Gallery that the cumulative days dropped from the nearly 700 days to less than 400?

    They still have only dropped the price $9,100 since the peak of the market.

    And the unit still sucks IMO