We had a great meetup last Tuesday at the Lakeview Lofts on Eastlake. Big thanks to Jon Hunter for organizing and getting us some beers from two beers brewery and thanks to all of you who came by to chat. We ended up partying late and switched venues at 10:30 over to Pazzo’s Pizza which we were surprised to find packed. I guess Eastlake isn’t so suburban afterall!
As always we got the inside scoop on a few stories – from the return of the Pony to Capitol Hill (just next door to me at 12th and Madison), to someone walking away from their earnest money at Trace North (ouch), to condo insiders calling for a reset of the whole condo market in Seattle (onsite folks aren’t happy with how things have played out). The rest is fuzzy, I think I drank too much (Jon, we need food next time!)
I don’t know when the next meetup will be but folks are unanimous that it should be at the Columbia Tower again. Which is hard to swing since I’m not a member!
However, folks came not just for the meetup but also to check out the Lakeview Lofts:
A reader actually gave me a heads up about this project back in August but I never got off my butt to do the research. I’m glad I eventually did because there’s something good here. The german architect, Carsten Stinn, previously of NBBJ, who has lived at the location for something like 15 years bought his neighbors lot and demo’d both their houses to make way for the six unit ultra-green project (LEED platinum). In fact, he still lives there, in the detached unit on the south west corner of the lot (it’s the building to the right in that above photo. I like the external roof top staircase as a way to save indoor space).
He definitely hasn’t cut any corners. Here’s just what I remember being pointed out:
- Roof top solar heated water system for hot water and radiant floor heating (with an on-demand backup system)
- Option for photovoltaic cells (which you can get a tax credit of approximately $10k for)
- Central vac (with a cute kitchen dust pan thingy)
- Induction cook top (I had no idea they were so expensive)
- Windows in the garage doors (so you need use less lighting)
- Soft close cabinets in the kitchen with spice drawer and butcher block pull out
- Space in the kitchen for a garbage can and a recycling bin
- Fan in the garage to suck out the exhaust
- Big deep undermount sink in the Cambian black granite countertops (the first black granite coutertops that I actually like!)
- Windows carefully placed so you’re not looking at your neighbors
- Kitchens for a few units were on the top floor to maximize views which I loved. I did not like how the NoJo Townhouses on Capitol Hill had the living room + kitchens on the 2nd floor missing out on the great views from the 3rd floor. Who needs a bedroom with a view?
- All lighting is LED or fluorescent lighting
- Dual sink in the bathroom
- The site has a 10,000 gallon tank that’s not in use yet but could be if the residents want to take advantage of it
- Some cool mail boxes. Sorry forgot to take a photo
Everything you could ask for is there and then some; these are some pimp townhomes. And it was a treat to tour the units with Carsten and have all the details pointed out because some you’d definitely miss.
We also heard how it took two years for them to get approval to deviate from townhouse rules so they could avoid putting in “chicken coop” high fenced yards in and instead have wide open spaces. Planners should look to these townhomes as a model example of what’s possible by breaking the rules.
But at $800k for 2354 Minor Ave E they’re not cheap but they are nice.
Keep in mind I’m biased since they hosted the party. What did you think?