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Marselle: Great Condos, Crappy Neighborhood

By November 17, 2009


I toured Marselle last weekend, one of the few new condo developments in Seattle that does not tout any concern with the environment (at least they’re honest about it). The interiors are very nice, and there are some beautiful open floorplans. The photos on the website totally do them justice.

However, the photos of the views, like the one below, are entirely misleading, because the squallor of cheap hotels and empty parking lots surrounding Marselle is always neatly cropped out. In fact, many of the lower level units look directly onto walls or rooftops. One even faces the wall of a Quality Inn and has a 6-foot bright yellow glowing Q about 20 feet from the livingroom window. They had the blinds down when they showed that one, so I didn’t get a picture, but there are a few pictures of some horrible views below the jump.

The building is several blocks from Belltown or South Lake Union. The planned lightrail line goes through Capitol Hill, so it’s nowhere near that. The nearest SLUT stop is quite far. So, if you want to get anywhere you’re totally dependent on car or bus. I suppose you could walk to the monorail if you just had to get downtown, but even that would be a bit of a hike in bad weather.

HOA’s are only about $0.30/sqft, and they are payed by the developer through 2011. There is a workout room and a “yoga studio” in the building. I thought the yoga studio would be commercial, but it’s actually an empty room with three yoga balls in it. They are heavily pushing units on the first three floors, some of which have unfinished concrete pillars in awkward places. They seem to be waiting to push the rest of the building (including some two-story units on top) until summer.

Their version of the view: