How are the new, ultra-luxury condos selling downtown? Last year, Opus finished construction of 1521 2nd Avenue, the blue-and-white tower overlooking the Pike Place Market. It promised 143 units of luxury, with promotion that proclaims "a penthouse on every level." As of today, King County property sales records indicate that 55 of the units of luxury still haven't sold.
But that's practically oversold compared to the vaunted Escala—"among Seattle’s most exclusive addresses"—on 4th Avenue. The Puget Sound Business Journal reported last month that only six of the units had sold, and 67 sales are pending. But a look today at King County sales records find that only two units have sold. If those other units were pending, they're not un-pending and selling very quickly. I called the sales center to ask why they think the condos, which range from about a quarter million to over one million dollars, are selling so slowly. (Of course, the economy is slow, but this seems notably slow.) Had only six sold—or only two—I asked the woman on the phone. She told me curtly, "It is definitely more than that," but she didn't know how many had sold. Could somebody give me a call to let me know how many had sold? She took my number and said someone would "probably call." Uh-huh. They have a new website called "somethingischangingatescalaseattle.com." (No, that's not a joke.)
Meanwhile in Belltown, The Gallery was completed last year. Of its 233 units, 126 are still unsold, according to King County sales records. And on 1st and Pike, plans for the Candela Hotel and Residences seem to be on hold. There was a design review meeting last month to discuss the design for a new building on the site, but a sign up at the parking lot this month says the property owners were applying "to allow a surface parking lot for up to two years with 78 parking spaces." Maybe they'll be luxury parking spaces.