Downtown development


In  August 2016, the sales price per unit on downtown Seattle condos increased an incredible 31% over the previous month. According to the Urban Condo Spaces site, condo units sold, on average, in 17 days, possibly driving the number of buyers making offers sooner, due to the short turnaround. The highest price unit was on the 39th floor of Insignia Towers (see photo) and sold for $2.8 million.

Although the Seattle Times reported that 30-year fixed mortgage rates recently rose 3.46%, mortgage rates still remain at a historically low level. Depending upon the circumstance, this may be good news for buyers as well.

Developers base their projects on demand, comparing what’s charged per square foot to costs and timing needed for construction. Since the average sale price per unit in July rose from $755,828 to $993,320 in August, the condo building boon will most likely continue for some time into the future.


On Tuesday, Martin Selig Real Estate announced that they have plans to purchase a 101-year old building at 1925 Third Ave in downtown Seattle for $7.5 million. This comes conveniently timed after the recent purchase of a parking garage just north of the building for $6.5. Reportedly, Selig has plans to build a 440 feet tall live/work tower, eerily similar to his late 2014 acquisition one that is currently in the early-development stages just a block north at Third and Lenora.

Martin Selig told the Puget Sound Business Journal, the building located at Third and Virginia will have “..approximately 210,000 square feet of office will be at the base of the 36-story building with around 140 high-end apartments above.” Two entrances are planned, one for office tenants at Third, and one for residents who will enter on Lenora. As for the Third and Virginia building, Selig thinks the property will have 150,000 square feet on the bottom floors, and the number of the living space above is still being worked out.

Third Avenue is downtown’s most central avenue – surrounded by major employers and institutions, it holds the city’s busiest transit corridor. It’s also a hotspot of drug and gang activity and offers long solid stretches of blank wall. Despite how exhausted city residents are from unyielding development, the buildings could be a solution to cleaning up the riff-raff. With more businesses, there is more commerce – bringing the foot traffic and eyes on the street it needs to clean up its act.

These two acquisitions are just another item on Selig’s impressive development to-do list. This past Monday, his company received the winning bid for Seattle’s former Federal Reserve Bank, which he intends to rehab and turn into office space. Beyond that, he’s working on large scale office projects in Queen Anne, Ballard and a residential deal by the Olympic Sculpture Park.