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Want to peruse local artwork and also give your input on what you’d like our community to look like in the future? Stop by Thursday evening, April 27th  from 6-9 pm at Makers’ space (92 Lenora St.) in Belltown. The meeting is held by Project Belltown, a community-driven group, who would show maps, plans, and would like your ideas for how this neighborhood can thrive in days to come. Local art and imagery will be on display, and there will be food and drink as well.

Project Belltown has six areas of focus for improvements:
Creative Placemaking: Preserve and promote an art and entertainment district as a neighborhood center for Belltown; as a heart of Belltown. Invest in our public realm: our historic buildings, parks, alleyways, sidewalks, and open spaces.

Economic Development: Develop strategies to market and promote Belltown businesses, both as a destination for tourists and as a walkable community. Look at strategies to preserve affordable commercial rents, and align development with desired uses.

Environment: Implement the Growing Vine Street public art and water-reclamation project, build more green street projects. Promote sustainable development and explore the implementation of an EcoDistrict throughout Belltown.

Health & Safety: Advocate for increased community policing, while pursuing additional neighborhood strategies to address homelessness. Expand on community workforce development programs and increase access to services for those in need.

Mobility & Connectivity: Improve connections to the Waterfront, Pike Place, and the Seattle Center. Promote mobility through a Belltown Connector, pedestrian, and bike connections. Build out east/west connections to Denny Triangle.

Workforce Housing: Develop a Belltown-based strategy for affordable and workforce housing. Consider a district to preserve existing housing, in alignment with HALA recommendations, and using an expanded TDR program to fund new workforce housing. Consider incentive programs tied to up-zoning.

Interior of Makers, where meet & art will be held. Photo: Makers site

Makers, where the meeting will be held, is a co-working space for entrepreneurial spirits who see the benefit of a shared working environment, camaraderie, and resources.

Come join us!

 

In spite of the building boom in downtown Seattle, there have been limited options for buying a home, versus renting. Somewhat resembling a giant stack of glass Rubik’s cubes, a new condominium called Nexus Seattle at 1200 Howell Street in the Denny Triangle, will rectify this for a few. The building will feature 382 units, vary in size and price, ranging from $300,000+ to $3.5 million. Because sections of the building are twisted to face different directions, owners’ views will vary, depending which floor their home is located on.

According to the Nexus website, 80% of the units have already been reserved as of November 2016. Underscoring the market’s desire for permanent housing and the influx of people for high-paying tech jobs downtown, hundreds of buyers lined up to pay the $5,000 refundable deposit to be guaranteed a spot at a priority presales event on June 4th last year. Some people even camped out overnight to be first in line.

The Burrand Group, the Canadian company that owns the site, plans to break ground this month to begin construction. The building itself will rise 41 floors, and will be within walking distance of at least two large-tech work campuses in the South Lake Union area. An article with Puget Sound Business Journal states a fitness center, common co-working space, the option of renting a guest room, and a rooftop terrace will be some of the amenities available.

As of October 2016, the median price for a downtown Seattle condo was $650,000. The median price for a 1-bedroom rental is currently $1,820 per month here, reflecting the 40% hike in rent over the past 5 years. Our city is now in the top ten of most expensive apartment markets in the United States, as of April 2016. So having the option of choosing a smaller place for the option of a smaller price (or larger space at a higher price) at the Nexus will no doubt appeal to some in our current high-demand market.

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.

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