The NEXUS sales center will feature a scale model of the 41-story high-rise, as well as augmented reality experience that will allow viewers to visualize the future neighborhood.

As seen in The Seattle Times.

SEATTLE — Condominium homes at NEXUS, a high-rise project at the northeastern corner of downtown, will be available for sale beginning on March 18th in conjunction with opening of the sales center at 2609 First Ave.

The opportunity to purchase arrives at a time when Seattle is experiencing a shortage of for-sale properties, says Michael Cannon, the sales director at NEXUS. There are currently only 31 resale homes listed for sale in downtown Seattle, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Median home prices in January rose by nearly 50 percent year-over-year, setting a new benchmark at $668,000.

“Fortunately for our presale buyers, future homeowners are able to lock in prices now with a nominal deposit,” Cannon says. “This allows for a foothold in a scarce market as well as the opportunity for capital appreciation. Buyers will also enjoy the opportunity to select from three distinct color and finish schemes, as well as consider other home personalization options not possible when buying a resale property.”

Cannon says prospective buyers at NEXUS have included many renters seeking to fix their housing costs while positioning themselves for the financial benefits of homeownership, including income-tax deductions on mortgage interest. He says would-be buyers are also coming from existing condominiums and surrounding single-family homes who are “planning ahead.”

NEXUS architect Blaine Weber (wearing HoloLens set) views the virtual neighborhood.

NEXUS architect Blaine Weber (wearing HoloLens set) views the virtual neighborhood.

“Another benefit of presales is that the closing doesn’t take place for 2.5 years from now,” Cannon says. “This provides plenty of time to anticipate a move as prices continue rise. So if you don’t have to sell your current home until 2019 and you’ve locked in your presale now, you may actually benefit from double equity appreciation.”

Market pundits are quick to point out a supply-and-demand imbalance, especially in downtown Seattle. According to Dean Jones, president and CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, developers have built nearly 13,000 housing units in downtown Seattle since 2011. But just 6 percent, or 866 condominiums, was among that inventory — the balance being apartments for rent — and only two of those new condominiums remain available for sale today.

“NEXUS is first and foremost when it comes to new-construction condominiums in downtown Seattle,” says Jones. “The new homes will be a welcomed addition to the market, especially considering the thoughtful floor plans and robust amenities being offered.”

He adds the developer, Vancouver B.C.-based Burrard Group, has introduced several innovations at NEXUS, including compelling architecture, dynamic interior design, uncommon common areas, cutting-edge technology and attainable price points that start in the low $300,000s.

“Our goal for NEXUS was not just to deliver a new place to live but a truly new way to live,” says Christian Chan, executive vice president of Burrard. “We have assembled a world-class team to deliver on this vision.”

The NEXUS sales center will feature both a scale model of the 41-story high-rise, as well as a context model of the burgeoning neighborhood that will become a new vertical village by 2020. An augmented reality experience from Z-Axon and made possible using Microsoft’s HoloLens technology will allow viewers to visualize the future neighborhood, with the physical architectural model in the foreground and a hologram of the future neighborhood surrounding it.

Prospective buyers can visit a full-scale, two-bedroom model home. It showcases the exclusive-to-project European-inspired kitchens and bathrooms, as well as other features such as oversize windows, hardwood floors, 7-foot doors and myriad high-tech options.

A custom app being developed for NEXUS by Seattle-based Sirqul integrates with the home options (controlling lighting, security and climate), the building amenities (booking private dining facilities or conference rooms) and the community (crowdfunding a yoga class or creating a pet meetup). The digital platform is being developed and refined as part of a “Living Lab” as new devices and technologies come to light prior to completion of the building in 2019.

“Technology is just one of the attractions being sought by homebuyers in today’s market,” Chan says. “But the compelling combination of iconic design, a prime location and a dynamic in-city lifestyle are certainly also in high demand. NEXUS delivers on all fronts and, on March 18th, new homebuyers are welcome to become part of this exciting future.”