In an August 15th feature on Buzz Buzz News, Christian Chan, Executive Vice President of Burrard Group, sat down with Buzz Talk to discuss his background in the development industry, his take on the Seattle real estate market and share details about the NEXUS Condominium project, a 41-story, 378-unit tower currently under construction in Seattle’s East Village neighborhood. As Buzz Buzz News notes, the tech industry is bolstering a growing economy in Seattle, as jobs and quality of life in the region are drawing new residents and fueling “a construction boom of new apartments, condos and office spaces.”
With a family active in real estate since the late 1970s and a background in urban design and architecture, Chan says joining Burrard Group in 2013 was a natural move that allowed him to pursue his passion. Since its inception in San Francisco under a different name in the 70s, Burrard Group has gone on to build “large-scale hotels, boutique resort properties and a variety of residential projects, from high-rise residential to master-planned communities.” As Chan notes, the company tends to look for opportunities to craft iconic developments, and NEXUS is slated to be one such project within the Seattle skyline.
Chan says the name NEXUS derives from the project’s pivotal location and its shifting/rotating architecture.
Of the building’s architecture, Chan says the design was influenced by a number of projects from around the world, and that when it came to NEXUS, they “didn’t want the tower to blend into the background.” With views of the building from I-5 heading south, and vantage points at South Lake Union and Capitol Hill, “it certainly won’t,” he added. Burrard Group worked directly with Blaine Weber of Weber Thompson to design the exterior and interior of the building, which will offer homes as distinctive as their savvy consumers.
When asked to discuss the markets in Vancouver and Seattle, Chan noted that though the foreign buyer tax in Vancouver has slowed the single-family market a bit with some buyers turning to alternative cities such as Seattle, condo sales remain steady, as affluent buyers are likely to pay the fee for their slice of the Vancouver skyline. Chan notes one significant difference between the two cities: “in Vancouver, developers generally don’t build apartments for rent.” Instead, investors purchase condominiums to rent out, which helps supplement the apartment demand. In Seattle, however, “developers tend to build apartments for rent in order to avoid certain liabilities and limitations on non-refundable deposit structures imposed under the Washington State Condominium Act. With high rents and low cap rates, these new apartment towers can be worth as much as condominiums.”
Chan says NEXUS is well positioned to serve the pent-up demand for homeownership in the city. “It’s remarkable that only 42 resale homes are listed for sale on the NWMLS with a median asking price of $1,175,000,” he noted, adding that with 46 pending resales, “the rate of sales is eclipsing the supply of new listings.”
So, with NEXUS construction underway and occupancy mid-2019, Buzz Talk asked, what’s next for Burrard Group? Chan says the company is looking at hotel and mixed-use development opportunities in other west coast cities, but that Seattle will remain a long-term focus.