The panel—consisting of Ross Klinger, commercial broker with Kidder Mathews, Jim Castanes of Castanes Architecture, and Dean Jones, CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty—examined Seattle’s next big neighborhood and its only new condominium high-rise, NEXUS.
On June 6th, more than two dozen real estate brokers joined Denise Seavitt, Sales Director for NEXUS Condominiums, as she moderated a panel discussion with industry thought leaders on the urban evolution surrounding more than $7 billion of capital investment in the northeast corner of downtown Seattle and NEXUS. The new 41-story, high-tech condominium high-rise now stands at the intersection of Capitol Hill, the Central Business District, and South Lake Union in the Denny Triangle. The new district was dubbed a “city within the city” and was more recently referred to as Seattle’s emerging “East Village.”
Following an “open house” exhibition of NEXUS and its features and residences (with food and wine by DeLille Wines and Gormondo Catering), the forum opened with a collective, resonating point of view: Seattle is growing—fast, and the Denny Triangle is quickly replacing Belltown as the center of the residential renaissance.
“Seattle is the fastest-growing large city in the U.S.,” explained Dean Jones, CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. “There will be 27,000 housing units delivered in downtown Seattle in the current decade, but 93 percent of that will be for rent and not for sale. NEXUS is actually the first-of-its-kind to offer homeownership opportunities so that individual investors and homeowners can enjoy the property and own their slice of this expanding skyline.”
This aforementioned northern migration of downtown is on the heels of Amazon’s tech campus now in South Lake Union and the area’s subsequent rapid growth. Ross Klinger explained how these tech hubs almost didn’t happen if it weren’t for the downvoting of a 74-acre park plan proposed when the area was only one-story industrial buildings.
“Since the park plan was dismissed, Amazon was able to come in and develop its campus and create growth throughout the area,” added Klinger. “The cost of land back then averaged approximately $100 per sq. ft. That price has now grown to 20 times that value.”
PICTURED ABOVE AND BELOW: Ross Klinger, a commercial broker with Kidder Mathews, presented an extraordinary number of high-tech and other commercial users quickly populating the bounty of new office space in the urban markets of downtown Seattle.
Klinger further illustrated that while the neighborhood is growing with hotels, offices, and restaurants, NEXUS is still the only condominium high-rise of its kind in the area as the front runner of a new city trend.
“Residents can enjoy that environment as their very own personal neighborhood,” he added.
Additionally, this developing “East Village” may soon experience the benefits and interconnectivity the Lid I-5 Initiative will bring to Seattle. Jim Castanes, founder of the initiative, commented on the much-needed amendment to a formerly fragmented city.
“The Lid I-5 Initiative is one of the first restorative projects in the state of Washington where we are going to reconnect the city,” Castanes explained. “When they planned the I-5 corridor in the 1950’s, the fatal flaw was that it disconnected our city, and now the plan is to heal this scar.”
According to OPCD data, Seattle’s downtown, Capitol Hill, and First Hill are 3.5% of Seattle’s land area but are absorbing 29% of population growth. Needless to say, these areas are running out of land. Covering a portion of I-5 between Denny Way and Madison Street has been introduced as an ideal opportunity to catch up on much-needed affordable housing sites, public open space, civic facilities like schools and community centers, and other public and private infrastructure.
“This won’t only unify fractured neighborhoods, expanding the backyard of those who live among the lid,” Castanes added, “but will also make people want to come to Seattle and see it for themselves.”
The smart-home condominium residences at NEXUS, then, present a remarkable, time-sensitive opportunity, being the first of their kind in an area that will be unrecognizable—and much less affordable—in merely a decade. Positioned at the core this neighborhood’s modern-day renaissance, NEXUS stands as the perfectly centered pinnacle of Seattle’s ambitious future.
“It had never occurred to anyone that driving down Denny Way in Seattle would one day feel the same as on Madison Avenue in New York City,” explained Jones. “But by 2020, there will be 40- to 43-story towers on either side of Denny. The neighborhood we used to drive through to get to downtown Seattle is now its own city within a city—it’s a part of downtown.”
PICTURED ABOVE AND BELOW: The presentations included some before and after perspectives of the “East Village” neighborhood, which is quickly emerging with more than $7 billion of capital investment.
Jones pointed out the impressive development wasn’t the product of a master-planned community but rather dozens of independently owned and operated investment groups that saw the common opportunity to seize upon limited land, progressive zoning, and unparalleled market fundamentals.“It’s basically all snapped up and in progress,” Jones added after the presentation. “Over the next few years this vertical community will emerge as one of the most dynamic neighborhoods on the West Coast. I credit Burrard Group for having the vision to capture an important site and locking in preferred construction costs ahead of the curve.”
While exciting to see the growth, Klinger also acknowledged challenges with delivering affordability.
“Looking ahead, newer developments face increasing construction costs, rising 6-8% per year, which will have to be factored into consumer pricing in order to pencil new inventory moving forward,” Jones further explained. “Downtown Seattle is also running out of land, so supply and demand challenges will further drive up pricing.”
Like Burrard, savvy homebuyers were quick to acknowledge the burgeoning neighborhood and the opportunity to become part of it. NEUXS is currently more than 93% presold with just 28 homes remaining from below $1 million to more than $2.7 million. The architectural icon comprised of stacked cubes offset by 8-degrees now stands like an exclamation point in the northern migration of downtown Seattle. Occupancy is expected to begin by Winter 2019/20.