Northwynd: Exodus or Coincidence?

Three fresh new listings appeared this past week at the Northwynd Condominium complex. These townhouse style condos have seen a fair bit of activity the last several months, but three new listings in a market that has been dry of sellers for a bit is interesting? Is something up, or is this simply a coincidence?

Well probably a bit of both. A couple of the recent listings are units that back to the formerly vacant lot and may have had at least a peek-a-boo view of the river or at least some open space. The residential townhome project I wrote about last year has broken ground and soon any views these units had will be gone. Perhaps the owners just felt the time was right to move.

Property values are sky-high right now and an uncertain future could mean sellers are on the clock. Listings are scarce in the marketplace so now is a great time to sell. Later in the spring when the traditional rush to list comes could be at a time where the market is adjusting and the future of the economy is not real clear. I still believe that external factors are keeping pressure on the local market. But a major economic downturn can throw all of that out the window. Let’s hope the governments entities strapping the economy loosen up here in the new year and in light of the vaccines rolling out back off the squeeze on local business.

All told things remain rather good for sellers and buyers can find opportunities in the urban condo market a little better than other local sectors.

In urban construction news:

Hough: I see quite a bit of activity starting this new year off. In the mid-town area two of three recently reviewed projects are green lit with permits and construction is underway.

  • These are all smallish projects with the largest being Ginn’s WXV apartments fronting W. 15th Street just north of the 15 West Apartment project. This 4 story project will feature 60 units. Ginn has the ground prep done and has begun placing foundation forms.
  • The Johnson Mixed Use project at W.16th and Columbia is a small live-work project with 2000 SF of commercial and 10 apartment units.

Arnada: There is significant activity on the west side of Uptown as well.

  • The VVW 10 project is nearly complete with finishing touches to the landscaping and interiors. This project features 96 units including 22 live-work units in two 4 story buildings.
  • Right next door to VVW 10 is the VHA two building project with 4-5 floors, 83 units including 11 live-work. That broke ground late last year and crews are wrapping up ground work.

Downtown:

  • The tower crane is down at the site of Mill Plain II. Crews will still be working for several months to complete the project, a six story mixed use building.
  • Block Ten is a large but not particularly tall project on the long beleaguered block. This project will utilize the full block with a multi-level parking structure and wrapped retail-commercial space on Washington, West 8th, and Columbia. Facing Columbia Street and sitting atop the podium will be 5 floors of residential apartments totaling 110 units. On the opposite side facing Washington Street will be a 4 story office building atop the multi-level podium. 78,850 SF of leasable space in the office tower.
  • On Jefferson Street right on the curved section connecting to West 8th is Jefferson Street Apartments. This will provide 68 units of restricted income apartments. Ground work is well underway after a change from two 3 over 1 buildings was changed to one 4 story building with ground parking.
  • The 128 unit Aria project just west of Esther Short park features a multi-level parking structure with 5 levels of apartments up top and street facing townhouses on West 6th. The 7 story project is just wrapping up and should be leasing soon.
  • The 118 unit 7 story, Vancouver Center 4 tower now named “Coen” is open and leasing. This is 5 floors of apartments over 1.5 floor retail/restaurant podium.
  • The fully green-lit Hyatt Place hotel set to occupy half of the city block bounded by Columbia, Washington, and West 5th seems stalled. Possibly a funding issue, but I do not know for sure. Hotels are not exactly the hot ticket in our pandemic environment. I liked that proposal with the rooftop bar 🙂 Hurley Development proposed a very large apartment project with 6 floors and 188 units on what appeared to be the full city block in the same spot. I’ll have to keep you posted on this one.

Waterfront: Buzz, buzz, buzz…

  • Plenty of activity, starting with the rebuild of the landing. Two large mobile cranes are handling the dismantle project that will lead to an all new public space in the next 18-24 months.
  • Right behind the landing is the AC Marriott hotel project now rising well above street level. This 7 floor hotel will have structured parking and walk out to the new landing.
  • Kirkland Tower on Block 4 is in the final phases of exterior work and interior work is likely well underway also. This 12 story project will feature a lobby, underground parking, floors 2-11 will have 40 luxury condo units, and 12 will be a community penthouse and rooftop patio.
  • Immediately adjacent to Kirkland is the Indigo Hotel which was ahead of Kirkland in the construction cycle but seems to be at about the same point now. This 8 story open atrium hotel should be quite nice and sitting right on the river the views will be fabulous. El Gaucho is planning a restaurant in the hotel and will operate the 8th floor sky lounge.
  • Although construction on the former Timberhouse project, now dubbed “The Third” hasn’t started yet, Kirkland has completely cleared all the staging trailers and equipment from Block 3. The city hasn’t made public the green light for permits, but it is likely eminent as the lot is bare and waiting.This is a large 8 story three wing building 5 over 3 with structured parking and 227 units down from the original 12 story CLT structure with 250 units.
  • Broadstone, a 7 story 177 unit apartment project slated for Block 17 is in about the same spot in line with the city permitting process and that block is also clear and waiting.
  • The Columbia on Block 20 is fully topped out. I’d imaging the large tower crane supporting the project will remain for several months as this 248 unit 7 story project covers a large area and mobile cranes would be nigh impossible to complete the project.
  • What I find very interesting is the large Gramor sales sign on Block 21 is marked as “In Contract.” I have not heard any specific proposals for the block. This block is furthest from the airport and thus has the tallest height allowance under FAA. Technically the city guidelines for the master plan are minimum 6 story buildings and a height limit of 250 feet. The FAA will likely shrink that down to about 185 feet. That would allow for a 20 story residential building with modest 9 foot floor heights. I will sniff around on this to see what’s happening on Block 21.

 

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