25-Story Apartment Tower Built in 2001 Now a Teardown

The SunBreak broke an interesting story on Saturday afternoon: Belltown’s McGuire Apartments Killed by Flawed Construction

The McGuire apartment building, at 210 Wall Street in Belltown, opened its doors in 2001. Now, just nine years later, it’s closing them for good. Though the marketing copy, ironically, boasts “exceptional attention to detail in design construction,” the 25-story building, with 272 units, is suffering from “corrosion of post-tensioned cables and concrete material and reinforcement placement deficiencies,” according to legal real estate advisers Kennedy Associates.

Since repair is financially infeasible, residents are being relocated (with larger incentives the sooner they leave), and the building will be dismantled. Everyone must go by the end of this year. This comes as a bit of a shock to residents of the upscale building, who are paying $1,000-$1,500 per month just for studios. But investigation of the defects revealed that conditions were becoming unsafe, and Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development is requiring the building’s owner to submit periodic inspection reports to track the building’s health.

Yikes.

This brings up an interesting question to me. Eight to ten years from now as the plentiful high-rise products of the housing bubble begin to age, how many similar situations will we see cropping up? With this so-called “upscale” apartment being torn down after less than ten years, I can’t help but wonder just how much attention to detail was really given to the latest batch of towers as developers rushed to cash in on the gold rush.

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

95 comments:

  1. 1

    This is very similar to what happened to so many Snohomish County condos, that had to have all their siding replaced, but on a more high tech level. I can almost understand this, but how so many buildings could have vinyl siding improperly installed escapes me.

    Also, I would really question this technology. Anything that is dependent on proper sealing for viability of the building probably isn’t a good technology to use in the Seattle area.

  2. 2

    Tim…..are you sure this building is set for a “teardown”. I wonder if retro-fitting or some other measures will be taken. A “teardown” may in fact be the case. I was just curious as I had not heard word of that yet. Regardless, what a dilemma. I’m sure leasing agents are scrambling to get all the tenants into new spaces.

  3. 3

    This Failed Construction Project Tells Me Two Main Things

    Why did King County and Seattle Building Inspectors approve this monster? The ones involved should be fired IMO.

    Also, how many newer Condo Projects in Seattle have the same lack of oversight?

  4. 4
    The Tim says:

    RE: Jeff Reynolds @ 2 – Yeah I’m sure it’s being torn down. From the press release published by the owners of the building, printed in the SunBreak’s story:

    Since the necessary repairs are impractical, the decision of the owner is to dismantle the building.

  5. 5

    Tim….my fault. I just heard that it will be torn down . Good reporting.

  6. 6
    HappyRenter says:

    It might be too early to generalize this case to other high-rise buildings built in the same period. However, it will be interesting to see whether more of these examples might show up in the years to come. It’s tough for businesses renting space there, but shouldn’t there be enough commercial real estate where they could relocate to? Might not be that easy though.

  7. 7

    RE: softwarengineer @ 3 – As I said over at the Times, I really doubt that city code or inspectors even deal with the issues that caused these problems. Neither the code nor the city inspectors are likely to specify the type of grout used, etc. IMHO, it’s likely more an issue of the architect and structural engineer and their inspections.

  8. 8
    Sam says:

    Another interesting question – A couple more of these, and suddenly the housing recovery (within Seattle at least) looks almost certain. The more units that are taken off the market, the more stable the housing market becomes.

  9. 9
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7

    On one hand I see your point that code can’t be responsible for quality determinations above and beyond those that affect safety, etc. And maybe it’s a learning process with this type of construction, but it just feels like a huge elephant walked through the room. If the rebar in bridges needs to be epoxy coated for preservation and to meet code, maybe there’s a similar issue here. Is insurance involved? Who sues whom first?

  10. 10
    GoneFromSeattle says:

    Buying into those condos really was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

    (Gripe: why no strikethrough html tags?)

  11. 11

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7

    Everyone Has an Excuse?

    If building inspectors are approving or omitting anything that causes the building to be a piece of junk; then fire the personnel involved with management training of our building inspectors. Just because you make “Big Bucks” and are friends with the local politicians doesn’t automatically make you immune from responsibility.

    Of course the licenced engineer who signed off should lose his/her license too and the corporation who built it should be financially liable too. Round up all the rats and prosecute. This is too big to sweep under the rug and give them all bonuses.

  12. 12
    anonymous says:

    RE: HappyRenter @ 6 – It seems like there were multiple major problems with the construction. Either there was something different about the construction of this building, or it wasn’t different, and cutting certain corners was a standard practice. It will be interesting to see if other buildings have major problems as well.

    Anecdotally, I know a few owners of condos built within the last 10 years who have had problems related to substandard materials (cheap particle board under the bathroom tile, kitchen sink, etc.) We all know cheap materials under granite countertops was standard practice. You would hope the same mentality wouldn’t apply to primary structures of high rise buildings.

  13. 13
    John says:

    This is scary. Many buildings in NYC are more than 50 years old. I wonder how safe they are. Do skyscrapers have an expiration date?

  14. 14
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    This was an apartment building, so the renters are effectively being evicted. What if this had been purchased units? Can you imagine buying an overpriced condo only to have the building be condemned? What then, are you out your money?

  15. 15
    Mysticdog says:

    “This is too big to sweep under the rug and give them all bonuses.”

    Heh, what country do you live in? That is the American Way!

    This is ultimately the problem… anything that is not regulated gets abused. But who wants to live in a world where everything is regulated? So they need to punish people who abuse the gaps in regulation.

    The businesses that took the shortcuts should have their profits seized and the companies dissolved. The people who made the decisions to take shortcuts should be barred from doing that kind of work again. Honest accidents are one thing, but these sound like shortcuts that could have put people’s lives at risks. At least make the corperate world see that there are repercussions for failing to regulate themselves.

    At least the government was keeping an eye on the building.

  16. 16
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Lake Hills Renter @ 14

    Really- the biggest blessing here for all is that it’s apartments and under the control of one owner. At least that way the financial damage is more or less contained within one entity. If this had been condos the owners, developer, builders, city, country, everyone would have been pointing fingers and hiring lawyers.

  17. 17
    Dave0 says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 9 – “Who sues whom first?”

    I read the Seattle Times article which said the owner of the building has already sued the architect and contractor. The contractor has reacted by suing all of the different subcontractors. It sounds like a legal nightmare.

  18. 18

    By John @ 13:

    This is scary. Many buildings in NYC are more than 50 years old. I wonder how safe they are. Do skyscrapers have an expiration date?

    As I understand it, this is a particular type of concrete construction. Most skyscrapers are steel, or perhaps steel with a concrete core.

  19. 19
    CCG says:

    “Eight to ten years from now as the plentiful high-rise products of the housing bubble begin to age, how many similar situations will we see cropping up? With this so-called “upscale” apartment being torn down after less than ten years, I can’t help but wonder just how much attention to detail was really given to the latest batch of towers as developers rushed to cash in on the gold rush.”

    As a wiser person once told me, never buy anything built during a housing bubble.

  20. 20

    I think there are different codes/laws for whether a highrise is built for resale or rental. I swear somewhere I’ve heard that some builders will start with their new buildings as being apartments/rentals for a certain time period in order to not have the same liability/warranties as if they would have sold the units as a condo. Does anyone know more about this?

  21. 21
    CCG says:

    By Sam @ 8:

    Another interesting question – A couple more of these, and suddenly the housing recovery (within Seattle at least) looks almost certain. The more units that are taken off the market, the more stable the housing market becomes.

    Before it’s over I’m sure we’ll have the government paying people to tear down perfectly good housing, just as it paid them to plow under perfectly good crops during the last depression.

  22. 22
    anonymous says:

    By Scotsman @ 16:

    RE: Lake Hills Renter @ 14
    If this had been condos the owners, developer, builders, city, country, everyone would have been pointing fingers and hiring lawyers.

    From the Seattle Times article
    “Carpenter’s Tower sued the contractor, Bellevue’s McCarthy Building Companies, and the Seattle-based Hewitt Architects, in 2007, alleging negligence and failure to adhere to industry standards. McCarthy, a subsidiary of a Missouri company, in turn sued dozens of subcontractors. The court file contains thousands of pages of documents, and is scheduled for trial in September in King County Superior Court.”

  23. 23
    CCG says:

    By Rhonda Porter @ 20:

    I think there are different codes/laws for whether a highrise is built for resale or rental. I swear somewhere I’ve heard that some builders will start with their new buildings as being apartments/rentals for a certain time period in order to not have the same liability/warranties as if they would have sold the units as a condo. Does anyone know more about this?

    I don’t have any more info but I remember hearing the same things.

  24. 24
    CCG says:

    By Dave0 @ 17:

    RE: Scotsman @ 9 – “Who sues whom first?”

    I read the Seattle Times article which said the owner of the building has already sued the architect and contractor. The contractor has reacted by suing all of the different subcontractors. It sounds like a legal nightmare.

    Or, if you’re a lawyer, a wet dream :-)

  25. 25
    anonymous says:

    RE: CCG @ 21 – If you recall, they already paid people to crush a lot of perfectly good cars with cash for clunkers.

  26. 26
    Hugh Dominic says:

    I wonder if the negligent contractors are still around, or were they wiped out in the housing bust? That could leave the liability with a nonexistent party. Or is it normal to post a bond for this sort of occasion?

    I can imagine contractors cashing out and going under as a routine business practice, to shed themselves of liability.

  27. 27

    RE: Rhonda Porter @ 20 – I believe there are different insulation standards, but that’s mainly a selling point. There’s also the warranty of habitability. As I recall, that only applies to the original owner of the building, and if so, if this building would have been converted, it wouldn’t have applied to the condo owners. That’s from memory, so I could be wrong on that point.

  28. 28

    RE: Hugh Dominic @ 26 – I think most of those Snohomish County condo situations had some sort of insurance/bond that kicked in for the settlements, but I wasn’t directly involved in any of them.

  29. 29
    TalkingDownHomePrice says:

    These people need place to live. More upward pressure on housing price.

  30. 30
    Dave0 says:

    By CCG @ 24:
    Or, if you’re a lawyer, a wet dream :-)

    Very true. For full disclosure, I currently work for a large electronic discovery provider. My company’s job is to find that incriminating email. I’m sure management at my company is having wet dreams at the possibility of getting this case.

  31. 31
    TheHulk says:

    This makes me wonder, how many houses (single family homes) built during this last housing “boom” (2003 thru 2007) were built by cutting corners such as use of cheap materials, shoddy construction etc? Will we start seeing problems in 5 years, 10 years??

  32. 32

    […] questionable part of this news was brought to attention by Tim at SeattleBubble.com… This brings up an interesting question to me. Eight to ten years from now as the plentiful […]

  33. 33
    Goober Peas says:

    RE: TheHulk @ 31

    We’ve already seen this here if Florida. Cheap Chinese drywall that has made new homes uninhabitable:

    “Over the past several months, owners of newer homes in South Florida have been complaining of drywall that smells like rotten eggs. In several cases, they have had to leave their home because the smell was so bad. In addition to the putrid smell, many South Florida homeowners have reported problems with air conditioning and other systems that are likely related to the defective Chinese drywall. Some spent hundreds – even thousands of dollars – to have air conditioning, pipes and wiring repaired.

    Usually, drywall is manufactured in the United States, but a shortage between 2004 and 2006 prompted many builders to buy drywall from China. Most of the reported problems stem from drywall imported from China during Florida’s construction boom years of 2004-2005.”

    http://www.newsinferno.com/archives/4700

  34. 34
    Scotsman says:

    RE: 272 Less Rental Units in Belltown, Rents Expected to Rise : Seattle Condo Blog | Active Condos for Sale | Downtown Market Trends @ 32

    I’m not sure this translates into rising rents for the rest of the downtown area. What percentage of the total downtown rental units are involved here? What’s the current vacancy rate? Does this make people less inclined to want to live in a recently built structure, as much of downtown is, knowing that they too may be forced to move in the future? Lots of spin, very few facts.

  35. 35

    RE: Rhonda Porter @ 20

    Good Question

    But since the building inspectors were immune from responsibility, what difference does it make? Stricter or looser codes which overlook the root failure cause.

  36. 36
    TalkingDownHomePrice says:

    For sure poeple will want to live in low rise bldg or just SFH for sake of safety reason. Life is more precious than money. This will push low density housing price up. Who would want to be in the pile of concret when earth quake hits Seattle? In your life time, a major earth quake is a safe bet.

  37. 37
    EconE says:

    You should have seen the leakage in the 2200 complex parking garage. It was enough to created stalagtites (sp?). I still have a picture. You’d laugh if you saw the “fix” for the cracks on P5. Dripped so much lime on the cars that vulcan offered to pay to fix them (at Maaco).

    LOL at the Stroupe “rents are gonna rise” fear mongering. He’s holding a BUNCH of condos from downtown to ballard to kirkland. F*cking flipper.

  38. 38
    anonymous says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 33 – Not the most reliable method, but I did a craigslist search for Belltown rentals and came up with 491 hits. Some are probably reposts or spam, but I bet the area can absorb 272 people without much problem.

  39. 39

    RE: TheHulk @ 31

    You Got It

    Plenty, IMO. My sister’s husband bought a new house with copper pipes in 1999 and about 10 years later the illegal plastic U joints were blowing up in his walls….he’s remodeled it twice from the horrifying water damage….lesson learned here, only buy houses with hose, not pipe. A plumber would disagree with me [LOL], but the hose doesn’t burst from freezing and replacing it is 1/10th the plumbing labor….

    The tile kitchen floor was decrepit too, drop a broom handle on it and it’s cracked….

  40. 40

    RE: softwarengineer @ 38

    Again, the Building Inspector Missed It

    What do building inspectors catch and when they don’t catch illegal building practices, how big was the pay off?

  41. 41

    RE: softwarengineer @ 39

    Do You See Why Being Your Own Contractor is Better With Skilled Labor Under You

    LOL

  42. 42
    wreckingbull says:

    Anyone know how they will ‘dismantle’ this POS? Explosive demolition? It seems to me that is the only way on a building this size, but I honestly don’t know.

  43. 43
    valvegeek says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 3 – Everything looks good on the screen and on paper, however it’s up to the general contractor to watch over the construction. Personally I feel this apartment building is one of the better designed buildings in the regrade. Not a monster. It’s very tastefully done by a reputable architect in Seattle.

  44. 44
    CCG says:

    By wreckingbull @ 41:

    Anyone know how they will ‘dismantle’ this POS? Explosive demolition? It seems to me that is the only way on a building this size, but I honestly don’t know.

    Let’s pay construction workers to take it apart with chisels. After all, in Keynesian economics, digging holes and filling them in again is a valid way to keep people employed.

  45. 45
    Dan says:

    I have a theory that real estate investment is actually two separate investments.

    Land: which generally increases in value. (They aren’t making any more of it.)

    Buildings: which generally decrease in value as they age.

    When you buy a condo, your ratio of building to land is very high. There are huge downside risks (like the building’s foundation cracking), and very limited upside, since more condos can be built if prices increase.

    I think this case illustrates this principle quite nicely. I know it’s an apartment building, but it could have been condos just as easily.

  46. 46

    RE: softwarengineer @ 38 – What are plastic U joints? And why are there plastic parts on a copper system?

    Ignoring freeze damage (which shouldn’t happen for any number of reasons absent a power failure), I really wouldn’t trust the hose product. I was just talking to someone about that earlier today. I don’t even trust plastic pipe. When these alternative products have been around for 50 years, then I’ll trust them. (Meaning I will never trust them because by the time they’ve been around that long, I won’t be.).

    Plastic pipe is one of the reasons why when we were looking at houses we excluded just about everything made this century.

  47. 47
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 44

    The new deal for copper pipe is a joint called a “shark-bite” or some such, it’s a single use slip-on connector that replaces the soldered joint with a plastic casing filled with o-rings and steel gripping teeth. Good for emergency repairs, but not permanent.

  48. 48

    RE: Scotsman @ 45 – That doesn’t sound good at all.

  49. 49
    sherifffruitfly says:

    I betcha there’s nothing significantly wrong with the building, and they just want to tear it down to lessen the glut, and nudge remaining prices up/vacancy down.

  50. 50

    RE: EconE @ 36 – stop hatin! i know that’s you’re biggest skill, but first off you should know that stroupe didn’t write that post. I did. I’ve written every post. my job for the last 3 years has been reading and reporting on all downtown seattle subjects, including your comments. u really don’t think 272 less homes in seattle will raise rental rates? if you’re such a hater of seattle, what are you doing here? stroupe is a great real estate agent and have seen the guy save and make a lot people good returns on their investments. the last thing any intention we ever have had is fear mongering. is really necessary to go around and bash people? you need to discover a better talent.

  51. 51
    lu says:

    Imagine people realize the danger living in these high rises and move out of the city central. Good news for local sfh market.

  52. 52
    HappyRenter says:

    I don’t think that this event will cause rents to go up. I think that it will give high-rise condos a bad reputation, making people not want to rent in one of those, causing rents to go down. It might even give high-rise condos for purchase like Escala or Enso a bad reputation causing those condos to go down in price, too. Any ideas about the build quality of Escala, Enso or Olive 8?

  53. 53
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Justin Bowers @ 50

    Justin- you’re a writer? Wow. Then you should know the difference between “your”, “you”, “u”, and “you’re” along with the rules for capitalization. Also, would you please be kind enough to explain what you meant here:

    “the last thing any intention we ever have had is fear mongering. is really necessary to go around and bash people?”

    This, however, seems like it has merit:

    “you need to discover a better talent.”

    Amen.

  54. 54
  55. 55
    HappyRenter says:

    By wreckingbull @ 42:

    Anyone know how they will ‘dismantle’ this POS? Explosive demolition? It seems to me that is the only way on a building this size, but I honestly don’t know.

    No reason to dismantle it. Corrosion and heavy Seattle rain will do the job. It will simply “biodegrade”.

  56. 56
    EconE says:

    RE: Justin Bowers @ 50

    Bowers…you are so full of sh#t.

    Remember the Bellora studio you were pumping? Right before it went into foreclosure?

    Your tactics are crap and you and your ilk need to be called on them.

  57. 57
    Shoe says:

    @53 – Complaining about punctuation in a blog comment thread is the lowest of the low. Please turn in your internet badge and report to the nearest library for mandatory lolz training.

  58. 58
    David Losh says:

    RE: Justin Bowers @ 50

    Stroupe does provide a service. On the other hand you just outed him, on line, in probably the worst place possible.

    OK, this is more bad news for down town Seattle. It just goes to show how messed up our city government is in the management of our city. A building constructed so poorly it needs to be taken down is a testament to our Department of Planning and Development.

  59. 59
    The_Dude_Abides says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 53
    LOL…d*mn near spit out my coffee.

    POTY…Scotsman

  60. 60
    The_Dude_Abides says:

    RE: ray pepper @ 54
    This bodes ill for ALL markets…

  61. 61
    Peckhammer says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 27

    The reason for a developer/construction company to bring a new building on-line as apartments, and to later convert to condos, is to get past the statute of limitations for construction defect litigation.

  62. 62

    By The_Dude_Abides @ 59:

    RE: ray pepper @ 54
    This bodes ill for ALL markets…

    I realize that there are a fair number of free market folks here, but c’mon. Doesn’t the Lusty Lady deserve a government bailout? What would happen if they went bust? What if you’re in the neighborhood and just ” too big to fail”?

  63. 63
    Justin Bowers says:

    RE: EconE @ 56RE: EconE @ 56 – off topic. tomorrow is actually my last day. but, i just find it 2 b poor in character to to bash the guy. we don’t hang out, eat or drink 2gether, but he’s the hardest working agent i know. …and the bellora studio. uh, the guy was hired to sell the place, spent a lot of $ trying to do so, & is rarely the agents choice to overprice a unit. it’s not in anybody’s best interest.

    Anyhow, I don’t see how 272 less units will not effect the market.

  64. 64
    fd0 says:

    My cousin just moved out. The management told them the structure is too expensive to repair. All of the tenants are supposed to vacate by the end of this year. They’re giving incentives to everyone to move out.

    My cousin also told me that there are some condos in that building. I have no idea what kind of legal situation is going to happen with that.

    I believe one of tenants said when looking at the building structure the rods that hold the place up were faulty.

    What a shame that a building that was built cannot be repaired.
    What a shame on the builders who possibly took shortcuts to get it built.
    What a shame on the people who provided the materials(if it was the actually the materials that were subpar).

    Very sad.

    On the other hand, are they going to implode the thing? That would be awesome to watch but scary for everything around it.

  65. 65
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    By Justin Bowers @ 63:

    i just find it 2 b poor in character to to bash the guy.

    You like him, so no one should say anything about him? Are we in junior high? I don’t know this guy, never even heard of him, so I don’t have an opinion on him either way. But an industry insider and/or personal friend saying he’s above reproach doesn’t reflect well on him, or you. Particularly on the rival’s home field.

  66. 66
    anonymous says:

    RE: Justin Bowers @ 63 – As of 2009 Seattle had a population of 602,000 in the city limits alone. 272 would only be 0.045% of the total population, (these are mostly singles, not family housing) and there are is a ton of available inventory . I believe the apartment vacancy rate is about 5.5%. Escala alone has 265 vacant units. The idea that 272 units would have a measurable effect on rents is ridiculous. You said $100/mo increase in your article, for 0.045% of the population in a market with 5.5% vacancy rate. Keep dreaming.

  67. 67
    voightt-kampff says:

    I was the 3rd person to move in to that building back in 2001, It was kind of cool living there while it was empty( it was finished right after the dot com fiasco).
    I moved out in 2002 but considered moving back about 6 months ago, when I asked why the building was covered in scaffolding, they told me it was for “cosmetic reasons”. I was pretty sure they were lying, as wrapping a relatively new highrise is just too costly for “cosmetic reasons”. Glad I decided to stay at my current building ( subsequently another downtown highrise).

  68. 68
    voight-kampff says:

    I was the 3rd person to move in to that building back in 2001, It was kind of cool living there while it was empty( it was finished right after the dot com fiasco).
    I moved out in 2002 but considered moving back about 6 months ago. When I asked why the building was covered in scaffolding, they told me it was for “cosmetic reasons”. I was pretty sure they were lying, as wrapping a relatively new highrise is just too costly for “cosmetic reasons”. Glad I decided to stay at my current building (which is subsequently another downtown highrise)

  69. 69
    voight-kampff says:

    oh yeah,
    the LustyLady may she rest in peace… and lusty-ness!!!

  70. 70
    kc says:

    This whole thing could have been avoided if the contractor built as specified. But it could have also been avoided if the architect had chosen to do a “rain screen” cladding system as was being done at the time and is all over the hi-rise towers in Vancouver B.C. A rain screen system is basically a glass curtain wall that goes up the entire height of the building, thus keeping rain intrusion out of critical structural elements such as post tensioned concrete slab edges. Instead, the architect chose to leave these susceptible elements exposed to the weather in order to achieve a certain architectural aesthetic. In addition, wall panels were set back a few inches from the edge to further accentuate the floor lines and thus creating ledges for water to sit and penetrate into the structure. Though the contractor could have prevented these problems had they built to specifications, the design of the building may have been flawed to begin with.

  71. 71
    Justin Bowers says:

    RE:RE: anonymous @ 66 – downtown…, and i’m a renter. i don’t benefit at all from anything i promote. i’m just honest. told the guy i rent from that he can maybe stress a little less under the assumption that don’t extend my lease. Lake Hills Renter @ 65 i don’t look at any other bloggers or even “competitors” as a rivals. i learn from them, & tim in particular has proven to be spot on with just about everything he posts. i linked to this post to drive traffic to tim out of respect. core value #4 is to have fun and i don’t take any animosity against anybody that shares the same passion as i. just sick and tired of all the negativity. especially when people are out there trying to make the best of what they have right now. EconE is notorious for spewing negativity. wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the creator of cheapshitcondos.com. why E? don’t get me wrong. i love a good debate, but the negativity and bashing of people’s character is just disgusting. @EconE – you’ve succeeded at making me squirm in my chair. congrats!

    also, you can’t argue that if escala was not built (or any other condo development) that the market downtown wouldn’t be a tad bit better to those who have an invested interest. same goes for the rental market. downtown is not seattle in this case. …like the saying the real estate market in leschi and whitecenter fall into the same trends.

    aRRRRRR! lol

  72. 72
    The Danza says:

    RE: anonymous @ 66 – There were 272 units but does any one know how many were actually occupied?

  73. 73
    anonymous says:

    Has anyone noticed that if you criticize the condo market you “hate seattle”? Since when does allowing the group of pathologically narcissistic Amway salesman, that make up a lot of the local real estate industry, pump overpriced and faulty shipping container condos become civic pride? What a bunch of crybabies. Don’t criticize my idiotic get-rich-quick scheme or your not a real Seattlite like I am.

    We should let the free market work and not mess it up with stupid government regulations and those Nazi building inspectors. That way we could all live in a beautiful place like the Somalia, or Moldova. No one pays taxes, regulations are never enforced, you can sell cardboard as food and no one can complain – any six year old can buy an RPG. You get the free market and second amendment in one great deal. Thanks to the real estate boom we will have plenty of corrugated metal for our new shanty towns.

  74. 74
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 62

    Did someone say the Lusty Lady’s going down? IMHO her many years of service to the community deserve at least a hearty pat on the back of the head. But alass(sic), more pink slips delt to hard working citizens who carried the torch of freedom for us all. Another crushing blow to the tradition of individual liberty in Seattle surpassed perhaps only by the closing of the Church of Venus some 30 years ago. Sadly even in a city as liberal as ours a bailout is probably too risky due to the potential for moral hazard. But in these trying times, will the commercial real estate market survive the blow? One can only hope that some public official will rise to the occassion and step in to fill the void. Where’s a true local leader in the mold of Brock Adams, Newt Gingrich or the insatiable William Jefferson Clinton when the rubber meets First Avenue. Indeed, how myopic must our leaders be not to see that the Lady is too big to fail? History, if not biology demands that the Lusty Lady stay open. The sign alone clearly qualifies for historic landmark status. The survival of our heritage as a great seaport, our economy and the American way of life demand that the Lady continue to service our community and its varied needs. In the name of Pee Wee Herman, is nothing sacred.

  75. 75
    The Tim says:

    By anonymous @ 73:

    Has anyone noticed that if you criticize the condo market you “hate seattle”? Since when does allowing the group of pathologically narcissistic Amway salesman, that make up a lot of the local real estate industry, pump overpriced and faulty shipping container condos become civic pride? What a bunch of crybabies. Don’t criticize my idiotic get-rich-quick scheme or your not a real Seattlite like I am.

    Next time anonymous, don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel. Heh.

  76. 76
    anonymous says:

    RE: Justin Bowers @ 71 – Without Escala, other condo developers would be a tad bit better off, (those 4 people would have likely bought at some of the other condos) but prices would still be decreasing, not increasing. And price decreases are a positive thing.

  77. 77
    Justin Bowers says:

    RE: anonymous @ 76 – agreed if you’re someone looking to buy. the unfortunate thing are all of those who have dumped their savings into a place to find they’re upside down. it’s not my place to advise on what to do in that situation, but almost seems logical to foreclose, rent, save, then try buying again several years from now. idk…

    RIP LL

  78. 78
    Justin Bowers says:

    McGuire demolition causing dramatic increase in rent rates in Belltown and downtown
    http://blog.seattlepi.com/insidebelltown/archives/201678.asp

  79. 79
    redmondjp says:

    OK, now hold the phone a minute here . . . Owner’s experts say building must come down, but the builder’s own experts say everything is OK:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2011591385_mcguire13.html

    I see a new A&E reality show in the making: “Buildings Gone Bad”, with the building explosively demolished at the end of the show . . . of course, the technical arguments by various experts wouldn’t make for very exciting TV, so potential expert canidates would have to be carefully pre-screened to select only those with fowl language and hot tempers. Selective editing would then show structural engineers at each others’ throats, and must-see TV ensues!

    This case will be in the courts long after the actual building has been demolished (or not). The lawyers will be the only winners in the end, as per usual, regardless of the outcome.

  80. 80
    The Tim says:

    RE: Justin Bowers @ 78 – Reading the article you linked, that doesn’t sound like a market-driven change, it sounds like profiteering / price gouging. 200-some people all need to move simultaneously and some apartment building landlords that have been hurting due to falling rents and high vacancies think they can take advantage of the urgent nature of the situation to soak the poor saps that are being forced out.

    Copying my comment that I posted over there…

    This isn’t simple supply and demand, it’s price gouging. Lucky for them I guess that price gouging isn’t explicitly illegal in WA state.

    According to this February Puget Sound Business Journal article:

    In Seattle, developers this year are expected to deliver 2,600 apartments, down from 4,510 delivered last year, and the vacancy rate is expected to rise to 8.4 percent.

    So 2,600 new apartments are coming online this year with vacancy rates near 8%, and the removal of 272 units is supposed to be a solid supply-and-demand reason to dramatically spike rents? I think not.

  81. 81
    Justin Bowers says:

    RE: The Tim @ 80 – I don’t disagree that rents rising is price gouging. I do very much believe those individuals who are increasing their rents have poor integrity and I don’t support taking advantage of it all. Fact is, rents are expected to rise and don’t feel that making that statement should influence anybody to start talkin sh*t from someone who thinks it’s cool to use a pic decorated with a Hitler mustache.

  82. 82
    The Tim says:

    By Justin Bowers @ 81:

    Fact is, rents are expected to rise and don’t feel that making that statement should influence anybody to start talkin sh*t from someone who thinks it’s cool to use a pic decorated with a Hitler mustache.

    Hey, the beef between you and EconE is just that, between you two. I often don’t approve of his overly-blunt style, but I generally avoid censoring or deleting comments.

    That said… “Hitler mustache,” really?

    Godwin’ed

  83. 83
    corncob says:

    By Justin Bowers @ 63:

    did ur 13 yo kid sis hax0r ur acct? lolwtfbbq

  84. 84
    David Losh says:

    RE: Justin Bowers @ 81

    Look it, no matter what the SEO meter may say you are making a mistake here.

  85. 85
    CCG says:

    By anonymous @ 73:

    Has anyone noticed that if you criticize the condo market you “hate seattle”? Since when does allowing the group of pathologically narcissistic Amway salesman, that make up a lot of the local real estate industry, pump overpriced and faulty shipping container condos become civic pride? What a bunch of crybabies. Don’t criticize my idiotic get-rich-quick scheme or your not a real Seattlite like I am.

    If rents had risen every time I heard someone, especially the Times and the P-I, start screeching about it in the last five years, we’d now have dozens of Monday morning quarterbacks writing books about the rental bubble instead of the housing bubble.

  86. 86
    CCG says:

    By anonymous @ 73:

    Has anyone noticed that if you criticize the condo market you “hate seattle”? Since when does allowing the group of pathologically narcissistic Amway salesman, that make up a lot of the local real estate industry, pump overpriced and faulty shipping container condos become civic pride? What a bunch of crybabies. Don’t criticize my idiotic get-rich-quick scheme or your not a real Seattlite like I am.

    If rents had risen every time I heard someone, especially the Times and the P-I, start screeching about it in the last five years, we’d now have dozens of Monday morning quarterbacks writing books about the rental bubble instead of the housing bubble.

    Nonetheless, as Justin suggests there might be some landlords who think this is their big opportunity to “send a message” to those stinking renters. Good luck with that one.

  87. 87
    Justin Bowers says:

    RE: David Losh @ 84RE: The Tim @ 82 – close. no seo attempt here–obviously. strictly tired of people bustin on people who really don’t deserve it. this bout being flat out rude and disrespectful to somebody that BUSTS THEIR ***** on a daily basis. so i’ve lost face for blowing this topic out of proportion–but after watching all this squabbling for so many years–there’s certain things people say that that are uncalled for. tired of it. get a life that counts for something! DAMN!

  88. 88
    The Danza says:

    RE: Justin Bowers @ 87 – You cannot be serious…Even if you had a point I would be hard pressed to take it seriously.

  89. 89
    Choc Donut says:

    It should drive up the cost of houses not condos. I would like living downtown but forget putting your life savings into one of these things. Watch the insurance companies look over this next – hmmm, someone’s condo homeowner’s is going UP. Condos are fun, apts may be fun, but not to own….

  90. 90
    David Losh says:

    RE: Justin Bowers @ 87

    That’s got to be the most confused comment ever.

    Is we hatin’ here?

  91. 91
    HappyRenter says:

    I’m really happy that most SeattleBubble bloggers know how to spell correctly and take care of punctuation. In particular, I appreciate Tim’s flawless English.

    The same cannot be said of the Stroupe’s group. In the paragraph above the movie stream you can read:

    “the neighborhood was just starting to plant it’s roots” (instead of “its”)

    It just makes a bad impression. Maybe, bad spelling goes together with bad quality of buildings? Where are we headed? :-D

  92. 92
    The Tim says:

    By HappyRenter @ 91:

    I’m really happy that most SeattleBubble bloggers know how to spell correctly and take care of punctuation. In particular, I appreciate Tim’s flawless English.

    I try, and it’s nice that some people notice and appreciate my effort. After spending as much as I did on higher education, I feel it is somewhat my duty to present content with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation at least.

  93. 93

    […] A 25-story apartment building in Seattle was deemed unsafe for habitation a few weeks ago and will be torn down due to the astronomical price tag of the repairs. The shocker is that the building was only built 9 years ago. […]

  94. 94

    RE: EconE @ 37 – Waaaaay better pic!!!

  95. 95

    […] views:Goldman: Seattle Home Prices to Fall 22% More by 2012 – 06/08, 69 comments, 13,475 views25-Story Apartment Tower Built in 2001 Now a Teardown – 04/12, 94 comments, 10,965 viewsTop 25 Cities: Price to Rent and Price to Income Ratios […]

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