Keller Williams Greater Seattle

The Sanctuary Resurrected

Capitol Hill’s Sanctuary development in the historic First Church building has been resurrected. It’s now under receivership and on its 4th marketing firm.

Active marketing and home listing sales are expected to start by late Summer.

View The Sanctuary homes for sale

The following is from a press release:

(July 7, 2011) SEATTLE, WA – The senior development loan on The Sanctuary — a century-old church in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood that was converted into a 12-unit multifamily community — has been sold by a syndicate of lenders to Pathfinder Pollin Sanctuary Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of San Diego-based Pathfinder Partners, LLC, a leading acquirer of loans and properties from financial institutions.

According to Robert Nall, managing member of Resource Transition Consultants, LLC (RTC), which has served as the court-appointed receiver for the lender syndicate since September 2010, the loan sale is a key step toward rejuvenating the long-stalled development and reintroducing The Sanctuary to the market at dramatically reduced prices.

Guardian Investment Real Estate, a national real estate investment bank, represented the selling lenders. RTC will remain in place and oversee remaining construction and sales activities. Seattle-based Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty has been appointed the exclusive listing broker.

Originally built in 1908 as The First Church of Christ the Scientist, The Sanctuary was redeveloped a century later, as 12, fee simple concrete and steel townhomes within the historic structure. The original borrower defaulted on the development loan in August 2010 and construction and marketing has been halted for more than a year, Nall said. “With the support of our new lender, we can now complete construction and sell the individual residences,” Nall added.

Ranging from 1,278- to 2,438-square-feet, the townhomes will be marketed at significantly less than the original asking price – which averaged over $1 million apiece (previously listed from $799,000 to over $1.6 million) — when complete in fall of 2011. “While the original developer had an incredible vision that we intend to fully realize, we also recognize that values must be recalibrated for today’s homebuyer,” Nall said. “We anticipate our prices will start at below $600,000.” Additionally, new homeowners will enjoy a 10-year property tax abatement, with a special assessment designation for historic structures.

Celebrating the architectural significance of the historic structure, The Sanctuary project has already won numerous design awards, including “Building Restoration of the Year (2009)” from Seattle magazine. The development features an expansive stained-glass dome, now the building’s atrium, which provides abundant natural light. Residences feature high-end finishes and amenities, including soaring 35-foot-high ceilings, metalwork and cabinets by Seattle area artisans, solid wood stair risers, re-purposed marble from the original church and top-of-the-line kitchen and plumbing fixtures. Each unit has a street level entrance, as well as a shared elevator to secured underground parking. Some units have rooftop terraces with expansive views of downtown Seattle and Elliott Bay.

Dean Jones, principal of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, anticipates that The Sanctuary will be a welcome addition to the in-city housing market. “Buyers and brokers are starving for exciting new inventory like this, as the for-sale pipeline has been shut down for several years and no new developments are planned,” said Jones. Additionally, “this is a unique development – one part residence, one part architectural landmark, one part object d’art – and with just 12 homes available, we expect them to be in high demand.”


Images courtesy of The Sanctuary.
Seattle Condos and Lofts

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About the Author

About the Author: Ben Kakimoto is a condo marketing specialist and publisher of The Seattle Condo Blog. Ben's focus is urban residential properties in Seattle's metropolitan core. Contact Ben to learn more about the Seattle condo and loft real estate market. Find Ben on Google+, Twitter and Facebook. .


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  1. Joe Sacotte says:

    The First Church is not under new ownership; the bank note (a piece of paper) was simply sold to a new lender last week. The Church project faltered due to the effects of the National Banking crisis. Trouble started in November 2009 when the 68% lender failed and was taken over by the FDIC. The new bank wouldn’t play ball and the project stalled for 6 months, until a “Workout Agreement” was signed. Three months latter the Bank breached the agreement leaving sub trades and suppliers out of pocket another $400k. The property is now under the control of a Reciever who has done nothing to complete the work or sell units for nearly 10 months. All sales are subject to the objections of First Church and approval of the State Court.

    The lawsuit is scheduled for jury trial in King County Superior Court in January 2012.

    There are two sides to every story.

    Joe Sacotte
    First Church, LLC
    its Managing Member

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