Keller Williams Greater Seattle, Ben Kakimoto, Seattle Condo Agent

Olive8 Condo – Midtown Seattle

olive8.jpgThe Olive8, at the edge of downtown and Capitol Hill, is in the mix for urban living. It’s steps away from the Paramount Theater, the downtown shopping district, close-by the new Whole Foods and a short hop over to Capitol Hill. This area of downtown is generally less active, aside from the cars on Olive heading to the I-5 at rush hour.

Olive8 follows the lead of The 2200 and Madison Tower by incorporating a hotel and many upscale amenities. The Grand Hyatt will reside on the lower 17 levels with residences from the 18th thru the 36th level.

The project includes more than 180 one-, two-, two + den and penthouse residences. The homes come with upscale interiors including Pedini italian cabinets, stone countertops, hardwood floors, stainless Leibherr and Bosch appliances, A/C, 10’+ ceilings and private balconies.

Residents will have access to the Hyatt’s amenities, including a full-service spa, fitness center with a 65 foot lap pool, housekeeping, 24-hour room service and concierge services.

Back a little on it’s location. It sits right next to the 33-story Qwest Plaza which blocks most of the west-facing views except from the “00” NW corner units. And, expect to spend at least $1,000,000 for those units. On the north, you need to be on or above the 28th story to have a view that’s unobstructed by the 720 Olive Way building (red brick). Finally, towards the east are additional projects that are proposed or under construction. Over the long-term, residences may feel boxed-in, but that’s fairly common for downtown living. The point is, just because there’s some open spaces now, doesn’t mean it’ll be there in 4-5 years.

Homes are on sale now and range from $500,000 to well over $2,000,000. Amazingly, many of the homes that face directly into Qwest Plaza have sold. At this time, most of the available homes are on the east and north side of the building. Visit Olive8.

View available Olive 8 condos for sale.

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About the Author

About the Author: Ben Kakimoto is a Seattle condo and urban real estate marketing & listing specialist. Contact Ben to learn more about the Seattle condo and loft real estate market or about buying or selling a Seattle area condo. Find Ben on Twitter and Facebook. .


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There Are 211 Brilliant Comments

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  1. condoyboy says:

    I am curious how the developer/williams-marketing will deal with 50 ton elephant in the room at the buyers event on thursday… will they completely ignore it like the last one? This should be interesting.

    I have been wondering for like a year why more 08 buyers dont end up on blogs like this, I only see like 10 or so. I have been scouring the internet for months looking for company for my misery 🙂 I for one wonder what the hell everyone else is going to do.

  2. O8 Buyer says:

    Hopefully we’ll have a group of buyers at our separate buyer’s meet-up. I’m trying to secure a location for this weekend, possibly Sunday. I have had 14 buyers contact me so far (3 are out of state but want to participate).

    Email me at if you’re interested in attending. This meeting will be for olive 8 buyers ONLY and any representatives from Williams or the developer will not be allowed to attend.

  3. condogirl says:

    I wont be able to make it to O8 event this thursday and also our own buyer meeting this sunday, but would love to hear about it. would you please share with us afterward?

  4. o8buyer2 says:

    Things have changed a great deal since the October event such as the introduction of the new Fannie May regulations (additional fees, ect) and the unwillingness of banks besides Countrywide to lend.

    Thursday will be interesting. Their reps no doubt read this blog and have an idea of what’s going on inside people’s heads. We’ll hear “there’s no way this is going apartments, the developer has strong financials and can tough it out, there are a lot of buyers waiting by the sidelines to purchase when reservations fall through, everyone is very excited to close, we haven’t heard of many dropping out, this is a one of a kind project” and who knows what else.

    It’s sad to see this project end up like this. I was so excited about it even just six months ago. I really feel for those on the first several floors. Those halfway and up will have at least an idea of how many units have been able to close and whether they should bother to close as well. Again, I see this building as 33% occupied when all is done.

    Get the word out about the separate buyer’s meetup on Thursday. 🙂

  5. Iceman says:

    Condo developers in San Francisco have reduced prices from 15-30% this year. The 60 story Millenium Tower in SOMA is comparable to Olive 8. They cut prices 15% in January. Existing buyers were refunded.

    Lower end SF condo’s like Cubix are discounting up to 30% just to get to the sales level they need for FHA financing.

  6. o8buyer2 says:

    We won’t see prices drop at Olive8. No way, no how.

    Even with a 15% drop it’d be still very tough to close.

  7. Tim S says:

    Interesting articles Iceman. Although I doubt it will happen, it might actually be in Olive 8’s best interest to offer a retroactive discout to buyers. If they are concerned about a fair number of them backing out, and that the market prices would be significantly lower than the difference between the pre-sales and the earnest money (or even equal), it would make sense for them to pre-emptively discount to retain sales. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush sort of thing…(and maybe three in this market). The question is, are they that smart?

  8. Reader says:

    Developers aren’t ignorant of the trends. Live Historic’s Marlborough condo’s on First Hill went into default last week and the bank will auction them off. Added to the Intracorp foreclosureof Domaine, that makes two condo projects that have failed in as many months. Vulcan has already reacted by lowering prices at Veer.

    I think a minimum 15% discount is in the air for the Olive 8 buyers meeting tomorrow.

  9. o8buyer2 says:

    Those two projects are vastly different than Olive8.

    Olive8 has a very strong number of units already reserved; those two mentioned above never got over 10%.

    My guess is the only concession we’ll maybe see is that they’ll end up paying for some closing costs or a rate buy down for a couple years. But that’s a HUGE maybe. There is no way they’re going to discount the units even a buck with the reservations already so high.

  10. condoyboy says:

    I agree with o8buyer2’s assesment, the developer will most likeley not make any concessions, however I think they will regret it. They probably regret switching contractors mid-job, they probably regret adding three more floors. They did these things to make more money, but they just ened up delaying things and are probably going to end up costing them dearly. the original completion date was well over a year ago, a time when most people would/could have closed.
    thank you hedreen for being greedy.

  11. condogirl says:

    if Olive8 is smart, they should give their buyers some discount. helping their buyers closing on their units in turn helping them not have to deal with massive buyers walking away. it’s a win-win for both sides.

  12. Ben Kakimoto says:

    FYI – Received word that Olive 8 has applied for Fannie Mae’s PERS review, which if approved, should open Fannie Mae backed financing to other lenders. The review process takes about 2 weeks.

  13. john says:

    Dear Olive 8 Homeowner,

    In these challenging and often confusing lending times I wanted to update you on our status at Olive 8 and to clear up some misconceptions about Fannie Mae loan requirements and their relationship to the Olive 8 project.

    Fannie Mae is one of the largest buyers of mortgages in the United States . They have recently instituted an approval process known as Project Eligibility Review Service, or PERS, that is a universal approval allowing ANY proposed lender to sell their loan to Fannie Mae without making a separate application as long as the loan meets Fannie Mae loan specific guidelines (i.e. limited to applicable loan amounts, etc.). This approval would eliminate the need of each lender to seek separate approval of the project for each proposed loan as required under the previous program.

    The PERS program would provide a possible expansion of the number of lenders that could provide financing for Olive 8 buyers. Because that would benefit Olive 8 buyers, we are pursuing PERS approval from Fannie Mae. This approval must be sought from Fannie Mae by a particular lender and not by the developer. We are therefore working closely with our preferred lender, Countrywide, in collecting the necessary information and preparing the detailed application and documentation. We expect that it will be filed with Fannie Mae in the next few weeks. We hope that Fannie Mae approval will occur soon thereafter.

    In the meantime, any lender desiring to make a “qualifying loan” can still follow the current practice of in house project approval on the project and we understand that several lenders other than Countrywide have done so successfully.

    Not all buyers or borrowers are or should necessarily be concerned about Fannie Mae guidelines. Fannie May only buys loans that are within the current loan limit of $567,500 (this applies to King County ). However, it is our understanding that the lending market is placing some importance on Fannie Mae approval guidelines irrespective of the loan amount. I hope this explanation helps to clear up any misunderstanding that you may have about this subject.

    Since the opening of Hyatt at Olive 8 we are more enthusiastic than ever about the Olive 8 project and the unique value it provides to our owners. I recently read in a January 31, 2009 Gardner/Johnson report that Built GreenTM multi-family housing units in the Seattle market appreciated 8% in 2008 while non Built GreenTM homes in that same period lost 4% of their value. Olive 8’s even more stringent pending LEEDTM Silver certification presumably will deliver equivalent or even greater market value resilience, particularly when coupled with the incredible owner benefits associated with our location above the Hyatt at Olive 8 and it’s significant hotel amenities.

    Best Regards,

    David Thyer, President, Olive 8 LLC

  14. o8buyer2 says:

    Does anyone actually believe that LEED propaganda?

    This is good news, however with closings set to start within the next couple weeks the first batch will be SOL. Or will O8 push back the closing schedule to accommodate this?

    Walk-thrus begin next week for 18+19.

  15. condogirl says:

    That’s the same email letter I got today from Olive8. Thanks for posting it John. Can’t wait to hear what they have to say in tomorrow event.

  16. Tim S says:

    That is very good news indeed.

    o8buyer2 – I believe that closings were already pushed back, supposedly about a month or so from the last update. So, first should be end of March if I recall. Im guessing we will get the final, formal schedule tonight.

    condogirl – the event is tonight 🙂

  17. o8buyer2 says:

    i think you mean tonight 🙂

  18. condogirl says:

    oh YES tonight! 🙂

  19. olive8buyer says:

    Hello O8 buyers,

    The separate Olive8 Buyers Meet-up has been scheduled. Email me for details.

    This meeting will be for O8 reservation holders only!

  20. o8buyer2 says:

    I wasn’t able to make it tonight.

    How were the model homes? Details!

  21. Tim S says:

    Model homes were not open for tour yet since they didnt receive occupancy from the city yet. Should be very soon it seems.

    The rest of the building was exceptional. Very high-end, and definitely has exceeded my expectations. The pool and spa are are quite wonderful, as is the fitness room. They have a contract for new fitness equipment every 2 years to keep everything up to date.

    We were able to tour various hotel rooms, including the presidential suite, which is about 1600 sq ft apparently, and felt just like a condo (minus the kitchn of course). Very nicely done. Thyer admitted they wish now they handt added the 3 additional floors because of the delays it incurred.

    Overall, the event was good. Most people I talked too seemed upbeat despite the current economy. Everyone agreed the building is going to be fantastic.

  22. HS says:

    Building might be great, if you can absorb massive asset price depreciation. Dow at 7000, banks going broke due to too much lending to speculators and unqualified buyers (WAMU, next Citi and BAC which are basically government owned). House of cards to say the least.

    Its just like buying a new car, take the keys and lose 30% immediately.

  23. o8buyer2 says:

    no model homes? wasn’t that the purpose of the entire event? guess i don’t feel that bad about not making it then.

    any news about lending?

  24. condoboy says:

    The people on the lower floors ( like me ) really have it much worse since a big factor in value will be how many people close. We should get a gift basket or something! …oops i forgot …they wont make any concessions!

    I still felt like there was 50 ton elephant in the room at the event. I guess the overall atmosphere was positive. I wanted to yell “who is actually gonna close in this market!!!” during the speaches, but I think inciting a riot is against the law.

  25. O8 owner says:

    No one has any more input on the meeting last night? I wasn’t able to make it, but am looking forward to seeing the models when they open even though I wont be able to close. It will probably just piss me off even more!

  26. olive8buyer says:

    They said the models should be open in a couple weeks. It should be located on the 18th or 19th floor. They will be hosting another buyer’s event in March.

    I don’t think a majority of those in attendance were condo buyers. The party was for the hotel’s grand opening. The people in attendance included the development team, the Hyatt’s management team, various media outlets, and event planners. I don’t think this was a “buyer’s” event. They just wanted to show off the hotel to the media and potential clients.

    See you all at the “buyer’s only” meet-up tomorrow. Email me with questions.

  27. Condocow says:

    Any news on the buyer only event???

  28. o8buyer2 says:

    so walk thru’s were scheduled to start this week – still the case?

  29. condoboy says:

    as far as the buyers only event, roughly 80% of those in attendance are planning NOT to close.

  30. condoman says:

    condoboy, that would be 6 of the meager 8 of you that showed up, right.?

  31. condogirl says:

    can anyone give me a recap on the “buyer only” meeting on Sunday? any interesting news?

  32. olive8buyer says:


    Actually, there were 10 buyers that showed up. Only 2 of them were planning on closing on their units.

    Besides the 10 that showed up, another 10 emailed me and told me they were not able to make it to the meeting. Of those 10, only 2 of those indicated they were planning on trying to close. A few of those 10 had moved out of state due to work.

    So my unscientific poll of buyers indicates that only 4 of 20 buyers are planning on attempting to close.

    The meeting indicated that even the buyers that were considering closing, were concerned about what the developer’s plans would be in the event that a significant portion of the building was not sold. Would they be auctioned off? Turned into apartments? Price reduction??


  33. o8buyer2 says:

    Put me in the “I’d like to close but probably can’t so I’ll hire a lawyer to get as much of my 30k back as I can” group

    I’ll be surprised that if half of the people who have reserved actually close.

  34. condogirl says:

    so there is no action item after the meeting? i think we buyers should come up with a plan to ask Olive8 for the price reduction. The condo market has dropped more in value dramatically everywhere; it’s not fair to close on the price listed 3 years ago.

  35. o8buyer2 says:

    We will NOT see any price drops. Let’s say I reserved a unit on floor 30 with a price of 500k in Feb 2006. A year later the same floor plan was reserved on floor 29 with a price of 600k. How do you propose price drops would work in a situation like that?

  36. condoboy says:

    I am very suspect of why condoman would try to minimize the meeting. I was not trying to hide the number of people in attendance, Even though it was a fairly small gathering, the fact that 80% of people are not closing is incredibly relevant. So condoman, are you a buyer? If you loose 200k of your “meager” money because of lost value, will you be ok with that? I think most posters/buyers are here trying to get information to help make a smart decision and possibly influence the developer to make concessions,however unlikely.

  37. olive8willbejustfine says:

    Olive 8 will be just fine. I am a buyer who just got approved on a loan. I’m not a millionaire, I am on a lower floor, and I reserved 3 years ago. I think this blog needs an injection of some positivity. Read this entry for starts. At worst, it says we’re not screwed:

    I’m not saying everything is OK, but I am projecting that OLIVE 8 WILL BE JUST FINE. Don’t blame Olive 8 that we’re in a huge economic downturn.

    A few of you on this thread are really pissed off about your difficulties in closing- and I sympathize with you. But some of your extrapolations are outlandish.

  38. olive8willbejustfine says:

    Oh, and 10 BUYERS is not a fair assessment of all the buyers. 8 out of 10 people not closing really isn’t very relevant. Once that 80% figure represents 40 out of 50, then I’ll give it some traction.

  39. wasolive8buyer says:

    I am really happy for you olive8willbejustfine, that you have such faith in condo market. Me and few others don’t have that faith. Housing market is tanking and it’s still far from bottom at least 12-18 months by some experts. It just don’t make sense to buy any real estate right now.

  40. Reality Check says:

    The Seattle market, as a whole, lost between 5 and 7 percent of its value in 2008. That includes all product type, the worst of which is definitely NOT Olive 8. Between the start of reservations and today, the Seattle market has gained, in aggregate, 20 – 30% in value.

    First and foremost, there are NOT many properties for which to compare sales prices to Olive 8 in order to assess a potential “discount”. The other new condo hotel is Four Seasons and Olive 8 buyers aren’t paying eight million dollars per condo. 1521 is totally different with non-traditional layouts and much larger square footages. Using broad generalizations like, “the housing market has declined” to describe the situation at Olive 8 accounts for developments in places like Arizona where the real estate market was a self fulfilling prophecy. We have had speculative buyers in our market, but not near the degree as other areas of the country. As far as the downtown market goes, the weaker product has already been hit. (Domaine, Expo 62, etc.) Again, this product is not even comparable to Olive 8.

    Some of the units on the lower floors at Olive 8 sold for around 500 dollars per square foot. Throughout 2008, other developments were seeing resales for far more than these prices. (Check resales at 5th and Madison and even 2200) If you can’t close, it’s your own fault for being overleveraged. Truth be told, you probably need 10 percent down to close. You can still get financing and you don’t have to go through Countrywide. Call a mortgage broker and check on it, I did. If you have had enough income for the past two years to buy at Olive 8, you should have saved enough rainy day money to cover the “increase” in down payment requirements.

    Olive 8 is the best new construction product to come to the downtown Seattle market from a value and cost standpoint, maybe ever. You are not going to be able to flip your unit in six months and turn much of a profit unless you are patient or you bought the least expensive home in the building (this is a function of a graduated pricing process that lasted for a number of years). Most of the people who are actually closing are not on this blog for two reasons a) they are planning on living there for more than 12 to 18 months, your words not mine, and can handle some uncertainty in the equity of their unit or b) they have the liquidity or cash flow to hold the unit throughout the downturn and make their profit after a number of years. Regarding an annualized return and maybe an internal rate of return, this makes their yield lower due to the time value of money, but they will still have a positive yield on the investment due to their ability to hold without dire consequences. That is unless you believe that the market will go down forever, which might be true since many people believed that the market would go up forever. Everyone who put down their earnest money should have calculated changes in the market, both good and bad. You should have run cash flows based on your earnings and savings and planned for a best and worst case scenario. Traditional real estate investors know that buying in a down market can be a good strategy and they have enough money to buy and hold, which is the typical way to earn a return on property.

    Buyers signed a contract for a purchase price that was not contingent upon market conditions, the fear factor for some of you seems to be overtaking your rationality. If you did not calculate the risk of being unable to close and didn’t have 30 grand to lose when you signed up, you shouldn’t have signed up. Losing 30 grand is a bummer, but it happens to investors all the time.

  41. I felt really bad because I was not able to make it to the meeting. Some people posting on this blog who are able to close on their units are oozing with arrogance. I have a high credit score, solid job and earn 6 figures but I am still leaning towards not closing because the continued decline of our economy with no end in sight makes me nervous. For those of you who are able to close good for you but I do not see any reason or justification for your rude and insensitive comments. I don’t think anyone is blaming Olive 8. People I think are using this blog to seek comfort and sympathy from other buyers who are able to relate to the difficulties some people are expeiencing related to financial challenges due to the current conditions of our economy. There is nothing wrong for people to explore how to get back their hard-earned deposits. Just look at the DOW it is at a dangerously low level that financial experts did not expect they would ever see in their lifetime.

  42. condoboy says:

    to olive8willbejustfine, I couldnt make it to the “buyer-only” meeting, but the info is still very interesting to me.
    I would like to know what 40 or 50 buyers plan to do as well, but just like polls during an election: they cant interview every american, so they take a sample, and extrapolate. So 80% of 10 people is not perfect, but respectfuly I feel it more relevant than saying “olive8 will be just fine”

    I for one place no blame on olive8, the developer, or anyone, but that doesnt change the fact that these condos may in fact be worth less in the future than they are today, many people may no longer qualify, and what will the developer do with unsold inventory?…for me these are serious questions. I too am not a millionaire and I too got approved for a loan. I respect your opinion, and I would like to know why you think olive8 will be fine, and what extrapolations on this blog are “outlandish”?
    I think alot of olive8 buyers may come across this site, so we should try and be objective, and nice too I suppose 🙂 … I usually discredit posts where people are attacking each other personally, so I apologize if I offended anyone)
    I would love to be positive too, so give me something to be positive about?

  43. o8buyer2 says:

    I got in early at a GREAT price, however my concern lies in the unsold inventory. Not the price I locked in at.

    The prices at Olive8 have risen to the level and quality of the project. Prices are today, at a minimum, $800/sq ft. They will not go down due to their “price guarantee” a year ago.

    Units are not moving. They won’t be moving anytime soon. I’ve been told that in the last year that the number of reservations has DECREASED due to people dropping out and not enough new sales to balance out that number. That scares the heck out of me.

    Once the building is finished closing and 40-50% of the units are still unsold, prospective buyers will be unable to secure financing in a building that is only 50% occupied.

    I just worry this building turning to apartment/condo when the remaining units can’t be sold. It’s going to be a very, very scary situation.

  44. John says:

    With regards to the Price Guarantee, how long is the price really guaranteed? What happens after everyone closes, and there are still 30% of the units still available? Will Hedreen still “Guarantee” the price? Or will he start to drop the prices like Rollin Street? Do you believe that the Olive 8 project will be immune from this? My prediction is of the units currently under contract (80%), 30% will not go through with the purchase. At 50% sold, prices will begin to fall due to the carrying costs of those units. I don’t have any hard data to support this, just my thoughts.

  45. FutureO8Resident says:

    RealityCheck, Thanks for the summary, that was exactly what we discussed in the “buyers” only meeting. People are concerned and rightfully so. I don’t think it’s in anyone’s place especially yours to be lecturing on their financial situation. Just because Olive8 is a great building doesn’t mean it’s a great investment given the current economic situation. BTW, were you at the meeting? ; )

  46. condogirl says:

    Thanks Ampy Contreras!!!

    I do have solid job and high income and like everybody else I DO concern about this economy & my investment. I am not surprised that comments like that are injected by Olive8 agents/people for their marketing purposes. Otherwise they are on their dreamland or ignorant about this horrible recession that we are in. I’m just saying. The Dow went down below 7000 and experts predict it will go down to 3000. most banks are in trouble and will soon be owned by the government. Most people wont qualify for their loans, what the developers will do with the large inventory??? The economy is getting worse. Reality Check, you need to do some reality check yourself!!!

  47. klt2 says:

    Condo prices are down, both new and used. If unsold O8 units are not re-priced, it is unlikely that they will sell. Check out this flip attempt over at Cosmo:

    Originally on the market for well over a million, now – $699K.

    While it is a tough nut to swallow, it seems like it may be smart to let the “option” expire and walk away. Better pricing on other condos are available. And/or O8 prices will likely come down.

    Good lesson for all of us to insist on language to include in future Purchase / Sales agreements regarding minimun # of units sold and closed.

  48. O8 owner says:


    You make some good points, but you don’t need to lecture everyone on finances just because you feel like you will be the only one paying HOA dues when you close your unit. I think it is great that you are able to close and will be able to enjoy the amazing building and it’s amenities. I am not blaming Olive8 or the developer for the situation that many of us are in, as it is not their fault. I wish things were the way they were back in 2005, none of us would be on this blog right now looking for help on how to get earnest money back.

    I also have the same concerns many of the fellow bloggers on here have, which is that this will be an apartment complex at some point. It will be years before people have the confidence to go out and buy expensive high-rise condos they way they were back in 06.

  49. olive8willbejustfine says:

    Reality check,

    Good points. Although I feel bad for anyone who is losing your earnest money, your last paragraph is spot on.

  50. o8buyer2 says:

    Maybe I’m just dense, but I don’t think anyone is saying they don’t deserve to lose their earnest money. We all signed a contract, knew what we were getting ourselves into and don’t feel as if Olive8 has “screwed” us out of anything. I also don’t expect any concessions from the developer (lower prices, ect).

    The only way we stand a chance of getting some or all of that earnest money back (without lawyers) is by banding together and refusing to close.

    The more of us that refuse to close, the better.

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