Keller Williams Greater Seattle, Ben Kakimoto, Seattle Condo Agent

Tobira Condominiums

Stylish and affordable; a combination not found around the downtown Seattle core neighborhoods much these days. While many developers have their eyes set on building new landmark towers, the Wysong group has focused on providing comfortable, well-designed, moderate priced homes for the average person. Two recent projects are the Tobira Condominiums and the Decatur.

The Tobira Condominiums, formerly the Empress Apartments, is a 5 year old building situated at the cross section of the financial district, Pioneer Square and the International District at 108 5th Avenue South, Seattle. (map – note, the building is South of Yesler)

The project includes 88 studios, one-, one+den, and two-bedroom homes ranging in size from approximately 440 to 1,016 square feet. The preferred lender is Homebase Mortgage, a Countrywide company.

Tobira has set aside 14 units for the first release which are available now.

  • Studios – 4 units available, ranging from $179,950 to $234,950
  • One bedrooms – 8 units available, ranging from $219,950 to $294,950
  • One + den – 1 unit available, $314,950
  • Two-bedrooms – 1 unit available, $429,950

Standard features & amenities include:

  • One parking space, excluding Studios
  • Lobby lounge area
  • Slab granite countertops in kitchen and bath
  • Maple or Cherry laminate cabinets
  • Carpeting in living and bedrooms
  • Vinyl flooring in bathroom
  • Two color schemes – International or Downtown

Options include:

  • Standard parking: $15,000
  • Tandem parking upgrade: $10,000
  • Stainless Appliances: $3,000
  • California Closets
  • Storage Units: $2,500 to $6,500

Homeowner dues are approximately $.30 per square foot.

The location is convenient for downtown living as it is within walking distance to Pioneer Square, the International District and the stadiums. A couple of items to keep in mind – the Yesler bridge is directly adjacent to the building and a new office tower is being constructed on the West side potentially blocking views. Otherwise, the units are well insulated from street noise.

The Tobira Grand Opening is slated for January 27th.

View available Tobira 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 13 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Richard Sceloporus says:

    I have my doubts about the building itself. It was not aging well after just five years.the concrete at the back of the building was just jack-hammered out. Not sure why. Be sure and view the area at night. No shortage of crime.

  2. Ben_Kakimoto says:

    Richard, you do raise a good point, that buyers and their agents do due diligence in researching properties they’re interested in purchasing. It’s definitely recommended that buyers view properties and vicinity at night to get a good feel of the area.

  3. art cloud says:

    yes!please send photo in my price range 169-000, 200,000 range. something vert stylish. addreess is attn to:art mccloud , usns rappahannock , (edited address). think about organize space i,m a single bacholor japanese style

  4. Ben_Kakimoto says:

    Art – A fleet oiler, pretty cool (I’ve hidden part of the ship’s address). Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos, but on the Tobira website, they do have representative floor plan.  Also, check out which is comparable in price range but a little further away from downtown.

  5. DsP says:

    I used to live here before the conversion. My husband always had concerns about the water seepage into the garage. My apartment, post conversion, will cost $400,000+. Definitely trying to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. 1 piece of advice…Wait until the new fire station across the street is completed before you consider living here. You might want to wait for the bus tunnel to open as well. There are a lot buses using 5th Avenue while the tunnel is closed… 20 hours… every day.

  6. QAnne says:

    Hi DsP,

    I am considering a condo in Tobira because they are affordable (not many of those around). Can I ask you a few questions?

    -Were the noise issues (busses, fire engines, etc) unbearable, annoying, or just average city noise?
    -In the summer did the western exposure make the units uncomfortably hot?
    -Could you hear every move of the person above you?

    I know no building is perfect, and I am willing to put up with a few annoyances for the price, but I am looking for an honest voice regarding the extent to which these things affected your quality of life. Any other building quirks or information you could point out would be appreciated.

  7. Ben_Kakimoto says:

    QAnne – I would suggest going to the area at different times of the day to see what traffic, noise and people patterns will be like, at least during the times you’re likely to be at home. Potentially, during sporting events, traffic may be an inconvenience.

    The bus tunnel, per Sound Transit, is expected to be completed this Fall.

  8. Jared says:

    I actually live in this building and alot of the criticism posted is bogus. Yes the water in the garage was an issue. Alot of work has gone into fixing it (you never know what will happen in the future). Otherwise, the crime-overrated. I walk everywhere at all times and although there are some sketchy people at times, it is downtown, Im not sure what you would expect. Building is secure. noise has never been a factor for me. Overall, the location is better than you would imagine and the price is hard to beat. I really enjoy living here.

  9. Julie says:

    I’m concerned about safety at night. Where would I take my dog for her evening walk?

  10. Ken says:

    I would not buy one of the units. They are not paying all of the bills. Who knows when the power will be cut off. Or the water, or so on.

  11. Ben_Kakimoto says:

    Ken – could you clarify your statement? Do you currently own a unit at Tobira? If not, how did you come upon this info?

  12. Meg says:

    Julie – I have two little dogs, and would walk them up 5th ave towards downtown if it is later in the evening, would not go through Pioneer square during the night, but otherwise PS is pleasant in the evening when it’s still light, and walk down to the water. Also try Terrace Park, up Washington, again, if it’s still light, park closes at dusk.

  13. NEW SEEKER says:

    Is this building non-smoking?….I see there is balconies for some units…So do people smoke on them??
    What are the Condo Assocation Rules like and how is it living their?
    Thanks 🙂

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