Keller Williams Greater Seattle, Ben Kakimoto, Seattle Condo Agent

1 Hotel, Where R U?

1 Hotel announced they are delaying start of the project again, this time for another 6 months due to a second redesign of the project, according to the DJC.

The redesign will add traditional hotel rooms and reduce the number of the City Suites. The plan now calls for 51 traditional condos, 44 City Suites and 192 hotel rooms.

Back in September when they announced the first delay and redesign they increased the number of City Suites from 110 to 176 because they had reservations on 100 City Suites. Now, they’re dropping that number down to 44 with only 20 firm contracts. What happened to the other 80 reservations?

As for the redesign,

Paul Brenneke, president of Portland-based Avalon has said the issue stems from concerns raised recently over how the hybrid hotel-condo units would be viewed by the city — as commercial or residential. Additionally, the developers were concerned about how a drastic slowdown in the condo-hotel market nationally would affect sales, and hence the potential to get a construction loan.

“We haven’t even attempted to get one at this point,” he said.

[1 Hotel] was approved in March 2006 under commercial rules for 88 hotel rooms, and under residential rules for 105 multifamily units. When 1 Hotel was approved the city was unaware it contained the condo-hotel units.

Brenneke said that Starwood became “nervous” last fall as the redesign was under way because the city’s land-use code “doesn’t really address” condo-hotels. Other developers were interested in building those type of units as residential rather than commercial to get more square footage, he said. This could have “opened a floodgate,” with the city perhaps coming back and deeming 1 Hotel’s condo-hotel units commercial, he said. In that case, owners would be precluded from living in them.

Me thinks they should have considered this before they started sales and construction.

The Seattle Times also reported on the subject and also indicated issues with construction financing:

A year ago, lenders were asking condo-hotel developers to presell 30 percent of their units to qualify for construction financing, he said. Now they have upped that requirement to 50 or 60 percent — difficult to achieve because prospective buyers also are having more trouble getting financing.

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There Are 5 Brilliant Comments

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  1. The MD says:

    So, let’s see here. This project has been talked about for years. Start. Stop. Start. Stop. Start. Stop. I believe the project will move forward, but when? Is it realistic this project will move forward by late summer? If so, WHY late summer? Why not late fall? Why not now? Who knows. Once the project does begin, how long do you all think it will take to complete? That’s an awful long time to look at a big hole in the ground.

    I believe it is a good strategy to move forward with the “only hotel” portion of the building, but I feel the City Suites should have been nixed all together from the very beginning. From an investment strategy, they made very poor sense, even when the market was strong. The building should simply comprise itself of hotel on the lower floors and the high-end condos on the upper floors.

    Any thoughts out there on the matter?

  2. klt says:

    Clearly the project is fubar as was their marketing piece. .If late-summer is a no-go, hole will be open during rain season adding 100k’s in geotech. Where are all those that proclaimed this was moving ahead? What’s the story?

    *hears birds chirping*

    Hopefully Room and Board will still open under garage.

  3. Matthew Warren says:

    Whaaaa..??? Room and Board opening in Seattle??? Oh Lord – say it’s true – anyone have more details??

  4. Ben_Kakimoto says:

    Personally, I would like to see this project completed and I believe it will in some way or another. The DJC article indicated that Starwood & Avalon have already invested $45 million into the project.

    There still seems to be an issue with the 44 remaining City Suites. If the city deems them residential, they cannot be rented out through the hotel and will need to be converted to traditional hotel rooms. It looks like they’re trying to lobby the city to change its code.

    Don’t know about Room and Board. It’ll be cool though.

  5. The MD says:

    The flagship store in the base of the Macy’s parking garage will be a Columbia Sportswear store.

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