Keller Williams Greater Seattle, Ben Kakimoto, Seattle Condo Agent

Of mold, foreclosure and carnage

This week brought about some not so great news for a couple of condo projects. KOMO News reported that owners at Redmond’s Riverwalk Condominium are up a creek due to a festering mold issue at the converted project. Homeowners may face up to a $4 million repair bill and the Las Vegas developer (an LLC) skipped out of town to Mexico.

Thirteen homes in this community have been hit with water intrusion and mold.

The problem appeared a few years ago, so homeowners commissioned an independent study. It found the problem was there since the apartments were converted to condos in 2006, and should have been fixed then.

We tried tracking down the developer, which was an LLC out of Las Vegas. It has since been dissolved, according to state records.

The Seattle Times reported yesterday that Queen Anne’s newest luxury condo, 200 West Highland, is facing foreclosure. The Lorig Associates’ development sits in a prime location across the street from Seattle’s famous Kerry Park.

Bank of America has moved to foreclose on most units in a new luxury condominium building across the street from Queen Anne’s Kerry Park, one of Seattle’s premier viewpoints.

In a notice filed Tuesday with King County, the bank said it intends to sell the 18 unsold units at 200 West Highland Drive at auction Aug. 6 unless developer Lorig Associates repays a $26 million loan.

And, as a bonus, the American Public Media wrote last week about the “condo carnage” in the Emerald City, highlighting the mostly empty high-rise buildings in Seattle and Bellevue.

If you’re looking for a bargain on your next home, in cities like this one, you might be tempted by a condo. For one thing, they mostly are not foreclosures where someone was evicted. These are brand-new units with all kinds of modern features. And there are more of them on the market than single-family houses. We wondered whether a glut like that is a good thing for buyers.

The following is a press release issued by Lorig Associates on May 6th regarding 200 West Highland:

Seattle, WA ? Officials at Lorig Associates, one of Seattle’s most respected and long-standing developers, were caught by surprise yesterday by Bank of America’s decision to file a notice of foreclosure on the 200 West Highland Drive condominium development.

“We were caught completely by surprise,” said Bruce Lorig, Founder and CEO of Lorig Associates. “We had been working in good faith with Bank of America to sell the remaining units and were close to paying back the bank.”

Seven of the 25 units at 200 West Highland Drive have been sold and two more are currently under purchase and sale agreements.

“This does not change our commitment to the project,” Lorig said. “We will continue to work hard to make 200 West Highland Drive a place that is a great housing investment and a neighborhood asset that will stand the test of time.”

Lorig Associates has been a fixture in Puget Sound development since its incorporation in 1972. Since that time the company has designed and built over 50 projects and continues to manage many of those.

“I am not a developer who walks away,” Lorig said. “In the 38 years we’ve been in business this is the first foreclosure we’ve faced. But we’ll get through this and do our utmost to protect the investments and the interests of those who have already purchased units at 200 West Highland Drive.”

“We have never experienced an economy as bad as this one and we have never seen banks forced to take actions that seem against their best interests,” Lorig continued. “This project is a good example of the new constraints that banks face.”

“We have been selling units at a pace and price that has the potential to pay back most of the bank loan,” said Lorig. “But the rules that banks now operate under require them to take properties back and sell them regardless of price just to get them off their books.”

Since 1972, Bruce Lorig has had a major impact on the Seattle housing market, creating such projects as the Baily Boushay House, Salishan Hope VI housing for Tacoma Housing Authority, and a wide variety of affordable student housing facilities at Oregon State University, Pacific Lutheran University, Seattle Pacific University, St. Martin’s College, Seattle University and the University of Washington.

“Regardless of this project’s foreclosure, we will continue to create special urban places to live, work and shop,” said Alison Lorig, Managing Partner of Lorig Associates.

Alison said the company is near completion on the Tacoma Urban Waters building, which is one of the most environmentally sensitive buildings (LEED Platinum) that has ever been built in our area and is close to completing a community health clinic in South Seattle.

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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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  1. 200 West Highland avoids foreclosure | The Seattle Condo Blog | June 9, 2010
  1. sam says:

    AT least Lorig Assoc. is trying to do the right thing. The out of town builders like the guys who built Redmond’s Riverwalk and 5th & Madison complex just wanted to sell their unit and pocket the money. You would think that the state would crack down on all these out of state builders that won’t stick around and protect the washington buyers investment. Too bad the out of towners could learn a lot from the Lorig Assoc. in how to treat their customers.

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