Condos Making a Return to Seattle

Don’t call it a comeback, but condos are returning to Seattle

By Josh Cohen, Crosscut

Long dormant, the condo market finally shows signs of life. But who will be living in those towers? n late June, the developer of a 41-story tower at Wall Street and Denny Way did something that would have been considered unlikely when the development was approved in 2015. Then the Spire was planned as 352-units of market rate apartments. But shortly before breaking ground last month, the developers announced that when the building opens in two years it will be filled with condos.

The Spire is one of just six condo projects slated to open in Seattle between now and 2020. That is not a lot, but it’s more than the trickle of projects the city has seen recently. Between 2012 and 2015, for instance, Seattle got four new condo buildings (one of which had just two units).

Compare that to the mid-2000s when, according to Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner, Seattle had nearly 40 condo projects constructed or permitted in just a three-year span. Conversions of apartment buildings to condos saw a similar drop off with just 15 buildings converted from rentals to sales since 2009. In the five years before 2009, 297 apartment buildings containing 6,115 units converted to condos.

Read the rest of the article in Crosscut: