First Seattle High-Rise Under New Zoning Code is 95 Percent Sold

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorSeattle–The first building in Seattle developed under the city’s new zoning code has topped out. Developed by Minneapolis-based Opus Northwest LLC, the 440-ft., 38-story Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue is comprised of 143 condos.The city’s new zoning code, adopted by the city council in April 2006, allows for residential buildings over 400 ft. tall to be built based upon a number of criteria, including the size of the floorplate, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification and a contribution to affordable housing, Tom Parsons, senior vice president and general manager of Opus Northwest, tells MHN.With fewer and larger units, the tower is a new concept for Seattle, says Parsons, who is also based in that same city. The residences begin on the seventh floor of the building. Retail space, a lobby and additional amenity space, including a fitness room, meeting rooms and work studios, are located on the first six floors. Units range from 1,660 to 2,860 sq. ft. and are priced from $1 million to over $5 million. Each unit is enclosed in floor-to-ceiling glass, allowing all residences to have unobstructed views of the Puget Sound and the mountains.Units include motorized sunshades and a solarium, an indoor-outdoor glass room that replaces the traditional terrace. “Everything about the tower is designed to the same standard as penthouse quality,” says Parsons.The project will obtain LEED points through the construction process, as well as its energy-efficient features, including lighting as well as heating and cooling systems. The sunshades maximize the deflection of the sun to reduce heat gain, explains Parsons, and the shell of the building contributes to protecting against solar gain. Additionally, the building will have a trash compacting and recycling program.Located in the center of downtown Seattle, Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue is in close proximity to Pike Place Market, retail shopping, an art museum and symphony hall.Move-ins will begin in December, and the project is expected to be complete by April 2009. The community is over 95 percent sold.Read more about this project and the Northwest multifamily market in the June issue of Multi-Housing News.