Location, Location, … View

April 3rd, 2010

Posted by Jim Reppond


Everyone says real estate is about “location, location, location.” Of course, they say that to drill it into your head so you don’t forget. Yes, location is a primary factor. But other things need to be weighed into the equation.

I recently was invited to a Brokers Open private event by the newly formed marketing group of Realogics-Sotheby’s at the 1521 Second Condominiums to have a candid discussion about views and the value they add to a property. Holding the event on the 35th floor overlooking the Pike Place Market with unobstructed views of Elliot Bay kind of drove the point home. Views matter. Views matter a lot.

William Justen and Dean Jones spoke in depth about the “Value of the View” particularly as it pertained to the micro-downtown Seattle condo market. Their theory is that the closer you get to the water, and the more unobstructed and protected your view is, the highly the value of the property. They have some pretty compelling statistics to back this up. They envision the west side of 2nd Avenue as being Seattle’s own “Park Avenue” in 15 years. They may be right. But I think the final development of the waterfront after the removal of the overhead viaduct may change that perception.

If you look at the virtual tour that Urban Condominium created several years a go to predict the downtown landscape for 2012, it’s interesting that almost all of the projects to the east of 4th Avenue have been shelved for now.

Urban Condo virtual tour

Since the changes in zoning limiting high-rise towers to a maximum of two per block, there was a rush of MUP (master use permit) applications. And now with the recent extension of MUPs to 6 years before requiring renewal, developers can take their time before jumping back into construction of new projects. This will be good for the city in the long run because developers will have even more time to plan projects out better.

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