A Big Shed Roof Over Apartments, Not Condos

It only took the PI four days to catch up with the news, first reported on the Seattle Condo Blog, that Moda (shown above) is converting from condos to apartments. How far can the pendulum swing in this direction?  From the PI:

“The market and the financing conditions for condominiums have really taken a drastic turn,” said developer G. David Hoy, head of HMI Real Estate Inc. “The vast majority of (Moda’s) buyers decided not to proceed with the purchase of their unit.”

The 251-unit Moda made a splash back in 2006 when it announced the offering of condos starting at the unheard of low price of $150k. Of course the catch was the these cheapest units were only 300 sf, but still, the building sold out quickly.

It’s unfortunate that this conversion will price out many people who can’t afford a more typically priced condo in Belltown. Montreux Condominiums, built in 1999, is one other existing condo building in the neighborhood with a similar product. And Marselle Condominiums, a little further north at Aurora and John, is scheduled to open in Summer 2009 with units as small as 347 sf.

There is likely to be healthy demand for small, inexpensive apartments in Belltown, but there’s a growing pile of new apartment competition nearby, and also out in the neighborhoods.

14 Responses to “A Big Shed Roof Over Apartments, Not Condos”

  1. David

    I don’t get it… if you say the building sold out quickly, why is it being converted to apartments?

  2. Lee Roberts

    According to the article people put down deposits, not the full amounts. When the market started tanking, people started pulling out.

  3. Rob A

    That and apparently many of the units ended up being considerably smaller than originally promised. Something like 325 sq ft dropping to 250(!!) sq ft…

  4. BrianK

    Dan will flay me for saying this but there’s such a thing as too much density. Squeezing every possible square millimeter from the site, this project takes it too far. Have you seen the miniscule “courtyards”? Imagine the quality of light(or lack thereof) in the inside corner units. How many of those almost-buyers began to watch this thing take shape and freak out when they realized they’d be moving into a rat warren? And please don’t start talking about charming tiny apartments in Manhattan…

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