Boom Re: Living in Heaven
posted by October 19 at 17:50 PMon
The taller the condo, the closer to God. At least, for some readers of Alaska Airlines’ hilarious in-flight magazine. It talks about Seattle as a city you’ve never seen: It’s a city that charts locations by proximity to the Pike Place Market; it’s a city that loathes rock and adores opera; it’s a city of steakhouses.
In Seattle, everybody owns a luxury condo.
Of the 17 ads for unbuilt developments, the largest is a 16-page matte-finish advertising section titled “New Urbanism,” which lures jet setters to the 1 Hotel & Residences with the schmaltziest copy ever written: “Seattleites instinctively have the need for balance in their lives,” and, “Not simply the concept of a privileged few, Seattle has created and is motivated by a common ground with many voices.”
Still a hole in the ground at Second Ave and Pine St, the 23-story “1” will apparently embody new urbanism by containing residential units, a spa, and a restaurant… all in one fortification.
Here’s the selling point: The environmental footprint of the condos is a women’s size 2, so empty nesters can, with a clear conscience, buy a condo (for $1 million to $5 million) that they use only two months a year. They’ll have similar company on Second Avenue.
One block north at Second Ave and Virginia St, catty corner to the Moore Theater, a 40-story construction will replace this parking lot.
And one block South is the ultra-exclusive Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue, under construction by Opus, pictured here.
The Web site promises, “from each of its thirty-eight floors, Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue offers a wide-open expanse of natural and urban views…. In all directions, scenes of the vibrant cityscape are backed by mountain and sky.” Uh, except from about half the units facing south, it turns out. The seven-story building to Fifteen Twenty-One’s immediate left is about to be replaced with a 22-story tower that could go condo or apartment, according to Clarence Cecright of Greg Maxwell Architects. “Basically the buildings are a zero-line condition,” he says. “They will have a party wall between the two buildings.” Maybe Opus regrets not buying airspace rights. (Thanks for pointing this out, Slog tipper Damon.)
In all, it’s fabulous that Second Avenue is filling in, albeit with s’mugly overpriced stuff (Second has long been the partially toothless stepchild between First and Third). Long avenues, lined with towers that seem to lean over the street, give cities an air of vibrancy, infinite possibility. And even if those towers are filled with the suckers who buy million-dollar homes out of in-flight magazines, at least they’re all nestled together in the middle of downtown, where the general population outnumbers them.