spire takes the spotlight in seattle

The local news put the spotlight on SPIRE this week, as news broke that the planned 352-unit, 41-story residential tower in construction at 6th and Wall Street in downtown Seattle will be delivered as condominiums for sale instead of apartments for rent.


Curbed Seattle


As Curbed Seattle notes, the “glut of luxury apartment towers moving into Seattle” can easily appear to be much-needed condos adding to anemic inventory. Though many will be offered for rent, SPIRE “will be condos and not rental units as originally planned.”

The article describes that SPIRE has “been in the works since 2006,” but plans were put on pause for some time before resuming in 2013. Remarking on the lack of for-sale opportunities in the city, Curbed adds that in the downtown core, “no new condo units became available in 2017, and as of this past

March, units for sale were only 7 percent of downtown’s residential construction pipeline.”


Puget Sound Business Journal


The Puget Sound Business Journal focused on some of the building’s features, highlighting that residences will range from studios to three bedroom units with dens, with prices ranging from below $450,000 to $5 million, adding that “some units can be combined” and “Laconia is planning to offer combined units on the northwest corner of the tower, which will have views of the Space Needle and the Olympic Mountains.”


PSBJ also remarked on the length of construction, which will span 28 months, which is “longer than typical because construction crews will need more time due to the small size of the site.”


Seattle PI


According to Seattle PI, “now is certainly a good time to build condos” because “Seattle lacks condo inventory. Especially with respect to new construction.” Over the past ten years, the PI says there were “just over 1,000 condo delivers, despite Seattle’s population expanding by 114,000 people.” They also sent a crew to the development site, for a real-time report on activity:


Daily Journal of Commerce


The Daily Journal of Commerce was also quick to report on SPIRE, calling the conversion from apartments to condominiums “a sign the market may be changing.” They also dove a little into the history of the development site: “Bay Area-based Laconia and Chinese partner Vanke own the triangular 10,665-square-foot site, which has long been a parking lot.”


Another point of note is the high-tech, automated parking system, which will be the first of its kind in Seattle. As the article outlines, “vehicles will enter from Sixth Avenue and be parked with elevators and automated valets on six underground levels. Some of the estimated 315 stalls will be double-stacked.”


Seattle Times


SPIRE was also featured in The Seattle Times, in a piece outlining the groundbreaking event and press release announcements. As Paul Menzies, CEO of Laconia tells the Times, “It is fitting to deliver SPIRE in 2020 because this inspired development is a clear unified vision from many leaders in urban design. Transformative projects are always marked by time and place, and history will show the same is true with SPIRE.”


To be sure, the building’s architecture is set to stun, as Wolfe Saar, principal of VIA says that the structure will provide voluminous ceilings, unique geometry, and “many homes will also include balconies or covered terraces for indoor/outdoor living—a desirable feature that seems to be overlooked by other communities nowadays.”


Seattle Magazine


The FutureCast Forum also broke news of SPIRE in their partnership with Seattle Magazine, again discussing particulars about the building and how it will impact the Emerald City’s dire need of for-sale condominium options rather than apartments for rent. “It’s quintessentially Seattle,” Dean Jones, President & CEO of RSIR tells Seattle Magazine. “SPIRE is on point and will meet with eager homebuyers awaiting the next evolution in urban design. Laconia will deliver much needed inventory for individual purchase. We are clearly experiencing a pivot in the development cycle.”


Referencing a joint report released by O’Connor Consulting Group and RSIR, the piece outlines that “apartment demand throughout King and Snohomish counties fell by 4,500 units (unexpectedly) during the second half of the year [2017] while sales of single-family and condos in the same region swelled by more than 5,000 units—rising from 40,825 homes closed in 2016 to 45,949 in 2017.”


Other media features of note include The Registry PSUrban Condo SpacesUrbnlivnSeattle Condo ReviewHigh Rises and Urbanash.