AKA: 1521 Second Avenue Condominiums, Downtown, Seattle, WA; Fifteen Twenty One Condominium Tower, Downtown, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses - apartment houses

Designers: Opus Architects and Engineers, Incorporated, LLC (firm); Opus Development Corporation (firm); SAK Construction LLC (firm); Weber + Thompson, PLLC (firm); Timothy Murnane (real estate developer); Kristen M. Scott (architect); Scott E. Thompson (architect); Blaine J. Weber (architect)

Dates: constructed 2005-2008

39 stories, total floor area: 495,000 sq. ft.

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1521 2nd Avenue
Downtown, Seattle, WA 98101

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2nd Avenue between Pike and Pine Streets.

Building History

A proposed building at this location was going to have a monorail station in its base, but this was abandoned when funding was discontinued by Seattle voters in November 2005. In 2006, the site was occupied by a parking lot and the Green Tortoise Hostel. The Samis Foundation sold two parcels on Second Avenue for $25 million to Minneapolis-based developer, Opus NW; Opus NW developed the project in collaboration with the Managing Director of the Samis Foundation, William Justen. (Samis was the non-profit foundation that downtown landowner, Sam Israel, [1889-1994] set up before his death.) Opus commissioned Weber + Thompson PLLC to design a 37-story condominium tower containing 225 units near the Pike Place Market in Downtown Seattle, WA. Opus Architects and Engineers, LLC, served as associate architects.

In early 2008, this was the tallest all-condominium building in Seattle, at 440 feet; it was also one of the most expensive, with condos ranging in price from $1.5 million to $9 million. The 1521 2nd Avenue Building was one of several up-scale condo development to be mentioned in an article by journalist Eric Pryne. (See Eric Pryne, "Will steep price cuts fill high-end condos?" Seattle Times, 07/14/2009, p. A1, A6.) This front page real estate article underscored the impact of the 2008 economic collapse on Seattle and Bellevue's upper-end condominium market. As of that time, deals had closed on 82 of the 143 units.

Construction finished on 1521 2nd Avenue in 12/2008, a very difficult time for real estate developer, due to the onset of the Great Recession that hit in the third quarter of that year.

Building Notes

The 1521 2nd Avenue Tower covered a 16,200 sq. ft. (0.37 acre) site and had 143 condominium units in 2010. Floors 7-29 accommodated 5 condominium apartments. Floors 30-35 had 4 units per floor, while 36-38 had 3 on each. In 2010, prices paid for condominiums ranged from $752,000-$5,292,000. Each unit averaged 1,915 square feet in size, very large by contemporary apartment standards. (See Weber Thompson.com, "1521 2nd Avenue, Seattle, WA," accessed 11/16/2018. The architects' web site indicated that the tower contained 142 residences.)

Weber Thompson achieved a LEED Silver rating for Core and Shell at 1521 2nd Avenue.

Recipient, 2010 Silver Finalist Project of the Year, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Recipient, 2009 Honorable Mention, Design Excellence, Multi-Housing News.

Recipient, 2009 Grand Award, Project of the Year, High-Rise Category, Multifamily Executive Awards.

Recipient, 2009 Sustainable Development of the Year, National Association for Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP), Washington State Chapter.

Recipient, 2007 Attached Community of the Year, NAHB.

Demolition

Demolition of the previous building at this address occurred in 2006. In 1922, Norton's Cafeteria occupied a storefront at 1519 2nd Avenue.