The First Church Becomes a Convert: Cheapest unit in Cap Hill project is $925 grand

In 1906, the First Church of Christ, Scientist building was constructed at 16th and Howell. 100 years later, the congregation sold the building to developers for $1.1 million. The key to the sale: The developers were planning an audacious overhaul of the old building that would retain the character and incredible architectural elements of the church while updating it for modern — and luxury — living. Many other amazing old churches in Seattle were simply torn down.

After three years of construction, the townhouses are finally being unveiled and, not surprisingly, they come with large notable pricetags.


The townhouses (not condominiums) in the First Church of Christ, Scientist at 16th and Howell (1841 16th Ave) are now for pre-sale. Two units of the twelve have already been sold. The model unit is outfitted with original pieces from the church. Developer Joel Lavin has done major redesigning with the space.

Prices range from $925,000 – $1,687,000 (big bucks). If you’re interested, there will be a showing of the project and space this Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 pm. Reportedly, as the building is now a historic landmark (a designation it couldn’t get when it was operated as a church, by the way), buyers will qualify for a 10-year property tax rebate.

I had a chance to speak with Matt Goyer (a Seattle condo specialist) over the phone. He says this is a very unique project which is unlike anything out there. When asked what he believes the overall effect of this project will have, he said, “It will be one of those places which people will still be talking about in ten years.”

The modern interior mixed with an amazing old exterior creates what are hoped to be million dollar townhomes. The project will be complete in August.

For more information about the homes…

Matt’s review: http://www.urbnlivn.com/2009/05/31/the-sanctuary-first-churc

The Site: www.sanctuaryseattle.com

List of prices/square footage according to unit:

Unit 1: 2594 sq ft – $1,687,000

Unit 2: 2453 sq ft – $ 1,475,000

Unit 3: 2622 sq ft – $1,575,000

Unit 4: SOLD

Unit 5: 2531 sq ft – $1,295,000

Unit 6: 2476 sq ft – $1,295,000

Unit 7: SOLD

Unit 8: 1543 sq ft – $925,000

Unit 9: 2170 sq ft – $1,025,000

Unit 10: 2230 sq ft – $995,000

Unit 11: 2221 sq ft – $995,000

Unit 12: 2090 sq ft – $1,254,000

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5 thoughts on “The First Church Becomes a Convert: Cheapest unit in Cap Hill project is $925 grand

  1. Looked round the open unit last weekend.

    Very tall and thin with lots and lots of stairs (and few handrails). Not good for aging in place.

    ALL the windows were stained glass, so you’d have no idea what the outside world was up to. Maybe if you can afford it you don’t care.

    One of the bedrooms, in the center of the building, had a skylight WAY up high. A door opened into the core of the building, which seems to be a huge common area and which contains the top of the afore-mentioned skylight. Employee assured me that there would be some way of stopping other residents from peering down on you in your bed.

    Samuel Johnson: “Sir, a woman’s preaching is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.”

  2. The units are as hiddeous as expected. Why would any sane person buy them let alone at those prices? The only thing outside those windows is the Group Health parking garage & Lambert house’s parking/rear entrance. Which is why I & seemingly a lot of other people won’t buy at the slightly more affordable & more traditional developement next door. The best possible use for the old First Church – esp next to a planned park & because it is a beautiful building – would have been what the local neighborhood group wanted = A Community Performance Space, for music & lectures, like Town Hall and Langston Hughes Building in CD! Sad misuse by developers wins again.

  3. RE: Not good for aging in place.

    Two units have elevators

    RE: ALL the windows were stained glass

    They’re fixing that and will have some sort of system for moving the stained glass out of the way;.

    Matt
    http://urbnlivn.com