Inside Broadway’s new 234-unit apartment building, The Lyric

Waking up inside Capitol Hill’s The Lyric (Image: Suzi Pratt/CHS)

As CHS covers the ongoing wave of development washing over Capitol Hill, don’t forget these buildings are being built as places to live. Here’s a look inside Broadway’s new The Lyric apartment building getting its finishing touches just north of the Capitol Hill Station light rail construction site.

In April 2011, the block was still the old not-a-landmark Bank of America building, buildings where Noah’s Bagels and Cafe Septieme had called home, some charming but worn-down old homes and the big parking lot that hosted the farmers market. Come November 2012, the apartment building and mixed-use retail development built there will welcome its first tenants.


CHS recently toured the not-quite-finished building and took these pictures. Full disclosure: The Lyric is a CHS advertiser.

Don’t worry — the courtyard will be tidied before you move in (Image: Suzi Pratt/CHS)

The Lyric is also a behemoth of a building, standing seven stories tall. It is comparable in size and amenities to the Joule apartments just up Broadway. The building’s leasing agents are eager to show off Lyric’s main features:

  • A communal rooftop deck offering what may be Capitol Hill’s best panoramic view from Mount Rainier to Puget Sound as no buildings currently obstruct its view.
  • The rather large rooftop deck and dog run 
  • The southwest 7th floor corner unit has arguably the best view in the complex and has been turned into a “sky lounge” which residents can reserve for private parties.

The building offers 234 units with a mix of studio, one and two bedroom apartments. There are 361 parking spaces for the tenants and the expansive retail facilities at street level. Finishings include stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and floor to ceiling windows in some units. 

A 450 square-foot studio will run you $1,185 per month. A 600-square-foot one-bedroom unit clocks in above $1,500. Need more space? Two-bedroom units give you 915 square feet. Price? $2,400 per month. You can learn more at thelyriccapitolhill.com

Demand is expected to be high. In July, CHS reported on the speed at which two other new Capitol Hill apartment buildings had filled up with new tenants. Analysts predict Seattle’s rent prices to continue to climb this year even as 5,000 new apartment units are expected to come into the market before 2013. More than ten times that many are in the planning stages. CHS recently posted about dozens of projects underway across the Hill.

Included on that list along with The Lyric is the nearby Capitol Hill Station development site that will bring more than 400 additional apartment units to this stretch of Broadway by 2016.

Along with the start of move-ins for new Broadway neighbors in November, tenants to fill the whopping 16,000 square-feet of commercial space in The Lyric will also start showing up. Bank of America will fill a huge chunk of that when it returns in a new 6,000 square-foot home. Noah’s is returning, too — but this iteration will under the related Einstein Bros brand.

Good boxy or bad boxy? CHS coverage of 230 Broadway’s design reviews

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37 thoughts on “Inside Broadway’s new 234-unit apartment building, The Lyric

  1. Less than that, maybe 1600 to 1800 (add to that home owners association dues) but you’d have to find the $70-$80k for down payment. If you haven’t saved up that much or can’t afford to pay it then you’re kind on stuck renting, no?

  2. Unit #327 at Brix sold last June for $511,000. Probably the best comp that you’ll find in the neighborhood.

    Using the aggressive assumption that you can get a 97% mortgage at 3.5%, your monthly mortgage payment will be $2,226. Granted, a small amount of this number will go towards principle reduction.

    Add another $500 a month in HOA and $500 a month for property taxes, insurance, etc and you’re well above $3,000 for something similar.

    And as Spenser points out, you’ll still need to come up with at least $20,000 in cash for down payment and closing costs.

  3. I recently had a first time buyer close on a 250K 1BR condo on Capitol hill with 3.5% down and a 30 year fixed loan at a 3.25% interest rate. His total payment including principle, interest, tax, insurance and HOA dues is right around $1600.00 and that doesn’t take into consideration the tax savings from interest deduction. Plus, his HOA dues includes all utilities except electricity and his unit has storage and one parking space included in the price.

  4. I have a feeling all of us hipsters, artists, and young people will be moving off the hill in the next couple years. Who the hell can actually afford to rent one of these new places? It’s theft!

    Welcome to the hill Amazoners!

  5. They are trying to place these as premium apartments…. the pricing seems aggressive. 2BRs in older buildings without views aren’t going to fetch nearly this much.

    I’m shocked that people are talking about 97% loans… that means if the housing drops in value 3%, you’re underwater.

  6. Besides the obvious – to make as many units as the can – why do they have to be so small? Keeping in mind that people should use 25% of their take home pay for rent, that means only those who take home $4,740/month (after taxes) will REALLY be able to afford the smallest size apartment (do the math on the rest of them).

    The one who really wins? Bank of America – which is kind of sad.

    With that said, any sane, slightly educated person would do better using that money for a mortgage. The thing I’m most excited about, though, is Einstein Bros. coming in. When’s Umpqua going to start making apartments? I GUARANTEE they’d make rent more affordable.
    *J

  7. or close to it for a SLU professional who just moved across the continent. For locals I doubt this particular building will affect rents as much as other stuffs. e.g. city rental inspections, light rail, streetcar, …

    Things are changing on the hill. If you’ve been in Seattle a decade or two you’ve already seen plenty of other neighborhoods change. It’s almost like being in a city. I always think of the West Village, no East Village, no Soho, no, Tribeca, no… Brooklyn?

  8. Let’s see . . . creation of even more apartments (nevermind the proposed “apodments”) in what has always been classified as the most densely-populated neighborhood in Seattle; all new units mandated to be constructed over retail ground-floor space (in those areas zoned as commercial and the attempt made just recently to re-zone a sizeable residential section of Capitol Hill as commercial in an effort to accommodate more of this type of construction); the emphasis on mass transit in order to cater to a larger proposed population base; and on and on and on. Go to YouTube and pull up videos by Rosa Koire. It will be enlightening, I assure you.

  9. This thread has just reached its end alas. The first anti – ‘Agenda 21’ loon just surfaced. The Rosa Koire that you were urged to watch specializes in this conspiritard nonsense.

  10. Isn’t it nice that The Lyric offers “what may be Capitol Hill’s best panoramic view,” especially since it completely obliterated my modest, but much enjoyed view of the Olympics.

  11. I live very close to the Lyric so have a vested interest in how it turns out, and my initial impression is positive. Yes, it’s bulky overall, but the facades are broken up with different colors and materials (especially like the brick), and the height on the 10th Ave E side is lower. I gladly note the “nod to the gay community” with the use of subtle, rainbow-colored railings on the porches. Now they are in the process of installing some nice landscaping, including some trees along the E Thomas side to replace the ugly, overgrown, sidwalk-buckling ones that were there previously. The only thing I don’t like are those two benches on E.Thomas…not sure what they are for, and they will be graffiti magnets.

    Now if they can just attract some great, LOCAL businesses into the ground-floor retail. I wonder what will go into the large space at the NE corner?

    Most importantly, this building adds significantly to the urban density and all the new residents will be additional “eyes on the street” to keep our neighborhood safe and vibrant. Welcome Lyric!

  12. I think the 97% loans are referring to FHA loans. It’s probably th e only way a lot of younger people (including myself) can get into a place and take advantage of the extremely low interest rates. The loan come with the extra cost of PMI, but the numbers still work out favorable when you factor in just a small increase in the mortgage interest rates.

    Hopefully people have slowed in their attempts to buy real estate as some sort of cash flow investment, and are not too worried about fluctuations in price as they are more driven to long-term occupancy and maintaining a constant housing cost, rather than the ever-rising rent costs.

  13. >With that said, any sane, slightly educated person would do better using that money for a mortgage.

    Sure, if you have a down payment. If not, and you don’t mind paying extra, this isn’t a horrible option. Also, some of us don’t want to commit to a place.

    I do think it’s overpriced. we’ll see how fast it fills up. the Joule doesn’t seem to have a problem though.

  14. Moving in Nov 1st and can’t wait. I currently live in the Joule and my apartment is right across from the QFC loading dock. My new apartment will be in the Lyric courtyard. And my rent will be $200 less. So happy.

  15. It’s a monolith that blocks out the sun and light all around that block now. And so ubiquitous, if someone showed me photos of this building and any number of other similar new developments on Capitol Hill, without street names(and croppped as to not show other nearby bldgs, etc), I would be hard pressed determine which is which. Very soon we will have concrete canyons on some blocks. If only they would add some stepbacks, or more distinct & interesting characteristics along the pedestrian level.

  16. sweet, more amazon dorms. buildings like this are responsible for everyones rent going up across all levels of apts. NOT EVERYONE WORKS AT AMAZON AND CAN AFFORD THIS CRAP. capitol hill sure was fun while it lasted.

  17. Me and my partner own 3 condos on Cap Hill.. 2 of them are 2-bedroom, higher-end units. I just rented a 2-bedroom unit that included 2 garaged car spaces for $2095. I think I may have underpriced it. I got 37 calls in less than 2 days. People have told me who came to see the unit that these types of gems rent in hours. It nice to have the luxury of so many people eager to rent as one day in the future it will likely change. The good thing here is that private owners like me will generally rent their condos for much less than the apartment buildings, so my advice is to always keep an eye on Craigslist!

  18. I guess if you repeat a generalization enough, it will become true. There is some affordable housing on Capitol Hill if you make some effort to find it….the buildings run by Capitol Hill Housing Group for one, SHA, Seattle Senior Housing, and many older buildings.

  19. Yeah, the Joule obliterated the view of the sky and sun coming in my apt. after 11am. Now I can hardly tell if it’s summer or winter outside.

    People defending these developments talk about how they help bring progress to the neighborhood but nobody seems to concerned about quality of life.

    As long as the city and developers make money they will make the new units as small, of poor quality and as overpriced as possible, while ruining the character of the block and negatively affecting the daily lives of people already living in the neighborhood. I don’t care how much brick you put on these things, it still almost makes me feel like i’m living communist housing. Dark, depressing and neverending.