Super green Pike/Pine development unveils giant ‘Amaterasu’ mural, change from condo plans

The work, titled Amaterasu, peers over 13th Ave (Image: CHS)

It’s too early — and not enough is known — to call Capitol Hill’s spurt of condominium development over but a high profile project appears to be a sign that rent is still king in Pike/Pine.

If its quest for sustainability wasn’t enough, the giant, colorful, north-facing mural from “urban artist” Fin DAC has drawn plenty of attention to the nearly complete Solis development at 13th and Pike. But the project on a quest to be Capitol Hill’s — and Seattle’s –first Passive House-certified mixed-use project won’t come to market as condos as had been planned.

In an announcement, the developer announced the 45-unit building “will be retained by SolTerra’s investment group as an apartment community.” Continue reading

SPONSORED: Solis, the most intriguing new condo building to come to Capitol Hill in over a decade

The time has come for prospective owners to secure the kind of home on Capitol Hill most buyers could only dream about even a few months ago. The Solis condo building is ready to sign up new buyers.

“We are truly building this to be everything you think of for luxury. It just happens to be the greenest condo building in Seattle too,” Marc Coluccio of Seattle-based sustainable development firm SolTerra tells CHS.

CHS reported in August on the coming new project at 13th and Pike set to replace the old Fran’s Chocolate offices on the northeast corner with a Weber Thompson-designed six-story building on pace to be Seattle’s first ever Passive House condominium project.

This week the process begins for 45 new owners to make their claim on Capitol Hill. Solis developers are holding an Early Preview Event inside the old Fran’s building with live music, food, and, most importantly for anybody thinking about making the change from a renter to a Capitol Hill owner, more details on Solis including how to reserve a Condominium – the event is for registered guest only, for details sign up at

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With $4.6M deal for uber green project at 13th and Pike, developer leaps ahead in race to build new Capitol Hill condos

(Images: Solis)

A $4.6 million land deal at the corner of 13th and Pike will kick off a race to build the first new condominium project on Capitol Hill in… a really long time.

Developer Solterra slapped down the cold, hard cash in a transaction reported to the county Monday for the former Fran’s Chocolates building and a 2016-approved plan to build Capitol Hill’s (and Seattle’s) first Passive House-certified mixed-use project at 13th and Pike.

The new wrinkle in the uber-green project? Condos. Here’s how the developer is describing the planned Solis project: Continue reading

Capitol Hill poised for a condo comeback amid rising prices

Amid all the residential development on Capitol Hill in recent years, practically none of it has been geared towards condos. That could be turning around.

The first condo building to be built on First Hill since 1982 is holding its grand opening this month. Soaring 24 stories high, Luma brings 168 high-end condos to the neighborhood. Meanwhile, just across I-5 from Capitol Hill at Howell and Minor, the massive 374 unit Nexus condo building is already 80% reserved and developers have not even broke ground. Luma Condominiums is a CHS advertiser.

Another sign condos may be making a comeback is a slight uptick in condo conversions. Conversions of rental apartments to condos practically came to a halt around Capitol Hill in 2008, but earlier this year a small building near Prospect and Broadway E converted five units to condos, according to city data. Continue reading

What’s for sale at the newest shop in Pike/Pine? First Hill condos

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

The latest business to move into Pike/Pike won’t be the one selling sex toys, it will be selling condos — 168 of them from a single new First Hill building to be exact.

The sales office for the soaring 24-story Luma condo building will be opening next month on E Pike near Broadway. The space had been occupied by Emerson Salon, which transitioned management and consolidated its space last year.

Marketing company Red Propeller is handling sales for Luma, which is under construction a third of a mile away at Boylston and Seneca. The new addition to Seattle’s skyline will open sometime next year without any commercial or retail space.

It wasn’t just happenstance that Luma’s sales office is opening near the heart of Pike/Pine. Red Propeller is hoping the office location will help the company reach Luma’s target buyers — creative, urban professionals

“What we’re really selling is a proximity and access to First Hill and the Pike/Pine neighborhood,” said Red Propeller’s Stephen Fina. “The sales office immersed in that experience.”

“Live every angle at the intersection of First Hill and the Pike/Pine,” one promotion for the project reads.


Artist rendering of the coming-soon Luna

The office will be open through summer 2016 when its 4 to 5 employees will move into an office in the completed Luma building, Fina said.

The land the Luma is being built on was purchased by Swedish pension fund adviser Alecta for $4 million in 2010. Another developer paid almost twice that in 2007 with plans for a high-end condo project but that venture got wiped out by the last recession. Before construction, a group of neighbors fought to no avail to scale back the Luma project.

Condo sales offices have been mostly absent around Capitol Hill since the housing market crash in 2007.

Luma developer Lowe Enterprises is one of the only companies to build new condos around Central Seattle and, really, through the entire city. Last year, Lowe vice president Suzi Morris said Luma’s location presented a prime opportunity for condo development in an otherwise tough financing environment.

Fina said he couldn’t speculate about the future of condo development around Capitol Hill, but he said interest in condo ownership is definitely on the rise in the neighborhood.