I managed to take a hard hat tour of Escala yesterday.  We started the tour from the restaurants and proceeded to the lobby.  There will be two restaurants on both sides of the lobby.  It hasn't been determined what restaurants will be going into those spaces but we will probably find out in a few months.  The structure has reached its full height but construction is still ongoing for the interior.  They are expecting completion around this summer and first move-in in November.

As we went through the lobby, we saw the stairs that lead up to Club Cielo.  Residents will be greeted by a concierge stationed right below the stairs.  The fitness center is on the north end of the building.  Fitness equipment will be lined up along the windows and residents can get some city view while working out.  The indoor resistance pools (a rare treat for Seattle) and hot tub area will be separated by glass windows from the fitness center. 

We toured the manicure/pedicure room, wine cave (which can hold up to 9,000 bottles of wine), and outdoor terrace which will have a fire place and some water features.  We also looked at a few homes on the 6th, 23rd and 24th floors.  These homes come with either a private foyer (smiliar to the model home in the sale center) or a semi-private foyer shared by two homes.

Click here for more info. on pricing and floor plans.

Here are some of my observations:

1.) You don't have to be living on the higher floor to get a view.  The A floor Plan on the south side of the building has a good city view from the 6th floor.  The 2-story Centennial Building (Historic Landmark) adds a good buffer away from the rest of the surrounding buildings.  The proposed project (Pagoda & Heron) to the southeast side of these homes is the main potential lot that could block part of the view.  From what I understand, the permit for that project has expired.  I have not heard of any new updates for that lot as of my previous post.

2.) These are not the typical floor plans that you find in other condos.  They are much larger with good amounts of terrace space.  I like the curved balconies in these homes, they provide more expansive views from the balcony.

3.) If you are looking for Puget Sound view, they start from the 12th level on the west side of the building.  As for their 2 Bedroom homes, I prefer the D and E floor plans which have a better layout than the C  floor plan.  The D home (north) on the 24th level has views of the Puget Sound, Space Needle and Queen Anne.  The E home (west) on the same level has view of the city and Puget Sound.  There is a 3-sided fire place in the middle of the living room for the E home.  Although it is a nice feature, I wish they had moved it somewhere else as it is partially obstructing the views if you are standing in the kitchen.  Nevertheless, this home, in my opinion has the best view.

Overall, the tour was helpful.  If you are particular about views and layouts, you should defintely take the tour.  The higher floors (from 20th level onward) offer quite a variety of view homes.  Lastly, although it is still a construction site, from the tour description and the amount of space allocated for all the amenities, it's not hard to imagine that Club Cielo is going to turn out really nice. 

Related posts:
Escala Update
Escala Update February 2007
Escala priority presale event
Escala: Cristalla's biggest competition?