Expo_62_exteriorExpo 62 condos had a low profile sneak preview last Friday for the public which started at 7:00am. One would think that 7:00am is early for any type of preview event. Nevertheless, the sales center commented to me that they have homebuyers standing at the sales center door even earlier on preview day. So what’s so special about Expo?

Designed by Weber +Thompson and developed by a member of the Intra-corp companies, this built green project in Queen Anne will feature 114 unit condominiums with 48(!) different layouts. They include the following floor plans:

– Studio
– Open one bedroom
– One bedroom plus den
– Two bedroom
– Three bedroom penthouse

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In addition to the floor plans above, 13 live/work lofts will also be available on the street level. A combination of handi plank, metal and mondarin style (compositions of brightly colored rectangular forms) windows is used for the building exterior.

The building amenities will be designed by Robin Chell Design whose recent project includes the Parc condos. Completion is slated for summer 2008 and more firm pricing will be available in a few weeks’ time.

Preliminary Expo 62 price ranges

(Update 01/17/2008: Expo 62 has converted from pre-sale condos to "luxury apartment rentals" for summer of 2008.) Read more here.

When I inquired if they are taking reservationa for their units, Peter Oh (one of the 2 sales representatives working yesterday) responded that “We don’t have a reservation policy. If a homebuyer is interested in any particular floor plan, we will provide them with firm pricing when it becomes available. They can go into a purchase and sale agreement right after that. Our objective is not to accept as many reservations as possible for our units but to focus on providing our sales effort to homebuyers who are serious about making a purchase and are making the effort to visit our sale center.” Peter also described Expo 62 as the "modern mid-century condo with a great suburban-urban location."

Here are some of my impressions of the project:

1.) This building is choc full of mini amenities. Some things Peter referenced were a book exchange library located in the lobby, bike storage, wine & cigar storage, dog cleaning area, doggy bathroom area on the roof, and roof top herb garden (presumably elevated and far from the doggy bathroom).

2.) Finishes are not 5 star hotel quality but perfectly fine for urban living and the styles are fresh and well designed.

3.) Even though Expo 62 condos is similar to Trio in some ways, its location is much better. Less traffic noise and more friendly sidewalks yet still close to most downtown activities.

4.) Homeowner dues seem a little high for a wood framed building at 51 cents/sq. ft. Since you are getting a variety of different amenities, you’ll definitley be paying for it.

5) The sales center seemed to have a great vibe.  Peter Oh seemed to have a genuine passion for the project, was on top of his facts, and seemed like a straight shooter.

6) The building design is fairly unique employing a mix of several design elements including the colored mondrian blocks of glass.  This is a welcome change from the giant blocks of concrete and tinted glass we now see all over downtown.  Too bad it’s a wood framed building — some buyers will probably look elsewhere if they want the peace of mind of a concrete and steel structure.

Final thoughts: Expo has a lot of potential with a solid location and thoughtful design.  We’ll see how their exact pricing shakes out.

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