As we wrap up this series on how condo views and value might be affected by the new tunnel and removal of the viaduct, first a brief recap of the first 3 parts of the series.  In Part 1 we covered those condominiums at the south end of Downtown near the tunnel’s “south portal” in the Pioneer Square area, in Part 2 we moved north and reported on the impacts to those condos in the West Edge and Market Districts of downtown, and in Part 3 of the series we continued north and reviewed the condominiums in the Belltown neighborhood as well as those near the tunnel’s new north portal near South Lake/Denny Triangle as well.

I thought the best way to wrap up this series was to highlight those buildings that I feel will have the largest impact to the views and/or condo values in the years to come as the tunnel is completed in 2016 and new Alaskan Way and Waterfront are redone through 2020. 

Drum roll please, Marco’s Top 5 to watch are (in no particular order):
Viaduct Part 4

  1. Belltown Lofts on Bell Street at Western Ave- This is the building that literally nearly touches the Viaduct.  Once the viaduct is removed the east and south facing condo units will see big changes.  There are also potential plans for more open space on Western Ave where the Battery Street tunnel starts and potentially some new development that will bring retail to the area, which would be nice for Belltown Lofts as well. 
  2. Hillclimb Court on Western Ave just below the Pike Place Market- This building’s west side is quite noisy from the viaduct.  Walking up to the units on the outside hallway is literally so loud you have to raise your voice to talk to people you are with so with the viaduct gone that problem will be gone as well.  Also, the viaduct being gone will open up some opportunities to walk to the waterfront without having to cross under the viaduct. 
  3. Fix Building on Western Ave below the Pike Place Market- This building has a very similar situation to Hillcllimb Court mentioned above.  With the viaduct gone, units on the west side will likely be able to enjoy a more open view of the water and waterfront. And all of the units will likely enjoy a quieter living environment.
  4. Our Home Hotel in Pioneer Square on Main Street- One of my favorite Pioneer Square buildings with really interesting and unique interior layouts will finally come out from beneath the stigma of being right next to the viaduct.  Some of the units have outdoor roof terraces that will be dramatically quieter. And with expanded views when the viaduct is removed and a much more attractive “front door” entrance, since now you almost stand under the viaduct when you walk in the building’s entrance or when guests arrive to be buzzed in, this building will benefit greatly from the tunnel.  
  5. Colonial Grand Pacific on 1st Ave in the West Edge- This charming building has a great location, but also has the Seneca exit from the viaduct running within a few feet of all of the north facing units and some of the west facing units.  This exit will no longer exist after the Viaduct is removed, so this should have a great impact on better noise and views for those north and west facing units.

    Ok, ok! I had to add one more, so it’s actually my Top 6. But since that would be an odd title to the article I added it at the end.

  6. Marselle Condominiums on John Street next to the current Battery Street Tunnel- This building near the Denny Triangle is currently right on HWY 99 at the Denny exit by the current Battery Street Tunnel entrance.  It’s cut off from South Lake Union and Denny Park because there are no cross road connections over HWY 99 north of Denny.  With the new tunnel, the freeway traffic will be moved about 3-4 blocks north where the new North Portal of the tunnel will be.  This will allow John, Thomas and Harrison Streets to connect this part of Belltown/Lower Queen Anne to the South Lake Union area and increase the walkability and access to that whole area.  Noise will also be reduced quite a bit from the current levels of the rushing HWY 99 traffic.  There will still be an off ramp to Denny, next to Marselle, but the benefits I think outweigh this.  Those east side units as will benefit greatly from better outlooks and views as well I feel. 

As the tunnel is completed and the new Seattle Waterfront is transformed, these are the top 6 buildings I predict will see drastic changes to their current views and outlooks and as a result, are ones to consider if you are looking to buy into the Seattle condo market. Or if you currently live at these great buildings, I might just hold a while to see what the future holds.

Happy Holidays to All! 

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.