Rollin condos in South Lake Union will have their first closing in April 2009. They started hard hat tours a few weeks ago and I had the chance to check it out this week. The huge 208-unit building definitely makes a presence in the neighborhood even though Pan Pacific Hotel & 2200 Westlake is right across the street.
The main entrance of Rollin is in the midsection of the building. According to the sales center, instead of having an additional stack of homes right above the lobby, the developer decided to have that area set back with a floor-to-ceiling glass exterior so whenever home owners step out from the elevator, they will get a view of the space needle. Timbers from the previous building on the site have been used by local artists inside the new space. The wood pieces were cut and will be used as the flooring for the lobby. The lobby will also be displaying a few of the timber columns. I think that is pretty neat idea.
I took a tour of a couple of open one bedroom floor plans on the east side of the building. They are probably the least appealing floor plans in the building since you are looking right out at a few commercial buildings. However, they are probably the most affordable floor plans in the building. The home interiors show accent concrete columns and some have exposed duct pipes, very similar to Mosler Lofts but scaled down.
The kitchen features stainless steel appliances and European pull up cabinets. They are actually pretty cool, functionl, and require less effort to close them than other European pull up cabinets I've seen which work better for someone who is taller (not me). We looked at a couple of the bigger two bedroom floor plans. There are some nice touches in those homes. The bedrooms come with sliding doors and some have double-sided fireplaces.
Central heating, air-conditioning, and hot water system are installed in this building. They are covered under the homeowner dues among other maintenace costs which are around 52 cents per square foot. The building is seeking LEED Silver certification. Ceiling height for these homes is around 9 foot 8" with some penthouses going as high as 12 feet. (Update 12/15: Ceiling height for the penthouses as well as non-penthouse floor plans, eg. 1 Br + den is ~ 13 feet.)
The community room is located on the south side of the building on the 4th level. It is a pretty sizable room with an outdoor terrace facing 2200 Westlake. Other amenities include door man, gym, rooftop decks, guest suite, doggy grooming area in the garage, and a (non full-size) basket ball court. Rollin is the only condo that has this indoor court. I think it's a great amenity especially during a rainy day, you can at least enjoy some indoor sports.
Overall, the building seems very well built. Sound insulation in the homes is pretty good. The glass balconies add a modern look to the building and the wide varities of floor plans (41!) are probably one of the main selling points for Rollin. Other than its massive size and the balconies, the exterior architecture isn't particulary striking. Probably in this market, most do not see the urgency to get out there to buy immediately.