Olive 8 condominiums

737 Olive Way, Seattle, WA

Developer: RC Hedreen

Architect: Mulvanny G2

Cheapshitcondos had a tour of the soon to be auctioned Olive 8 condominiums.

We were lured by the offer of “an enviable lifestyle on your own terms.” Enticingly, our own terms were to be auctioned with a starting bid of $160,000. Now that’s a cheap seat! Perusing the fine print, we were perplexed to learn that each property has “an unpublished reserve price” which is not the starting bid. This left us wondering, just what is the starting bid? Oh right, it’s the bait.

We had a good look around the 27th floor, admiring the views which can be spectacular, unless you happen to be kissing distance from Ma Bell’s telephone tower to the left.

We viewed units with square footage from about 650 to 1200 sq. ft., but were surreptitiously warned in the fine print that “square footages. . . may vary and are approximations only, based on the most accurate information available.” We were at once reassured that we know five hundred square feet when we see it, but certainly alarmed that the people trusted with building a high-rise could not successfully wrangle a tape measure. The most startling clause in the fine print stated that “models throughout this brochure do not reflect racial preference.” There weren’t any people in the brochure. WTF?

The largest corner units were spacious with grand views and imposing marble kitchen islands. However, the smallest units might require a regular regiment of Prozac to deal with feelings of confinement, windowless bedrooms and a mind-boggling waste of space particularly in the overlarge half bathrooms by the front door. Really, what are you going to do in there?

This condo is miles better than the worst offenders, holding LEED Silver Certification and a prime downtown location, yet it’s going on auction. Economy? Yes. Uninspired mediocre designs trading on views? Yes. It could have been so much better.

The building does have a nice nighttime mood ring on the roof line. Red, stressed. Blue, Prozac. Green . . .

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