15821 Leary Way NE
Developer: Roger Nix/ on the lam
Condominium developer Roger Nix has gone missing.
Last known whereabouts: building new condominium complexes so cheap that units are falling apart only a few years after construction.
Last seen: dissolving his LLC and running away with the profits, leaving residents stranded with huge repair costs and no legal recourse.
Purported to be: in Mexico or the Caribbean with suitcases full of money.
So you might be asking, “Where was the oversight on this project?”
Well, it turns out the city inspected the building before it was completed, and clearly before they started growing Kombucha on the walls. We’d like to point out to all aspiring builders, waterproof everything is essential in the Northwest. For God’s sake, look out the window. It’s raining.
Clearly, the worst part of this whole situation is that good people got stuck with an irreparable money pit that ended up being literally poisonous to live in.
The rest of us get to look at this sponge-paint, rice-cake, faux-plywood, rectangle-of-a-low-slung, small-windowed shoe box. That brown wood above the doors isn’t repair in progress, but rather “accent” coloring. We at CSC vote that in five years they pop this thing onto a double wide, and move it to Aurora Avenue to join the other run down hotels.
Photo: Seattle Times
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 Perusing the fine print, we were perplexed to learn that each property has “an unpublished reserve price” which is not the starting bid.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 . . .
4751 12th Avenue Northeast
Developer: Harbor Properties
Architect: Baylis Architects
Now that we are waiting for the cheapshit condo market to rebound, we have scrap ex-condo parts to make apartments.
Sadly, they look just like condos. Here we have a mixed up box of reject crayon colors.
Same flashy name, same flashy exteriors. There’s even a suicide jumper catcher at the bottom corner. It probably brought their insurance down. A penny saved is a penny earned in these times.
Was this made by the ADHD architect firm?
Yet again the trees are going to have to do all the work in beautifying/obfuscating the building.
1920 Fourth Avenue
Developer: Lexas Companies
Architect: Thoryk Architecture
Something-is-changing-at Escala-dot-com…could it be the ownership?
So when the bank owns your condo tower, do you get free checking? Just sayin’.
Do they have a basket of lollipops at the door and somebody waiting to ask us about our weekend?
I’m sure the views looking out are fantastic, but the views looking at, not so much. The glass tower plopped onto the faux Grecian Vegas facade is not the sort of enduring architecture dreams are made of. Design really can be better. Proof.
500 Elliott Avenue
Developer: Equity Residential® Condominiums
Architect: witness protection program
Welcome to the Seattle accordion condos, the Residences at 500 Elliott.
This unmusical building lets out an ugly tone when you squeeze it, something like an emission and a cat screeching at the same time.
This might also be the largest “oops paint” building we’ve come across. May we suggest avoiding turquoise and salmon.
The name “Residences at 500 Elliot” strikes us as a bit misguided. We prefer “The Folds at 500 Elliot.”
Buyers: Retro gamers and your kids might like it. The street and building closely resemble the game Frogger.
Don’t get squished!