As Featured in GeekWire: KODA Condominiums beacons an urban renaissance in Seattle's historic International District
200+ New High-Rise Condominiums Introduce Attainably-Priced Ownership from Below $400,000
At 11am on Saturday, February 24, the doors will open at the New Developments Preview Center at 2715 1st Avenue for the release of 200+ new homes at KODA – an inspired, high-rise condominium set to break ground at 5th Avenue and South Main Street this summer with occupancy by mid-2020. It’s not only the first new construction, for-sale opportunity in the International District in recent memory – it’s among the only new condominiums available anywhere at a time of meteoric demand but anemic supply. Offered by Taiwan-based Da Li Development, LLC, the KODA Condominiums will introduce attainably-priced homeownership opportunities along with a number of innovative designs and amenities for decidedly modern living within this historic community. The eclectic mix of studio, urban one bedroom, one and two-bedroom homes are efficiently-scaled from below 400-sq. ft. to nearly 1,200-sq. ft. (BOMA measurements) and will be presold at introductory pricing from below $400,000 to more than $1.4 million.
“This will be a very exciting weekend for prospective homebuyers in Seattle and our preregistered buyers around the world,” said Dean Jones, President & CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR). “KODA represents the latest new condominium offering in downtown Seattle and a deposit of $5,000 will reserve a residence for priority presales.”
Jones refers to RSIR’s reservation program, which he calls a “presale to a presale”. Essentially, the preliminary home plans, initial specifications, amenities, price ranges and HOA budget is shared with homebuyers who understand that the final product offering, complete with the Public Offering Statement and confirmed pricing, will not be available until later this spring after the developer concludes numerous design decisions, receives entitlements from the City of Seattle and confirms construction costing from the contractor. Actual presales to these reservation holders will follow commensurate with the opening of the KODA Sales Center and groundbreaking by summer 2018 when a non-refundable 5-percent deposit will be collected with final payment due upon occupancy by mid-2020.
“The primary benefit with reservations is buyers don’t have to worry about missing out or being subject to the risks of price escalation with multiple offers or a lottery process,” adds Jones. “Our seller is simply organizing the demand for the homes and agrees to offer individual listings to the reservation holders in the order that they are received. It’s a very fair and logical process.”
A beacon of the urban renaissance taking shape throughout the historic International District, KODA is located within walking distance of hundreds of thousands of jobs in the Central Business District (CBD). This community has seen a flurry of new development proposals given the availability of undeveloped land, the overlay of high-rise zoning and most notably, the enviable proximity to transportation options – quite literally, all roads and tracks lead to King Street Station.
This is where Seattle started. Chinese dock workers first settled Chinatown in the mid-1800s, which was later moved eastward to its current location. The Japanese followed by the mid-1880s to create Japantown, or Nihonmachi, as it’s also known – the gateway between the Central Business District to the north, First Hill to the east, Pioneer Square to the west and Chinatown-International District to the south. At the center of Nihonmachi is KODA Condominiums, proudly anchoring this important corner at 5th Avenue and South Main Street.
KODA’s namesake stems from the flowering tree that is found throughout the Asia Pacific region but also means “friend” in the language of Native Americans. This inspiration of new growth, organic roots to historic significance and social inclusiveness were all paramount to Da Li Development when conceiving of the condominium tower.
“First and foremost, we wanted to encourage homeownership for hundreds of new stakeholders in the neighborhood,” said Kevin Hsieh, Vice President of Development for Da Li. “We will welcome local and international consumers to create a dynamic community. Our focus was to engineer efficient use of space and keep our price points within reach, while KODA’s robust amenities program will bring our homeowners together.”
Hsieh considered several different cities for his first development in the US, including New York and San Francisco, but he decided on this particular parcel in Seattle because of its access to transportation the city’s growth trajectory. He noted skyrocketing rents and few, if any, condominiums available in affordable ranges. He also saw an opportunity to support the urbanization trends of Seattle as being similar to how major Asian cities have evolved, including reducing the dependency on the automobile.
As such, home sales at KODA will be offered separate from parking stalls – thereby removing its cost from the base purchase price. Hsieh believes owning a car in downtown Seattle is an option instead of an obligation, so real estate should follow suit. Downtown Seattle is one of the most walkable cities in North America while KODA offers quick connections to the LINK light rail service, the Seattle Streetcar and the Metro Bus Tunnel all within a block.
Not surprisingly, Walkscore.com records the location as a “Walker’s Paradise” ranking 98 out of 100 points while the Transit Score is a perfect 100 points as a “Rider’s Paradise”. It simply doesn’t get much better than that. Furthermore, the expanding Streetcar service down 1st Avenue and the conclusion of the Sound Transit 3 initiative – a $50+ billion regional transportation directive – will forever benefit residents of KODA to access many of the Greater Seattle area’s most popular destinations.
Above & Below: KODA Condominiums offers an enviable perch adjacent to the King Street Station regional transportation hub with access to the LINK light rail, Seattle Streetcar, Sounder trail and Metro bus service - the Colman Dock and WA State Ferry service is also within walking distance.
“Immediate access to transportation is key in much of developing Asia and in Europe, not to mention more established cities like New York City and San Francisco,” adds Hsieh. “KODA Condominiums is perfectly centered for this evolution in Seattle – the time has come.”
Hsieh noted other transformative developments in the area including the $2 billion Seattle waterfront restoration and the creation of connection between the city and the bay once the Alaskan Way Viaduct is removed by 2020 – about the same time residents will be moving into KODA Condominiums. Billed as a “waterfront for all” civic leaders and stakeholders will connect Pioneer Square to Belltown along the waterfront while introducing twenty acres of public spaces. And on the other side of town, the 30-acre redevelopment of Yesler Terrace on First Hill is revitalizing the neighborhood and offers direct links to the International District via the Yesler Hillclimb connection. Hsieh is also tracking numerous new developments and new retail uses within blocks of his development site, adding to the residential renaissance of the area.
Above & Below: Residents of KODA Condominiums will enjoy walking to the new Seattle waterfront, which is being revitalized following the removal of the Alaska Way Viaduct by 2020 (Source: James Corner Field Operations).
Of course, KODA Condominiums will become a vertical village of its own. Residents and guests will enjoy a voluminous lobby with its concierge services and prominent co-working space that features mix and mingle areas for leisure, professional meetings and patrons of adjacent retail, which are destined for an in-building café in addition to an international restaurant concept by Da Li Development.
Above & Below: The lobby experience of KODA Condominiums will provide an 18-hour environment for residents and guests to mix and mingle for work and play.
The 7th floor amenity area includes a fully appointed fitness center with yoga studio and outdoor stretching areas. The adjacent library, work lounge and conference room will offer yet another quiet space for resident work spaces and meetings. All spaces front onto an outdoor terrace with access to a Zen garden.
High above it all, the 17th floor KODA Club features a games room with a billiards table, screening room, fireside lounge, and a catering kitchen with private dining room and restrooms for larger events and happenings. The KODA Club links to an expansive rooftop terrace, which includes outdoor BBQs and sitting areas, two firepit gathering spaces and offers broad vistas that pan from Mount Rainier to the south and west across the Stadium District, Pioneer Square, downtown skyscrapers that frame sunsets over Elliott Bay with the Olympic Mountain range in the distance.
Above & Below: Club KODA will feature entertaining spaces including a catering kitchen and private dining room for residents that are hosting larger groups.
Having offices in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Mexico City, the award-winning KMD Architects are very familiar with designing for urban, dense and pricey locals. The interiors are “right-sized” providing greater utility on a per-square-foot basis, helping to deliver on the promise for attainable ownership. Unit features include mostly in-line kitchens with streamlined Blomberg appliances, induction heat, and both flexible and optional opposing island countertops and eating bars using Quartz slabs. Access to the perimeter bedrooms are typically provided along the window wall to open up light and views to the living room and sleeping quarters while the use of a clever pocket door offers privacy. Many homes include dens and optional closet systems to maximize storage while additional in-building storage is available for purchase and is treated as a limited common element (much like the parking stalls are assigned to a unit).
Throughout the tower, KMD celebrates the strength of KODA’s concrete structure with exposed columns and ceilings, which range in height from 8-foot 10-inches to 9-foot 6-inches on the penthouse levels. Oversized window walls will flood the homes with natural light and draw out the rich tones of the engineered hardwood floors and contrasting high-gloss lacquer finish cabinet systems. All doors are solid-core and 7-feet tall with contemporary hardware. The spa-like bathrooms feature large format porcelain tiles, quality plumbing fixtures and exclusive-to-project custom vanities. During presales, prospective buyers are able to choose their color options between light, dark and transitional schemes while certain design upgrades include the opportunity to use natural stone countertops, optional islands, window coverings, high-tech features (including audio/visual/security components) and customized closet systems to name a few.
Above & Below: KMD Architects have conceived of efficiently-scaled homes that maximize flexibility while right-sizing the total square footage.
Views from the homes will include urban vistas along 5th Avenue to broad panoramas on the higher floors that clear adjacent buildings and offer protection from any future obstructions thanks to the established neighborhood and historic zoning that defines much of the area. Simply put, what you see is what you get to the south and west, unlike many of the developing neighborhoods where future construction disrupts one’s view.
“There’s a spirit of place with KODA as so many iconic sights are illuminated at night, including The Smith Tower, King Street Station, the stadium district, CBD high-rises, the ferries on Elliott Bay and streaming ribbons of light along the freeways,” said Jones. “Living at KODA will be like a theater of the past, present and future playing out real time.”
Prospective homebuyers are welcomed to visit the New Developments Preview Center at Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty from 11am-5pm daily. For more information and to register for priority presales, visit www.ownKODA.com.
Offered by Da Li International, LLC. Seller reserves the right to change the product without notice. Offering subject to design review.