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July 11, 2014

Lowe will start Luma this fall, with 168 condos in 24-story tower on First Hill

Images by Weber Thompson [enlarge]

Lowe Enterprises Investors is preparing to break ground this fall on a 24-story condo tower at 1321 Seneca St.

The developer says this will be the first new condo tower on First Hill since 1982.

The 168-unit project is called Luma, a video-related term that describes the brightness of an image.

“The dark and light facade treatments of the building have a film noir inspiration that celebrates the art and culture of First Hill,” Suzi Morris, a Lowe senior vice president, said in a statement.

Weber Thompson is the architect and Lease Crutcher Lewis is the general contractor. Magnusson Klemencic Associates is civil and structural engineer.

Luma is one of three projects under development on First Hill with financing from the Swedish pension fund Alecta. The others are a 27-story, 328-unit project at 500 Terry Ave., and a 30-story, 287-unit project at 800 Columbia St.

The Luma condos will open in the spring of 2016, and range in size from 600 to 1,700 square feet. Luma will have a large rooftop space, fitness center, bike storage and five levels of underground parking, but no retail space.

Red Propeller and McAvoy Real Estate will manage marketing and sales.

“This is not the condominium market of the last cycle,” Stephen Fina, a partner in Red Propeller. “This cycle will have a reduced number of condominium projects developed, resulting in fewer opportunities for buyers.”

Blain Weber, senior principal at Weber Thompson, told the DJC last year that the tower was originally planned as apartments but the developer decided to switch to condos because so few units are for sale now.

In the Denny Triangle, Bosa Development is building a two-tower condo complex called Insignia that will have 707 units when it is completed next year. A few smaller condo projects are in the works, including 117 units being built by Continental Properties in Ballard, and a hotel-condo tower in the Denny Triangle developed by RBF Property Group that would have 95 units.

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