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November 25, 2008

Move-in starting for Seattle's 1521 Second Avenue condos

This week residents will start moving into 1521 Second Avenue, the 38-story condo tower near Pike Place Market. Developer Opus Northwest said 138 of the 143 penthouse-style units have presold. The prices range from about $1 million to more than $4 million.

This is the first residential high-rise built under the city's new zoning code, which allows for taller, more slender buildings in exchange for contributions to a city fund for affordable housing. Opus said it will give $1.88 million to the fund. That amount of money will help build about 40 units of affordable housing, according to Opus.

The building opened yesterday with the public getting a glimpse of the lobby. The space, designed by Susan Marinello Interiors, has a 21-foot ceiling in some areas, a fireplace and a 10-foot chandelier made by Charles Loomis Lighting in Kirkland.

The architect is Weber Thompson. Founding principal Blaine Weber said most of the units have protected views of Puget Sound and more than half have views of the skyline and the sound. Weber is moving into the building, as is William Justen, managing director of the Samis Land Co. and founder of the Justen Co., who is credited by Opus with conceiving of the 1521 Second Avenue project.

Instead of balconies, the units will have indoor-outdoor rooms with folding glass windows. In the winter, the windows can be closed so the spaces become solariums. In the summer, the windows can be opened to create an outdoor space protected by a railing.

Other members of the team are Opus Architects & Engineers, Opus NW Contractors, Realogics for marketing and Windermere Onsite as listing agent for the condos.

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