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November 4, 2014

Lowe starts 168 condos in 24-story tower on First Hill

Image by Weber Thompson [enlarge]
Units will range from 600 to 1,700 square feet, with prices starting in the mid $300,000s.

Los Angeles-based developer Lowe Enterprises and the Swedish pension fund Alecta have started construction on Luma: a 24-story, 168-unit condo tower on First Hill.

The site is at 1321 Seneca St. Lowe says this will be the first new condo tower on First Hill since 1982.

Crews are removing asphalt from the site and preparing for excavation work, which will begin Wednesday.

The building is expected to open by summer 2016. Sales should start next spring.

Weber Thompson is the architect, Lease Crutcher Lewis is the general contractor and Magnusson Klemencic Associates is the civil and structural engineer. Red Propeller and McAvoy Real Estate will handle marketing and sales.

Units will range in size from 600 to 1,700 square feet, with prices starting in the mid $300,000s.

Luma is a video-related term that refers to the brightness of an image. The tower's facade was designed to have dark and light qualities inspired by film noir to reflect the art and culture of First Hill, according to a statement from Lowe.

Luma is one of three projects under development on First Hill with financing from 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.

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

After several years with little to no condo development, projects are starting to pop up, especially in neighborhoods in and around downtown.

Burnaby, B.C.-based Bosa Development is building a two-tower condo complex at Sixth and Bell called Insignia that will have 707 units when it is completed next year.

Continental Properties wants to start construction early next year on a 34-story tower at Second and Virginia that will be built as condos but could switch to apartments. Continental is also developing the 117-unit VIK Condominiums in Ballard.

The North American affiliate of a Chinese development company called TeamRise is planning two condo buildings with ground floor retail in Belltown. The preliminary plan is to develop one 24- or 25-story building and one six- to eight-story building at 2302-2316 Fourth Ave.

Daniels Real Estate plans to put 105 condos on top of the 111-year-old Seattle Plumbing Supply building at 589 Occidental Ave. S. The structure is also known as the Johnson Building.

RBF Property Group, which says it is based in Guangzhou, China, with an office in Seattle, is planning a 42-story tower at 1121 Stewart St. with a hotel and 95 condos.

A few smaller condo projects are in the works in other neighborhoods like Ballard and Greenwood.

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