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Journeyman
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Read my post again. I said "Projects often break ground when advertised." This is true and not debatable.

That doesn't mean that none don't break ground, or that none start late.
 

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Read my post again. I said "Projects often break ground when advertised." This is true and not debatable.

That doesn't mean that none don't break ground, or that none start late.
I'm arguing your use of the term "often". I think "Projects sometime break ground when advertised" is a more accurate statement. I'd say that over half of the projects currently under construction did not meet their advertised groundbreaking date. I'm sure that most forumers will agree with me here since we've all seen so many projects announce start dates that come and go with no activity.
 

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Portland's downtown has nothing like the density of Seattle's.

Thank you. I was wondering how Portland got tossed in there... unless he just means residential density, and even that seems suspect, even if one were to include the Pearl as part of 'downtown Portland'.
 

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Journeyman
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I'm arguing your use of the term "often". I think "Projects sometime break ground when advertised" is a more accurate statement. I'd say that over half of the projects currently under construction did not meet their advertised groundbreaking date. I'm sure that most forumers will agree with me here since we've all seen so many projects announce start dates that come and go with no activity.
Your original implication is right that a start date announced during an early DR juncture is often not realized. But I'd guess that far more start in the year projected (or three-four months late) than start one year late. There's nothing magic about one year. If there's a significant delay, the project is just as likely to hang out multiple years or never get built.

Once a formal announcement is made, after the team is formed and the start date is much closer, the record tends to be much better.
 

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I don't believe Portland comes close in residential density either.
There are areas in Seattle that pass 50,000 people/sq mile, right? If I remember correctly, I don't know if Portland has anywhere that passes 30,000 people/sq mile at the moment. Could be completely wrong though.
 

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I beg to differ. The following projects should have broken ground by now if they had stuck with the original start date they announced:

Colman Center
Ava
The Martin
Arthouse
Skygarden
Icon Tower
7th and Westlake
1 Hotel (started about 2 years late, now on hold)

I'm sure there's more but I just thought of those off the top of my head. I know the dates they give are very preliminary but I'm trying to prove that most projects don't meet the ground breaking dates that they announce prematurely.
7th and westlake is dead......the Martin is basicaly dead, colman is on hold until further notice, the arthouse is probably dead as well...good examples....
 

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Journeyman
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There are areas in Seattle that pass 50,000 people/sq mile, right? If I remember correctly, I don't know if Portland has anywhere that passes 30,000 people/sq mile at the moment. Could be completely wrong though.
Our densest census tract in 2000 was 90 acres on Capitol Hill at 44,500/sm, followed by a tract in the U-District (including Greek Row) that was 42,500/sm. We have localized areas that are substantially denser than either -- around Western & Clay in Belltown, and the north half of First Hill -- but the tract boundaries don't follow.

I believe you're right about Portland's densest tracts in 2000. I suspect the Pearl might score higher in 2008. But for all its greatness as a city, Portland just doesn't have areas of sustained high residential densities. Its downtown population is ok and growing but not huge. Adding SoWa actually hurts the density figure because adding a handful of towers means adding a few hundred acres.

PS, I'll be in Portland on business in 4.5 hours! Looking forward to it. Love Portland.
 

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Everytime I go to downtown Portland, I don't really see many people walk on the street. It look somewhat quiet not dead to me. Some part of downtown Portland are busy but not busy as downtown Seattle does. I'd love to see one of these days, downtown Portland become busy area like downtown Seattle. Love Portland too. :)

Back to the topic,

I didn't realize that project worth 900 million dollars for just two 43 stories twin towers. I suspect it is very costly to dig next to another skyscraper (Escala) since it is very deep. I think that is why it is expensive project.
 

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I didn't realize that project worth 900 million dollars for just two 43 stories twin towers. I suspect it is very costly to dig next to another skyscraper (Escala) since it is very deep. I think that is why it is expensive project.
I dont see this project looking anything less than the money spent on it! I trust those NYC developers to do something amazing. Im building a skin-skyscraper just thinking about it.
 

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I am an East facing home buyer at Escala and attended the design review meeting for this project last night. Apparently this block is zoned DOC-2 (mostly office use) and has no tower spacing requirements, although the block immediately to the North is zoned DMC and would require 80 feet of spacing. This means that the twin towers will be built an alley width, or about 20 feet, from the Eastern face of Escala. This is the same situation that residents of Cosmopolitan are facing.

I was surprised by the Design Review Board's lack of concern with the eradication of light, air space, privacy and view for both the Escala building and the proposed tower. John Midby, the Escala developer, and an attorney were also present to make clear the severe impact this building will have on Escala. The board said that it's not really their position to preserve individual views, and rightly so. But it seems to me when we're talking about 60-80 residential units that some consideration should be given to it.

Also, the architect, Ismael Leyva, was present to offer revised designs of the base of the tower as suggested by the Board. The height of the base has been cut from around 170' down to 140'. This will eliminate the multi-level retail environment that was originally proposed, which is too bad, since the initial design looked very vibrant. But a 140' tall base still seems enormous. Basically that will put a wall in front of EVERY unit left to right at Escala, up to about the 12th floor. Part of the wall will, however, be a "living wall" with plants and an irrigation system.

At the end of the meeting I spoke with a member of Multi-Capital, the financier of the Heron/Pagoda Towers and I asked what made them confident that a nearly billion dollar project would succeed in this real estate climate. He didn't have an answer, but according to the recent PI article they feel the recession will have blown over by the time the buildings are complete. He also said that they didn't really want to build both towers, but the city owned both properties (the parking lot and vacant retail spaces on 5th) and wanted to sell them as a package. So they purchased both and decided to build on both. I find it very strange that the developer has chosen to finance and construct a building that they didn't initially conceive. It will have no views for many West facing units which I imagine would make them a very tough sell (especially at $1000/SF).

I know mhays will say you should have done your research, and I guess he's right. At the time I purchased my unit I was aware of Heron Tower, which seemed like a great addition to the block. Pagoda Tower, however, came much later and disrupts 75% of the East face of Escala. I find it unconscionable to allow this kind of density because it's just not warranted in Seattle. (I don't intend this post to start flame war, just expressing my thoughts).
 

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I feel for you and your frustration - especially since your building hasn't even been completed and your view is already in jeopardy.

At the same time, someone here said it well that when you live deep in the heart of downtown, for the most part no view is ever assured (given time). You should be excited to live in the heart of it all. At the same time, keep your drapes closed. :(
 

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I still wish they would put more color in the design of these towers. In isolation these towers are just fine, but I do not want Seattle to succumb to Vancouver's light blue glass box look.
 

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Twinkie
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A Pacific Place type of retail component underneath heron & pagoda with a glass dome in between the two towers would've been awesome.
 

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That's too bad about the loss views at Escala. I guess that answers my question about why the hotel was in the Pagoda and not the Heron tower. The residential units of Pagoda will be starting at floors 20+ so most of the condo buyers won't be losing their views. I'm disappointed that the multi-level retail base isn't going to happen, that would've been nice.
 
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