Near-New Seattle Residential High-Rise Faces Demolition

Seattle's tony Belltown condo neighborhood hardly needs more bad news. Like many other similar areas in central city cores, the supply of new high rise condominiums has far outstripped the demand. Over the past year, the downtown area condominium market has experienced a median price decline of 35%. Units in at least three downtown buildings have been auctioned off at prices from 30% to 50% below the latest, already discounted prices.

Yet things have gotten even worse. A 25 story apartment building, only 9 years old, will be demolished due to substandard construction. Owners of the McGuire Apartments (photo on web here), Carpenters Union Local 131 and the Multi-Employer Property Trust issued a letter recently announced saying that "Since the necessary repairs are impractical, the decision ... is to dismantle the building.” The letter also indicated that tenants would be assisted in finding new housing.

A local blogger (Hideous Belltown) has provided a more than one-year long chronicle of the building, since scaffolding was erected, and concluding with two "death-watch" entries.

The Seattle tower may be the newest and tallest building to ever be demolished, especially in the United States.

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I firmly believe you are trying to tie in the poor construction of one apartment condo building in Seattle into your constant criticisms of New Urbanism. While I emphasis with many of your arguments, I do not believe the faulty construction of one tower can provide proof that this type of develpoment is substandard.

How many single-family suburban homes have been poorly built in the past decade? I can name more than a few ... as I have regrettably helped build many of them.