Discussing the newfound wealth in the city and the ways it is emerging, from popular designer shoes with a $650 price tag to luxury condominium developments, Seattle Times asks a question on the minds of many Seattleites: will the city figure out how to deal with its new wealth? In an effort to uncover an answer, Seattle Times spoke with Dean Jones, Owner & CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) and Moira E. Holley, a founding member of the firm.
The article provides a timely look at the future of Seattle, touching on its position as a “magnet for dreamers” from the time of the Gold Rush to today’s Silicon Forest. Given that the metro area is home to billionaires Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates, whose companies have created “thousands of high-net-worth individuals,” it’s no surprise that tech workers “have fueled an explosion in restaurants and bars, a dizzying real estate construction blitz and soaring rents.”
For instance, Seattle Times describes meeting Moira E. Holley “in Seattle, high above what she calls downtown’s ‘Gold Coast’ in a First Avenue condo that just sold for $1.59 million, sight unseen, to an out-of-town buyer who needed a crash pad while in the city. The deal closed in just two weeks.” Having watched similar trends in San Francisco and Vancouver, B.C., Dean Jones discussed Seattle’s emergence as a global gateway city, as a 15% foreign buyer tax in B.C. pushed Chinese buyers to look to other cities to invest in real estate.
“A lot of global wealth is looking for safe harbor in the form of real estate investments,” Jones said, adding that “while our prices are rising quickly, it’s still relatively affordable compared to other West Coast gateway cities.”
The article references RSIR’s representation of the NEXUS condominium tower, “a stack of twisting glass cubes designed as a vertical, high-tech village, topped with special ‘Sky Series’ penthouses measuring more than 3,000 square feet and costing from around $1.6 million to more than $5 million.” Jones acknowledges our “Manhattan moment” but also discusses the responsibility the city has and that we also need “to build more homes for non-luxury buyers” as we move into this new era of the Emerald City.