Chasten Fulbright, a principal at boutique property management firm Blanton Turner, metaphorically stands guard behind the front door of the penthouse at The Lofts at 325. Assisting with leasing of Seattle’s newest gem-box urban loft apartment project, Chasten proudly describes the craftsmanship that defines this unique project amongst the ubiquity of new apartment development in the city.
The Lofts at 325 is made up of 12 loft apartment homes atop a 1927 built, adaptive reuse retail project fronting Westlake Avenue – the central corridor of the Amazon.com dominated hub known as South Lake Union. Unlike most all of the market-rate apartment developments hitting the streets of Seattle during this latest development boom, The Lofts of 325 was borne out of owner MadArt’s social and artistic-driven mission to provide havens for art within the fabric of the built environment. Central to this mission is the marquee full-floor penthouse.
In an age of ±500 square foot studios and ironically named “urban” one bedrooms, this penthouse is pure luxe. Fine grain, white oak built-in cabinetry runs throughout the very open two-bedroom floor plan, polished concrete floors spill into each room and stainless steel appliances fit for a chef adorn the kitchen. The interior is essentially modernist-PNW architecture porn – steel meets wood, meets concrete, meets wide-open windows with wrap-around exterior patios revealing Space Needle and Lake Union views.
It is not surprising that architecture and design was entrusted to the local phenom-architecture talent of Graham Baba. Known for helping re-define Seattle’s burgeoning retail-foodie-restaurant scene (credits include Via6, Westward, The Kolstrand Building, Melrose Market, Miller’s Guild … need I go on?), their work at 325 follows my thesis that all real estate is turning to retail for inspiration. My ability to appropriately describe the nirvana of this penthouse is restricted by my own limited knowledge of design and architecture; it is best to view the space yourself. You likely can no longer tour, so check out this video.
What does a full-floor, Architectural Digest worthy penthouse in SLU set you back? It doesn’t matter – you are too late (and don’t worry about the other eleven units, they leased up in a week!). Had you been diligently checking Craigslist, the opportunity to lease the 1,758 square foot penthouse would result in mortgage-worthy payments of $6,875/month. Can very many a Seattleite afford to pay over $80,000/year in rent? Likely not. Yet for connoisseurs of design and the chance to live in a one-of-a-kind building in one of the hottest neighborhoods in the United States, it might be one of the greatest bargains in the city.