Sponsored by Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty
A new urbanization trend is sweeping Seattle as more empty-nesters and retirees are seeking to downsize their domestic responsibilities, harvest their capital gains from single-family assets and reinvest that equity into a better, streamlined in-city lifestyle with perks. After years of child rearing, home maintenance, and living a more remote cul-de-sac existence, many aging consumers are increasingly interested in an efficiently-scaled home that generates more social opportunities and access to conveniences as they yearn to get more from their daily routine.
Brokers and demographic research suggest that there are thousands of baby boomers in Seattle neighborhoods looking to unload larger single-family homes for a “lock-and-leave” lifestyle in a single-level condominium close to urban attractions and medical facilities, which allows them to comfortably age in place.
These new condominium residents will have not lost any residential perks and will have merely reformed the venue for their experiences—experiences that are now twice as exciting within an in-city resort. The backyard barbecues still happen—but hundreds of feet above bustling urban streets on a rooftop deck, surrounded by gorgeous panoramics of the cityscape.
“Affluent consumers are seeking to shed domestic responsibilities and, oftentimes, active investments too by divesting and living in the city to enjoy their next chapter in life,” explained Dean Jones, President and CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR). “Condominium residents benefit from more personal time and the added resources for a life better lived.”
Many downsizers are also taking this opportunity to divest from active investments—such as running apartment units or retail operations—in favor of more passive ones, like investing in a REIT or other funds that pay dividends with little direct oversight. Wealth managers suggest a popular platform is the Delaware Statutory Trust, which allows for the deferral of capital gains when transitioning to a more carefree investment strategy.
“With this move into the city, they’re not just streamlining their lifestyle but their investment portfolio as well,” adds Jones. “There are empty-nesters and retirees with homes, who are only using 10% of that living space, and yet the majority of their portfolio is locked into that house or active investments, not to mention the stress associated with managing all that—they have worked hard and simply want to enjoy their success.”
Jones says many downsizing residents use excess equity to buy second homes in popular destination markets, such as Palm Springs, Hawaii or Sun Valley, or to frequently travel the world without worry about their property or investments.
Many in the market to downsize have set their sights to Seattle’s newest high-rise tower, NEXUS, and for good reason. The landmark stack of twisting glass cubes has dazzled the city not only with its exteriors but also its resort-like amenities. The developer, Burrard Group, is an accomplished operator of hotels, golf courses, and other commercial properties with a keen eye for branded experiences and bespoke hospitality.
“We thoughtfully curated amenities centered on themes of health and wellness, social connectiveness, and personal prosperity,” explains Billy Mainguy, Vice President of Strategy at Burrard Group.
First impressions of NEXUS include a dramatic, art-filled lobby with an attentive concierge for package receipt and resident services. A host of additional third-party services includes housekeeping, dry-cleaning, and pet care, whether requesting in-person or connecting through the exclusive NEXUS app.
The seventh floor, known as the Podium Club, is a living hub for work, fitness, and four-legged residents. There’s a fully appointed co-working lounge, business center, media lounge and screening room, outdoor patios with fire pit, health club—which features cardio equipment, weights, and a yoga studio, and an indoor/outdoor pet lounge complete with a dog run and washing basin. Above all is the penthouse-level Sky Club, designed with a collection of social spaces by day or night and offering a myriad of opportunities like a quiet afternoon in the sun by yourself or one of those memorable nights surrounded by family and friends. A voluminous fireside lounge offers dramatic views of Capitol Hill and South Lake Union, while an adjacent exhibition kitchen and communal dining room invites culinary experiences to overflow in the Sky Parlor—a covered patio with fire pit and elevator garden area with numerous barbecue grills and seating environments. Back inside, residents will also enjoy a conference room, catering kitchen, private dining room, and a games room with billiards, shuffleboard, poker table, and media lounge.
Even the two retail units at the NEXUS street level are being programmed by Burrard, which will be retained in their portfolio.
“We are working on a unique concept for the commercial units,” adds Mainguy. “These will host a retail experience that befits a world-class tower.”
The central location of NEXUS also offers residents a rich neighborhood to explore, with immediate access to city amenities, shopping, art and culture, sporting events, operas, live entertainment, and all without commute times, hassle, or dependency on cars or other transport.
Jones says retiring in the city can also draw more visits from friends and family members too. With building-wide common areas and close proximity to urban attractions, NEXUS will provide an accessible and enjoyable meeting place for the younger members of families, keeping residents’ cherished ones close. It also means a healthier and more stimulating lifestyle, with all that downtown Seattle has to offer within a short walking distance.
Burrard is also deeply dedicated to thoughtful planning and building community. In striving for that goal, Burrard has formed a Nexus Homeowner Care Team that has a singular focus in supporting and guiding every Nexus homeowner each step of the way. Walk-throughs prior to completion, coordination of real estate brokers, escrow officers and mortgage lenders to ensure they have all required information ahead of time, homeowner events, on-going communications, a tour of the amenity spaces, and demonstration of the Nexus App to control their new smart home.
“Occupancy is still several months away, so that’s plenty of time to begin the downsizing process,” notes Matt Van Damm, Vice President of New Development at RSIR. “We’re here to help draw that roadmap including, if necessary, preparing an existing home for sale, and organizing a move in time to celebrate the New Year with a great view of the fireworks show above the Space Needle.”
Van Damm says some buyers are securing their future retirement home now but don’t plan to move quite yet. He says it’s not uncommon for other family members to enjoy the urban abode first, such as a student attending university, or to simply lease out the property for several years before downsizing themselves.
“Savvy homebuyers at NEXUS want to stay ahead of the approaching development cycle,” adds Van Damm. “With rapidly rising construction costs, they know these high-rises will be much more expensive in five years, so there won’t be a better time to choose from our preferred selection and secure pre-completion pricing.”
Burrard saved the best for last with premium one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes (713-1,738 square feet) priced from below $1 million to more than $2.7 million, including several penthouses and a limited collection of two-level Skylofts. Many of the homes include the Sky Series specifications, which boast taller ceilings and chef’s kitchens with European-styled cabinets, marble countertops with waterfall-feature islands, and premium Miele appliances with gas cooking, among other features.
In addition to reinventing the high-rise lifestyle, Burrard also takes on the social responsibility to strengthen the fabric of the communities wherein their properties stand. Upon completion of the Nexus project, Burrard will be donating $250,000 to the Low-Income Housing Institute (LIHI) towards the organization’s Tiny House program. LIHI provides innovative solutions to affordable housing and homelessness in the Seattle area and ensures that people’s experience in homelessness is as safe, dignified, and brief as possible. The Tiny House initiative has transitioned over 300 people from Tiny Houses into long-term housing.
NEXUS will also host an open house weekend on June 8 and 9 from noon until 3 p.m. The event will provide potential homebuyers an exclusive opportunity to explore the homes of NEXUS and view building models, floorplans, and the condominiums’ premier finishes. All are welcome to come and meet with the sales team and learn more about the next-generation of high-rise living that only NEXUS offers. The Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty New Developments Preview Center is located at 2715 First Avenue, Seattle. Those unable to attend can schedule an appointment by visiting www.NEXUSseattle.com or calling 206.841.8788.