Seattle's Queen Anne Neighborhood News Blog


Block of W Mercer with Streamline Tavern and Radio Shack for sale

September 7th, 2013 by Laura Fonda

We’ve had several readers ask about the block that houses the Streamline Tavern at 117 W Mercer St. There have been rumors swirling around that the block has been sold, so we’ve done some digging, and here’s what we’ve found.

The block of buildings that contains the Streamline, Michael Reed Black Antiques, and the Spic and Span laundry is indeed for sale via Windermere Commercial Real Estate. Listed as 127 W Mercer St, the property is being sold in combination with the adjoining parcel that houses Radio Shack (115 W Mercer St).

115 and 127 W Mercer

Preliminary drawing from Windermere listing

According to King County records, the current owner of both properties is ABO Investments, with an original purchase date of March 2001 – the two parcels are listed at $2.75M. Windermere’s listing includes an architectural picture “from a zoning analysis prepared by an architect for this site” that is likely very preliminary and for sale purposes (but that does not discount development possibilities).

Both listings are still “active” as of a search today – but there must be some interest for the rumors to be circulating.

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Queen Anne and Magnolia Housing Market Remains as Hot as the Recent Weather (sponsored story)

May 14th, 2013 by Laura Fonda

(This is a sponsored story written by John Madrid, Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate).

There are no signs that the current trends of low inventory, rising prices, short sales times and multiple offers will be abating anytime soon.

For Queen Anne and Magnolia there continues to be only about a 1 to 2 month supply of single-family home inventory. This tight inventory can be attributed to continued low interest rates, robust Puget Sound area hiring and a generally improved economy including significant gains in the stock market. Whether the market will become more “balanced” (defined as a 3-6 month supply of homes) will hinge on many more listings hitting the market over the coming months.

Of Queen Anne and Magnolia homes closed in April the average sale price was a little over 102% of the most recent list price.  This indicates continued multiple offer situations.

Prospective buyers also should think in terms of at least a minimum of 3-5+ year home ownership horizon and preferably maintain the option to hold onto their home through future downturns in the market. Home seller costs (excise tax, title/escrow fees, sale commissions) of approximately 9% of the sales price should also be factored into any decision to purchase.




More stats on other Seattle neighborhoods can be found at

John Madrid is a Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate – University Village and is a 2005-2012 Seattle Magazine “Five Star” Agent. His clients include both home buyers and sellers. He can be reached at 206-498-1880, or

Statistics are deemed reliable but are not guaranteed.  All information should be verified to the users own satisfaction. 

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Rain, Rain Ain’t Keeping Home Buyers Away (sponsored story)

March 17th, 2013 by Laura Fonda

(This is a sponsored story written by John Madrid, Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate).

It continues to be a seller’s market for the Seattle area including Magnolia and Queen Anne where there is a little less than two months of single-family home inventory. If you are a fortunate home seller expect to see a lot of open house traffic, buyer “love letters” and possibly multiple offers if your home is located in a popular neighborhood and is competitively priced.

And what to do if you are a home buyer? First, get your financial ducks in-a-row by getting preapproved by a local lender who is available in the evenings and on weekends.  Second, try to get out to see homes before the weekend which will give you more time to line-up pre-inspections if offers aren’t being reviewed for a few days.  Third, reduce the number of contingencies within your comfort level. Finally, write that love letter even if it’s just a short paragraph in addition to a summary of your offers terms. Don’t go overboard but in this market it just may help you stand out from the pack.

More info on other Seattle neighborhoods can be found at

John Madrid is a Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate – University Village and is a 2005-2012 Seattle Magazine “Five Star” Agent. His clients include both home buyers and sellers. He can be reached at 206-498-1880, or

Statistics are deemed reliable but are not guaranteed. All information should be verified to the users own satisfaction.

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Where Are All the Homes for Sale? (sponsored story)

February 19th, 2013 by Laura Fonda

(This is a sponsored story written by John Madrid, Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate).

“A house, a house, my kingdom for a house”. If you are in the market for a new home you can probably empathize with Shakespeare’s King Richard III.  Single-family homes, townhomes, and even condos are all in short supply throughout most the city.

For Magnolia and Queen Anne there is just a 1.5 month supply of single-family home inventory which is definitely favoring home sellers with the result that homes are really hard to come by.  We will continue to see more pre-inspections, multiple offers, and bidding wars on the fewer listings hitting the market.

Why the shortage of homes for sale?  First, some home owners simply can’t sell since they have negative equity (they owe more than their home would sell for). Second, are home owners who can’t find a new home to upsize or downsize into that would allow them to put their existing home on the market.  Third is that some home owners are either unaware of the improved market for sellers or they are content to stay in their current home rather than over extend themselves. Fourth, are owners betting on continued prices gains over the coming months and years. A final factor has been the significant slowdown in new construction, up until last year, that typically helps alleviate the demand for more housing stock.

In addition to a reduced supply, demand has picked up with the influx of new hires (Amazon, Microsoft, etc). There is also a general belief that home prices and interest rates have only one direction to move and that is up.   Many renters have concluded that, with big jumps in rent, buying a home may be the wiser long term investment especially if they are able to lock in these historically low interest rates.

Home prices will continue to rise until there is more of supply/demand equilibrium.  If you are looking for a home there are a couple potential silver linings over the coming weeks and months. First, is that we are entering the historically seasonal high point for new inventory. Second, is that interest rates aren’t expected to move significantly upward until the end of the year at the earliest.

More stats on other Seattle neighborhoods can be found at

Tip:  The fewer contingences (i.e. finance, inspection) a home buyer has, the more attractive they are to a home seller, especially in multiple offer situations.  Believe it or not, buyer “love letters” to sellers can swing things into a buyer’s favor, just don’t overdo it.

John Madrid is a Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate – University Village and is a 2005-2012 Seattle Magazine “Five Star” Agent. His clients include both home buyers and sellers. He can be reached at 206-498-1880, or

Statistics are deemed reliable but are not guaranteed.  All information should be verified to the users own satisfaction.

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Emerald Bay Equity sells Eden Hill & Sweetbrier

June 28th, 2011 by Thea

Emerald Bay Equity has sold two Upper Queen Anne mixed-use retail/residential buildings – Eden Hill and the Sweetbrier – to affiliates of Deutsche Bank real-estate subsidiary RREEF for a total of $44 million, according to a report by The Seattle Times.

Eden Hill and the Sweetbrier are just two of EBE’s four-part 2.1 acre development plan for Queen Anne, called “The Collection”. The third and fourth phases of the development include the Seven Hills Apartments and Met Market Redevelopment, both of which are scheduled to break ground in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

EBE put all four properties in The Collection up for sale back in April, in the hopes of finding a solution for the projects’ financing challenges. At the time EBE principal Joe Geivett said he preferred the possibility of a joint venture over a sale, but ultimately opted to split the buildings in The Collection between EBE and RREEF in the deal.

Both Eden Hill and the Sweetbrier are apartment complexes with ground-floor retail, both of which were completed in the last three years. Together the buildings have a total of 84 residential units, and over 30,000 square feet of ground-level retail, the Times piece reports.

For more information on EBE’s ongoing developments on Queen Anne, including the forthcoming Seven Hills Apartments and Met Market Redevelopment, check out our ongoing coverage.

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Queen Anne real estate figures down in April

April 12th, 2011 by Jesus Chavez

Real estate figures for Queen Anne and Magnolia have not improved since February, according to Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate John Madrid.

Based on numbers from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, he said it was another difficult month for Queen Anne and Magnolia with prices down significantly compared to the same time last year, as well as being down from the numbers last month.

He’s cautiously optimistic, however, pointing out that the market is still in the “balanced” range at 4.28 months of inventory on the market.

The figures given by Madrid, which are also posted on his blog, can be compared to last month’s here.

Buyers in the region have plenty of homes to choose from, although selection has tapered down compared to a year ago, according to a NWMLS press release on March real estate activity for Western Washington.

“In fact, some urban core neighborhoods, such as Greenlake, Queen Anne and West Bellevue, are seeing very strong demand, and a waning supply of desirable homes for sale,” said President and COO of Coldwell Banker Bain Mike Grady in the NWMLS press release.

Overall, the current real estate statistics give reason for optimism when considering this year’s lack of the federal tax credits used by home buyers last year, said Grady.

“Most real estate professionals will be happy to move past the year-over-year comparisons that have been made the first few months of 2011, as they reflect the boost given home sales by last year’s Homebuyer Tax Credit,” said Grady. “Home sales are now standing on their own — without the benefit of incentives — and the market is actually behaving quite typically.”

NWMLS Director and President of Windermere Real Estate Company OB Jacobi agreed that the market is doing remarkably well without a stimulus.

“Considering that this time last year there was a rush of buyers trying to beat the tax credit deadline, to have the number of sales off just slightly points towards a strengthening market,” said Jacobi in the NWMLS press release.

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March Queen Anne real estate update

March 11th, 2011 by Jesus Chavez

The Queen Anne real estate market continued to favor home buyers last month, said Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate John Madrid.

“February was a tough month for home sellers in Queen Anne and Magnolia, with prices down significantly from February of last year,” said Madrid.

The figures given by Madrid, which were processed from Northwest Multiple Listing Service data and posted on his blog, can be compared to last month’s here.

In Queen Anne and Magnolia, the overall months of inventory is 5.7 months, which is up from 4.84 last month, according to Madrid’s figures. This makes selling homes a little more difficult, but this is still in the range of a “balanced market,” according to Madrid, which is much better than the figure from this same time last year.

“This is a big improvement from the over 9 months of inventory on the market in February 2010,” said Madrid, adding that homes are moving quicker due to more competitive house pricing. The average number of days on the market fell from 80 last year and 67 last month to 56 days in February.

Home prices were relatively flat compared to last month, with mean prices slightly down and median prices slightly up. The number of homes closed in February, 27, is down from January’s 33, but is up by two from last year’s figure.

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Latest real estate figures show the market is ripe for Queen Anne home buyers

February 16th, 2011 by Jesus Chavez

The current, and fleeting, combination of lowering home prices and low mortgage interest rates is favoring Queen Anne and Magnolia home buyers, said Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate John Madrid. With conditions expected to persist for another year, this makes it a difficult time for Queen Anne area sellers.

According to figures Madrid processed from Northwest Multiple Listing Service data, there was a 110 percent increase in new houses on the market with a 30 percent drop in the number of homes sold from Dec. 10 to Jan. 11. During the same period, the months of inventory numbers, or the amount of homes on the market divided by the average monthly sales, increased 80 percent from the month before and 14 percent from the same month last year.

Queen Anne and Magnolia home prices have suffered from the increasingly competitive market. The average price of homes sold in January dropped almost 17 percent compared to the previous month, and 14.5 percent compared to the same month last year. Similarly, the median price of homes in Queen Anne and Magnolia fell from $495,000 to $475,000, a 22 percent decrease from the same month last year ($600,000 in Jan. 2010). But home prices in the Queen Anne and Magnolia area remain relatively high, and homes priced on the higher end generally take more time to move.

But Queen Anne sellers still have a few reasons for optimism.

“We have a relatively strong market here, people want to be in the city,” said Madrid. “Queen Anne and Magnolia are definitely great communities where people want to be, so there will always be demand.”

With the increasingly competitive home pricing, the average time homes spend on the market fell compared to the year before, from 114 days to 67, according to Madrid in a post on his blog.

“A lot of buyers are finding new motivation to actually purchase because interest rates have started to tick up, which could be good news for sellers,” said Madrid. He added that “if a home is nicely updated and is competitively priced then there’s always going to be interest in those homes.”

Home sellers who are looking to trade up in the housing market will find this is the time to do it, said Madrid. Despite a lower than desired price for their current home, they’re likely to get a good price for a home on the higher end of the market, Madrid said.

The Seattle-area real estate market lagged behind the rest of the country 12 to 18 months with respect to the collapse of the housing market, which explains the dip in price we see relative to other parts of the country, said Madrid. Prices are expected to generally stabilize this year and then begin to slowly rise in 2012, but without the dramatic increases seen in 2004 through 2007.

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Plan to build tower near Space Needle nixed

August 7th, 2009 by Heidi

Developers have scrapped plans to build a 32-story residential tower on Denny Way a few blocks from the Space Needle, and the property is now for sale, reports the Seattle Times. Icon Tower was a tall, narrow condo building planned for a small, triangular parking lot (see in Google StreetView), and it would have been the tallest structure in close proximity to the Space Needle.

California developer Laconia purchased the property for $4.38 million in 2007.

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Million dollar condos get huge price cut

August 3rd, 2009 by Heidi

Prices have been slashed at the luxurious 200 West Highland condo development, which has a spectacular view right across from Kerry Park. 

Only two units have sold since they went on the market in March, leaving 23 homes still up for grabs.  Prices have been cut — one unit has been reduced nearly a million dollars. Prices start at $950,000 and spike to just over $3 million.  During an open house on Sunday, we got a peek from inside.

This is the million dollar view from the penthouse level.  Actually, make that a $3.15 million view of Elliott Bay. Other units face downtown.

This is the view you can buy from one of the “cheaper” units. 

Two and three bedroom homes have floor plans that range from 1,500 to 2,800 square feet, and they feature large, open spaces with custom hardwood floors and stone slab countertops.  And have I mentioned the view?

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Biotech firm moves into former P-I space

July 31st, 2009 by Heidi

Dendreon Corp., a Seattle-based biotechnology company focused on cancer research is subleasing the second and third floors of the building that formerly housed the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on lower Queen Anne.  According to CoStar Group, Dendreon will use the two floors of the five-story building for expansion as they search for permanent headquarters.  The P-I closed up shop on its print division earlier this year and now exists online only.

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Entrepreneur sells QA home for $4.3 million

July 31st, 2009 by Cory Bergman

Martin Tobias, the man behind quite a few Seattle startups, has sold one of Queen Anne’s most beautiful homes. Here’s the view from the living room:

The four bedroom, 3.5 bath house on West Prospect Street was featured in a recent Pacific Northwest magazine spread. Tech blogger Brian Dudley says Tobias sold the home for $4.3 million, down from the initial listing price last summer of $5.9 million. A former Microsoft employee, Tobias started Loudeye Techologies and recently started a site called

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