A press release from April 12th describes the recent sale of all thirteen homes at Montana Circle. The announcement was met with significant local media attention, as features in The Puget Sound Business Journal, the Daily Journal of Commerce and Curbed Seattle soon followed. As the press release reads: The developer of Fort Lawton, RISE Properties has announced that all thirteen homes at Montana Circle are sold. These new homeowners are the first private residents in the history of Fort Lawton.
“We are currently pending on four properties with nine closed, said Gary Blakeslee, Vice President for RISE Properties. “In less than three-months, Montana Circle is effectively sold out and we are now working on the restoration of Officer’s Row, located up the hill from Montana Circle.”
The homes that have closed at Montana Circle sold for an average of $484 a square foot; sales prices have increased with each subsequent home release. There were four 2-bedroom and nine 3-bedroom homes for a total of thirteen legacy residences. All sold at or slightly above the listing price to owners who share a passion for the outdoors and historic residences.
“The results demonstrate that we priced the homes correctly which was important to us,” added Blakeslee. “Fort Lawton is a real estate microclimate which certainly is influenced by market trends but at the end of the day, it's unique to itself. There is no other community like it in the city and our goal was to be successful in attracting residents who want to live at Fort Lawton and be stewards of these stately homes and Discovery Park. The community of buyers at Montana Circle are a great indicator going into sales debut of Officer’s Row this summer.”
“I love historic homes because there is a lot of truth in the saying, “They don’t build ‘em like they used to,” said Ken Bryan, the first owner at Montana Circle. “A historic house that has been thoughtfully renovated to modern living standards while preserving its original character is quite an accomplishment. I have been very impressed with the improvements behind the walls as well as the visible craftsmanship in these homes.”
Officer’s Row is now the last opportunity for homeownership at Fort Lawton. The collection of thirteen grand homes is a mix of classic colonial revival architecture, built in 1900. While all the exteriors will be meticulously restored (per landmark guidelines) the homes’ interiors will be expertly renovated by a world-class design team, led by GGLO, with a nod to a contemporary lifestyle. These residences range from 4,027 to more than 6,600 sq. ft. and will include a newly-built two car garage. All of the homes include expansive covered terraces that offer commanding views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountain Range. Rise Properties is serving as the master developer with a team of talented trade professionals.
“Each officer’s quarter has its own unique personality and will only be offered for sale when fully renovated,” said Blakeslee. “We anticipate that the first home will be available in July 2016 and the last residences will be ready for sale by the end of this year. We have learned from Montana Circle that it’s a detailed restoration process and our commitment is to quality. We are meticulous when it comes to bringing these stately homes back to the future, so each release date will be determined by the renovation schedule.”
In preparation for the summer sales debut, Rise Properties has announced the Officer’s Club. The Officer’s Club is a tailored program for qualified buyers interested in purchasing one of the last thirteen homes at Fort Lawton. Members in the Officer’s Club will receive priority sales information, preferred access to private events on an invitation-only basis, and most importantly an opportunity to reserve a specific home at Officer’s Row before priced and released for sale.
“Following a successful public debut and tour of the Homes at Montana Circle, we are excited to commence the restoration and sales process at Officer’s Row,” said Stephanie McMahon, Community Sales Director at Fort Lawton. “Our unique Officer’s Club program is designed to be high-touch, enriching and convenient for qualified homebuyers seeking priority sales information in this limited residential opportunity.”
Marc Stiles of The Puget Sound Business Journal featured the homes in a piece entitled “Why this Seattle housing developer doesn’t want to whip buyers into a frenzy.” As Stiles outlines, the initial open houses and sales events at Montana Circle created a frenzy that discouraged potential buyers: “’I think the serious buyers were confused or intimidated by the crowds, and fearful that the homes they wanted would go for hundreds of thousands of dollars above the asking price,’ said Gary Blakeslee, vice president for the developer, Rise Properties. ‘In the end, a lot of people didn’t make offers.’”
And while RISE Properties responded with less media attention and events, Stiles points out that “as counterintuitive as it sounds, it worked,” given that each of the first thirteen “closed sales were 10 percent above asking prices.”
Those looking to own a piece of history need only wait until this summer, and Stiles outlines the “Officer’s Club,” a members-only collective “whose members will be invited to ‘salon events’ to talk about the restoration and what it’s like living in a landmarked neighborhood.” While pricing is not final, Stiles says the homes will “be comparable on a square-foot basis to those that sold in the first phase” which means “prices for the Officer’s Row homes would be from more than $1.9 million to nearly $3.2 million.”
Curbed Seattle was thrilled to share the news as Sean Keeley reported that “All 13 Montana Circle Homes at Fort Lawton Sold Out.” While Montana Circle no longer offers opportunities for ownership, Keeley points out that “there’s still a chance to get in on Fort Lawton with the Officer’s Row homes.” He continues by describing the exclusivity of these soon-to-be-released properties, as “those thirteen homes date back to 1900 and they’ve been meticulously restored by GGLO and others.”
The Daily Journal of Commerce likewise shared in the announcement, in a feature entitled “First 13 homes at Fort Lawton sold; last 13 go on the market this year.” In the article, the Journal elaborates on the upcoming Officer’s Row homes, describing that “these houses range from 4,027 to 6,600 square feet. They will have new two-car garages and terraces with views of Puget Sound and the Olympics. Blakeslee said the first home in Officer’s Row will be available for sale in July, and all will be on the market by the end of the year.”