Reader report: Gables condo conversion slowing?


That was the scene outside the West Ridge Park apartment complex on Delridge in mid-summer, as the complex advertised cheerily for “month-to-month” and “short-term” renters while proceeding with plans to convert to condos and rename the complex “Gables,” under the umbrella of Mosaic Homes, which recently turned the Graham Street Apartments into “Strata.” We had been wondering why we hadn’t seen any stirrings of marketing yet for Gables, though the city permit files show work aplenty; this note from a reader may give us a clue:

Thought you might be interested to find out that the West Ridge Park Apartments are no longer going to be converted to condos anytime in the near future. I am a resident there and recently inquired to find out when I would receive my 90-day notice to vacate. The front office worker told me that I wouldn’t be receiving a notice because the real estate market had turned and the remaining buildings were no longer going to be converted (at least for a while). They have begun the conversion of four of the buildings, which are almost finished, but according to the worker, the owners haven’t decided what to do with them once they are finished. She thought they may either keep them vacant for purchase at a later date or eventually lease them out.

We have a message out to Mosaic asking for comment; will let you know if they respond.

9 Replies to "Reader report: Gables condo conversion slowing?"

  • Jan November 16, 2007 (1:01 pm)

    interesting…I’m sure Sue will have something to say about this, as she was one who moved out. One really does have to wonder what the “saturation” point is, I suppose…

  • Sue November 16, 2007 (1:02 pm)

    You know, I’m not normally a person who wishes ill-will on anyone or on a business, but as a former West Ridge Park resident, I have to say this just made my day. Those people caused us (and so many people we knew there) such grief, stress, moving expense to break a lease to get out of there, had half their complex move out – when the place was filled with great people with a sense of community – and now they’ve got a large portion that is partially constructed, unrentable, loss of all the funds they put into it. I’m glad to see them suffer some hardship over it, quite honestly.
    I wonder if Strata (Graham Street) isn’t selling as they hoped, so they got scared for Gables?
    Although, if you ask me, a look at this link probably tells more of the story about why it’s not happening than simply a “market turn”: – according to DPD, they’ve failed or “partially complied” with every inspection they’ve done on the place, including the latest on 10/26. I thought the inspection reports were very telling about the quality (or non-quality, would be more like it) of the original rental project and the main reason we didn’t buy our unit.
    Henry Popkin (original owner of WRP) must be laughing all the way to the bank. He had a wonderful complex that he sold for top dollar to people who were greedy and thought they’d capitalize on the market without regard to the renters there, and if you ask me, the new owners got what they deserve.

  • Kayleigh November 16, 2007 (1:29 pm)

    I don’t blame you, Sue.

    Does anyone know how well Strata or West Water have been selling? I couldn’t find any good info.

  • Jan November 16, 2007 (1:52 pm)

    what’s that saying, Sue? Karma’s a bitch? :)

  • MJD November 16, 2007 (1:57 pm)

    My BF and I lived there for about 2 years before it was sold to Mosaic and were quite happy with the community. When we received notice we moved out within a month, fearing that it would be impossible to find an affordable lease in West Seattle. The month that we stayed couldn’t pass by quick enough, the new management company seemed impersonal and incompetent, it just went to show how cutting the corners on cost really does ruin a good thing. (They even turned off the street lights within the complex at night!)
    This made my day!

  • G. Williams November 16, 2007 (2:28 pm)

    Very interesting…I live near that complex. Guess my sense that the place had taken a turn for the worse wasn’t just my imagination!

  • cleat November 16, 2007 (2:55 pm)

    The worst part for good solid renters is this is happening all over Seattle… it happend to me in a 50s brick apartment on Queen Anne .. The new absentee owner and local management ran the place into the ground trying to get around having to pay us the condo conversion relocation fees by more than doubling rents …. I hope those kind of people rot in hadies!!! How many peoples lives can they ruin and still get away with it?

  • m November 16, 2007 (3:07 pm)

    I saw a huge ad in the Real Estate section of the Times last Sunday where West Water has supposedly sold 30% of the units already.
    I haven’t seen anything about Strata yet.

    I’m glad to see at least one complex will remain as apartments. There is no need to convert so many crappy buildings into condos and to displace so many renters, just so someone can make a quick buck.

  • Bill B November 16, 2007 (4:15 pm)

    about 1/3 of West Water is under contract. I don’t think any of them have closed yet. Haven’t looked at Strata for awhile…

Sorry, comment time is over.