West Water, the saga continues


A few new comments and e-mails have come in about the latest marketing tactic deployed by the heavily marketed West Water condo complex, ex-Watermark(e) Apartments, south of Morgan Junction — a light show (equipment at right of above photo, taken late yesterday). The latest e-mail, from WSB reader Kerri, begs the question, how much marketing is TOO much marketing?

Is anyone other than me tired of West Water condominiums’ overzealous and trashy marketing campaign? I thought I would share the contact information for the person who takes credit for the sandwich boards every 200 feet going both directions on the viaduct, the posters staked every 15-20 feet up and down Fauntleroy and California, the dozen giant flags, used-car lot style balloons and now giant spotlight laser show that pollute the front of the building, etc….

Her name is Judy Gamel, office phone: (206) 216-7200.

I went in to complain tonight and she seemed pretty pleased with how successful their trashy marketing campaign has been so far. It sounds like they plan to keep it up full force until the building sells out.

36 Replies to "West Water, the saga continues"

  • Digg November 14, 2007 (1:45 pm)

    I wonder whoever takes down the signs on the pedestrian overpasses and the political campaign signs by the logs could do us all a favor and remove these. The signs start in Beacon Hill too by the Columbia Ave enternance to W. Seattle Bridge.

  • Venkat November 14, 2007 (1:54 pm)

    Man leaving ALL of the lights on in the building is so lame.

    They should be made aware of this.

  • Elizabeth November 14, 2007 (2:00 pm)

    Given the current real estate market and the obvious fact that the project is so cheaply done and substandard, I’m sure they feel the need to launch a ubiquitous and ‘in your face’ campaign. But hopefully it will backfire and many people in their target demo will refuse to even look because of the ugly, illegal (in the case of some of the signs) and overly aggressive marketing campaign. Historically, that has often been the case with these types of tactics, esp. in W. Seattle. I predict they’ll be sorry.

  • Angela November 14, 2007 (2:03 pm)

    I was wondering where those roaming sky lights were coming from last night. Geesh!!! All they are lacking is a marching band. :(

  • Manoli November 14, 2007 (2:23 pm)

    Actually, I have seen signs all the way to the Aurora Bridge on 99 and Broad street towards the Lake Union District.
    I wonder what their target customer base is with such marketing campaign? I am surprised there have not been any accidents in the area yet. I also wondered about the legality of the laser show myself. Do they have a permit? I truly feel bad for the neighbors in the area. I hope it will be over soon!

  • willamina c. November 14, 2007 (2:34 pm)

    They put signs up and down the freeway section of 99 on the other side of the water, too. That’s illegal, for those of you playing the home game: SMC 23.55.042 (B)(2).

    As for the roaming skylights, see the standards for glare in a midrise area, SMC 23.45.059(A).

    As for whether they care…well, they’re selling overpriced condos in a slumping housing market with admittedly one heck of a good location. Their target market appears to be desperate homebuyers, of which there are none to be found in these parts, though i admit if i were sitting on 250k, you could do worse. Shame about their garish, noxious, illegal tactics, though…

  • Jan November 14, 2007 (2:34 pm)

    I noticed their billboard this morning coming back over the Spokane Street Viaduct…good grief. Just remember they don’t care what the people in WS think….they’re only interested in making a buck…

  • Katherine November 14, 2007 (2:42 pm)

    They’re advertising them on KING-FM, too. It makes them sound really high end.

  • flipjack November 14, 2007 (3:02 pm)

    I saw a small group of musicians carrying violins and the like walking up the steps there one day. I’m sure they had some kind of string quartet playing.
    Yeah, do we really want the kind of folks that would fall for this hype living in our neighborhood?
    I would think those types would be just overjoyed that McDonalds is only a block away and leave it at that!

  • Bonnie November 14, 2007 (3:07 pm)

    I’ve seen there signs all the way down by Queen Anne and Wallingford. Why so far away? What’s up with that?

  • MargL November 14, 2007 (3:09 pm)

    More cowbell!

  • RS November 14, 2007 (3:34 pm)

    I’m not about to buy one of these places for lots of reasons, but y’all are being way harsh. The median home price in this town is INSANE and the rental market is shrinking. I only wish I could afford to buy a condo right now. Yes, the marketing is over the top and the building is a little garish, but let’s not take out our aggression on the people who may buy these places. They probably aren’t “falling for the hype” as much as they are just happy to find a place that more affordable than much of the rest of Seattle.

  • SomeGuy November 14, 2007 (3:44 pm)

    Am I the only one who thinks “Wastewater” with all the accompanying gross mental images?

  • Al November 14, 2007 (3:54 pm)

    Here’s more contact information for Judy:
    Judy Gamel, project director for Sapphire developer Gamel Investment Group.

  • cherylc November 14, 2007 (4:02 pm)

    I wondered where those spotlights were coming from. A five year old friend of my daughter suggested they were using spotlights because they were selling drugs! Her mom and I laughed and suggested that it was probably something else we didn’t want to buy. Which turns out to be true…

  • deb November 14, 2007 (4:03 pm)

    I hope they get a big fat fine for those sandwich boards.

    I was driving on southbound 99 a few days ago (before the big windstorm) and–upon seeing the 4,974th roadside West Water sandwich board–thought to myself, “Hm… Shouldn’t sandwich boards on high-speed roads and freeways be illegal? What if a strong wind blows this crap into the road? Wouldn’t that just be a tad dangerous? Exactly how are they getting away with this?”

    I now have my answer about the legality issue (thanks, willamina c!). I wonder if anyone bothers to enforce these laws though. Anyone know? What if enough people complain about the potential traffic-safety issues?

  • Kayleigh November 14, 2007 (4:23 pm)

    Do people really think Judy is going to dismantle the marketing campaign because people are complaining to her? Having said that, this really is heavy-handed…but it kinda goes with the over-the-top orange-ness of the place.

  • Bob Loblaw November 14, 2007 (4:35 pm)

    Just back from a business trip in Iowa. Saw three West Water sandwich boards in Ottumwa. This is getting out of hand …

  • joe November 14, 2007 (4:58 pm)

    I’ve been kicking over the sandwich boards every time I come across one. Juvenile, I know, but it’s become a bit of a game.

  • Scott Baio November 14, 2007 (5:02 pm)

    Big ups to you, Bob Loblaw. Love, Scott Baio

  • Mike November 14, 2007 (5:23 pm)

    A week or so ago, I actually caught some TV Ads as well…I think it was on FSN during a Husky game. Anyway, it was interesting, because the name of course caught my attention, but all the imagery was totally false advertising. They didn’t show 1 picture of the building, Cali Ave, etc. All the images were of people on Alki. I know most people associate Alki with West Seattle, but there is a big difference between the Gatewood area and Alki.

  • Jan November 14, 2007 (5:36 pm)

    SomeGuy…”wastewater” was the very first thing I thought of when I heard about the name. Sometimes ya just gotta think through those things…and the namer guy was a little lax, I suppose :)

  • Tracey November 14, 2007 (5:39 pm)

    They have placed ads in some of the local foreign language papers too. Saw one in Chinese this past weekend.

  • willamina c. November 14, 2007 (5:59 pm)

    you can call 311 to report such violations. it’s like abandoned cars, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. the catch, of course, is that oftentimes they just warn businesses politely, but the wastewater signs are really egregious.

    i left an uncharacteristically polite message on her voice mail with point citations and my phone number and email. want to place bets that this is ignored? seriously i wasn’t even passive-aggressive.

    i suppose you get to bend the rules if you’re in the real estate business, right? estate agents are like lawyers: the good ones are really good. i can tick off at least 5 good ones in WS alone. the bad ones, though…you’d never invite them to your dinner party and let’s just leave it at that.

  • Forest November 14, 2007 (6:07 pm)

    In light of its pushy sales tactics and its less than impressive construction quality, I predict that “whitewasher” will become the building’s neighborhood nickname.

  • JenV November 14, 2007 (6:19 pm)

    I saw the spotlights tonight, but reflected in the clouds and I thought they were UFOs.
    I want to believe.

  • Vio November 14, 2007 (6:45 pm)

    Have you seen the advertizing that claims the project is “steps to Alki Beach”? I guess technically that is not a lie, but I estimate that the number of steps to Alki Beach is in the 12,500 range… if you have really long legs.

    What a farce. I can only imagine what kind of demographic will be suckered in by all this sleaze. Will this building become known in West Seattle as “the house of fools” after the buyers move in? The developer must have hired some of the ol’ Huling boys to do the sales work.

  • Lou November 14, 2007 (8:15 pm)

    more cowbell! I love it. For those who don’t know, check it out on youtube.com http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSi0n3dTf_8

  • WSB November 14, 2007 (8:26 pm)

    Oh just you wait … we are about to upload video that needs cowbell, for sure. Mr. Videographer went down the hill to shoot the spotlights. If we had more time to fiddle around with editing programs, we’d add “Dark Side of the Moon” or something.

  • Cy November 14, 2007 (8:29 pm)

    I’m hoping it makes my house, that I have for sale in Arbor Heights, look all the better next to these disposable egg crate gerbil like living units. The spotlights are t-a-c-k-y and aren’t West Seattle at all. I might make a trip down there tonight just to engage in kicking down a few signs as well. Hmm, maybe I’ll wait till later and toss ’em in my truck and be done with them for good.

  • bsue November 14, 2007 (8:50 pm)

    SO OBNOXIOUS! I couldn’t believe it when i saw sandwich boards every few blocks near the Aurora Bridge. What a total waste of resources. I feel bad for all the neighbors that have to deal with the spotlights.

  • bj November 14, 2007 (9:39 pm)

    I for one can’t stand the advertising. It’s false! Makes you think you are at Alki when we all know how far away it is. I heard that there were several sales opening weekend but by Monday there were many recissions. Guess the buyers got smart.
    Very tacky building.

  • sassy November 17, 2007 (3:39 pm)

    That building is uber tacky – who thinks orange is attractive?

  • Jim Reppond November 29, 2007 (3:54 pm)

    Another blog that shows how badly this is being handled.


  • S.Hoff April 25, 2008 (9:38 am)

    Hello, I’ve just come across this blog… pretty neat. I lived in West Seattle for a year or so and was absolutely in love with the community. I have worked for the company that developed West Water (Mastro Properties) for years now, in fact that is why I lived in West Seattle, when they were putting up the Skyline Apartments (which now are condos I belive).
    I’m disappointed that West Water has effected the community negatively, I know that was definitely not Mastro Properties’ goal whatsoever. In fact, they understand the importance of ” melting in” to the community so to speak. Are these issues still continuing? If so, please let me know what I may be able to assit with, as I know that Mastro Properties (the owner of the building, not the developer) would like to make things right.
    As I see it, if these small issues could be resolved, the past could be put behind us all, and the West Water may bring in new commerce, new shops and companies and will add to the wonderful community of West Seattle.

  • Kat Cornett April 30, 2008 (12:08 pm)

    I am a real estate agent, I currently have clients that are purchasing at Westwater Condominiums located in Seattle. They absolutely loved the outdoor setting with the fire place and the beautiful furniture and incredible views. On the many tours I have taken clients thru, I have had no negative repsonses to the decor, salesmanship or marketing at Westwater. They have all commented on the high craftsmanship of the building, and are extremely impressed with the overall view of the condominiums.

    My vote is that Westwater Condominiums in Seattle, are a benefit to West Seattle, and will bring great commerce into this already wonderful city.

    – K

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