First Hill Welcomes New Luxury Tower

Luma condominiums build on the renewed appeal of an old Seattle neighborhood

By Haley Durslag

0616essentialsrealestate_0

May 16, 2016

This article originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood, named for the first incline encountered by 19th-century pioneers as they arrived on the east shores of Elliott Bay, will bear witness to another first this summer as residents begin moving into units at Luma condominiums: the first luxury condominium tower to be built in the area since 1982.

Developed by Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group, the 24-story building is located in a neighborhood still dotted with mansions, gardens and churches built in the early 1900s by some of Seattle’s first families. “First Hill originally rose to popularity in the 1890s as a location close enough to downtown, but far enough away to offer a sense of retreat for its residents,” says Suzi Morris, senior vice president at Lowe Enterprises.

That appeal continues today, she says, as do the added developments of a “Pavement to Parks” space (a city project that transforms underutilized spaces into public places), a new streetcar operating between Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill, and an upcoming Whole Foods grocery store. “First Hill has become even more accessible and livable,” says Morris.

First Hill is also known as “Pill Hill” due to several major hospitals located in the neighborhood. The Luma lot itself was home to a medical clinic before being converted into the 168 luxe residences designed to appeal to a wide variety of Seattleites, from urban professionals and entrepreneurs to empty nesters.

Inside Luma, a typical unit boasts 9-foot-high ceilings, water and mountain views, and premium materials that include engineered hardwood floors and Carrara slab marble countertops in the bathroom. The tower also has earned the designation of LEED Silver through the use of locally sourced materials, its energy efficiency and the responsible disposal of construction waste. “Our goals for these homes were to be timeless and efficient as well as beautiful,” says Carrie Smith, principal of interior design at Weber Thompson and design lead for Luma.

Luma’s exterior is encased in an alternating pattern of black and white glass, onto which is cast luminous reflections of the city from all directions. The term “luma” refers to the quality of light as it comes through black-and-white film and was another deliberate decision by Smith, further illustrating the project’s aim of representing the classic and contemporary elements of city living.

Site Visit
Property: Luma condominiums (liveluma.com)
Developer: Lowe Enterprises  
Designer: Weber Thomson
Number of Units: 168  
Unit Size: 602–1,721 square feet
Price: From the low $500,000s to more than $1 million
Move-In Date: Summer 2016

 

The redesign corrected inefficient layouts and awkward connections to the home’s decks.

AIA Home: Goodbye 1970

Family fixes design flaws to bring midcentury home into modern era

“Treehouse” by Floisand Studio Architects returns to glory a Ralph D. Anderson home that had lost its compass. Nick and Rachel Lenington purchased the 1970 Mercer Island home in 2010, attracted to the quiet neighborhood because of its midcentury vibe, big, west-facing windows, and abundant wildlife. An advertised water view didn’t really pan out, but…

Photography by Netra Nei

Living: This Kitchen Really Cooks

Remodel preserves Victorian charm

Raised on an off-the-grid ranch in southern Oregon, Mandy Lozano took a don’t-fence-me-in approach to renovating her kitchen in Seattle’s Squire Park neighborhood. She sought to balance a respect for the 1900 Victorian’s heritage with a genetic predisposition toward creative license. “I don’t care for modern technology that much, and I don’t like fussy or…

IMG_1752 hero-min

It Costs What? High-End Seattle-Area Homes Skyrocket in Price

The rise in pricey homes throughout Seattle is nothing short of astonishing

It’s no secret that housing prices are skyrocketing. Some new numbers, however, may send you into a fit of apoplexy. A study by home buying and selling service Orchard finds that the Seattle region has experienced a whopping 180% increase in the sale of million-dollar homes in just three years. So far in 2022, almost…

The roof slopes to the south for greater solar-panel efficiency and the one-car garage was among several tradeoffs to improve energy efficiency.

Seattle Passive House Respects The Environment

Passive House in Ballard treats the environment with respect

Rade and Eli Trimceski didn’t set out to save the planet when they commissioned their new home in Ballard, but the planet sent its regards anyway. Designed and built by First Lamp Architects of Seattle, the project was named the Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) National Home of the Year in 2020.  Billed as “the…

IMG_1 copy 2-cropped

Why This Tiny Cottage in Shoreline Works For a Family of Four

Why our tiny house makes sense

We live in a world full of hacks, loopholes and workarounds that often lead to more work and dead ends. When my wife, Kristy, and I discovered a way to live mortgage free, it seemed too good to be true. There had to be a catch. Six years later, we are still living out that…

The project resulted in an extra 5,000 square feet of floor space and a refacing of parts of the facade.

Seattle’s Former Columbia Congregational Church and Allied8: A Match Made in Heaven

The former Columbia Congregational Church was in disrepair before architectural firm Allied8 came to the rescue

The Columbia Congregational Church was harshly thrust into an uncertain future in the secular world.   It was founded in 1891, two years before the Columbia City neighborhood. The densely forested site was ringed by marshlands and served as the gateway to the untamed Rainier Valley. At the time, it was a common practice to donate…