The sky-high rents at Cirrus, a 41-story luxury-apartment building across the street from Amazon’s towers, testify to demand for close-in, upscale housing.
When it comes to monthly rents in downtown Seattle, $2,000 doesn’t go as far as it used to.
At Cirrus, a new 41-story luxury-apartment tower at Westlake and Eighth — across the street from Amazon.com’s growing high-rises — the average rent on a one-bedroom unit is $2,903, not including utilities or parking.
That sky-high figure compares to the average rent of $1,620 citywide and $2,038 in downtown Seattle for newly leased one-bedroom apartments, based on a recent survey by Apartment Insights Washington.
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But the building, named after a type of cloud, puts residents next to the leader in cloud computing and within a few blocks of a half-dozen other corporate headquarters.
“It felt like a deal compared to what others were charging,” said Jessica Ahlering, 31, who recently moved from Los Angeles into a 625-square-foot unit at Cirrus after touring 10 downtown properties. “My space is very important to me. I wanted to make sure to find something I really liked.”
Ahlering, who works at Nordstrom headquarters, said she appreciated the attention to detail in the units: Large bedrooms that can accommodate a king-size bed and other furniture. Nearly 10-foot ceilings. High-end finishes in cabinetry and flooring. A kitchen island.
Nearly half the units have a spa bathroom with a double vanity, a glass shower with a bench and soaking tub. About 70 percent of the units have a balcony.
Ahlering said a big perk is the 41st-floor common area, where she works out in a gym with views of the Space Needle and Lake Union. She invites friends over to eat in the clubhouse and drink wine on the rooftop terrace, warmed by overhead heat lamps. There’s also a separate game room with table tennis, billiards, foosball and a poker table.
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“It feels like an escape,” she said of the 41st floor.
The average rent on a two-bedroom unit runs $4,175 a month for 1,156 square feet. And the 16 three-bedroom penthouses on the 39th and 40th floors rent for as much as $7,500 a month.
A reserved parking spot? That’s $225 a month extra.
Pets? Another $25 a month. Residents with dogs must participate in dog DNA registration, a growing trend at apartment properties that allows managers to identify pet owners who don’t pick up after their pooch.
A temperature-controlled wine-storage locker? $25 a month.
Just over a third of the 355 units are leased, said a spokeswoman for Boston-based GID Development Group, which paid $13.4 million for the land in 2013 and hired Seattle architecture firm Weber Thompson to design Cirrus.
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GID is so gung-ho it’s building a second tower called Stratus, just across Lenora Street, that it hopes to open in 2017.
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Up to 10 percent of the units could be leased by local employers as an alternative to hotels for temporarily housing employees. Already six units have been leased for corporate housing, according to Cirrus.
So who’d pay $3,000 a month in rent — more than a mortgage on the median-priced home in Seattle?
Highly paid tech-industry workers, say leasing specialists: Their work can be transient — in Seattle today, in San Francisco tomorrow. Moreover, turnover is high at some companies: According to a Payscale.com report in 2013, Amazon.com’s median tenure was one year.
Ahlering, who had lived in Seattle for just over a decade before a two-year stint in Los Angeles, chose to rent at Cirrus even though she owns a condo elsewhere in the city.
“I wanted to be able to walk to work,” she said.