Winter Arrives at the Olympic Sculpture Park

December 21st, 2008
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Winter Solstice Snow Storm at the Olympic Sculpture Park

The Olympic Sculpture Park’s Eagle is admired by a Snowman on the 2008 Winter Solstice.

Expo 62 Condos Converted to Axis Apartments

July 20th, 2008

Expo 62 Axis Apartments on May 28, 2008

Expo 62′s branding was widely criticized by many in the Seattle real estate community, but at least the brand was distinctive. Prometheus Real Estate Group, the apartment developer who acquired Expo 62 from Intracorp, has rebranded the development as Axis Apartments.

Axis Apartments Logo
- Or -

Expo 62 Site from 2007

Has renting in downtown Seattle become more expensive than owning? Or perhaps Axis Apartments is highly ambitious? I purchased a condo at Parc Belltown in March, and I pay less per month to own a comparable unit than it now costs to rent at Axis Apartments.

Axis Apartments Floorplans Beds Baths Monthly Rent
0 Bed 1 Bath Studio 1 $1175-$1425
1 Bed 1 Bath 1 1 $1450-$1996
1X1 Plus Den 1 1 $1555-$2310
Live/Work Lofts 1 1.5 $1785-$3520
2 Beds 2 Baths 2 2 $2145-$2900
Penthouse 2 2 $2870-$3980

The most interesting floorplans are the two-story townhouse style live/work lofts with direct sidewalk access. These units have become increasingly popular and typically sell for $400-600k as condos, but I’m not aware of any that are available for rent in traditional apartment communities like Axis. Where else can you rent a two-level live/work loft in an apartment building near downtown Seattle?

Gallery Belltown Closing Schedule

May 28th, 2008

Gallery Belltown announced their newest closing scheduled tonight at a private buyers event at the Space Needle. Floors 1-5 are now scheduled to close in August, with floors 6-9 following in September, and floors 10-13 set to close by the end of October.

Gallery Belltown, June 4th, 2008

Construction is moving along now with the exterior of Gallery nearly complete. Part of me really wishes I had bought at Gallery rather than the Parc, but the 30% price jump for a similar unit was just too much to bear. Once complete, Gallery will likely be the best looking building in Belltown other than Mosler Lofts, which was also architected by Mithun.

Urchin 6 Web Analytics Software from Google

April 16th, 2008

Urchin 6 from Google Header

Urchin 6 was officially released today at ad:tech San Francisco. Urchin 6 marks the first update to the Urchin analytics platform since Urchin Software Corporation was acquired by Google in April 2005. Since Urchin’s acquisition, Google has transformed the Urchin On Demand hosted service into the immensely popular (and free!) Google Analytics. This success was lost on many of the most demanding Urchin users who require data privacy, collection of personally identifiable information, historical profile data reprocessing, or analytics for firewalled intranet sites — all of which require functionality that Google Analytics could never deliver by its very nature.

urchin 6 analytics dashboard Urchin Software Authorized Consultant

Urchin 6 is offered in a one-size-fits-all licensing configuration. A one-time licensing fee of $2,995 USD buys you an Urchin license which includes free upgrades to any future 6.x releases. If you purchased an Urchin 5 license, every dollar you spent on Urchin 5 licensing will be applied as a discount against the $2,995 USD Urchin 6 license. Every Urchin 6 license includes:

  • 1,000 Profiles
  • Campaign Tracking
  • Ecommerce Tracking
  • Unlimited Log Sources

Urchin 6 is available exclusively through Google’s network of Urchin Software Authorized Consultants. Whether you are new to Urchin, or have been waiting for Urchin 6 for years, I would love to talk with you about how Urchin can change the way you think about analytics. Please contact me at POP with any and all questions you may have about Urchin 6. As Urchin Software Authorized Consultants, we provide superior technical and performance marketing consulting.

Expo 62 Condos Sold into Apartments

January 16th, 2008

With only 17 of 114 units sold, condo developer Intracorp bailed out of its Expo 62 development at 2nd and John St. in Lower Queen Anne. The project is now expected to be completed in summer 2008 as luxury apartments.

Expo 62 Sold as Apartments

There has been much debate within the Seattle real estate community about the underlying cause of this projects failure. Most people pin the blame on the disconnected and bizarre marketing creative or simply the overall decline of market conditions. I was personally vested in Expo 62 as a buyer. I’ve spent the last year continuously researching this building and I feel I can offer a more specific point of failure within the marketing strategy itself.

Expo 62′s unit inventory was released in phases. Initially, only 30 units were offered for pre-sale, most of which were among the least desirable in the building. The 27 condo units selected were not representative of the building as a whole, while the 3 live/work lofts were representative and successful with 2/3 selling immediately. The 27 initial condo units were on lower floors, and did not include the more expensive floorplans available in the building. On numerous occasions in the sales center, visitors were confused about why they couldn’t buy the unit they wanted and simply walked out frustrated. During this “phase 1″ of pre-sales between March and July of 2007, 13/30 available units were sold. This indicates that during the final 6 months, only 4 additional units were sold.

As soon as the market slowed and the rain began, this strategy completely backfired and saw Intracorp making a last ditch attempt to attract interest by updating the Expo62.com website to show all units as available, even the units that were pre-sold at the time. The moral of the story is that no matter what industry you do business in, if your marketing strategy doesn’t allow your sales staff to sell people what they want – when they want it… the competition will.

Google Analytics Bimetric Trend Graphing Beta

December 13th, 2007

Earlier today, I noticed a new Google Analytics legend icon between the graph area and the date range tool. My first reaction was an optimistic thought that Google had finally enabled plotting of multiple trends in the graphs of each report suite.

Google Analytics Graphing Beta

It looks fantastic, but just imagine how effective these graphs will be when they hopefully achieve the same level of functionality as the Google Finance graphing tools. Next, Google could easily offer the option to graph each table row of report results as a series by placing a check box to the left of each row to enable the series. This functionality would be especially useful in organic search trending reports, with each series representing visits from either individual search engines or keywords.

Some of my favorite graph metric pairings so far are:

  • Revenue vs. Cost
  • RPC vs. CPC
  • Visits vs. Visitors
  • Visits vs. Pages/Visit

Expo 62 over Gallery Belltown

November 12th, 2007

After months of research and two earnest money backed reservations at both Expo 62 and Gallery, I have finally settled on my next condo purchase. Expo 62 is my choice at a $300-375k price point.

Expo 62 from East

Expo 62 unit 407 is actually located on effectively the 3rd floor, which provides sound and dalmatian absorbing concrete construction beneath. At only 454 square feet, this unit is much smaller than the unit I was purchasing at Gallery. However, this unit includes a 150 square foot terrace, with excellent and virtually guaranteed views of the Space Needle and Pacific Science Museum arches for all time. With the seemingly endless new condo construction in Seattle’s lower queen anne and belltown neighborhoods, the only view I am interested in investing in is one that could never be obstructed. There is barely enough room for my condo home theater, but it will definitely fit while taking advantage of the flexible acoustic environment that this unit in particular offers.

Expo 62 Entrance

I should also point out that I only began actively searching for new construction condos again after Gallery decided to split all of their awesome 2-story Sky Loft plans into 1-story 600 square foot open one bedroom plans. I feel that this will negatively affect the value and potential appreciation of open one bedroom units in less desirable sections of the building. This design change also dramatically increased the number of units in the building, and while the amenities at Gallery are superior, I would prefer to share them with a few dozen $650k+ Sky Loft residents rather than twice as many $375k open one bedroom residents. Ultimately, the luxury proposition of Gallery has been sacrificed for the profitability of the development, and as a result I am no longer willing to pay the luxury concrete and steel premium.

70 WallyPower Open For Sale

September 22nd, 2007

My dream yacht is for sale! I am fairly certain that only one of the open version models has ever been produced. It’s unfortunate that 2.7 Euros is equivalent to 3.8 dollars and also that I don’t live in Monaco.

70-wallypower-open.jpg

The 70 WallyPower Open is powered by two MTU diesel engines generating 3,000 Hp driving KaMeWa water-jets, providing a speed that during the first sea trials reached 47.5 knots half load, and 45 knots full load at continuous duty with a consumption of only 250 litres – 66 US gallons per hour!

The advert image actually doesn’t show the open design of the yacht as well as this image does. I especially like the carbon fiber dining table.

70-wallypower-open-back.jpg

Google and Omniture Certifications

September 14th, 2007

POP sent me back to school! Apparently, marketing geeks get certified too. After all, what better way to create new revenue sources than to sell you something that says you know how to use the other thing we just sold you… Brilliant!

google_qualified_company.jpg omniture_certified_professional_implementation.gif

CCNA had such a nice ring to it. Google AdWords Qualified Company / GAQC just doesn’t roll of the tongue as easily.

Down with OCP? I would have branded this certification as Omniture Certified Developer because OCD is probably a good description of most analysts, myself included. Despite considering this name, Omniture finally decided on Omniture Certified Professional: Implementation

Gallery Condominiums in Belltown

August 7th, 2007

If you’re single and don’t need a huge floorplan, definitely check out the open 1 bedroom plans at the Gallery sales center. Apparently, I’m now single and as a direct result have purchased unit #310. Kate Dog will have a nice balcony from which to blend in with the white architectural design element.

Gallery Condominiums - Belltown