For some reason in the last 4-5 years developers decided that buyers would warm up to a studio. I want to go on the record and say it is a waste of time, money and resources. Studios work in Boston. Studios also are popular in New York. Seattle is not a market for a studio. I’m sure a few of you will argue with me and I can understand why. I already know what you will say:
1. It allows a lower price barrier of entry.
2. It serves a minimalist that doesn’t need the space.
3. They allow developers to make more money on the 1, 1.5, and 2 bedroom units.
4. I own one, don’t offend me (Owning as studio is ok, building more studios in Seattle is not)
I can see the points above and consider some of them valid. However, we don’t have the density of a NYC or Boston. Somewhere along the line, design consultants tricked our local developers into thinking that there is a difference between an “open one bedroom” and a studio. Lets set the record straight; an “open one bedroom” is a studio. So when the Seattle market was flooded with high priced units offering un-orignal space, I think it was a major mistake. Thus far, the public rejected it and the projects are having difficulty selling out. I’m not pointing the finger at any one person. With that being said, moving forward I reccomend that builder/developers ask the consumer what they want.
What is the best layout of a unit?
How much space do you need?
Do you want more sqaure footage in the bedroom or living areas?
Are you willing to buy a unit where your guests might see your dirty laundry and your bed?!?
Doing more homework and surveying local buyers who haven’t purchased would go a long way. Developers can adapt to more transparancy. I think buyers know what they want. Developers could build success stories by reaching out to their customers and getting great feedback. From what I have heard thus far, it would be much more successful than quickly building a product and shoving it down the throats of the local condo buyers. I would suggest that the development community work together from here on out and build something that we “all” believe in.