This article appears in the October 2019 issue. Click here for a free subscription.
There used to be an us-and-them divide between homeowners and renters (with the latter definitely getting the lower-caste treatment). But that homeowner superiority complex is, for the most part, a bygone relic, and the urban luxury apartment — with its seductive A-to-Z array of amenities — is today’s status dwelling. Many of these posh pillars do offer apartments starting at about $2,500 per month. But, of course, it’s always more fun at the top. And we were floored by these literally lofty penthouses, with their figuratively sky-high five-figure monthly rents.
South Lake Union
Kiara, 111 Terry Ave. N.
The overview: Right in the beating heart of Amazonia, the shimmering glass-and-steel, 41-story Kiara tower is home to 461 superslick apartments. Unsurprisingly, the property is wired with smart-home technology, from “learning” thermostats to cell boosters. It’s also stacked with now-requisite rooftop barbecues, and has a pool-table-equipped game room and another room with nine screens dedicated to sports viewing. Its 39th and 40th floors feature three-bedroom, three-bath penthouses that offer magnificent views of city skyline, mountains, Lake Union and Puget Sound. Tasty diversions are ubiquitous in this bar- and restaurant-laden spot.
Inside and out: All Kiara penthouses include floor-to-ceiling windows with views, private terraces and appealing open layouts with 10-foot ceilings. Plus, there are lots of luxe elements — engineered oak hardwoods, quartz countertops, a gas fireplace, walk-in closets by California Closets, a wet bar — and tech touches, like a Lutron lighting-control system and electric towel warmers. Kitchens gleam with cabinetry finished in glossy white lacquer or black-stained oak and stainless steel Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, including gas cooktops and a built-in wine cooler. Master baths impress with dual vanities, dual showerheads, freestanding tubs, and sleek Symmons fixtures and Toto toilets. Rising above the rest is Penthouse 3904, which occupies the top southwest corner and claims two stories’ worth of floor-to-ceiling windows and their intoxicating views.
The details: $15,220–$22,025 per month • Built in 2018 • 2,417–2,592 square feet • 3 beds, 3 baths • Walk score: 98 • Transit score: 95 • Bike score: 83
Architect/builder/developer: Weber Thompson, Holland Partner Group
Leasing: 206.899.0932, kiaraseattle.com
ELEGANT ABODES: Stellar views abound at Bellevue's Two Lincoln Tower.
Two Lincoln Tower, 10485 N.E. Sixth St.
The overview: Talk about hitting the location trifecta: Two Lincoln Tower’s 218 elegant abodes sit above the trendy W Hotel, within downtown Bellevue’s business core, and close to more than 50 restaurants, 200 shops and two cinemas, courtesy of Kemper Development’s other high-end creation: The Bellevue Collection. The crown jewels of the tower’s dwellings are its 40th-floor three-bedroom, three-bath penthouses. Residents enjoy access to a climate-controlled wine storage room, pet-washing station and two state-of-the-art fitness centers with wood saunas. Outdoor lures nearby include Bellevue Downtown Park and the newly opened waterfront park, Meydenbauer Bay Park.
Inside and out: Two Lincoln has seven superdeluxue penthouses, including a number of two-story options (one of which was home to M’s icon Edgar Martinez). These beauties of soaring wood and stone enclose three bedrooms and three and a half baths. Stellar city and Cascade views are easily summoned or dismissed via motorized shades. Lower levels are graciously (and spaciously, at 3,700 square feet) devoted to the living and dining rooms, kitchen, and one bedroom and full bathroom. The kitchen is all about professional-grade accoutrements: stainless steel Wolf appliances, including a double wall oven, drawer microwave, Sub-Zero refrigerator, butler’s pantry and temperature-controlled wine storage. Reclining upstairs is the master bedroom and its swanky six-piece bathroom suite, which includes dual vanity sinks, a makeup vanity area, two separate water closets, a freestanding tub, and dual showerheads and rain shower. Splashy, all around.
The details: $20,325–$21,700 per month • Built in 2017 • 2,867–3,759 square feet • 3 beds, 3.5 baths • Walk score: 91 • Transit score: 60 • Bike score: 57
Architect/interior designer: HKS, Susan Marinello Interiors
Builder/developer: GLY Construction, Kemper Development Company
Leasing: 425.460.5755, liveattwolincolntower.com
West Edge, 1430 Second Ave.
The overview: This 38-floor, 339-unit tower, designed by Seattle’s own “starchitect” Tom Kundig, is one block from Pike Place Market and within touching distance of some classic Seattle eateries and entertainment, including The Triple Door and Seattle Art Museum. (The property’s proximity to light-rail service and the waterfront ferry helped earn it a perfect transit score of 100.) The built-in attractions include a seven-story lobby atrium, pet lounge, top-floor fitness club and cozy library. The 37th and 38th floors host two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath penthouses that come with glass-walled decks and iconic mountain, city and water views.
Inside and out: If you can tear yourself away from the floor-to-ceiling windows and two private balconies, you’ll find elegant yet warm interiors laid out in white oak flooring and lined in wood veneer cabinetry. Streamlined kitchens shine with stainless steel Bosch appliances and bright-white quartz-top counters and islands, which are lit by chic Manette pendants by Tech Lighting. Bedrooms boast walk-in closets and custom organization systems, and bathrooms are luxuriously appointed with stone marble tile flooring, an oversize walk-in shower with frameless glass doors and floating quartz shower bench, and in the master bath, a soaking tub with quartz surround. Floating wood-veneer vanities feature custom hardware and backlit mirrors. There’s a den and a laundry room, and if you run out of dryer sheets, just call on your virtual butler. Hello Alfred is the hospitality app catering to residents’ every need — from grocery shopping to prescription pick-up. Penthouse dwellers also are members of the Skyline Club, a complimentary weekly tidying and basics-stocking service.
The details: $11,500–$16,600 per month • Built in 2018 • 1,811–2,364 square feet • 2 beds, 2.5 baths • Walk score: 99 • Transit score: 100 • Bike score: 85
Exterior architect/interior architect: Olson Kundig, Ankrom Moisan
Developer/general contractor: Urban Visions, Sellen
Leasing: Ashley Milligan (general manager), firstname.lastname@example.org, 206.309.6182; we.seattle.com
A version of this story appears in the October issue of Seattle magazine.