Will The Modern Raise the Bar for Luxury Multifamily in Seattle?

By Published On: September 28, 20226.8 min read

When it comes to the luxury condo market, rarely does Seattle come to mind. However, a new tower that recently went up could change the game. The Modern is setting the bar for next-level luxury in Seattle, a project by commercial developer, Martin Selig Real Estate, and designed by Perkins & Will architecture firm.

Last year the Seattle rental market proved to be among the top in the country, according to Bisnow, and the city’s population has grown over 20% since 2010.

The Modern is set in the heart of the Belltown neighborhood. Residences begin on the 13th floor, with each floor intending to be a “penthouse” of its own. Each floor has 9-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, and many of them have views of Elliot Bay and the Seattle skyline.

What makes The Modern unique is “The Conservatory,” a two-floor amenity space on the top two floors. They have a bar, a lounge space, club room and private dining and executive board rooms. The building also has a “Director of Lifestyle” who leads a team of lifestyle professionals, curators and local Seattle tastemakers bringing the best to the building. The lifestyle director at The Modern manages and organizes bespoke programming for the residents’ in-house private members club.

The lifestyle director organizes weekly sunset meditation and yoga sessions. The rooftop of The Modern is also home to a bee farm. The honey harvested here is used for custom cocktails served at the property’s bar. The lifestyle team at this tower is also curating enticing snacks from a special after-hours menu (no Uber Eats is needed), while they organize personal bartenders to apartments upon request. They also help loan out paddle boards and bikes from the building’s collection.

Leverage.com caught up with Jordan Selig, the Executive Vice President of Martin Selig Real Estate, to talk about The Modern, and how it’s setting a higher standard in Seattle, a changing city. She spoke about the private member’s club and the demand for high-end design.


A balcony wraps around a modern apartment tower.

Image Provided By Perkins & Will Architects

Leverage.com: Why start the residences on the 13th floor, with all the amenities on the top floor?

Jordan Selig: We did this to ensure each of our residences have views of Elliott Bay and the Seattle Skyline. We intentionally situated our Conservatory on the top two floors to give everyone access to the property’s best views. The Conservatory’s views are also the perfect complement to the set of bespoke programming and amenities led by The Modern’s Director of Lifestyle and local Seattle tastemakers.

What is this bringing to the area in Seattle?

As the first luxury residential property from Martin Selig Real Estate, The Modern is setting a new standard of Seattle luxury living with distinct architecture and design, hospitality-focused amenities, and a set of bespoke programming. Beneath The Modern is a mix of office and retail spaces. These combined with the residential portion will all provide a healthy mix of office, retail, and residential and the project is increasing foot traffic and bringing a new level of activity and vibrancy to the 3rd Street corridor.

A bedroom overlooks Seattle

Image Provided By Perkins & Will Architects

What makes The Conservatory, aka the private members club, unique?

The Conservatory acts like a private members club for residents of The Modern and is home to a set of bespoke programming led by our Director of Lifestyle and some of Seattle’s finest tastemakers. The Conservatory houses multiple unique amenity spaces that feel like an expansive club – The Foyer, The Bar, The Video Wall, The Club Room, The Loft, and a private dining/executive board room.

What kind of food and beverage concepts do you have at The Modern?

Currently, The Modern is engaging with Caffe D’arte on an espresso and coffee program and will serve The Meaning of Life blend. For tea-lovers, The Modern has tapped tea connoisseur Jeannie Liu, founder and proprietor of Miro Tea for residents, to a selection of tea blends like the Borealis and The Palm Room that will be served at The Modern’s Conservatory. Exclusively for The Modern, onsite tea workshops and tastings will be available for residents to participate in throughout the year and residents who visit the Miro Teas store location can also receive a 10% discount when presenting The Modern App at checkout. In line with offering the best of the best, The Modern has also partnered with acclaimed Washington winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle on a custom red wine blend which will be served by The Modern’s Bartender in The Conservatory. The Modern x Chateau Ste Michelle wine blend is composed of ½ Columbia Valley Malbec, 20% Cold Creek Cabernet Franc, and 15% Canoe Ridge Merlot and Cold Creek Cabernet Sauvignon.

What do the views capture, and why are views so important?

The Modern’s views capture iconic Seattle monuments like the Space Needle and the Great Wheel, along with sweeping views of the Seattle cityscape, Elliott Bay and the mountains in the distance. Seattle is a dynamic mix of nature and cityscape and we intentionally designed the building to showcase this.

How is Seattle changing to be more design savvy and upscale, and how is the Modern leading the way?

Seattle has undergone a tremendous evolution over the last few decades. Previously, Seattle was a sleepy town, very provincial. Now, Seattle is a fast-growing city with a globally attuned population that expects a certain quality of life. The Modern is bringing in team members from across the globe to help in the design of the exterior and interior spaces. Modern residents and guests will appreciate what has been created, and that it is – for the time being – entirely unique.

A bar sits in front of a large window.

Image Provided By Perkins & Will Architects

Can you say what the luxury market is like in Seattle?

“Luxury” is a four-letter word in Seattle. Luxury is not often talked about here. However, Seattleites have developed higher expectations of the indoor and outdoor spaces they inhabit. There is an increase in demand for a higher design aesthetic throughout the city, particularly within the public and private spaces. Buildings like The Modern stand out because they offer an elegant, timeless design that residents see and feel, even if they can’t put words to it.

What prompted the open-air Conservatory?

We wanted to give all residents access to the building’s best views and wanted to create a gathering space that allowed for residents to interact with one another through bespoke programming and amenities. The Foyer is a striking setting to soak in 360-degree views as The Modern’s mixologist pours an exclusive wine blend made by Washington-based Chateau Ste. Michelle or one of The Modern’s custom cocktails. Across the way, the Video & Entertainment Room is equipped with everything needed to watch the Seahawks and Mariners games. Knowing that more and more people will continue to work from home, we also designed The Conservatory with that in mind. We have a Loft, a tranquil library that can be used as a co-working space, and a Private Dining & Executive Board Room which is a dual-purpose room that can be used for business meetings and calls.

Why did you want to build the Modern as “a building full of penthouses?” It has high ceilings throughout all units.

Our goal was to create a product unlike anything on the market and we wanted to take advantage of the stunning views of Elliott Bay and the Seattle skyline that this location provided. With that goal in mind, we intentionally situated the residences to start on the 13th floor to allow for maximum views and the building is Z-shaped which allows for six corners, as opposed to the typical four. Each residence features at least 9-foot, floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase breathtaking views, along with handcrafted finishes, tastefully adorned artwork, and state-of-the-art panelized appliances. No detail is left unattended and hand-selected interior finishes include quartz countertops in the kitchen, wide plank flooring throughout, illuminated bathroom mirrors, and custom modular closets.

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