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50 Shades of Grey Real Estate: Three Seattle Penthouses Worthy of Christian Grey

America loves its soft-core S&M, and Movoto wants to give the public what it loves. So we uncovered three Seattle penthouses worthy of Christian Grey.

David Cross

Content Editor

237 articles, 24 comments

Source: Flickr user Stuck in Customs.

The American public loves its soft-core S&M. If you don’t believe us, ask around and see what your friends are reading. Chances are it will be one of two book series: either George R.R. Martin’s sword and sorcery epic or British scribe E.L. James’ erotic “Fifty Shades of Grey.” It’s this last series the housing junkies at Movoto Real Estate are chatting about.

In E.L. James’ novel, recent college grad Anastasia Steele and uber-businessman Christian Grey form a relationship filled with BDSM and all that jazz. One of the key set pieces in the book is Grey’s luxury penthouse in downtown Seattle that comes complete with a “playroom,” aka “the Red Room of Pain.”

James’ inspiration for Grey’s love nest is reported to be the Escala. According to the outfit’s website, the 5,100-square-foot penthouses in the complex comes with a 180 degree view of the city, Elliott Bay, and Olympic Mountain.

The flagship penthouse of the Escala, which recently sold, comes with a hefty price tag of just under $6 million and includes:

  • A private foyer
  • Three bedrooms
  • Piano room
  • Library
  • An open-plan kitchen with breakfast bar

It’s downright fancy.

Good luck taking a tour though—unless you’re loaded. Those interested need to be pre-qualified. (Hey, we get it. But it’d still be nice to take a peek.) This means most of us will have to do with photos provided from the Escala itself, or hope there’s some type of erotica-loving, camera-happy ninja out there (fingers crossed).

Still, while the Escala might be the current “it” condo in Seattle, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other luxurious digs to drool over. In fact, there’s a lot out there worthy of our attention. Below are three Seattle-area penthouses we want to see highlighted in a trashy (in a good way) novel.

We’re looking at you, E.L. James, for a follow-up trilogy.

Cue the bling!

Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue

Courtesy of Fifteen Twenty-One.

This relatively new upscale condominium boasts 38 stories that contain two- or three-bedroom homes with 1,643 to 3,000 square feet of living space; also with views of Elliott Bay and Olympic Mountain.

The 143 homes in Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue were designed to be “penthouses on every level” and come with hefty price tags. So again, you’ll need to be part of the upper crust to buy.

Dean Jones, who handles the public relations and marketing for Fifteen-Twenty One, noted that the average residence would set you back $1.8 million and be nearly 2,000 square feet.

While the building has a slew of amenities that match a million-dollar price tag, Jones said the most notable one isn’t actually located in the building.

Fifteen Twenty-one Second Avenue has protected views. Those who purchase homes in the tower can rest assured that a year or two down the road they’ll have the same unobstructed view. “That’s probably the greatest amenity,” he said.

Courtesy of Fifteen Twenty-One Second.

A second notable luxury is the building’s location next to Pike Place Market.

“It’s so close you could throw fish right into the towers—almost,” Jones said.

While every home in the building is made to be a penthouse, what are the actual penthouses like? There are three true penthouses (by the strictest definition of the word) atop Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue. Two of these recently sold.

Courtesy of Fifteen Twenty-One.

Penthouse K:
This penthouse is the largest of the three. At about 3,000 square feet, the lucky stiff who’s squatting at this plush pad comes home to:

  • Two bedrooms
  • Two and a half baths
  • Rooftop terrace

All of this can be had for $4,250,000—that is, if it’s still on the market.

Penthouse L:
The penthouse comprises of about 2,450 square feet. And while it’s about 550 square feet smaller than its next-door neighbor, that doesn’t mean it’s missing out on swag. This penthouse comes with:

  • Two bedrooms
  • Two baths
  • A rooftop terrace

If you’re interested, start making out a cheque for $3,299,000.

Penthouse M:
The final of the three penthouses checks in at 2,778 square feet, and has a similar layout to the other two apartments. For your hard-earned cash you’ll buy:

  • Two bedrooms
  • Two and a half baths

All of this can be yours for $3,600,000.

If spending more than $3 million isn’t enough to satisfy your penthouse desires, consider a more exclusive abode.

Bellevue Towers

Courtesy of Bellevue Towers

Located in Bellevue, Washington—just across Lake Washington from Seattle—Bellevue Towers is home to 539 residences housed in two building. These mega-luxurious homes are within walking distance to both Microsoft and Expedia, and come with a mind-numbing amount of fancy.

Homes in the towers, which range from 807 to 6,398 square feet, comes with amenities that include:

  • A 24,000-square-foot rooftop garden housed on the sixth floor between the two towers
  • 24-hour concierge service in each tower
  • Fitness Center
  • Spa
  • A screening room
  • Chef’s kitchen and dining room
  • 500 original pieces of art from Northwest artists

There’s also a piece of noteworthy hardware: Bellevue Towers earned a LEED Gold certification because of its environmentally friendly design and sustainability.

Between the two towers there are 14 penthouses, most of which are sold. The majority of these penthouses include two bedrooms, a den, and two and a half baths.

Of course, we’re interested in the top floor. The North Tower, which sits 42 stories tall, is topped with a 6,398-square-foot penthouse. With a price tag of $5,533,800, interested buyers would be purchasing four bedrooms and four and a half baths.

Courtesy of Bellevue Towers.

Just next door the South Tower sits slightly higher. The future owner of the 43rd-floor penthouse would need to fork over $6,775,600. As with its near twin across the way, the lucky buyer will have 6,397 square footage worth of living space along with four bedrooms and four and a half baths.

Why does this penthouse, which has the same layout as its sibling across the way, cost $1 million more? You pay a premium for a better view. It also doesn’t hurt that the zoning is better and that it’s the highest condominium residence in Bellevue.

As luck would have it, both of Bellevue Towers highest penthouses are on the market. If you have access to a Christian Grey-type cash flow, give us a call–we know a couple of writers who’d like to take a tour.

Washington Square

Courtesy of Washington Square Condos.

What makes Washington Square fabulous isn’t just its location, but the concept. Washington Square is a mixed-use neighborhood that sits on 10.5 acres in downtown Bellevue which has earned the impressive nickname “superblock.”

Washington Square, located in downtown Bellevue, consists of two towers that house a total of 377 residential units. The sizes and prices of housing in the two towers run the gamut. Potential buyers can pick from a townhouse at the base of the towers or jump to one of the penthouses.

Of course, we want to know about skyline living.

The two towers are 24 and 25 stories tall, respectively. Between these two structures are 11 penthouses that range from 988 square feet to 2,924. This includes a balcony or two.

By emptying your bank account you can sleep tight in The Platinum Penthouse Suite. Some of the goodies you’ll get include:

  • Two Bedrooms
  • Three Baths
  • Two balconies
  • A chef’s kitchen
  • Home theater
  • A walk-in closet

What’s the estimated cost? About $3,406,000.

While there are no secret sex rooms or helicopter pads on these penthouses, we’re sure with a little imagination a clever writer could figure out how to add some titillation to luxury apartments.


The Movoto blog is a service of Movoto Real Estate. If you’re looking for a new home, keep us in mind. We have up-to-date real estate listings and local agents throughout the country. When you want to take a break from browsing homes, you can keep coming back to read awesome blog posts like this one.

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posted on: September 28, 2012
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