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High Five 555

by: Vern Uyetake, Candace Kramer and Becky Hamilton, both brokers with Windermere and marketing the 555 Second Street condos, admire the view from one of the balconies. They said that on the building’s grand opening hard hat tour last month, 300 people toured the development.

What is quality over quantity, really?

Isn't that what your parents teach you to think when you don't get as many Christmas gifts as the neighbors? Or, how you're supposed to view your wardrobe? Or, relationships?

For developers Drew Prell and Jim Morton, the quality over quantity mentality has morphed into a nearly completed four story, 30-unit condominium complex.

Nestled in downtown Lake Oswego and appropriately named after its address, the 555 Second Street condos have but weeks until completion.

And already 13 have 'sold' signs in their windows.

'Each floorplan is different. You have to decide if you like morning sun, which is in the back, or afternoon sun (in the front),' said Candace Kramer, a Lake Oswego Windermere broker marketing the project with broker Becky Hamilton from the same office.

With 12 different floorplans - ranging from 1,120 to 2,370 square feet - each unit has two bedrooms and two or two and a half bathrooms.

'Each one is a corner unit. There's only two units in the back and two units in the front. There's lots of privacy and windows,' Kramer said.

The units are priced between $425,600 and $1,325,000 - some include dens - while they all have gas fireplaces surrounded by tile, stainless steel appliances, marble and granite countertops, hardwood floors and carpeted bedrooms, walk-in closets and an underground parking space. Additional spaces can be purchased.

'It's amazing that we've only sold two extra parking places for 13 units,' Kramer said. 'That's saying that people use their cars less and are walking to amenities.'

'It's quiet here,' Prell said of the site within the First Addition neighborhood. 'It's two blocks from the center of town. From here you can walk to the library, six or seven different banks, the restaurants, the theater.'

The site is special for Prell since he built the Stafford Commons condominium complex across the street.

'The two complement each other,' he said.

In an Arts and Crafts/Craftsman style, 555 Second Street makes a statement, probably partially in part to its large stature and its finishes.

'I love the exterior and the copper gutters,' Kramer said.

Hamilton agreed, noting that both of Prell's buildings enhanced the charming neighborhood.

'We've got a glass canopy going on the front and solid mahogany front doors,' Prell said.

Designed for buyers in their 50s and older, Prell said the building is equipped with elevators and no units are two stories. The building was constructed using steel supports, instead of wood.

'The construction technique used here is the same construction technique as 50 story high-rise buildings,' Prell said. 'It makes the building strong and the concrete floors help a lot with sound.'

Being in the Northwest, Prell said he took potential problems such as water intrusion seriously.

'We flooded the decks to see if there's any leaks,' Prell said. 'The parking area down below? We flooded the whole thing and made a swimming pool out of it. This is a very expensive building. People are not buying a two-by-four building here. They're buying the best construction they can buy.'

With high-end finishes and a centralized zen garden currently under construction, Prell, Hamilton and Kramer said the condominiums have really been selling themselves.

'This building is first class,' Prell said. 'As a developer, it's really satisfying to build something that's quality and has great ambiance and enhances the community. It's about doing something that's worthwhile and timeless.'

For more information, visit www.555secondstreet.com.