The last few years have brought with them a substantial upturn in development of large tower condominiums and multi-use condominiums in the Pacific Northwest, predominantly Seattle and Portland. Such condominiums often include multi-million dollar units, high-end retail stores and anchor hotel or grocery store chains. Each of these divergent segments is coalesced into a single master condominium association.
However, what is best for a hotel may conflict with the interests of individual homeowners. Public access and marketing efforts for a retail store may offend or intrude upon homeowners and hotel guests. Issues of parking, easements, common areas, pools and pets that involve most standard condominiums take on special significance and impact within tower and multi-use condominiums. Even rudimentary homeowner-to-homeowner disputes, such as excessive noise, are elevated to newfound consequences when multi-million dollar unit owners confront one another.
Recently, several multi-use condominium associations have contacted me regarding some of the exact issues highlighted above. In these instances, the condominium owners associations, with no prior formal legal representation, faced multi-million dollar sub-association entities with large corporate legal departments. If you are a homeowner or board member of a tower or mixed-use condominium association, in order to level the playing field, you’ll want to ensure you have highly specialized legal counsel and other association professionals on your team.