The Rants Group cancels luxury condo plan: ‘We just weren’t able to attract enough people’

Local real estate company The Rants Group has canceled plans to build luxury condominiums in downtown Olympia, citing low demand and a “social climate” that made some potential buyers nervous.

The Percival Condominiums were expected to open in 2020 on a now-vacant lot at the corner of Thurston Avenue Northwest and Columbia Street Northwest. Online real estate listings showed prices ranging from $725,000 for a one-bedroom unit to $1.5 million for two bedrooms overlooking Percival Landing and Budd Inlet.

The Rants Group said this week development and construction costs pushed sale prices “just out of reach for enough buyers,” according to a news release, and that pre-sales were not enough to get the project off the ground.

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“We just weren’t able to attract enough people at those prices,” said company president Pat Rants, noting the company is now looking at other possible uses for the land.

Rants told The Olympian in 2017 the time was right for condo development downtown, especially at a site with waterfront views and close to fine dining. But at a December meeting of the Olympia City Council, he warned that safety concerns were making it harder to attract businesses and would-be residents to the area.

“I don’t like saying that out loud because I’m trying to sell condominiums, but it’s really the truth,” he said.

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Abby Spegman joined The Olympian in 2017. She covers the city of Olympia and a little bit of everything else. She previously worked at newspapers in Oregon, New Hampshire and Hawaii.