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Saturday, February 7, 2015

The apartment building in Fifty Shades of Grey actually exists, and Christian's apartment would cost $6.4 million

The "Fifty Shades of Grey" (wiki) books have made British author E.L. James very rich. They have also made a certain Seattle apartment building red hot.

Ever since the trailer for the "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie came out last month, Erik Mehr's phone has been ringing a lot - Mehr is the real estate broker for the "Fifty Shades apartment." 

Yes, the upscale apartment building in Seattle where fictional billionaire Christian Grey lives -- and does lots of kinky things -- actually exists. It's called Escala, and is located at 1920 Fourth Avenue in Seattle, Washington, 98101.

E.L. James heard about Escala, which was completed in 2009, and wove it into her story, although she did take a number of liberties. For example, there isn't a helicopter landing pad on the roof. According to the Escala website, the penthouse suites can range up to 16,000 square feet; the largest includes a private spa, a gym with a yoga studio, a private dining area, a full catering kitchen, another dining area, a theater room, and a dog run. It doesn't, however, have a red room. A family from Oregon bought it in 2013 for $6.2 million.*

While the "Fifty Shades" trilogy and movie have caused some headaches for Escala residents, there have also been perks, the greatest of which has been the skyrocketing home values since the book's release - according to real estate website Zillow (Z), the median sales price for a Seattle condo has risen about 10% since 2010. The median sales price for Escala apartments, however, have surged over 75%.

Movoto calculated the value of Christian Grey's apartment by adding together the price of  the most expensive penthouse unit sold ($6.2 million, or $387.50 per square foot) and calculating the addition of the Red Room:
..in the book, it’s clear that this room is large enough to house a bed “bigger than a king sized,” a large “oxblood chesterfield couch,” and all kinds of… decorations.
Since many of these fun toys seem to be hanging from the ceiling or walls, we can only estimate that the room is at least 24 by 24, or 576 square feet. I came up with this specific number using the dimensions of a “Super King” sized bed (6.7 by 8.2 feet) and the fact that the bed and couch are in the center of the spacious room, with plenty of room surrounding them. You know, for yoga or something.
So that’s 16,000 (as Christian Grey would surely have the largest penthouse available in Escala) plus 576 for the Red Room, making the total square footage of the room 16,576.
So there you have it. Cheap at half the price. More at CNN Money and Movoto.

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