I have lived at Centennial Tower for 2 years, and I have been really happy with it! My apartment is lovely, the office staff is great, and they have kept my rent increases to a minimum (a rarity in Seattle these days!). They have allowed us to make little customizations, like paint the walls custom colors, and install additional lighting at no charge. The facilities are nice - nothing fancy, but the pool, sundeck, and fireplace lounge are great! You can't beat it for the price, especially in Belltown.
I have had the pleasure of living in the Centennial apartments for the past 6 months. The building is gorgeous and very well maintained. The gym, pool, and hot tub are great and always super clean. The rooftop views are awesome, very nice place to sit outside on a sunny day and to watch the sunset. One of the best things about the community is the staff. I moved from the East Coast and, with being new to the area, it was nice to have such helpful and friendly staff around. While being there I worked with Kay, their Customer Support Assistance, frequently. She was always more than willing to help me out. When I found out I had to move recently, I was very disappointed, but Kay was very good with communicating the process and making sure I knew what I needed to. I highly recommend the building and especially the people who work there :)
I lived at Centennial for a year and didn't enjoy my stay there at all. First when I moved in they had big bugs (carpet beetles) in the apartments which anyone can see by naked eye on the carpet. I had to stay at a friend's place for a week before they could give me another unit. Before you move in they act nice with you but once you have moved in they don't give a shit. I am in the process of moving out and hoping to get my security back but now they are making all kind of false expenses to not return any money. Not only they are impolite but they also will try not to return any money. I won't advise any one to live there.
Nice apartment but expensive and management is trying to literally rip you off all the time - lost $1582 and counting :( I am living in this community for about 1.5 years now. Bottom line is apartments are nice and they charge premium for it. There are a lot of good apartments around (Taylor28, Skye, Alto and a bunch more on Elliot Ave), Centennial charges about 15 to 20 percent premium on their rents compared to other apartments around. Which is fine for me because I do my research first hand and knew this fact even before signing the lease and I was ready to pay more for a nicer apartment. The problem is how you get burnt if any of your step goes wrong, I faced 2 incidents till date which costed me $1582 total. Read below if you want to know the details: 1. When I finished my first lease I was charged moving and cleaning expenses of whopping $1400 including entire carpet replacement ($1000) for 2 bedroom apt. I kept home clean and tidy all the time except that there was one tiny spot in living room which could have been removed with deep cleaning. Let us for a moment say they had to replace the living room carpet because of that (which is far fetched in itself but anyway) but why on earth would they replace carpets in both the rooms and charge ME for that. Later it became apparent that they wanted to replace the entire carpet because of natural wear and tear so it is brand new for new residents and they can charge their usual premium again. 2. This one is even worse: Recently they want you to pay rents electronically only (no checks, that is too old school). But their electronic payment system is way below par (I am a Software Developer and can rant about flaws in this system forever, but I will spare you of that). Let us just say that it has a very poor customer experience AND if your payment is failed you will get to know by email only after '3' days. The irony is that you have to pay by 3rd of each month to avoid late fees. So this month was my first time paying electronically and the page asked for my routing number. My Bank of America has 2 routing numbers (one says wire and one says electronic). This being a Sunday (1st day of the month, remember I pay rent on time), I couldn't call them to be sure and chose wire routing number as it seemed more likely. As luck goes I got an email after 3 days (on 4th) that my payment was unsuccessful and I have been charged late fee of $182 (Wth!!). This time I was pretty sure that they would understand that it was a clerical mistake and I didn't really mean to default a payment or anything. I followed up with phone calls, meeting personally, sending emails but NO, not useful. Their manager Cheryl even accepted that there is nothing on that page indicating which routing number to use and it was not MY mistake. Then why you can't you undo it? On both the above occasions I patiently followed up for long time with all the means I could but nope they don't care about residents as much. It's a private firm in a really competing market who should keep customers first, how can they run it like a government entity who has monopoly and who doesn't care about people. On the second occasion manager even offered me some complimentary service (booking fireside lounge or guest parking). I was like really? I am perfectly capable of paying for all the services I need. I just want you to be just and fair to your residents. Enough ranting for the day, bottom line is if you don't mind paying a premium on rent and getting ripped of a few hundred extra dollars doesn't affect you as much, then go for it. After all apartments are nice!
Back in 2008, this was one of the best locations in Belltown. The units were slightly outdated compared to the Sidney across the street, or the Olympus, a few blocks away. However, the views were great, and the prices were acceptable for what you got in return. However, Centennial has turned downright awful. The site manager changed about a year ago and the place has gone completely downhill. Here are a few things to note: Elevators are constantly broken. There are three elevators, but when one breaks, and one is reserved for residents to move in or out, it can take up to 10 minutes to up or down from the top floors. The office staff is hostile and rarely helpful. This is not true for every single staff member, but it is not ucommon to walk into the office, and be received with a rude attitude and and unfriendly stare. This makes residents not want to deal with them in person. Picking up a package is a nightmare. If you, like most people, have a job that forces you to be away from home between the hours of 9am and 6pm, you will only be able to pick up packages during weekends. Other Equity-managed properties have someone to help you retrieve your shipped goods anytime. At Centennial, even if a staff member is present after 6pm, they will not-so-politely refuse to get your package. No concierge. Most other places within this price range in Belltown will have a concierge available to help you 24/7, whether it is to do your dry cleaning, call you a cab, or hand you your package. This is not an option at the Centennial. You cannot buzz people in unless you have a phone with a 206 or 425 area code. Their excuse is that it would cost too much for the buzzer system to call your phone long distance. As far as I am aware, most phone companies offer affordable long distance plans, and that is if they don't already offer unlimited long distance. Would it really hurt their profit margin if they switched phone carriers or added a long distance option to their service? Work Orders are not taken seriously. Equity has a policy which says that if your work order does not get fixed within 24 hours, then rent is free for any additional time past the 24 hours. We have had work orders not get fixed for days, even weeks. This is true for work orders submitted online as well as some submitted in person to the office staff. We have been unsuccessful at getting Equity to honor the accrued free rent. Your mailbox will get more spam than your inbox. For some reason, it seems as though everyone is entitled to drop coupons, newspapers, and other trash in your mailbox. I have found no way to opt out of this. Again, it is not the case for other Belltown properties. The parking spaces are way too small. I drive a compact sedan, and I still find it difficult to get out of my car even after carefully getting my car into a spot. This is because your car will either be too close to a column or too close to another car. Anything larger than a standard sedan will stick out of the parking spot half way into the driveway. If they feel like you didn't do a good job, they will give you a ticket. This has not happened to me but it did happen to a friend of mine who drives a mid-size SUV. The parking structure is unsafe. In a number of ways: first, it floods when it rains, or when cars bring in snow in the winter. There are leaks everywhere in the parking structure. Second, it is prone to vehicle theft. My friend's motorcycle was vandalized and the ignition system stolen. Neither Centennial, nor Equity, nor the parking management company were willing to compensate for the damages. No hot water. Really? This has happened to me at least twice in the past few months. Completely unacceptable. Appliances are old. For the same price, you can get way better appliances at other apartment complexes in Belltown. I would avoid this place now. Having lived in other properties in Seattle, I know there are much better options. I now anxiously wait for the day when my lease expires :)