Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Steam Plant Blows the Prices

It was recently announced that one of the premier real estate developments in Key West has just done a dramatic price reduction on their units. These beautiful luxury town houses are truly unique, in the heart of Old Town and with wonderful water views.

The former City Electric Plant had been closed down for many years when purchased by Ed Swift, doing business as Steam Plant Condominiums LLC. In late 2003 the only marketing that was done was a grand by “invitation only” reception for only fifteen local real estate agents. All but one, which was retained by the developer, were reserved with deposits in the first two weeks. In this explosive real estate market everyone was buying, many were locals buying two or three some with plans to flip.

A large company out of Tampa named Dooley Mack became the contractor in the large renovation and reconstruction project. It was soon realized that the completion date could not be made. The environmental clean up was huge. All the massive electric producing machinery had to be transported to the main land, to be treated and disposed of as hazardous waste. Other delays were encountered. With other large projects also going up at the same time like the Santa Maria and Beachside workmen and materials were in short supply. Then came the years of hurricanes in 2004/ 2005, one after another, work had to be stopped and the town evacuated. Finally in 2009 when the condos received their certificates of occupancy the real estate market was nothing what it had been. Only two of the original 18 buyers honored their agreements and closed.

All this has ended in some drastically reduced prices and a great opportunity on a wonderful upper end project whose timing missed its target. Last month drastic reductions were announced, on some units over 30%. If you have not seen these units it is definitely worth you while, just to see the very unique art deco/industrial design. Some of the original machinery creatively decorates the interior common areas. The units are spacious and dramatic. The quality cannot be better, solid concrete fortress like walls and individual elevators to each unit. Massive impact resistant doors slide like butter then close with the quiet finality of a bank vault. There is a common area roof top pool and individual private pools. If you would like to see these yourself give me a call and I will be happy arrange a tour.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Developers Nightmare! “The Nail House”

This former house located in Chongqing Municipality in southern China has been dubbed the "nail house" because it refused to be hammered down. The owners had been fighting off bulldozers there since 2004, when developers pleaded with them and another 280 households to make way for a shopping mall. But the compensation proposed by the developer was just not enough.

The other residents left one after another, leaving the building standing alone. The house, was handed down through several generations. It was used as a variety store and then leased to become a restaurant.

As the owner held out flying the national flag, he received food and supplies via a green rope pulled up from the ground.

The structure was finally demolished in March of this year. As compensation, they accepted an apartment in the Shapingba district of downtown Chongqing, similar in size to their old one.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Florida Bill Helps Condo Associations

Good news Charlie Crist just signed a condominium reform bill(SB 1196) that will help many Florida Condo Associations that have been struggling to stay a float in the wake of numbers of pre-foreclosure owners discontinuing payments on their monthly dues. If they are renting the association now may demand the tenants rental payments go straight to the association to cover the dues owed. Previously the associations had to sue to collect rent (a timely and expensive process). A second change, up until now once the bank foreclosed they were only required to make up past dues up to 6 months or 1% of the loan amount. That has now increased to 12 months or 1%. This will really help so many associations who were having to turn to the paying owners to pick up the deficit of the nonpaying ones. A well funded association will also attract more resales and make it easier for those resale buyers to obtain a new mortgage.