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Posts posted by jms54

  1. Just read the review in the entertainment section of the observer. Cold mashed potatoes, under cooked chicken and over cooked omelet. And a tiny milkshake. That was about my experience except our chicken was way overdone.

    I don't know - I think you may have just had a bad experience. I went there last night and it was packed, and my experience was pretty much the exact opposite of what you described. I ordered the country fried steak, green beans, and mashed potatoes. Everything was homemade - the green beans were exceptionally good, the country fried steak was hand-breaded, and the mashed potatoes were the real deal. The food quite tasty and came out very quick, the wait staff was great, and we met one of the owners as well who was a very genuine guy that seemed to really care about the place. I have no complaints at all about my experience there...you should give it another shot.

  2. I ate there tonight. Lots of wait staff who were very nice. It took forever to get served and the food was horrible. I mean inedible. I give it 6 months max. The only thing going for it was that it was open late. So is my own kitchen.

    Midnight Diner (@ Carson & S Tryon) is now open for business. They have a huge classic-diner menu, with a classic diner wait staff, and are even too cold like a classic diner.

    They clearly have some kinks to work out up front and in back, but I'm sure that'll be dealt with with a few more days of experience for the staff.

    Having said that, the food is simple, tasty and cheap. In other words, perfect for a 24/7 restaurant in Uptown/South End. I think this place will definitely become a new staple in the area.

  3. If I were a lender I'd rather only deal with one foreclosure and have full control of a building than deal with potentially hundreds of foreclosures on individual units and not have any direct control over the main property itself.

    The banks need to get an independent appraiser to make a loan. That was one of the things that got us into this mess. Besides that, most banks do not keep the home loans they make but sell them. So if the properties were infact appraised at a much higher price than they were worth and then sold to investors, when a foreclosure came, there would be no equity--sound familiar.

    BofA will not have this option. The lenders will however probably have to approve price reductions above a certain amount as they, not the developer, are the ones holding the bag on this development. It is going to be interesting to see how this plays out. It seems like real estate sales in uptown have picked up in the past few months, but at much lower prices. The Vue does look to be a very superior product and they can probably do quite well with sales if they are priced appropriately.

  4. What a difference a day makes. Trees, grass and street lights are up. Screens over the vents in the front of the building are up as well. Sandblasting VUE into the stone on Saturday and repaving street next Wed. Will be nice to see the fountain powered up any day. Good looking building--now for appraisals. COO in a couple of weeks.

  5. Not much activity on this thread. The exterior is just about done, brick pavers are in and the landscaping and street lights should be done next week. The lobby looks almost done and the onyx looks spectacular. Should be move ins in September. Any rumors on retail.

  6. On a different uptown update. It was announced, or I just heard it, yesterday that the moving of the train tracks in uptown will be starting shortly. (No more night train whistles). And the ADM eyesore is being demolished and they are relocating elsewhere in Charlotte. The project will take a while but is using federal stimulus money to get some of this done.

  7. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see a BK filing not too long after completing the building. I started thinking of a prepackaged BK/foreclosure after construction stopped a few months back. A few observations:

    1. Everyone saw the The Park lenders take an absolute bath. Better to lend and let the building finish with a marketable product than a big steel rust bucket. Lesson learned.

    2. BoA is the lead lender in the syndicate I believe. They do not want an unfinished building outside their window everyday.

    3. Lender probably took a more active role in the construction. Most likelyshooting down the Wolf/Subzeros for something more recession appropriate.

    The Wolf/Subzeros (and I am not 100% sure it was ever wolf, just subzero) were changed 2 and 1/2 years ago when the developer changed. The appliances are Thermadore, their highest end units, which is not exactly kenmore. All of the changes in the building and cabinets, floors.... were made 2 1/2 years ago and none have changed since then. Many of them were not downgrades just different manufacturers. The cabinets were a definite upgrade. They will have almost 2 more years to sell out the building so it would be hard to imagine a BK or change in ownership before then, but you never know.

  8. I don't know if they have changed the color of the top or if I am just getting more and more used to it, but I find myself being ok with the top when I've looked at the building this week. I still miss the tall spires, though.

    The last crane is gone as of this morning. We should see some big changes to the street view in the coming weeks. The stonework on the front of the building should start in about 10 days and take a few weeks to finish. All of the street level finishing should be occurring soon after that. The outside elevator should come down in mid April and almost all the remaining work needing to finish the building should be interior. No one will move in until at least August, but it should "look" finished very soon. I wonder how much this will help their sales.

  9. Thank you... I completely agree.

    I mean can some one be play (realisitic) devil's advocate here and just give me the worst prognosis? I dont know, maybe Vue stalls for a yr or 2 in its current condition (or at least enclosed) and is re-sold - similar to the Park - for a huge lost to developers and some investors, but re-opens at a much more attractive pricepoint with "similar" but more realistic (key word in this post) designs?

    :unsure: ?

    In making realistic guesses to the outcome of the Vue we would need to know what exactly the financing problem is? Is it a lender with poor liquidity. Is it a building that hasn't sold well enough that the lenders are going to cut their losses? There are a number of luxury condos that have sold at close to the Vue's pricing and the Vue has more amenities than these properties. Look at the Radcliff as an example. The different scenarios as far as which is worse also depends on who you are. If you are the developer, the worst that can happen is the project is bankrupt and taken over by the bank. If you are a buyer, the worst that can happen is that they finish the project but it doesn't sell and the developer pulls out. You are left in a building that doesn't have the HOA fees to support the building so it deteriorates and the prices get dropped significantly after you have paid current prices for your unit. If you are the bank the worst that can happen is that you don't get your loan money back.

    The building is very far along right now. It has topped out and has windows up to about floor 42. The units are ALL finished up to the mid 20s floor wise. Electrical and plumbing and sheet rock are done up to the mid 30s or so. This building will get finished. I see three possibilities and have no idea which is more likely:

    1. MCL gets financing and finishes the building with a few months delay. (They are about 4 months ahead of schedule, so this is not a big deal)

    2. MCL does not get financing and the bank takes over the project. They finish the building, probably reduce the prices as they are not really looking to make a profit, but just get their money back. Again I would expect no more than a 4-6 month delay here.

    3. MCL does not get financing and the bank takes over the project and another developer "buys" the building and finishes this. This would have a delay as well.

    MCL didn't pay Griffin in August so they have known about their finance issue since at least that time, but probably longer. There has been no resolution yet but we don't know what the issues are so we don't know how close a "decision" is to being made. My guess is prices will be dropped slightly for all buyers. Ones who are under contract and ones who are going to purchase--only if the real estate market in Charlotte does not improve. It will all depend on appraisals when the building is finished. I do think current contract holders will be protected as they are the ones still most likely to purchase these units and if there is a new owner of the building, they will want to keep these customers as customers. There is a limited marked of buyers to purchase these condos and you don't want to alienate the ones you have.

    I do find it unfortunate that MCL has not told their current buyers what the financing issue is, and that makes me think it is not a lender issue but a sales issue or MCL issue. I also expect sales to now stop until the building is totally finished.


  10. Isn't it too late to turn this into an office building? I'm pretty sure there are different standards for an office building compared to a residential building (such as floor heights, different floor plans, etc). I could see them turning The Vue and The Park into apartments though (or at least half condos/half apartments), with the possibility of converting to condos when the market gets better.

    I would think that anyone who bought a unit at the Vue would have legal recourse to cancel their contract and get a refund if they were 1/2 apartments. I can't imagine someone paying $450-$550/sqft and having 1/2 the building rentals

  11. Good points but if you're going to live in a condo in Charlotte, why not live at 400 N. Church, 715 N. Church, Jefferson Square, etc.- buildings that are pretty house-like? People in NYC (such as me) live in skyscrapers there just because that's the only way to get new construction with amenities.

    Definitely is a great-looking building and at least hopefully the critical mass of uptown-dwellers will lead to more commercial activity.

    I don't think any of the buildings you mentioned have anywhere near the amenities that the vue has. Pool, Tennis, gym, 24 hour door man. etc.....

  12. I was in the "model" unit today. It was spectacular!!!! I have been in Avenue and Trademark. It was pretty clear to me why this building will be more expensive per square foot. WOW! Not only are the appliances top notch, but the finishes are very well done. The concrete is finished--way more than just painted. Carpet, flooring, marble moldings---all very nice looking and installed well. The view is nice, but this was only the 4th floor. The unit was furnished with transitional type, pretty classic furniture and it seemed perfect for the space. I was concerned that everything would need to be ultra modern. The unit we saw had a private large 2 car garage. A neat feature in a high rise condo. Once the economy is less of a question mark and the sales staff can show these off to the public I suspect they will sell very quickly. I can't wait to see the huge amenities deck with the tennis court and pool. they will have a virtual tour of this pretty soon on their web site I guess.

    Nice Job VUE (no I am not employed or paid by the development company, but I will buy a unit)

    I've been told the actual building isn't on the tour, it would be too dangerous to take people in there at this point - The sales center is participating in the tour and will be one of the stops for people to visit and get an idea of the developments uptown.

    Also the unit is only going to be decorated for a very short time and will not be open to the public.

    I'm hoping we can look forward to some great new pictures in the near future.

  13. I am still surprised that the 4th ward association didnt have MAJOR objections to this being built since it is so tall.

    This building was approved almost 4 years ago. There were objections to the building back then but the association eventually gave support to this project. Why is this even being discussed right now--it was a good topic 4 years ago.

    What we do have is a very good addition to the Charlotte sky line and a place that is being built and being sold. While there are some posters who think that no one really wants to live in a high rise, the continued sales at the VUE would suggest otherwise. There is a very real attraction to live in a luxury condo, with a doorman, a swimming pool and tennis court, all the other amenities and being in walking distance of a very livable city. On top of that the view from this location is spectacular. As far as the price (which i have seen quoted as high as $2000/sft on this board) is in reality in the neighborhood of $500/sqft +/-. Still quite expensive, but sometimes you get what you pay for.

  14. With all the bad news surrounding us, I thought it would be interesting to see if anyone is still buying these condos...

    Since August 1 there have been 46 condos sold/closed in Uptown (area 99) ranging in price from $160,000 to $1,650,000 with most being between $200,000 and $275,000 then another cluster of units right around $400,000.

    There are 59 condos under contract in uptown and 304 units on the market (most in the under $300,000 price range).

    A healthy market (supply and demand) would have about 1/3 as many units under contract as on the market. Considering the economy, having the ratio above isn't bad at all. Having 46 units close in a two month period with 304 units still on the market isn't too bad either considering many in the general public think the market is dead.

    Prices for these uptown units, on average, haven't risen or fallen but are about the same as they were (per foot and simply by price in a given project) as they were this past Spring.

    Not trying to say anything other than wanting to take a look at what is going on in the uptown market based on actual sales and listings. Also not commenting about whether the sales will dry up or prices will fall in the coming months -- time will tell and I'll update next month...

    I wonder how many of the condos on the market are not yet built. That could skew your statistics considerably.

  15. This is not the developer that bought in a few months ago to partner with the group already developing it. This is a brand new firm out of chicago with far more experience in projects this ambitious. This is new talk, try to read ahead before you respond.

    MCL came in as a partner with the original developer last spring. As of sometime in the last few weeks, the original developer is no longer involved with the project and this is what was reported as MCL taking over the project. MCL has totally redesigned the building and that is what some of the delay has been. The structure will look the same with the same amenities..., but the contruction method has changed, (no longer tunnel form construction), and so have many floor plans. As a result of all these changes new plans have had to be developed. The builder has also changed from Turner to Griffin. With the changes in design all new permits were needed. MCL has a good reputation and has built a lot of high rise condos. Churchill development, the old developer, is in the process of building their first building in Orlando--but they are out of the picture. From viewing their handling of the process, they were pretty incompetent, but had an exceptional sales staff.

    Permits for footing, etc are approved, and they have months of work ahead of them before they need other permits. The financing has been secured and signed. Construction is supposed to slowly ramp up over the next several weeks and by Feb 2008 the underground work is supposed to be finished. I can't imagine that this building will not get built. MCL has spent a lot of money doing all of the above.

    I hope the timeframe they have given me is accurate, but we have been there before.

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