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I had one of the first appointments at the sales center. The parking situation is a dealbreaker. While it's a very smart move on Novare's part to control costs and keep prices down, I can't believe they don't offer a 24-hour valet (or at least 18 hour) to make it compelling. When I asked about valet, the salesman said it's "at night only." No thanks.

You would have to rent a non-exclusive spot in the garage, which is shared with the office building, and basically compete with those parkers and other random uptowners for an available spot, or pay more to rent a dedicated spot. Not having a deeded spot per bedroom makes me nervous.

Maybe I'm spoiled by my parking situation at Avenue now, but I don't see myself hauling groceries and crap from Target across an uncovered walkway between the garage and residences all the time when I've spent $300,000 on a unit.

I believe the building is pre-cast concrete, which allows for the smoother concrete ceilings. The downside of this is that there are a LOT of columns that break up the windows. I prefer the Avenue's fully windowed walls.

The building has 3 elevators total, one of which is a service elevator that can double as passenger, serving 460 units. With that many homes, I'll assume the service elevator will be in use a lot, so in my mind that's two elevators for the whole building. Trademark has less than half as many units with 2 elevators, and that can be a pain in the neck when I'm visiting friends there...I can't imagine what it will be like with this many units.

Just my $.02.

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The building has 3 elevators total, one of which is a service elevator that can double as passenger, serving 460 units. With that many homes, I'll assume the service elevator will be in use a lot, so in my mind that's two elevators for the whole building. Trademark has less than half as many units with 2 elevators, and that can be a pain in the neck when I'm visiting friends there...I can't imagine what it will be like with this many units.

Just my $.02.

Tozmervo,

I agree about the "Brazilian hardwood". When time comes to re-do my own floor in The Trademark, I'll probably stick with native oak. That helps to support the local hardwood growers, instead of the pine plantations, and I won't have to worry about any possible ill-gotten exotic woods.

Cltcardfan,

I agree too about the parking situation. It's awfully nice to have your car parked a short elevator ride away from your unit. Speaking of elevators, I've noticed that, since most people are finally moved in at The Trademark, it's become a lot faster using the elevators.

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I believe the building is pre-cast concrete, which allows for the smoother concrete ceilings.

If this means what I think, I don't think it's correct. I don't recall any pre-cast sections, only poured floors/ceilings.

And regarding earlier posts, I'll be interested to hear first-hand accounts about the ceilings. Sure looked like plywood to me when they were pouring. But I am certainly *far* from an expert.

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I know this is probably a little too detailed, but I'm curious - did they give any information about what "Brazilian hardwood" entails? Like, where the wood comes from, specifically, if its certified by any governing body like the FSC, etc?

Good question - All I know is it is Brazilian Cherry Hardwood. If you go by the sales office this is the flooring they have for their model unit.

Maybe I'm spoiled by my parking situation at Avenue now, but I don't see myself hauling groceries and crap from Target across an uncovered walkway between the garage and residences all the time when I've spent $300,000 on a unit.

True - but $70 for a non-exclusive spot or $150/month for a dedicated spot is justifiable considering the entry points for the complex in my 2 cents. You are correct though - I was a bit surprised that there was not an option to purchase a spot. For me this was not a dealbreaker because I work from home and will not be coming in and out of the complex enough to fight for a spot but I can see how this might be an issue for others. Just curious, how much was a spot to purchase at Avenue?

Just curious, what do you mean by a fixture as opposed to a canopy?

When I think of a canopy I think of a covered top and side setup where even if rain was blowing sideways you would be protected. There is a canopy which protects from rain but it appears to be half for looks to spice up the walkway between Catalyst and the parking garage and half for protection against the elements.

Edited by JonesQC
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A parking space came with the unit as part of the purchase price. I dont know how much it cost for an extra space, but you dont have to pay anything for just 1.

As I understand it from Kate (?) at Catalyst, you actually did pay for a space at Avenue, just like all the homeowners at other properties paid for theirs. Let's say the cost of your home at Avenue was $250k. The home was actually around $225k and the parking space was $25k...the cost of the parking space was just baked in to the cost of the home, for a total of $250k. That's where I think Catalyst is pretty good - you're not forced to pay the $25k parking space in the cost of the home. So on an apples-to-apples basis, you use that $25k that you would have been charged for parking and pay it to rent a space. Not sure what that "rental fee" is, but I'd imagine $25k would rent/lease you a parking space at Catalyst for at least 20 years.

...I was also told they would have Valet at Catalyst. Is that true? Would help with the concern over carrying groceries across the walkway.

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It's valid way of looking at it if you feel they are of equal value when parking is calculated. Say you want a reserved space.

Avenue = Free (or included in the cost)

Catalyst = $150/month = interest payment on $25k

Do comparable units at Catalyst sell for $25k less than the resale units at Avenue?

Of course, if one isn't particular to having reserved space, then simply monetizing the benefit isn't as useful of a comparison.

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As I understand it from Kate (?) at Catalyst, you actually did pay for a space at Avenue, just like all the homeowners at other properties paid for theirs. Let's say the cost of your home at Avenue was $250k. The home was actually around $225k and the parking space was $25k...the cost of the parking space was just baked in to the cost of the home, for a total of $250k. That's where I think Catalyst is pretty good - you're not forced to pay the $25k parking space in the cost of the home. So on an apples-to-apples basis, you use that $25k that you would have been charged for parking and pay it to rent a space. Not sure what that "rental fee" is, but I'd imagine $25k would rent/lease you a parking space at Catalyst for at least 20 years.

Spoken like a true sales person :P

I personally wouldn't buy into this theory.

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^^ Yeah, without doing the math, it appears price per square foot #'s are about the same for both buildings, with premiums being charged for the skyline views on both. So the question then would be, subtracting 25k off of Ave's prices, is Catalyst worth that much more?

Either way, Catalyst will turn into a great place to live. Novare was able to get a feel for Charlotte with Avenue and adjust accordingly for Catalyst.

Edited by Mobuchu
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More activity on the Office Building site. They're working on re-bar, and bringing in portable cranes and other equipment. I'm guessing they'll probably do pilings similar to Catalyst, but that's just a guess.

On a related note, I got the following info from my employer. Nothing too interesting, but they are opening an entrance to the site off of Church St.

"

Beginning Friday, June 27, Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) will make the following changes to First Street traffic flow.

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I think it is because there will be only one lane left once they put up their construction barriers....as far as the direction chosen, it's the routing that will keep heavy trucks off of Church St. the most.

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I'm really surprised with the parking situation at Catalyst. I can see how that would be a deal breaker for some. I really hope this doesn't hinder sales for Novare seeing as it is one heck of a project! Does anyone know if this will be the same situation for the Twelve building?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Congrats to everyone who has bought into Catalyst already. I too recently bought a 1 BR unit and am really excited.

There aren't a whole lot of choices for upgrade options, but one of them relates to the sound system in the unit. The provider is DirecPath and while their product looks good the price seems a bit high. Has anyone has a chance to check prices elsewhere or is their cost reasonable?

Summary of one package I was looking at:

$5280 - includes 5 in-wall Jamo speakers for surround sound in living room, 2 speakers in the bedroom, and 1 speaker in the bathroom and an IPOD docking station that links to speakers.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Congrats to everyone who has bought into Catalyst already. I too recently bought a 1 BR unit and am really excited.

There aren't a whole lot of choices for upgrade options, but one of them relates to the sound system in the unit. The provider is DirecPath and while their product looks good the price seems a bit high. Has anyone has a chance to check prices elsewhere or is their cost reasonable?

Summary of one package I was looking at:

$5280 - includes 5 in-wall Jamo speakers for surround sound in living room, 2 speakers in the bedroom, and 1 speaker in the bathroom and an IPOD docking station that links to speakers.

Any help would be appreciated.

I ran into the same thought process. I used the $6k in incentives to put the hardwoods in the living room and kitchen and put the audio package in the bedroom and bath. The audio package I chose was ~$2025. I liked the idea of having flush speakers in the drywall on day 1 in the living area, but I already have purchased the majority of a home audio set and decided to leave the 5 in wall out. I then applied the difference ($2945) to have the place painted, upgrade the hardwoods and I used just over $800 in the inventives. Since the first 100 contracts also got the Whirlpool Washer and dryer as well as the SS fridge I thought that was enough upgrades for now. The Ipod docking station seemed pointless to me since it would have been attached to the wall in the bedroom. Perhaps they can change the location of this but I can buy a $2 cord and plug it into my AV receiver and have the same thing.

Keep in mind that the unit is prewired for the audio no matter what audio package you select. If you decide to put speakers in the future you can shop around and customize your own setup which is what I plan on doing in the living area. Even if $$ were not a concern, I would opt out of the 5.1 setup and customize my own a few pieces at a time. This is coming from someone who could also use the $2945 to get a flat screen and upgrade my AV receiver - I think this would make me much happier on move in but just my 2c.

I also know your question is asking if Jamo is a quality brand. I checked them out at Jamo.com while I was in the sales office and they appear to be quality components and are a Klipsch group company.

What floor and side did you choose? I am on 5th floor, MLK side.

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I ran into the same thought process. I used the $6k in incentives to put the hardwoods in the living room and kitchen and put the audio package in the bedroom and bath. The audio package I chose was ~$2025. I liked the idea of having flush speakers in the drywall on day 1 in the living area, but I already have purchased the majority of a home audio set and decided to leave the 5 in wall out. I then applied the difference ($2945) to have the place painted, upgrade the hardwoods and I used just over $800 in the inventives. Since the first 100 contracts also got the Whirlpool Washer and dryer as well as the SS fridge I thought that was enough upgrades for now. The Ipod docking station seemed pointless to me since it would have been attached to the wall in the bedroom. Perhaps they can change the location of this but I can buy a $2 cord and plug it into my AV receiver and have the same thing.

Keep in mind that the unit is prewired for the audio no matter what audio package you select. If you decide to put speakers in the future you can shop around and customize your own setup which is what I plan on doing in the living area. Even if $$ were not a concern, I would opt out of the 5.1 setup and customize my own a few pieces at a time. This is coming from someone who could also use the $2945 to get a flat screen and upgrade my AV receiver - I think this would make me much happier on move in but just my 2c.

I also know your question is asking if Jamo is a quality brand. I checked them out at Jamo.com while I was in the sales office and they appear to be quality components and are a Klipsch group company.

What floor and side did you choose? I am on 5th floor, MLK side.

Thanks for the response. My opinion changes daily. I actually called the company and talked to their representative fully aware that he is a salesman and while the cost does seem a bit high, he explained where the costs were driven from and most of them relate to electronics being installed (excluding the speakers themselves) that are being installed to run the speakers. I know for sure that I too am going to buy the wiring in the bedroom and bathroom, because I think it will be impossible to get it done properly otherwise and I change my mind daily (if not hourly) on getting the rest of the speakers in the living and IPOD station (mostly because I can just roll it into the mortgage and I'd like to have it when I move in). Nonetheless, thanks for your opinion.

I chose to be on Floor 17 on the MLK side. I can't wait to see the view and as well as the park once things are finished. Sales seem to be doing well, so hopefully that continues. Best of luck and I'm sure will get to meet at sometime in the near future.

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I finally made it over to the Catalyst sales center and came away very impressed. The sales center itself is one of the best I've seen and the Catalyst building will be a wonderful place to live without question. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of units that were available in the 700 to 800 square foot range that started in the low 200's.

I have a few questions though.

I was told the building has around 60 units sold. They are offering some extremely nice incentives for the first 100 buyers and so far around 60 people have signed contracts. I'm simply wondering if this is a good start? I think they've been taking contracts for almost a month now and have reached around 12% sold. Is this a good number or is it lacking? How does this compare to how the Avenue sold in it's first open month?

When Novarre chose to build before selling I thought it was brilliant. I believed that in light of the way certain projects were going about trying to reach a certain goal before beginning construction that Novarre was on to something. We all knew this process eliminated any questions about the tower being completed. However, given the state of the real estate market this could prove to be very risky. What if sales come to a hault and the building settles around 20% sold?

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When Novarre chose to build before selling I thought it was brilliant. I believed that in light of the way certain projects were going about trying to reach a certain goal before beginning construction that Novarre was on to something. We all knew this process eliminated any questions about the tower being completed. However, given the state of the real estate market this could prove to be very risky. What if sales come to a hault and the building settles around 20% sold?

I believe they have enough money in the bank to absorb this temporary loss. In the grand scheme of things, as long as this tower is finished, they will someday get a return on their investment.

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I believe they have enough money in the bank to absorb this temporary loss. In the grand scheme of things, as long as this tower is finished, they will someday get a return on their investment.

I wonder if Novare will rent units themselves at that point (if only 20% sold and slow sales when building is done). I suspect they will.

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I finally made it over to the Catalyst sales center and came away very impressed. The sales center itself is one of the best I've seen and the Catalyst building will be a wonderful place to live without question. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of units that were available in the 700 to 800 square foot range that started in the low 200's.

I have a few questions though.

I was told the building has around 60 units sold. They are offering some extremely nice incentives for the first 100 buyers and so far around 60 people have signed contracts. I'm simply wondering if this is a good start? I think they've been taking contracts for almost a month now and have reached around 12% sold. Is this a good number or is it lacking? How does this compare to how the Avenue sold in it's first open month?

When Novarre chose to build before selling I thought it was brilliant. I believed that in light of the way certain projects were going about trying to reach a certain goal before beginning construction that Novarre was on to something. We all knew this process eliminated any questions about the tower being completed. However, given the state of the real estate market this could prove to be very risky. What if sales come to a hault and the building settles around 20% sold?

I actually am one of the 12% so far and in talking to the sales reps they are actually ahead of their target at this point. I was actually surprised myself when they said that, but I guess June/July are typically the slowest months for real estate. The only number I am focused on at the moment is 150 by a certain date (I believe March 1), because according to my contract that is the number of units they must sell to lock in the project as condos versus changing to another plan (i.e. apartments). If they sell less than 150 by March 1 they have the option to return my deposit and take the building in another direction.

Knowing Novare and their business I doubt they want that situation to arise any more than I do.

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I actually am one of the 12% so far and in talking to the sales reps they are actually ahead of their target at this point. I was actually surprised myself when they said that, but I guess June/July are typically the slowest months for real estate. The only number I am focused on at the moment is 150 by a certain date (I believe March 1), because according to my contract that is the number of units they must sell to lock in the project as condos versus changing to another plan (i.e. apartments). If they sell less than 150 by March 1 they have the option to return my deposit and take the building in another direction.

Knowing Novare and their business I doubt they want that situation to arise any more than I do.

That pretty much answers it. Thanks for sharing!

June and July are very slow even in a good market so that could play a part in them only being at 12%. I think 150 contracts by March 09 is an attainable goal. If anyone can do it Novarre can.

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Knowing Novare and their business I doubt they want that situation to arise any more than I do.

You are spot on here. If sales are slower upon closing dates (mine is set for Jan 31st) then they will probably offer more incentives and/or lower priced units. If this happens the contract for any unit in this development states that if you live in a similar unit (ie, on the same floor, same floor plan) and that unit is discounted or other incentives are offered then those incentives or discounts must also be applied to the earlier contracts.

To clarify, on the date that I put a contract down the office provided a list of what the same floor plan asking price was for on my floor and the 5 floors above and below me. If these prices or incentives become more favorable then I am also entitled to them.

Basically, its a price protection. In my opinion, it takes the risk out of getting in "too early." Is this how everyone else sees this statement in their contract?

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I also think thay sales paces could change once Wachovia's destiny is more clearly defined, which I'm guessing will happen in the next couple of months. I can't imagine too many your professionals there that would be highly leveraged buyers are shopping for downtown condos at the moment. Once some stability returns at work, I think that will translate into sales. Conversley, the demise of Wachovia, would be the demise of the downtown condo market for several years.

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