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So where is NVQ now? I would certainly like to hear how he would spin this new tidbit about The Park.

:rofl:

I was wondering much the same thing MC.

I do recall getting a flier in the mail the first day I moved to Charlotte in March of 2001 advertising the units were going fast in Charlotte's first residential high-rise. I thought, oh well, I can't afford that anyways. I've worked with a lot of poor architects and developers througout the years, but watching this chaos from the outside looking in for the past seven always puts things in perspective.

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Charlotte Skyline at Sunset 37mm.3.2s.f9.iso100 by Los Tres Rios Great addition. Makes me excited for Childress Klein

When you compare it to the Hilton/Hampton Inn complex in the background it looks like a million dollars!

An even closer look......     Model Unit 14th Floor (Facing away from the City)    View from the 14th     Inside Fahrenheit   Penthouse Unit   Planter Boxes- They are saying for th

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  • 4 weeks later...

This was added to their website on May 28th.

Construction Notification Update (May 28, 2008)

Reengineering of The Park Condo project is underway. An announcement will be made in the near future.

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That is actually good news given the context of all the bad news. They are now going to cut wasteful and stupid things like the dumbwaiter system for compressed trash when a simple chute would do, and other goofy and expensive brainchildren of Verna.

It seems to me that the banks and existing or potential investors think that wrapping this up is the best way to get money out of this debaucle, so I hope this reengineering is fruitful.

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When I've seen this in the past, mostly with dubious condo projects in Myrtle Beach, "re-engineering" usually means they are taking stuff out of the building like elevators, nice fixtures, floor treatments, etc. Will be interesting to see if this is what that means with The Park. I do find it amazing they got as far as they did and then had to stop and go back to the drawing board, apparently.

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Somebody will -someday- complete this. It isn't like a condo tower at the beach which nobody "has to" go to. This is very valuble land, so close to uptown employers and the light rail.

Would still suck to be one of the original people with a down payment locked up, though....

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It is very possible they'll need to do drastic stuff like that, but I think there were quite a few superfluous additions that Verna had added when he thought this was going be THE luxury tower for Charlotte. At this point, there should be no delusions. This is just going to be a regular middle class condo tower, and inflation made it so that he can no longer afford the luxuries he originally planned to include.

They obviously need to continue what they started for windows and siding, but inside, I'm sure new parties can get involved and find the right mix that allow them to build a product that matches the prices people paid.

I hope they don't go too extreme and cut elevators and other basic infrastructure, but I wouldn't be surprised. At this point, they need to do what they need to do to finish the project and get people moved in. My guess is that the people need to expect ceramic tile, carpeting, cheaper cabinets and appliances, and maybe (if they take some cues from Novare) a lot of exposed concrete and laminate floors.

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^ A friend of mine has one of the contracts for a unit at the Park, and he has been sitting on it for several years. One thing that stood out from my perspective was the amount of customization available for the finishes, including flooring, lighting, cabinets, bathrooms, kitchens. There were literally thousands of combinations available, and many of them were quite pricey. The unit level upgrades would be paid for by the owner, not the developer, so I'm not certain the cuts would be made at the individual units. The finishes for the common areas are another story.

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Somebody will -someday- complete this. It isn't like a condo tower at the beach which nobody "has to" go to. This is very valuble land, so close to uptown employers and the light rail.....
Huh? Are you aware of ocean front property in Myrtle Beach that isn't valuable? The condos that I was referring to got finished too. But it took years and the end result was a lot less that what was implied. A 22 story building with just two elevators is an example. (the original design called for 4)
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I'm thinking more along the lines that a beach town is a vanity location and succombs to seasonal swings.

At least The Park is near transit, and multiple longer term employment centers. I think it will be finished, before the incomplete projects at the coast are. But I agree it could take a few years even here.

I remember reading posts elsewhere on the Internet about what Anchorage Alaska was like when the 70s oil boom ended. There were incomplete buildings that took a decade or more to finish.

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I'm thinking more along the lines that a beach town is a vanity location ....
I don't know. A highrise in the middle of a sea of parking lots would meet this definition in my book. There certainly is no land shortage or need for such a tower and because of it, maybe it is having the same issues as the vanity towers in Myrtle Beach.
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One thing that stood out from my perspective was the amount of customization available for the finishes, including flooring, lighting, cabinets, bathrooms, kitchens. There were literally thousands of combinations available, and many of them were quite pricey. The unit level upgrades would be paid for by the owner, not the developer, so I'm not certain the cuts would be made at the individual units.

This is great for a buyer but an absolute nightmare for a developer and a builder. Custom outfitting a couple hundred units will take far more time to complete than other similar buildings and will cost the developer more per unit for labor since you don't just send the same crew in unit after unit to do standard baths, kitchens, etc. Maybe this is part of the problem. Custom units in most buildings are either limited to the penthouse units (230 South Tryon), are small buildings (The Trust), or aren't done at all -- penthouse units in 300 Tryon are only sold as shells so the buyers can finish them themself.

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I am curious why the developer doesn't just sell unfinished units as they do in most world cities? It would seem to me this would simply the process hugely and get these things off the ground faster.

Its hard to get financing for most buyers for unfinished units. Most people don't have enough cash to both make a downpayment and finish a space, and condo financing for construction loans isn't something banks do very much. For larger spaces and those that are bought by folks with plenty of money, not a big deal, but not average units and average buyers.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This and the clock "tower" have got me thinking - perhaps there could be a law against this kind of stuff, in which the municipality can take possession of the structure, finish it, sell it off and then pay the lean holders (and the builder if they are personally vested). Normally one wouldn't suggest the government do such a thing given it's typical inefficiencies, but with lendors in dire straits right now it doesn't appear they are or will be jumping in.

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The financier will take millions of dollars of losses on this. Any buyer will want a deep discount to reflect the uncertainties of unwarrantable workmanship. I wonder if some heads will roll in Wisconsin!

Edited by MZT
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From yesterday, though if I stuck this photo in my timecapsule, I'm sure future generations would have difficulty dating it.

post-1289-1214079918_thumb.jpg

In seriousness though, I have to assume that at somepoint, the bank will be willing to sell this at enough discount to justify the risk to a developer willing to finish it.

Sidenote.....in British law, the bank has to sell to the highest bidder, regardless if they were the original owner. Therefore, Verna could buy this back from the lender for pennies on the dollar, and make a fortune by completing it. But, we don't live in England, so I guess that's out.

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What I expect to see happen here, is that if the lender is owed $30 million, they'll offer it for auction at trustee sale for less than that... in the hope that somebody will step in and win it, without them ever taking title and getting involved at all.

The difference between what's owed and the highest bid, is their loss.

Edited by MZT
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.....

Sidenote.....in British law, the bank has to sell to the highest bidder, regardless if they were the original owner. Therefore, Verna could buy this back from the lender for pennies on the dollar, and make a fortune by completing it. But, we don't live in England, so I guess that's out.

At one time they had debtor's prisons in England where people like Verna would be locked up and whipped on occasion. Did the UK change their "estate" system to allow for condo development's like The Park? (freehold vs leasehold)

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