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SKYE Condominiums and Hyatt Place Hotel

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^ Uhh, I hope there weren't any people inside at the time. So much for a solid foundation.

I believe one construction worker died in that. I remember seeing the pictures elsewhere with corresponding text. The building was part of a giant building project in some Asian country.

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I had forgotten about this. I assume if there had been some sort of deal it would have been in the news, but there really is nothing. It makes one wonder why these guys bothered to show up unless they were looking for some sort of real low ball give away of the property.

We have analyzed this before. I think whoever ends up with it, is going to have a very tough time making an economic case for keeping it as is. Even the prospects for parking fees isn't as good as it was a year ago. (more competition, less customers) My guess is that if it is to be auctioned off, then the price will have to be low enough to allow for a demolition. Basically the real value of the land - the demolition cost. That is going to be a tough pill for that investment firm to swallow.

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It's possible too that this may be a positive sign in that these bidders (at least 10 of them) have an actual interest in the property and possibly finishing it. However, I also think if they do finish this project these units will be sold at a steep discount.... I just can't see how they would be able to sell $500k units in this building. I'm hoping for that. It would be a shame to go through all this to just demo the building.

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Just as a sign on how tough this will be to resurrect, here is a story about $550,000 water front luxury condos, that are now selling for $32,000. The investor & cheap financing spurred market for condos is over. What remains are the people who smartly didn't buy on the highs or foolishly got into lotteries, who can now come in and get these things on pennies on the dollar.

We are not to $67/sq ft housing yet, but I still contend something like it, is coming. When the governmental handouts to BofA and Wells dry up, watch out. (we are probably another election from that though)

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I'd be more worried, if like South Florida, Charlotte had a higher share of its total housing units within condos. But Charlotte is single-family sprawlsville. Hence, it's more likely all of the numerous cookie-cutter subdivisions that are on the long path to recovery.

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I'd be more worried, if like South Florida, Charlotte had a higher share of its total housing units within condos. ....
I used to live in South Florida and maybe I am missing something, but there are a huge number of single family homes there. This is after all a metro of 5M-6M people. I have no idea what the rest of your statement means. My post was in regards to condos like the Park and nothing else.

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This really isn't a fair apples to apples comparison. Miami and south Fl. were pretty much the most overbuilt condo market in the nation. We never experienced the type of bubble that they had down there although I will admit that there were probably too many new highrises built at that same time. The Park is sort of a microcosm of the whole downtown condo market here. It was a weak product to begin with and had a very inexperienced developer. Verna was an engineer, not a condo developer. As with anything else, the weaker products have been weeded out and have floundered or died...this being one of them.

Down in Myrtle Beach, I have seen some really drastic price reductions in these "condotel" developments where the hotels are being converted to timeshare style units. Full ownership in a decent oceanfront 500 sq ft condo in a hotel building can be had for as little as 69k...if you want to pony up $500 a month or more in hoa fees.

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Here is one in Ft. Myers which is not in South Florida. It's a 32 story condo tower with just one resident. It is interesting that a firefighter can afford to pay $450K for a second residence. But then again, maybe he can't. It was the insanity of this run up in real estate prices.

See this story.

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^After reading the article I clicked on the related story about the wife of that guy just being arrested for embezzlement.

Its off topic but too funny to ignore.

Jorge Perez makes Verna look like a Saint btw.

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Here is one in Ft. Myers which is not in South Florida. It's a 32 story condo tower with just one resident. It is interesting that a firefighter can afford to pay $450K for a second residence. But then again, maybe he can't. It was the insanity of this run up in real estate prices.

See this story.

That's a great question...how could a firefighter really afford a main home priced that much?

I can't imagine how creep though it would be to be the only one living in a 32' tower...

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That's a great question...how could a firefighter really afford a main home priced that much?

We can't assume that a firefighter only has one source of income or that they don't have any other money or family money can we? Most firefighters I know have 2nd jobs since they work big blocks of time then have other big blocks of time off.

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^Maybe, but not likely. I would say that most likely he got caught up in the same hysteria that most of America bought into from watching HGTV and listening to bankers and real estate agents that buying a property worth many times his yearly income was a good investment. It's the same hysteria that led to a project as broken as The Park.

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^Maybe, but not likely. I would say that most likely he got caught up in the same hysteria that most of America bought into from watching HGTV and listening to bankers and real estate agents that buying a property worth many times his yearly income was a good investment. It's the same hysteria that led to a project as broken as The Park.

Actually that wasn't the same. In the instance of The Park, it wasn't the buyers that led to the problem, as there is no proof of whether the soon-to-be residence could afford their units or not, but was a victim to the developer's inconceivably.

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Actually that wasn't the same. In the instance of The Park, it wasn't the buyers that led to the problem, as there is no proof of whether the soon-to-be residence could afford their units or not, but was a victim to the developer's inconceivably.

Also Verna was considering the condo tower long before anyone else was thinking of such projects in Charlotte. The parking deck was structured to receive a building on top of it when built in the early eighties and he had a rendering in his office of the proposed tower at that time, though what stands today is somewhat different. I believe he saw all these projects going up in the downtown area, and considering his age, This forced him into a now or never. I had hopes that some resolution to this thing would happen before the Nascar Museum opens, but now I have my doubts.

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We can't assume that a firefighter only has one source of income or that they don't have any other money or family money can we? Most firefighters I know have 2nd jobs since they work big blocks of time then have other big blocks of time off.

Your exactly right. The couple did have other income. The wife's embezzling income :shades: !!!

This guy is starting to get pretty famous/infamous now(was the lead story on Yahoo or the wknd).

The huge problem with the whole thing is not the fact that 1 family lives in a condo building or that the wife is a criminal, it is that a 45 yo firefighter who is planning to retire in 4 yrs used his life savings (per the 2nd story) to put down $100K on a $430K condo. He's retiring in 4 yrs and still wants to sport a mortgage of $330K???? Gonna have to be some kind of 2nd career with wifey doin 5 to 10 in upstate NY.

Ever wonder why the 30 year mortgage was created. Lets see graduate from school late teens/early 20s. Work and save money for a down payment for 10 years. Buy a house late 20s/early 30s. Pay off 30 year mortgage early 60s. Retire mid 60s WITHOUT A HOUSE PAYMENT!

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Actually that wasn't the same. In the instance of The Park, it wasn't the buyers that led to the problem, as there is no proof of whether the soon-to-be residence could afford their units or not, but was a victim to the developer's inconceivably.
I am not sure what you said here that disagrees with what I said. Without hysterical buyers willing to plunk down a ton of money for these units, Verna would have never gotten it off the ground. You don't consider the construction of an empty building a problem?
Also Verna was considering the condo tower long before anyone else was thinking of such projects in Charlotte.
Sure he did. And he couldn't get it off the ground until he substantially raised the prices over what he was first going to charge for these units. He could only do that after people started losing their minds, like the firefighter, and pay these kinds of prices. Verna did after all take ~7 years to get this plan off the ground, and did back out of the original pricing scheme, and only went forward at the height of the real estate hysteria downtown.

This completely proves what I said. If there was a real market for this building, then some developer would have come in and taken it long ago. It would have been in Verna's self interest to have done this. The problem. Is there is no market for these buildings now. On look over at

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The problems with The Park were problems with the developer. Had he started and finished on time this building would have been sold out and occupied before the bottom dropped out of the real estate market and the lending environment. Whether buyers should have wanted to buy a condo is a moot point, they did and the building wasn't started or finished on time and the builder went bust. This building is atypical of the overall market. Furthermore, it isn't just condos that are problems these days but all aspects of the entire real estate envirnment but for some reason, in Charlotte to those that have a personal issue with condos, they are always attempted to be used as the poster child for a national major issue. They are just one small aspect of the entire economy. Lake properties and starter homes are actually faring much worse in this market. So far the general condo market in Charlotte isn't that bad. Single examples like this building and a couple others are faring horribly, but the same can be said for a couple particular lakefront communities, golf communties in Waxhaw, and other 'pick your individual example' projects all over the region.

If you want to list out the various projects that never got off the ground due to the economy, the list can extend to subdivisions and PUD's that never did as well. Builders are only building nominal amounts of new product right now, be it condo or single family home.

Edited by Charlotte_native

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The problems with The Park were problems with the developer. Had he started and finished on time this building would have been sold out and occupied before the bottom dropped out of the real estate market and the lending environment. Whether buyers should have wanted to buy a condo is a moot point, they did and the building wasn't started or finished on time and the builder went bust. This building is atypical of the overall market. Furthermore, it isn't just condos that are problems these days but all aspects of the entire real estate envirnment but for some reason, in Charlotte to those that have a personal issue with condos, they are always attempted to be used as the poster child for a national major issue. They are just one small aspect of the entire economy. Lake properties and starter homes are actually faring much worse in this market. So far the general condo market in Charlotte isn't that bad. Single examples like this building and a couple others are faring horribly, but the same can be said for a couple particular lakefront communities, golf communties in Waxhaw, and other 'pick your individual example' projects all over the region.

If you want to list out the various projects that never got off the ground due to the economy, the list can extend to subdivisions and PUD's that never did as well. Builders are only building nominal amounts of new product right now, be it condo or single family home.

Well said.

Has anyone heard anything about the auction? There were 15 registered bidders with no minimum bid I think. I'm not sure how that scenario doesn't produce a buyer? For the first couple of days I thought the bidding might have started low and different parties kept coming up with an upset big. Now that so much time has passed, I don't know what to think. Did I miss some news somewhere?

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Whether buyers should have wanted to buy a condo is a moot point, they did and the building wasn't started or finished on time and the builder went bust. This building is atypical of the overall market. Furthermore, it isn't just condos that are problems these days but all aspects of the entire real estate envirnment but for some reason, in Charlotte to those that have a personal issue with condos, they are always attempted to be used as the poster child for a national major issue. They are just one small aspect of the entire economy. ....
The "overall market" excuse for The Park, which this topic is about, doesn't fly. The point being made is the building was unnecessary, not wanted, and was the result of the hysteria surrounding high end properties and especially those downtown. I've point out before the complete idiocy of building skyscrapers in cities with no land pressures and very low population density. Take away the "investment" part of this, now that prices are falling, and the market for these things collapses. I do agree the downtown market has faired relatively well, but that is because the disaster of the collapse of BofA and Wachovia, has come at the expense of great amounts of federal social welfare. What is going on on the shores of Lake Norman, which has experienced much of the same mentality, is really irrelevant to this point.

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The huge problem with the whole thing is not the fact that 1 family lives in a condo building or that the wife is a criminal, it is that a 45 yo firefighter who is planning to retire in 4 yrs used his life savings (per the 2nd story) to put down $100K on a $430K condo. He's retiring in 4 yrs and still wants to sport a mortgage of $330K????

Don't be silly. A New Jersey fireman? I'd be very surpised if his pension is less than $150k/year in perpetuity, and probably closer to $200k (or more). Who needs savings when you get benefits like that (or until NJ overhauls its state finances)? :)

To answer the question about the auction, even though there was no minimum bid, the lender had the right to reject any/all offers. Since we have heard nothing conclusive, my guess is the lender is negotiating with 1 or 2 of the highest bidders.

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Don't be silly. A New Jersey fireman? I'd be very surpised if his pension is less than $150k/year in perpetuity, and probably closer to $200k (or more). Who needs savings when you get benefits like that (or until NJ overhauls its state finances)? :)....

You are way off on that one. Maximum salary for a NJ firefighter is around $70K/year. Most make in the $55-$60K range. Retirement benefits for a NJ firefigher are limited to a maximum of 70% of salary and that would occur only if you held the job for 40 years. Otherwise, it's less. Given this guy is only 45, my guess is he doesn't have 40 years service and is going to get the 50% pay out.

This means that at most he will get $35K/year for retirement, more likely around $30K/year. (plus medical)

Personally I don't think they are paid enough for what they do. However given these numbers, it only proves how insane the real estate market had become. Maybe he was counting on selling off the first home to pay for this one. Unfortunately for him, it would be my guess that plan didn't work out so well either.

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Our friend Victor the Fireman made $152k last year per NJ pension records. This does not include sick days and PTO that public employees can typically carry forward and be reimbursed in their final year, which in many highly "workers rights" states can be counted as part of the salary used to calculate pension (as often can reimbursable expenses).

I maintain that Victor will be living quite comfortably by his lonesome in Florida :)

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^The numbers I posted for NJ firefighters are readily available on-line. I don't know what you mean by our friend Victor but I contend that firefighters from NJ don't get retirement benefits anywhere close to $150K/year. What you are saying is someone making $55K-$65/year somehow used tricks to bump the final year salary to $300K.

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