Ok, maybe the title is a little dramatic, but it is close to Halloween and scary things do catch our attention this time of year. So, what is going on at The Cosmopolitan? Well, it is not anything as terrible and scary as what is going on at Millennium Tower in San Francisco ( has sunk 16 inches and tilted 6 inches at the penthouse). What is happening at The Cosmopolitan is very frustrating though for residents who just paid a major premium to be owners there! Lets start with space. Many residents, after moving in their furnishings are just know realizing the space issues we had talked about in a previous blog post I had written. Problems with walking room around beds in many of the units is something I have heard about many times now. Ok, this probably is not the worst thing in the world and people will learn to deal with it. ( who would have thought you would just have to “deal” with anything after you just paid $900 a square foot!)
Most recently, especially after the “Big” storm, many residents complained about the loud whistling and howling noises. Very fitting around the Halloween season! What is going on with that? Anderson Construction has determined ( and we will find out if it is correct or not) that the loud noises are being caused by the backdraft dampers. From previous complaints, they were already adding gasketing material to the fresh air intakes and they will now be doing the same to the backdraft dampers. This repair will take an elaborate 2 point suspension scaffold on the exterior of the building. The scaffolding will initially be set up on the “16” stack of the building. Only time will tell if the issue is in fact what Anderson believes it to be. Either way, a huge disappointment for owners who just paid the highest price per foot ever for new construction in Portland.
Another problem… loud footsteps from above! Really? Several sources have said that footstep noise from above their units is excessive and surprising for a brand new and expensive building. One source said that the sales team had told them they would never hear footsteps with the modern construction techniques and gave assurances to that fact. My take… this is not a low rent apartment building! This is a building with MANY units selling for $1,000,000 or more and buyers paid huge premiums to the average market price to live here. To have such problems so early on is concerning.
Now the problem with space is one thing. It did not help that in the developers( Hoyt Properties) floor plans there are some pretty scaled down furnishings. ( I just double checked. I am curious… who can fit in the chair in the den that measure 1’ 6” wide? )
The other problems (noise issues) are a little more concerning. Hopefully Anderson is correct with the gasket fix and that problem will get solved in a timely matter. And from what I hear from residents, the repair issues are backed up and things are not happening as fast as they would like! As for the “Scary” footsteps from above… I just don’t know what to say!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with LuxuryCondosofPortland.com at Pearl District Properties. If you would like to tour any urban condos, just give Brad a call at 503-896-8856.
Design approval for Block 20 recently happened. For more information on this project, click Block 20 http://www.nextportland.com/2016/07/13/block-20-approved/#more-8144
Also, notice of pile driving went out recently!
So how will the timing be for the release of new condos at Block 20? I do not believe they will be as favorable as they were for the developers on The Cosmopolitan. If you remember reading on my blog, Hoyt Development had the perfect storm happen for them when they released their highly priced (a majority in the $600 to $1200 sq. ft. range) units. When the Cosmopolitan was released, inventory levels were at extremely low levels…non- existent almost! They were able to capture crazy pricing because buyers had no other options. That is not the case right now in our market. Today, like everyday, I brought up new condo listings. What was most interesting to see was that there were 11 price reductions! This is something we are starting to see everyday as things have slowed dramatically. So , moving forward, it will be a different environment for the developer.
I took a fair amount of abuse from the developers about my many comments about the Cosmopolitan, most were about pricing. Did they sell out the building at those high prices? Yes! (98%) sold. Good for them and their and their profits! (maybe not so good for the owners) If you recall, my biggest fear of selling a unit at The Cosmopolitan was worry for my clients that the market could slow down or turn around and what would happen to buyers who paid such a big premium when or if that happened… Guess what? That time is here! The market has slowed dramatically. (again, look at price reductions in the market) What will happen when Cosmopolitan buyers need to sell ( job relocation etc.)? Stay tuned. I do not believe it will be a good thing for the seller’s. Another consideration is the high number of apartments that have been built in the downtown area. I feel we must be reaching a point of saturation in the rental market. When this happens, rental rates go down. For the last several years, it has been cheaper to buy instead of renting with rental prices at $2.25 to $2.75 a sq. ft. When rental rates start dropping, you will have more potential buyers going the rental route than we had before. They will be happy to sit on the sideline and let the slowdown happen and be patient before buying.
What about the pricing at the new Block 20 development? One thing I know, construction prices ( concrete, steel, sheet rock) have continued to rise. Will we see prices touching $1000 to $1200 again? I don’t believe so. Much will also depend on the finishes of the building though. Will they compare to that of the Cosmopolitan and The Metropolitan or will they be a notch or two lower?
If you have questions about Block 20 or wish to be on a waiting list for info, please give me a call. If you think there may be some interest in the new project, keep this in mind. It will be important to work with a buyers agent not associated with the developer…remember, the buyers agent works for your benefit, not the developers!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties.
If you would like see any of Portland’s beautiful available condominiums, give Brad a call to set up a viewing tour.
503-896-8856 – firstname.lastname@example.org
A new penthouse off of Westover came on the market today priced at nearly $3,600,000! Here is one more attempt of someone trying to capture the $1,000 a square foot pricing of the new Cosmopolitan. As shown by other recent attempts in the insane pricing range! Just a couple of things I want to say about this listing. The condo, a 5th floor penthouse unit does have a spectacular view looking over the Pearl and the city of Portland. While a nice unit, it just had another 3600 sq. ft. neighbor that just sold at The Westerly for $2,850,000. The unit at the Westerly was a nice unit with two massive decks… clearly a big advantage over the newly listed unit! In addition, it took nearly 5 years for the Westerly penthouse to finally sell. While it can be argued that this new listing has nicer finishes and a better view than the new Cosmopolitan ( although you would never know from the photos!!!), this part of town just should not capture the prices of a true Pearl location. In my opinion, it is priced a little high.
The views, this is what potential buyers will be attracted to.
Now, this is a better example of how to sell someone’s views!
A real positive, a charger in the garage for a Tesla! I happen to know of one couple who made an offer on one of my penthouse listings in the past that this was a very important detail they wanted. With that said, a Tesla charger is not what will help sell this unit for over $3,000,000. Good photographs though would certainly help!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties and a founding member of Condo10. If you would like to view this newest Portland penthouse, call Brad Golik at 503-896-8856. “I know this market and will negotiate you the best possible price!”
Everyday I bring up the Portland condo list to see any new listings, see if anything has gone pending and to see if old listings have expired or were canceled. Sometimes what I see just makes me shake my head in disbelief. No question, this is a pretty hot market and I do see people paying more than they might normally do. And, while I do not believe we are at a peak yet, it is certainly not a time to let my buyer’s grossly overpay for a property either. Today, a new penthouse came on the market. This is a penthouse at Atwater Place in South Waterfront. The price is $2,700,000 and it is priced at $1000 a sq. ft., the same as what you are seeing at the brand new Cosmopolitan on the Park. Except that at the Cosmo, $1000 gets you up to the 27th floor in a brand new building!
Awhile back I wrote about three penthouse units that were priced in the $3,000,000 range. The first was the 3.8M penthouse at the Cosmo, which I thought would be the first to sell ( it just went Pending again this week). The first one to sell was actually the penthouse at The Elizabeth that was priced at $2,995,000. I represented the buyer on the purchase. You might have read in my blog “Who says it’s a seller’s market?” about the great price my buyer got for that unit… $2,200,000 fully furnished. The third one, and it’s still on the market, is at The Casey and still priced at $3,249,000.
I mention these three units because all three tried to push the $1000 ft barrier. I mentioned I thought the Cosmo would be the first to sell for a few reasons. First, it is a brand new building and brand new buildings always get a premium. Also, at 3.8M this is a property where the buyer can afford to “overpay” and are ok in doing so in order to have “The Best”. The penthouse at the Elizabeth was actually the first to sell and it sold for under $700 a ft.
In mentioning these three units, it helps clarify the pricing on the new Atwater Place penthouse. For one, it is not a new building…so no premium here. 2nd, it is not in The Pearl District…again, no premium here! (While I do like South Waterfront, the Pearl always gets a premium!) Also, keep this in mind, Unit #2403, a NE corner penthouse at Meriwether just went pending at $1,675,000 (598 sq. ft.). It was slightly larger and on a higher floor! At $1000 a sq. ft. the Atwater penthouse is just priced high. Sure, being a penthouse with great river views does justify a high price. (It does have outstanding outdoor living space) Will it sell? Sometimes there will be just the right buyer that loves the place, and the buyers agent usually sells homes in the suburbs and does not understand if a unit is priced high or not. The answer… you never know!
Another listing that was recently brought to me that is not in the MLS is one of the iconic townhomes on 11th in The Pearl. Before I mention this one…I want to show you a few of the comps first. Two units, with 2698 sq. ft. recently sold. One for $1,850,000 the other for $1,900,000. A third sold ( 2 units combined with 3888 sq. ft) for $2,425,000 , or $623 a sq. ft. The third had many high end custom finishes and was designed by the exceptional designer, Jefferey Lamb. Ok, drum roll please…. The new listing , #621 which is 2698 sq. ft… is priced at $2,600,000! Are you kidding me? When I questioned the agents pricing, he mentioned that all three of the comps were going through substantial remodeling. Ok, lets use the combined unit that sold for $2,425,000. Let’s say the new buyer decides he wants to put in an additional $400,000 in remodeling. This would still put this unit at $726 a sq. ft. , or $237 a sq. ft. less than #621 which is at an absurd $963 a ft!
Now you know why I just have to shake my head sometimes in the mornings while looking at new listings!
My purpose of writing about some of these overpriced units is not to beat up on them, but only to help educate buyers so that they don’t overpay for a unit. If you are a buyer in the market for a Portland condo, I know this market inside and out, especially the high end of the market. I would love to help you find your next dream condo so please, give me a call and we can begin to turn your dream of owning a luxury Portland condominium, into a reality…for the right price!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties. His area of focus is The Pearl District, South Waterfront and Downtown Portland. Brad is a founding member of Condo10 and an expert in internet marketing. You can reach him at 503-896-8856 or at email@example.com , www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
As The Cosmopolitan nears completion, the feedback is…?
As the Cosmopolitan nears completion, it reminds me of the night when the developer invited many top agents to get their input on what their condo buyer’s wanted in a new “Luxury” condo development. Here were some of the suggestions from agents that night: Bigger decks, high end finishes, spacious master suites, spacious feeling units, fireplaces, and my input…a small artificial grass “potty” area for pets on the mezzanine level so that owners did not have to go down to street level late at night. Now, lets take a look at how they did in these areas: High end finishes. Well this was a given considering the prices charged. But is everyone happy? The truth is, Pedini cabinets are very nice, but they are a little over contemporary for some. All in all, a decent job here! Bigger decks? Well, apparently after the meeting, the developers ran to the architects…and told them to do the total opposite! The deck space on a majority of these units is terrible! Add the exterior door swing and they become even smaller!
Spacious master suites. A majority of the master suites remind me of Waterfront Pearl. (and this is not a compliment!) Most masters at The Cosmopolitan have a width of 10 feet (and only one place the bed can go) So with a King bed and headboard/footboard you are looking at about 2.6 feet or less of space to walk around your bed! And remember people, as an example, the SW corner units (E4 Plans) are $1,000,000+ condos! Fireplaces…we are good here! Pet area on the Mezzanine level…not happening! And not saying it was a great idea just because it was my idea…but? And finally…and I want to spend some time here, spacious units. This is where I think there will be the biggest amount of disappointment amongst buyers when they move into their new units. (and from people I have spoken with that have seen the units, it seems to be pretty accurate.) The problem in a number of floor plans is the actual usable living space. In a number of units there is an excessive amount of hall space. To use an example, let’s go back to the E4 plan in the SW corner…or the 14 stack (1314,1214,etc..) This unit is a 2 bedroom unit with 1,592 square feet. If you calculate in the amount of hallway space in this unit, it equals about 225 sq. feet or approx. 14% of the total square footage… this is a lot! ( if you take away that amount it makes the actual living areas closer to 1,367 sq. ft.) At 14% it comes in a close second to the worst unit which is the 2 bedroom units on the NE corner (the D6 Plans or the 17 stack…1817,1717 etc.) these have approx. 14.5% of the square footage in hallways. Others in the building are the 15 stack in the SE corner below the 14th floor at 13.5%, the 12 Stack in the NW corner at 12%, and the best in terms of actual usable space is the 15 stack in the SE corner above the 13th floor as the number there represents only 7.3% (and remember, these are approximate numbers, not exact!) For a little perspective here, let’s look at the D6 plan (NE corner below 19th floor) At 1,350 square feet, if you loose about 200 square feet that puts you at 1,150 square feet. In the world a spaciousness in condos, 200 square feet of space is a lot of space.
So are there other buildings in town with hallways taking up livable space? Of course (but none that you ever paid $600 to $1200 a square foot for!) The point I am trying to make here is that if you walk into your new unit at The Cosmopolitan, and it feels a lot smaller than you were thinking it was going to be… depending on which floor plan you bought, this could be part of the reason.
Some of the other feedback that I have heard has to do with customer service, or from what I have heard on a number of occasions, the lack of. Have spoken with several that have not gotten great service in working on the design aspects of their purchase…even one who paid over several million! Hopefully there will be more people with positive comments than negative ones as we move closer to closings!
We have all heard recently how crazy the market is lately. We have heard that it is a Seller’s market and that there are no deals to be had. Wrong!
Yesterday, my client closed on the purchase of a beautiful new Penthouse condo at The Elizabeth. Originally priced at $3,299,000, my buyer closed on this unit at $2,200,000…FULLY FURNISHED, and the furnishings were stunning! After 10 months on the market, this penthouse was most recently priced at $2,995,000. I have been in this business a long time now and I must say, this has to be one of the best purchases I have seen… and this in a “Seller’s Market”!
One reason that I want to bring up this purchase is to talk about the importance of correct pricing when you put your home on the market. It is great to try and push the price a little in this market…but there is a very fine line! There are many penthouse units in the market that right now are becoming stale because they were priced way over the market price. The Penthouse at The Elizabeth was one of them and you may recall my blog posting when that unit originally came on the market. If you did not read about it “Luxury Condos and Portland Penthouses” in November when I wrote about it…here is what I said:
“Topping the list is the largest of the penthouse units at the Cosmopolitan priced at $3,883,000. If I had to guess, this will be the first one to sell of the three penthouses that are in the $3,000,000 price range. The other two, the penthouse at the Casey priced at $3,499,000 and the penthouse at the Elizabeth priced at $3,298,900 are very overpriced in my opinion. ( so is the one at the Cosmopolitan…but it will eventually sell very close to its asking price). The other two are priced in the $1000 a square foot vicinity. This is way too high, in my opinion!”
Now I am not patting myself on the back for being right about the pricing… (because I was VERY wrong saying the Cosmo would have difficulties selling) The reason I point this out is to let seller’s know that when you overprice a unit, it will cost you more in the end because the unit becomes stale and lowball offers will start to come…much like our offer on The Elizabeth penthouse after it had been on the market for 10 months! If you are a buyer that is looking for a luxury condo or penthouse and would like to hear our negotiation strategy for this purchase, give me a call as I would love to assist you in finding a great unit! If you are an owner that is thinking about selling, I would love to sit down with you and share my marketing program with you. I truly believe that I have the best marketing program for condos in the + $500,000 market!
If you are a buyer in the luxury end of the market and possibly looking for a penthouse, please give me a call because I believe with the sale price of $2,200,000 at The Elizabeth, ( the most recent comp) the other units in the market that are priced at $2,000,000 or higher will be getting a pretty big dose of reality and need to adjust pricing or at least be willing to accept a realistic offer!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and Pearl District Properties. He is also a founding member of Condo10.
As we start the new year, one thing remains the same…low inventory! As new listings come on the market, those searching for a new place to live will want to react fairly quickly as there are more buyers than there are condos for sale! If you are looking to sell, not a bad time to push price a little! Last night I went to an open house at The Waterfront Pearl. The listing was a beautiful 8th floor unit with sweeping views of the Willamette River. Stand at the windows in your living room and you feel like you are on top of the river! This unit, priced at $989,000, featured 1729 sf. As I viewed the condo, my first thought was that I wish I had a client with me as I felt it might be under priced at only $572 a sq. ft. While this building is not The Cosmopolitan or The Metropolitan and it will not command the same prices, I do believe this unit could get closer to the $636 per sq, ft. range which puts It closer to the $1,100,000 price tag. Compare this to 2 units left at Cosmopolitan. One is 1643 sq. ft. and priced at $1,559,000 ($953 sq. ft.). The other is 1363 sq. ft and priced at $1,197,000( $878 sq. ft.). Both of these units are on the 25th floor at the Cosmopolitan. While the Waterfront Pearl unit is not on the 25th floor and does not have 25th floor type views, It does have gorgeous river views and people rarely get tired of looking at the river traffic below your windows. To me it is kind of a wash in terms of views. So then, you have to ask yourself, are 25th floor views worth an extra $300 to $371 a sq. ft.? If you were to see the river views from the Waterfront Pearl unit, I believe your answer would be “No way!” . Those views were pretty stunning!
If you are looking to sell your condominium in the near future, be aware of current inventory levels…this is so important. While comps will give you a good starting point, placing your condo in a side by side comparison with every condo in the price range is more important! Right now, for example, there are only 9 condos in the $900,000 to $1,100,000 price range and not 1 of those units competes well with the new Waterfront Pearl listing mentioned above! Does this strategy of pushing the price work? You bet it does! You may have to also sell the appraiser on your pricing, but a good agent should be able to justify his pricing. Another example of this strategy is the Cosmopolitan! The prices they attained happened for 1 reason and 1 reason only… no to low inventory!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties. You can call him for a free market analysis at 503-896-8856. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
** If you would like to view this new listing at Waterfront Pearl, give Brad a call (but you better hurry!)
Yesterday I went and toured a number of new listings in the Pearl. One of them was one that I had mentioned in a previous blog post, a penthouse listing in The Elizabeth. When I wrote about it the first day it came on the market, my comments were that it was way overpriced. This may have been a little premature now that I have seen it in person! At the time, I was basing it on the fact that it is a NW corner, not a SE or NE corner. The deck while reasonably spacious, looks into, not over 937. It is in The Elizabeth, not The Metropolitan, The Casey or the new Cosmopolitan. And finally, when I looked at the pictures of the unit, which were/are terrible, they did nothing to suggest that this was a $3, 299,000 listing! More on the photos later.
After viewing the unit I am changing my price opinion, if anybody cares. On a scale of priced right, fairly overpriced to way overpriced, I am adjusting my opinion to fairly overpriced from way overpriced. Why the change? When you walk into this unit it is stunning! You get something that the unprofessional photos don’t give you, a little bit of the WOW factor. This is a big reason you may have heard me talk over and over about great pictures. The agents current photos do absolutely nothing in terms of me saying “Wow, I have to see this place!”
Now the reality of the pricing. While this unit is stunning when you walk in, part of the wow factor comes from some of the owners furnishings and their sense of style, which is very nice! But, once you take away all of the beautiful furnishings, it would be hard for anyone to walk in and envision a $3,000,000 price tag. (which is $300,000 less then asking) At $3,000,000, you are looking at $909 a square foot. $900 a square foot puts you on about the 24th floor of the new Cosmopolitan. The 14th floor at the Cosmopolitan comes in around $650 a square foot. Now obviously, you would not price the Elizabeth penthouse in the $650 a square foot range because it is a penthouse, so there is a premium to factor in. Now, rumor has it that the seller’s of the The Elizabeth penthouse are selling because they bought two units to combine on the 23rd floor of the Cosmopolitan, which sells for about $850 a square foot! So, they were willing to pay more to be on a higher floor? Why do you pay more to be on a higher floor? The two biggest reasons are that you get better views and the second is that the chances of your views getting blocked by a new building are much lower. The chances of getting your views blocked at The Elizabeth at some point in time are very real because it is only on the 14th floor. Does it deserve a price per square foot of $1,000? No way! Does it deserve $850? If I am the buyers agent, I would be pushing for something in the $800 to $850 range in today’s market.
If I were the listing agent and trying to maximize my clients value, I would be giving them the very best marketing available so that they could try to achieve a premium price over the true market value! This starts with GREAT PHOTOS and great marketing that give the listing the wow factor before a buyer ever walks in the door. Photos that make the buyer say “Wow, I have to see this place!”
If you would like to view this penthouse unit or any other unit, call Brad Golik today to set up a tour. Brad is a condo specialist doing business in the Pearl District, Downtown and South Waterfront. If you are thinking about listing your condominium, call Brad and see why he believes that great marketing can play a big roll in the price you get when you sell your Portland condominium!
Sometime ago, in one of my blog post, I wrote about the fact that I will always deliver my honest opinion. Sometimes that does not make everyone happy. Sometime it might be a seller in a building with an overpriced unit in a building in which I might have made comments about. Others include developers such as those who are selling The Cosmopolitan. As we speak, The Cosmopolitan continues to sell units at prices I have said to be very inflated. I have gotten my fair share of nasty emails for some of my comments and that is ok…because, as I stated earlier, you will ALWAYS get my honest opinion and I will not buckle because of what others ( or their lawyers) have to say. I believe the reason the sales continue (about 60% sold) over there are simple, a lack of inventory in the market has made people nervous about being able to buy something so they jump in with both feet. When I work with buyer’s the one thing I will always tell them is to think about the resale of that unit in the future. For those buying at The Cosmopolitan, and are buying there because that is where they want to be and don’t care about the price, or resale. I would say to enjoy your unit and the building. It will be a great place to live! For those that have concerns about resale, especially in a changing market, hear me out! In previous blog post I have made comparisons to the Seattle market because I feel it is the most like ours, except more expensive. Inventory levels in Seattle are even worse than ours currently. For those of you who may have not been onboard with comparisons I have made in the past, let me SHOW you! For comparison sake, I will be comparing to Bellevue Towers. In my opinion, a slightly higher quality building in terms of amenities and views with quality of each being pretty close. Let’s compare: Now, for those of you that know The Cosmopolitan will be a nice building with nice amenities, here is what you get at Bellevue Towers. To me, these comparisons are pretty alarming. If the market turns ever so slightly in a downward trend, it will not be a good situation for owners. The reality of the Bellevue Towers pricing is that it is market pricing… not hype adjusted! And if you need more convincing on the higher end. Compare the Penthouse at The Cosmopolitan. 3236 Squre Feet , 28th Floor priced at $3,883,000. Now compare it to a PH on the 41st Floor of Bellevue Towers…click here to see what you get! http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/500-106th-Ave-NE-Unit-4105_Bellevue_WA_98004_M15387-66117?row=4 Wow! So let’s review. The penthouse in Portland is smaller (167 sq. ft.) has nice views but not the spectacular views that the Seattle penthouse has and…. it is priced $533,000 MORE! This is why I am concerned! Brad Golik of Pearl District Properties is a condominium specialist in the Pearl District, South Waterfront and Downtown. If you own a Pearl District condominium and would like to know the value of your condo in todays market, get a FREE market valuation at http://www.PearlDistrictCondominiums.com
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