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Derek May 4, 2009 1:40 AM

There was a lot of construction going on around the site of the library yesterday. Does anybody have information on that?

kpexpress May 4, 2009 3:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derek (Post 4230458)
There was a lot of construction going on around the site of the library yesterday. Does anybody have information on that?

Thomas Jefferson School of Law tower started pouring their concrete yesterday.

Derek May 4, 2009 4:04 AM

Thank you. :)


That would explain it. I didn't know it was over there. Sweet though.

keg92101 May 4, 2009 9:33 PM

Here's a shot of it:

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_tQUI0eWovgc/Sf...2/DSCN3312.JPG

staplesla May 6, 2009 10:36 PM

Interesting Read Regarding Vantage Point
 
The developer of downtown San Diego's largest condominium project is facing the possibility of losing dozens of its buyers if it doesn't meet a deadline to complete the nearly 700-unit high-rise by this weekend.

Finishing the mammoth project on time, though, is just one of the developer's worries in a slumping housing market that has significantly slowed sales of new condos downtown.

Pointe of View Developments has contracts with nearly 300 buyers at Vantage Pointe, but purchasers say they have been unable to get loans because of new lending guidelines that require condo developers to secure a high percentage of pre-sales.

Other downtown developers are struggling to boost languishing sales, but their projects are dwarfed by Vantage Pointe, in East Village bordering San Diego City College.

“I think Vantage Pointe is the poster child for everything that's gone wrong in the condo market,” San Diego real estate analyst Gary London said. “It was too big, the timing was completely off, and it's a B, bordering on C, location. No matter what happens with (lending guidelines), the reality is they're not going to sell enough units to make it anything other than a problematic project.”

Other condo developments that have a number of unsold units are grappling with stiffer lending requirements. Some have opted to rent units to bring in income, while others are lowering sale prices to ensure they will be in sync with present-day appraisals.

For Pointe of View, the most immediate challenge is the more than 70 buyers who have the option to back out of their purchase agreements and get their 5 percent deposits refunded if the developer cannot secure an occupancy permit by Saturday.

Under the sale agreements, the developer is obligated to have the units ready within 42 months of the signing a purchase contract. That is unlikely to occur for the first set of buyers.

“People are scared to death of closing; they're upset with the developer and feel like this should have been completed a long, long time ago,” said Brad Willis, a financial adviser who in November 2005 agreed to buy a one-bedroom condo on the 31st floor for $341,000. He has since organized an online message board for prospective buyers to air concerns about the project.

“Some of us are less than a week away from closing, and we don't know if this an apartment building, whether they will they get their occupancy permits and whether people will qualify, which is pretty ridiculous after a five-year period.”

A number of factors contributed to the construction delays, including an 11-month effort to remove contaminated soil at the site, smoke from the 2007 wildfires that shut down work for several days and occasional problems with cranes, said Al Thompson, vice president of construction for Pointe of View.

“In this industry, if you're two weeks late, you're doing very well,” he said. “My biggest frustration is with some purchasers who are trying to do whatever they can to make us fail.”

Developers such as Pointe of View are coping with a new requirement imposed by mortgage giant Fannie Mae that 70 percent of the units in condo projects be pre-sold before the government-controlled entity will purchase loans issued by private lenders. Up until March 1, the requirement was that 51 percent of a condo project's units be under contract.

A spokeswoman for Fannie Mae yesterday confirmed that it has granted an exception to its rule for Vantage Pointe and will allow the developer to meet the 70 percent pre-sale requirement for each of the project's three connected towers rather than for the entire building.

“Fannie Mae's pre-sale guidelines are aimed at protecting prospective condo buyers from investing in projects that have a higher risk of failure. We make exceptions to this requirement if we determine that a project still has a strong chance of success even if the pre-sale level falls below the prescribed 70 percent threshold,” Fannie Mae spokeswoman Amy Bonitatibus said.

How the exception will help Pointe of View close sales through its preferred lender, Wells Fargo, is uncertain because the current buyers are spread throughout the high-rise. It is unknown whether there are enough buyers in any one tower to meet the 70 percent threshold.

“It will help by cutting the project into different parts, so we'll relaunch (sales efforts for) the project this month, and we'll move ahead and hope to see some signs of recovery in the San Diego market,” said Brian Stoddard, president and chief operating officer of Pointe of View, which recently decided to rent out some of its unsold condos.

“This is not a project issue, it's a market issue. We'll ride out the market, and there will be a better day.”

Other major builders downtown say they are appealing to Fannie Mae to relax its lending rules. Meanwhile, they are discounting prices for buyers who entered into contracts at the height of the housing boom.

Last month, Bosa Development agreed to lower prices by an average of 15 percent to 20 percent for 82 buyers who entered into contracts two years ago in its 232-unit Bayside high-rise. The decision was driven by the rapid decline in housing values that made it difficult for the luxury condos to be appraised at the original purchase prices, Bosa President Nat Bosa said.

“I think we made a difficult situation somewhat easier,” said Bosa, who is hoping to persuade Fannie Mae to also grant his project an exemption from the 70 percent pre-sale rule. “We had a lot of questions from the purchasers, and we got several opinions to make sure we did the right thing, and then made the decision to do what we did, and hopefully it's the right decision.”

Early buyers at the 148-unit Breeza project in Little Italy also have received price reductions in keeping with today's lower market values, said Mike Chious, general sales manager for Intergulf Development.

Vantage Pointe faces the biggest challenges downtown because of the size of the project and the misfortune of opening during a depressed market.

Stoddard of Pointe of View insisted that units sold in 2005 are still being appraised for what buyers agreed to pay for them and should not require price adjustments.

Bryan Hall, who has done a walk-through for the two-bedroom unit on the 29th floor he purchased in 2005 for $460,000, said he will be disappointed if the sale cannot go through. He is renting in Mission Valley and awaiting word from the developer.

“It was going to be my dream home, a place where I've wanted to live for a very long time,” said Hall, a real estate broker. “I put so much mental energy and hope into living here, and now it seems impossible because I haven't been able to get a loan.”


http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stori...rise-headache/

kpexpress May 6, 2009 11:16 PM

^^^"He has since organized an online message board for prospective buyers to air concerns about the project."

Does anyone know about this online message board? I want to read some of the comments.

staplesla May 7, 2009 1:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kpexpress (Post 4235876)
^^^"He has since organized an online message board for prospective buyers to air concerns about the project."

Does anyone know about this online message board? I want to read some of the comments.

Here's a link to the message board:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vantagepointe/

staplesla May 7, 2009 1:37 AM

BTW, you have to sign up for the Vantage Point Forum to view the messages. Here is one I copied that I thought was interesting.

-------------------------------
05/05/2009 6:25 PM

Certificate of Occupancy- Not yet granted, no word from the builder when they
will get it. (city has no application date on record)
Fannie Mae Approval- This is a no, unless they are able to split building into
phases to bypass the rules that protect the consumer from buying in building
likely to fail in the first 2 years.
Inspections- Only owner may attend. Every other builder allows the owner to
bring 1 guest, usually a home inspector to help with walk-thru. Buyers are also
not able to see the parking garage, pool, workout, storage, even where the
garbage shute it (if they even built one) Some buyers had to take rickety
construction elevator to their floor since no elevator was in service.

Sign a liability waiver- Buyers must sign a waiver to inspect their units due to
the fact building is no where near completion. No other builder that I know of
does this. They are even asking people to sign off on completed units with no
electricity, water, windows, or flooring. They agree to "try" to complete unit
within 30 days of closing. What a joke. When asked if they will agree to no
funds being released by escrow until completion of unit, they say no.

Phone Calls/Office- They have turned off the phones in the office to fax lines
only. No way to call and speak with anyone. The Canadian office does not take
calls either.

Appraisals- Not allowed! Even if an owner is paying cash he still would want to
get an appraisal for title and insurance purposes. Also to insure the unit was
built to correct size/dimensions.

This list goes on and on and on and
on.....................................................

Vantage Point should just finish the entire building and turn it into rentals or
rent-to-own. Give the buyers back their deposits and be done with this mess.

spoonman May 7, 2009 4:50 AM

Some pics for anyone that hasn't seen this building. It's 40 Floors with 700 units...
http://www.buyorsellsandiego.com/images/image115.jpg
Courtesy of San Diego Urban
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y12...ment/model.jpg

kpexpress May 7, 2009 6:42 AM

I think turning the building into rent-to-own's or pure rentals wouldn't be that bad for that neighborhood. Actually get some people there would be best! IMO. I know everyone here will object to that statement, but I said it.

kpexpress May 7, 2009 7:00 AM

Went to the Padres game tonight, and snuck up to the top bleachers for some shots of the Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge. Enjoy.

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/n...2/DSC05392.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/n...2/DSC05395.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/n...2/DSC05396.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/n...2/DSC05397.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/n...2/DSC05398.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/n...2/DSC05399.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/n...2/DSC05405.jpg

mello May 7, 2009 6:04 PM

Hey K, I haven't been in SD for over a year now. Did you take any skyline pics from the upper decks. I'd like to see how Vantage Pointe has changed the skyline view from Petco. Lets see what else has finished in that time... Not much, but some skyline pics in that nice evening twilight would really be appreciated. Thanks. :cheers:

tdavis May 7, 2009 6:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kpexpress (Post 4236597)
I think turning the building into rent-to-own's or pure rentals wouldn't be that bad for that neighborhood. Actually get some people there would be best! IMO. I know everyone here will object to that statement, but I said it.

There is no way in hell I'd ever buy or rent at Vantage Point. It's clear they are now rushing things from the letter above and from things I've heard from my friends who've looked there. This just leads to shoddy construction.

kpexpress May 7, 2009 7:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mello (Post 4237273)
Hey K, I haven't been in SD for over a year now. Did you take any skyline pics from the upper decks. I'd like to see how Vantage Pointe has changed the skyline view from Petco. Lets see what else has finished in that time... Not much, but some skyline pics in that nice evening twilight would really be appreciated. Thanks. :cheers:

Didn't take a lot of the skyline, but here's what I shot:

VP adds some verticality to 9th ave:
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/n...2/DSC05339.jpg

Stratta, Vantage Pointe, and 11th and B does wonders (and will do) to 10th:
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/n...2/DSC05365.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/n...2/DSC05376.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/n...2/DSC05382.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/n...2/DSC05409.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/n...2/DSC05454.jpg

dl3000 May 7, 2009 8:16 PM

Awesome photos. I can't wait to be back home myself.

mello May 7, 2009 9:45 PM

Damn, thanks K Ex. 9th and 10th are looking pretty good. The skyline is steppin up now. I think a discussion of where SD's skyline ranks in North America could be pretty interesting.

What is a shame is that much smaller metros in Canada and Oz kill us ie. Brisbane, and Calgary. But what can you do. Brizzy has really stepped up in the last 4 years and blown our doors off. But San Diego has a variety of angles and looks that give us good scores overall. I also think our spacing is pretty good as well.

kpexpress May 8, 2009 12:29 AM

Is anyone on Facebook?

Viva-city May 8, 2009 3:46 PM

Facebook
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kpexpress (Post 4237995)
Is anyone on Facebook?

Yes. Email me at sandra@viva-city.info and I'll send you an invitation.

eburress May 8, 2009 4:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mello (Post 4237721)
Damn, thanks K Ex. 9th and 10th are looking pretty good. The skyline is steppin up now. I think a discussion of where SD's skyline ranks in North America could be pretty interesting.

What is a shame is that much smaller metros in Canada and Oz kill us ie. Brisbane, and Calgary. But what can you do. Brizzy has really stepped up in the last 4 years and blown our doors off. But San Diego has a variety of angles and looks that give us good scores overall. I also think our spacing is pretty good as well.

I think that may the direction such a discussion would go. Although it's almost entirely subjective, based on your post, if we were to assume there are smaller metros with better skylines, it would seem to imply that there are also comparably sized metros with better skylines, as well as larger metros with better skylines. So, that would seem to leave San Diego following a large number of smaller, similarly-sized, and larger metros.

staplesla May 8, 2009 4:31 PM

What a Mess!
 
Nearly 300 buyers in downtown San Diego's largest high-rise condominium were notified by the developer Thursday that their deposits will be returned, and they will be offered incentives to later repurchase units in the 679-unit complex.

The move by Canadian developer Pointe of View comes on the eve of a construction deadline to have the Vantage Pointe development ready for occupancy for the first 72 buyers, who entered into sales contracts nearly four years ago.

Buyers so far have been unable to secure loans for their condos because of stiff lending rules requiring that 70 percent of the units in a development be presold. Some purchasers said they planned on demanding the return of their deposits if the East Village project was not completed on time.

Faced with hundreds of units to sell and too few committed buyers, the developer had little choice but to substantially revamp the marketing of its condos.

In an effort to ensure it can close escrows in the mammoth building, Pointe of View is working with the California Department of Real Estate to divide the project into five phases. That way, each phase can more easily secure the proportion of presales it needs before loans can be made, said Brian Stoddard, president and chief operating officer of Pointe of View.

The Department of Real Estate has given Pointe of View preliminary approval to move ahead with the phasing plan, he said.

“We hope to have everything done this month, and then we will re-launch and re-market the project this month to get people in a position so they can close in June and July,” Stoddard said. “The people who want to close in the building and who still want to live here will come back to the building.”

One of the biggest hurdles facing Pointe of View was a new requirement imposed by mortgage giant Fannie Mae that 70 percent of the units in condo projects be presold before the government-controlled entity will purchase loans issued by private lenders. Until March 1, the requirement was that 51 percent of a condo project's units be under contract.

In a move to bring in revenue more immediately, Stoddard said Pointe of View will rent out units in the building's middle tower, which consists of 250 condos. He does not know yet how many of those units will be rented.

Buyer Brad Willis, who launched an online message board for Vantage Pointe purchasers, said he will wait to hear what the developer proposes before making a decision on whether to buy a unit in the building.

“There's a part of me that wants to live downtown in a place with a nice view, but there's another part of me that's nervous about the way the developers have handled the situation in the past,” said Willis, who purchased a one-bedroom condo on the 31st floor for $341,000.

“Now we start from scratch, and we see what they put on the table and see how they handle the situation.”

http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stori...omment-9131954


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