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Not a realestate agent

Quick check of RMLS.com and $150,000 to $180,000 will get you a 600sf condoized apartment from pre-1950 in those neighborhoods. Just limit the search with the highschool selection option. I found examples for Cleveland, Benson, Grant, and Jefferson highs.

Marlon

Strange. I have been getting them in the mail every few weeks. After about 6 months, I figured
that maybe the units very not very good, if they
had not sold them in a year, after a "mass mailing"

Has anyone toured the development? I not sure if
it would be worth the "gas costs" to drive out. Or
the energy to ride my bike, unless they are on a bike trail.

But who knows, maybe they has already sold all the units. That picture of the indoor pool, scared me off.

cheers
marlon

chris

Are they refurbished rentals? The apartment reviews sound scary. I saw the 2121 Belmont designs. Interesting, but I think they are starting in the $250k range. The $150k is a challenge without distance or quality being effected.

chris

rmls does indeed show a few 150-200k condos in the 97209/97201 zips that look nice from the pics.

Aneeda

I have often wondered why developers can't offer a DYI package where an owner can purchase (more or less) a shell with concrete floor and plumbing stubouts and then finish it his/herself. I know plenty of handy people that would be more than willing to pay $150k with the option to put in their own kitchen unit, electrical, etc. I'm sure the City has all kinds of reasons why this can't be done, but why can't it? I could imagine a development like this taking on a chaotic and artistic flair that only Portland could make happen. Plug-In Architcture, let's go!!

Eli Haworth

We've looked pretty hard at doing just what you suggest, Aneeda. The problem is we can't get an occupancy permit without at least basic plumbing and electrical in place. If buyers would be willing be their own general contractors and get all the permitting neccessary to fully occupy the space, it might be possible. Its hard to target that group of buyers though, since most people don't want to go through that hassel.

We are working on a project in Woodlawn, called the Kadoya lofts, that will have several 600 sf units with pretty minimal interior detailing and a very open layout. These will start in $170,000 to $180,000 range. Kadoya will be complete at the beginning of 2009.

I also think the slow sales in upper end condos will cause developers to start thinking more about starter condos in the urban core. Its definitely getting to the point where the only units first-time buyers will be able to afford are really small, stripped down lofts.

td

You can't build anything new close-in for anything close to those numbers. They are inexpensive because they were built long ago when construction costs were less and land was cheap. Neither is true today. Add city fees and SDCs (~$15,000 per unit), new codes, and today's obsence construction costs and land costs, and presto.... $500,000 condos is what you get. If you really lean things out, maybe you can develop units to sell for $350,000 but you won't get much for that amount. Portland won't see anything cheaper ever again unless there is a pile of public subsidy in the mix. Sorry folks, that's the sad reality.

clonigro

Brian,
I am currently working on a project for a client that is trying to build exactly what you desire. The project is (17) 500 sf units (starting at $175k) with a 1,000 sf retail unit off of N. Williams. These units, although 500 sf, will have 15' ceilings and the end wall is a glass overhead door with transom windows above. Even further, this development is seperated into two seperate buildings with outdoor circulation in between...creating an outdoor courtyard of sorts. All this on a 5,000 sf lot. However, this property is adjacent to an R2 zone, and even though we are abiding by the EX zoning (and then some) and received a letter of support from the very active Albina neighborhood, we are having a very difficult time with design review. I can keep you posted if interested.

john

Did you see the Matthew Frank in St. Johns? It sold out last month but 1 bedrooms started in the 130's but sold so fast they raised them to the $190's by the end. They were almost 800 sq ft.

only photos I could find:

http://tinyurl.com/2jj464

http://tinyurl.com/374h4j

Brian Libby

This is exactly what I love to see in the comments section: a forum for poeple bringing in more information to the blog than I could hope to know about on my own. Any of you are also welcome to email me at brianlibby@hotmail.com, particularly if there's a project that has renderings or photos and seems exceptional for any number of reasons: look, materials, sustainability, urbanity, landscape, architect/firm, etc.

Michelle Haynes

Timely question. REACH, a community-based non-profit developer, proposes to build a 26 unit condo project on 20th and Division, on the very edge of Ladd's Addition. 12 units would be affordable to people making about $40,000/year, including eight 1 BR condos of 580-650 sf, with quality finishes and individual decks. Prices for the affordable condos would be $110,000-$140,000. Clearly, our biggest challenge is construction costs. REACH has low-cost land and no profit motive, and we still can't make this small infill project pencil unless we can build four full floors. But the Landmarks Commission and some neighbors object to a full fourth floor as being out of character with Ladd's Addition, even though it is allowed under the zoning. (Ironically, another 4 story building is planned directly across the street, without affordable condos, and it isn't subject to any design review.) This is emerging as a case of conflicting City goals: the goal of protecting historic neighborhoods from modern development is in conflict with City goals of promoting affordable homeownership, transit-oriented development and density. Unfortunately, the historic design review process is not designed to take into account these other important goals. This may end up being an example of why is is so difficult for even the most well-intended developers to produce affordable condos in close-in neighborhoods.

john

I question why REACH cannot build 3 story buildings like those in St. Johns. Those units sold for as low as $145 per sq ft on land that cost real money to purchase and, it would seem, real profit for the developers. Is it just design review?

These condos near Clackamas Town Center pay higher permit costs than those in Portland and still SELL 646 sq ft units for $139,950. I also assume the land cost money and the developer is making a nice profit.

http://sequoiacustom.com/pages.php?p=sequoia_village

john

Instead of giving free land to non-profits who are unable to deliver housing for less than for-profits, perhaps we should just sell the land to for-profits and give the proceeds directly to the buyers who can spend it anywhere in town (near work, school, family, etc) on any kind of housing they want ratheer than being so site specific.

Doug Klotz

I wonder if the marketers think homeowners in inner SE Portland would consider buying these obviously tarted-up 1960s apartments in Clackamas(!) I guess they're aiming at SE Portland renters instead. We've probably gotten at least 25 of these cards.

Walt

They're aren't even townhomes. They are condos. Townhomes typically have garages not carports. Townhomes don't have common floors or ceilings.

You might get a decent unit but unless you are on the end, or you get at least 4 good neighbors, your unit is worthless.

Michelle

Yeah, you all and just about everyone else in the Portland metro area is getting these and HATING them.

I decided to do a little anti-junk-mail campaigning against this particularly horrendous piece. So I called World Class Homes, who sent it, and a nice lady told me I had to mail the thing to the Direct Marketing Association, from whence they buy their mailing list, and request to be taken off their list. That seems stupid and just a way to deter me from actually following through on it (Val-Pak tells you the same thing in their automated phone tree; but if you press 0 and simply ask to be removed, the operator will do it).

So I did the DMA opt out online (it costs $1) and it's supposed to take effect in 60-90 days. But I am still getting these stupid Townhomes with a View mailings.

I call the DMA, who tell me that World Class Homes is NOT a DMA member and therefore is probably getting their mailling list from a middle man. Who knows whom.

So I call World Class Homes again to ask where they really get their mailing list, and they clam up big time. Won't tell me, they say "The owner does the marketing" and "Corporate deals with that." So I ask for the phone number for corporate, and they say they don't give that out. But if I give this lady (not nice) my address she'll send it to corporate.

I explain that that won't help (not that I believe she'll do it anyway) because they are buying this list from someone else, but she refuses to budge. She says she'll forward my address to the boss but no, she doesn't need my phone number, because no, I shouldn't expect a call back confirming or explaining.

This is starting to remind me of the great This American Life episode about one woman's battle with MCI (http://thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=253).

Anyway, I hate these stupid mailings. I bought an ACTUAL townhome last year. I sure as hell don't need another one. I know dozens of people, just within my network, who get these mailings and hate them too.

If you want to call World Class Homes and ask to get off their mailing list (don't let them tell you to mail the DMA!) call 503-786-5000. And the owner, who supposedly does the marketing, is Dave Raymond, 503-866-3848.

freddy

I'm going to try filing a USPS Prohibitory Order against them. If they keep sending me crap I can sue them (not sure I'd bother, but I really hate these mailers!!!).

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