Monday, July 27, 2009

Look....Recession..but you should buy if you can

Published: July 24, 2009

VALISA AND JAMES TATE were among the first residents to move into One Brooklyn Bridge Park, a condominium project in Brooklyn Heights, in the summer of 2008. A year later, the hallways still feel barren. Only 77 of the building’s 438 apartments have closed. Twenty-six are in contract.
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Jessica Ebelhar/The New York Times

Celine and Manny Enriquez are owners there and unperturbed by renters. “The property will appreciate well enough,” Mr. Enriquez says.

In order to keep money coming in during a difficult time for sales, the developer, the RAL Companies, has begun renting out some of the apartments. The first tenants moved in this month.

“It’s a great project,” said Robert A. Levine, the president of RAL. “But we’re subject to the real world. The real world is such that financing is an issue for buyers, sale of their current residences is an issue for buyers. All of those factors enter in and slow down the process.”

In the face of the recession, many buildings that began life as condominiums have converted to rentals. But what RAL is doing at One Brooklyn Bridge Park — and what many other developers of new condos may begin doing in the coming months — is slightly different. The building becomes a kind of hybrid, a condominium with renters in the mix.

“If the developer can’t sell, he makes this decision with his lender,” said Andy Gerringer, who runs the development marketing group at Prudential Douglas Elliman. “They agree together that in order to get cash flow, they’re going to rent units.”

Most condominiums have few restrictions on renting out apartments. Traditionally, individual condo owners have been the landlords. But when developers turn to renting apartments, it’s often on a large scale. Regardless of whom tenants are renting from, potential buyers tend to shy away from buildings that are renter-heavy.

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1 comment:

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