AgentIndustry News

The great condo collapse

Owners advised to wait out downturn, not walk away

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

In early May, Opus West Corp. filed for Chapter 11 reorganization for one of its developments. The Phoenix-based commercial developer, according to press reports, owed $160 million to a group of banks on a shopping center development in Texas. The news was of interest to a close friend of mine who lived in a condominium complex in Irvine, Calif.; his development is owned by Opus West. When I talked to him about the bankruptcy, he didn't appear concerned. With the average condo price in his building at $1.4 million, this was a fairly upscale development and all the glorious amenities that were an inducement to move there were still intact, all services operational and there had been no additional calls for reassessments of condo fees. The worrisome point was that his mid-rise building totaled 105 units, but only 42 condos had been sold and another six were in escrow. My friend did speak to the management of his condo about the bankruptcy filing and was assured the buildi...