The Meritage Cost $5.8M to Build

This isn’t newsworthy but I found it interesting to recent discover that The Meritage, the first building I bought at in 2006, cost $5.8 million to build. 47 units totaling 45,000 square feet. Or $128/square foot. I forget what the average sales $/square foot was but I paid something like $450/square foot (yes, yes I overpaid and I’m underwater.)

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Matt , Urbnlivn's publisher, has a love for lofts, floating homes and mid-century moderns.

For years Matt resisted becoming a real estate agent preferring to be an executive in the startup world but he recently caved in the spring of 2014 and became an agent.

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  • http://blog.seliger.com jseliger

    “Or $128/square foot.”

    Is this purely the cost of building (i.e., the bricks 'n' mortar) or the total cost (i.e. it includes the permitting process and so forth). A Tale of Two Houses by Virginia Postrel in The Atlantic gives a good overview of what I'm talking about: notice that on the graph, the cost of building minus construction on a quarter acre of land in Seattle is more than $200,000, which means it's probably even higher at places like Meritage.

  • Name

    I would also suggest that the contract price that you are referring to may not be the actual total cost of the build. Many building owners contract with more than one Contractor to get work done. ie: GC of a job may have been contracted for “brick and mortar” while a separate Contractor was hired to complete other phases of the construction but managed by the General Contractor. Thus, actual contract price does not necessarily reflect that actual “total” price of work completed. As a General Contractor in the state of Illinois, this is a common practice.

  • The MD

    Believe me, this was the total cost to build the building at $128/square foot. After permitting costs are considered in high-density areas, economies of scale kick in and prices to build per square foot get lower as the building gets bigger. The post you're referring to in The Atlantic is an overview of a home. A home is by far more intricate and more expensive to build per square foot as it is only one home on a mass of land, and that one home has exterior walls (typically four sides), and multiple functions that are contained and not shared with anyone else. A condo building is on a mass of land, but has several homes within that mass, the building itself has exterior walls (typically four sides), but SEVERAL homes are contained within these walls. Also within a condo, many systems are shared, or operate on a main system that “divies” out water heating, air cooling, etc.

  • The MD

    One more thing to consider… This is why condo building is the preferred choice when considering low-income housing. BECAUSE IT IS ACTUALLY CHEAPER TO BUILD, despite what developers want others to believe…

  • The MD

    Believe me, this was the total cost to build the building at $128/square foot. After permitting costs are considered in high-density areas, economies of scale kick in and prices to build per square foot get lower as the building gets bigger. The post you're referring to in The Atlantic is an overview of a home. A home is by far more intricate and more expensive to build per square foot as it is only one home on a mass of land, and that one home has exterior walls (typically four sides), and multiple functions that are contained and not shared with anyone else. A condo building is on a mass of land, but has several homes within that mass, the building itself has exterior walls (typically four sides), but SEVERAL homes are contained within these walls. Also within a condo, many systems are shared, or operate on a main system that “divies” out water heating, air cooling, etc.

  • The MD

    One more thing to consider… This is why condo building is the preferred choice when considering low-income housing. BECAUSE IT IS ACTUALLY CHEAPER TO BUILD, despite what developers want others to believe…