Hjarta and Florera to Sell at 35% Off

Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty is taking over sales for the remaining 100 units at Hjarta in Ballard and Florera in Greenlake. If you’ll remember the developer Pryde + Johnson switched from selling units at these two buildings to leasing them. The press release below indicates this was part of a debt restructuring in 2009. Sounds like all leases are going to expire in 2010 and will not be extended.

Their new pricing:

  • Studios (578 – 598 sq. ft.) will start from $244,950;
  • One bedrooms (614 – 921 sq. ft.) will start from $274,950,
  • One bedroom plus dens (792 – 923 sq. ft.) will start from $314,950;
  • Two bedrooms (1,037 – 1,447 sq. ft.) will start from $399,950
  • Two bedrooms plus den penthouses (1,331 – 1,578 sq. ft.) will start from $589,950
  • Three bedroom plus den penthouses (1,909 sq. ft.) will start from $799,950

Inventory will be officially released March 27th, the day before the 5th and Madison auction.

I haven’t visited either project but here are some November 2006(!) comments from a reader named Greg who visited Florera.

Disclosure: Realogics is advertising its Bulk Buy program on Urbnlivn.


100 Condo Units Reintroduced For Sale in Ballard and Greenlake; Up To 35% Off
Developer Offering Bulk Sales Discounts in Exchange for Accelerated Closings

March 9, 2010 (Seattle, WA): Executives at Pryde + Johnson will reintroduce condo sales within two partially leased buildings by offering current tenants and new buyers discounts up to 35% off original list prices. The portfolio of LEED “Silver” targeted homes is located within the Hjarta Condominiums in Ballard and the Florera Condominiums in Greenlake. Inventory will be officially released for sale on March 27, 2010 as part of a bulk sales approach whereas the seller offers a volume sales discount in exchange for quick closings.

“We’re meeting the market on price and are committed to selling through as condominiums,” said Curt Pryde, principal of Pryde + Johnson and developer of both Hjarta and Florera Condominiums. “Homebuyers will also benefit from our preferred selection, FHA financing (3.5% down payment), today’s low interest rates and other limited-time incentives such as Federal tax credits up to $8,000 (for purchases contracted before April 30, 2010).”

Anticipating the market correction, Pryde restructured debt to lease unsold homes upon delivery in 2009 – many with an option to purchase. All leases expire in 2010 and will not be extended, he said. “We’re offering unparalleled product at a tremendous value,” said Pryde. “This is reflected in attractive monthly payments and provides for capital appreciation – the law of supply and demand will put upward pressure on values over time.”

As a first phase release, 12 homes will be available for sale at Florera along with 18 homes at Hjarta (30 homes total). Additional homes will be offered for sale as they become available and after current residents consider their purchase option.

o Studios (578 – 598 sq. ft.) will start from $244,950;
o One bedrooms (614 – 921 sq. ft.) will start from $274,950,
o One bedroom plus dens (792 – 923 sq. ft.) will start from $314,950;
o Two bedrooms (1,037 – 1,447 sq. ft.) will start from $399,950
o Two bedrooms plus den penthouses (1,331 – 1,578 sq. ft.) will start from $589,950
o Three bedroom plus den penthouses (1,909 sq. ft.) will start from $799,950

Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty will represent Pryde + Johnson in their bulk sales program. The local brokerage firm drove dozens of sales at Eleven Eleven East Pike on Capitol Hill and The Decatur on First Hill using a similar volume sales approach instead of an auction. More information is available at www.CondoBulkBuy.com.

“We help sellers find the market and offer buyers auction-like prices without the gavel,” said Sam Cunningham, broker and partner in Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. He points to numerous auctions in the Seattle area, which advertise minimum bid prices up to 60% off but after minimum reserve prices and prevailing market demand, result in sales discounts 20 – 35% off previous list prices. “Recently announced condo auctions and price drops in downtown Seattle will help draw buyers off the fence and into the greater marketplace,” he added. “Considering this highly competitive sales environment and perishable tax credits – it’s a great time to be a buyer.”
Pryde + Johnson is passionate about developing high-quality, LEED “Silver” (or above) certified communities that operate with a low carbon footprint and significantly reduce the cost of ownership. By example, more than 90% of the construction waste from Hjarta was recycled while building systems were designed with life spans that far exceed production development. Meanwhile homeowner dues for this amenity-rich project are just $0.32 per square foot per month – about half the operational cost for comparable properties. The first-of-it’s-kind, concrete-and-steel midrise in Ballard was designed to compete directly with downtown Seattle high-rises and supports a fast-growing trend to live in an urban village just outside the city core.

“We got everything right with our projects except the market timing,” said Pryde. “But what’s challenging for developers and their lenders is becoming the perfect storm for savvy homebuyers to realize an opportunity.”

The new construction pipeline has shut down and Seattle’s most popular neighborhoods will soon run short on supply, according to Pryde. “Buyers recognize these deals are as finite as the available inventory,” he added.

About Pryde + Johnson
Pryde + Johnson is a privately owned developer whose goal is to renew urban environments through building practices that protect and care for the environment, support a healthy lifestyle, bring out the beauty in nature, strengthen community ties and provide for the needs of generations to come. Each Pryde + Johnson community is recognized for offering a prime location within Seattle’s most popular neighborhoods, high design and superior quality to production development. The firm has developed more than 800 units of apartments and condominiums over recent years earning a strong reputation for sustainable construction practices, LEED-certified product and community involvement. For more information visit: www.PrydeJohnson.com.

About Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty
Having represented nearly two-thirds of the new construction condominium closings in downtown Seattle in 2008 and 2009, Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty has emerged as the local leader for sales and marketing performance in the city. Managed by Realogics, Inc., the collective presents the region’s only vertically integrated real estate solution comprised of market research, product development, marketing and sales. The firm’s Condo Bulk Buy brand has become recognized as an alternative to condo auctions. Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty is independently owned and operated by Realogics, Inc. For more information visit: www.RealogicsSothebysRealty.com or www.Realogics.com.

About Matt

Matt , Urbnlivn's publisher, has a love for lofts with industrial features and new construction condos that is only eclipsed by his passion for outdoor sports and urban living. Phrases such as “polished concrete” and “exposed brick” are music to his ears. You can also find Matt on Twitter or skiing.

  • Trace

    It's good to see developers that are “meeting the market” instead of continuing to wait for it to come back up to them. It has to be priced right to sell in today's environment & they obviously recognize this. Florera is in a great neighborhood & will be very successful if they focus on giving buyers what we want, a good price for a good product in a good neighborhood.

  • frosaker

    I am a real estate broker, (not a self serving promotion but more of a disclosure)

    These are great buildings. The developer put a lot of money in them. Some would say more than they should have. My office is two blocks from flora. I hope sales go well. I really think the public prefers to see a straight forward sales program rather than a marketing strategy like “bulk buy” that tries to create a false sense of urgency. Wasn't there a fiasco at Decatur when homes were listed on the mls for the same price people offered under the bulk buy program? They thought they were getting a deal.

    Condo marketing firms need to understand that in this market, tactics don’t work. People want transparency. They want to see the whole price sheet. See the available units on the web. They want to be able to research the closed sales so they know they are paying the market rate. Condo marketing’s smoke and mirrors strategy of marketing is sooo 1990.

    Here’s to seeing all flora’s inventory on all idx (mls feed) fed real estate sites which includes Windermere, John L Scott, Redfin ect.

    Transparency leads to trust and only trust leads to sales.

  • chrisrossman

    Thanks for your feedback, Brett. We agree with you that transparency is vital in this market. We've sold 28 homes over the past 5 months at 1111 East Pike and Decatur. We will be listing the Phase I homes at Florera & Hjarta on the NWMLS March 21st for distribution to the various brokerage webpages you referenced above. We welcome brokers and buyers to stop by Hjarta and Florera this weekend form 12-5 to view our current release and straightforward pricing. Our Phase I inventory will include vacant homes. Homes currently leased will be offered in our Phase II & II releases due to future lease expiration dates and resident purchase options. Please visit http://www.condobulkbuy.com for further updates.

  • Marce

    Agree w/ Trace that it's good for everyone involved to be realistic about current market conditions. I stopped by the sales center at Hjarta about six months ago, and the site agent repeatedly said they weren't planning on moving much on pricing (but hinted strongly at concessions) because he “didn't want to do that to his previous buyers/current owners.” I thought, 'well these units are significantly overpriced, and not realizing that isn't doing current owners any favors.' Better to get real, and get 'em sold.

  • frosaker

    Thanks Chris,
    In the spirit of transparency, the MLS shows 4 pending sales and 21 sold homes in those two projects. Of the pending or sold 5 shows a cumulative market time of Zero days which means it was changed to sold the same day it was listed. Though possible, it is unlikely 20% of your inventory sells the same day they are listed. Rule 2 with the MLS states you must list with the MLS all properties currently on the market. I understand that rule is greatly abused by many companies, but if you’re going to release homes this weekend with straightforward pricing and you “agree that transparency is vital in this market”, why not list them in the MLS this weekend rather than waiting until March 21st?

    Maybe your idea of transparency is different from mine.

    BTW: nice plug for bulkbuy :) … there were no further updates, it looks to me like a simple landing page for lead generation that leads the consumer to believe by registering today they will save “up to 35% of list pricing” and get the “best pricing and preferred selection” So that’s transparency?

    I really don't mean to make trouble. I'm simply a broker who wants normalcy in the market place and feel free and unfettered access to information is the means to which it will be obtained. Please, it’s nothing personal.

    I'll try to stop by this weekend.

  • EconE

    Just by driving around Hjarta using the street view on Redfin, I wonder how long it will be before the N & E facing units are boxed in by neighboring buildings, never to see daylight again.

    And tell me…why on earth would somebody want to live across the street from a firestation?

  • BallardBuyer

    What exactly is a bulk sales program? No offer prior to March 21 will be accepted? No offer less than the “new” price will be accepted? Buy 2, get one free? Are they for sale or not?

  • The MD

    Frosaker, you're absolutely correct. I couldn't agree with you more, and I think it is great that you as an Agent are willing to say what you said. Thanks.

  • The MD

    Frosaker, I do not believe you're making trouble at all. Don't get me wrong, you may be pissing a few people off, but who cares? IMHO, the marketers are the ones who have “made trouble” for this entire market by making the same stupid claim they too believe in transparency, but then turn around and play games with the MLS and don't release their entire inventory. Finally, you're a person I would happily do business with, based on the ethics you've provided.

  • http://twitter.com/mattgoyer mattgoyer

    I agree with Frosaker as well. Volta/Alex in Belltown is also holding back its price sheet and only showing it to people who visit in person.

    The day of holding back inventory and hiding prices is long gone. Put all your units on the MLS and price them to sell.

  • roomboard

    As a current tenant at the Florera, I can tell you that living next to a fire station has not caused any sleepless nights. The firetrucks rarely leave the station, and when they do it seems that they wait a few blocks to turn the sirens on. Plus, all of the firemen who work there are extremely friendly and interactive with the community.

    The bigger concern is with the building itself. There is only one elevator for the entire building, which seems to break down on a weekly basis. Although the management team said that storage lockers were part of the building plan and were in the process of being built, I have yet to see any progress on this.

  • http://seattlecondosandlofts.com/ Ben K

    I agree strongly with Matt and Brett on this, too.

  • Trace

    Have you ever applied for homeowner's insurance? Your rates are partially calculated by how far you are from the nearest emergency response. Now that's a reason! They also have restrictions on their sirens if they're in a residential neighborgood, if that's what you're wondering.

  • The MD

    BallardBuyer, a “bulk sales” program is little more than a gimmick to round up the last few potential uneducated buyers in the condo market and really stick it to them. I would recommend staying away from it.

  • http://www.urbancondospaces.com/ Jeff

    Nice post Matt. Good debate.

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