Encore flips from condos to apartments
We heard Friday and have since confirmed that Encore at Columbia Station in Columbia City, a 96-unit building that was being sold as condos has flipped to now being an apartment building.
We first heard about Encore when it was known as Sonata back in 2018. They ended up starting reservations in early 2019 and at one point had 28% of the units reserved with refundable deposits. However, the project seemed to be continually delayed (in their defense, there was a pandemic…).
Early this summer they switched out sales teams as the building approached completion and they needed to switch the reservation holders to purchase and sale. Sounds like they had 20 units under contract when they made the decision to switch to apartments, most likely due to increasing rents which have raised the value of apartment buildings.
Looking back I think they would have been more successful with a unit mix that skewed towards larger units. I think one of their challenges was that the majority of their units were studios and open 1-bedrooms, which does make for attractive starting prices, but if you’re going to live outside the downtown core and take advantage of nearby Light Rail, it seems that larger units would have been more desirable.