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Old 11-06-2009, 04:24 PM
 
824 posts, read 1,601,344 times
Reputation: 597

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenjaminNicholas View Post
I forgot they had studios available and was quoting from their standard one bedroom price. It runs $1100-$1200/mo.

Studios at $700 are steep by SA standard: I stand by my reviews of the property. It's half-baked. There are nicer places to live downtown.



BN



PS: ... And that nearly $7k/month 'tower' unit they're offering? You can't ever tour it without property owner approval. They ask you to jump through hoops for something you won't even own. I didn't find that to my liking.
The interesting thing about your opinions on the Vistana is that you argue that the project is "half-baked" and that downtown SA "deserves better than Vistana", but you acknowledge that $700 for a studio and $1,200 for a 1-bedroom is expensive for SA.

Would your solution would be to build a more-expensive project but charge cheaper rents?

It's not like (most) developers don't know how to build nice projects (or aren't well-traveled, or haven't studied new ideas in architecture, planning, and design) . Building nice projects is easy. The hard part is building projects that people can afford. You obviously have a critical eye with respect to design & finish-outs, but could you afford a $2k/month one-bedroom apartment? Because with your good taste, that's about what it would cost.

The Vistana isn't a world-class project. But it's a high-density, market-rate, mixed-use building that will bring 300 (+/-) residents to downtown. And if it's a success, that means that other projects like (incrementally better, actually) can be built in the future. And when we get a core of residents downtown, I think you'll really see exciting things start to happen.

And, for the record, I disagree with most of your observations. I think the building is a handsome addition to downtown, and the finishes are better than 90% of apartment buildings in Texas.

 
Old 11-06-2009, 08:27 PM
 
1,836 posts, read 3,330,035 times
Reputation: 1735
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvlpr View Post
And, for the record, I disagree with most of your observations
Well, then we can agree to disagree... Design taste is in the eye of the beholder and The Vistana is a building I'd never, ever reside in.

As for half-baked, there are other apartment communities in Stone Oak that start BELOW what The Vistana charges and offer better amenities, fixtures, appliance packages and staff. It's quite possible to build a quality living space, outfit it with decent materials and charge a median rent. You've just got to have several other profitable properties to fall back on when the first few years of new tenancy just breaks even (or worse).

$2k for a one bedroom? Having lived in Chicago and New York, I've found spots that offer Sub-Zero and Miele finish-out for much less. Sure, it requires a longer term contract, but it's more than possible.



BN
 
Old 11-06-2009, 11:52 PM
 
777 posts, read 1,436,074 times
Reputation: 415
while I don't live there, I was interested when it was being built. I had to go on a "hard hat" tour of the place because it wasn't going along according to the build schedule. they actually opened it floor by floor every other week. I live downtown in a different set of lofts and for what vistana charges....not impressed. while rent isn't too bad, you do have to pay $80-$100 for garage parking every month. can't justify spending over $1,000 in parking which you still have to walk a good distance to your pad. neat idea....not done right.
 
Old 11-07-2009, 08:14 AM
 
4,796 posts, read 13,710,851 times
Reputation: 2709
Quote:
Originally Posted by nismospec View Post
while I don't live there, I was interested when it was being built. I had to go on a "hard hat" tour of the place because it wasn't going along according to the build schedule. they actually opened it floor by floor every other week. I live downtown in a different set of lofts and for what vistana charges....not impressed. while rent isn't too bad, you do have to pay $80-$100 for garage parking every month. can't justify spending over $1,000 in parking which you still have to walk a good distance to your pad. neat idea....not done right.
Unfortunately parking is a problem for any high rise residential complex. I'm surprised SA is charging for parking this early in the game. SA has not been sold on downtown living as of yet and that's another reason to not want to live there. While parking is primo in a lot of other cities, it really depends on the property value and the expense to provide for parking. It would have been a smart move to build parking into the cost of living there to get the place filled.
 
Old 11-07-2009, 08:43 AM
 
824 posts, read 1,601,344 times
Reputation: 597
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenjaminNicholas View Post
Well, then we can agree to disagree... Design taste is in the eye of the beholder and The Vistana is a building I'd never, ever reside in.

As for half-baked, there are other apartment communities in Stone Oak that start BELOW what The Vistana charges and offer better amenities, fixtures, appliance packages and staff. It's quite possible to build a quality living space, outfit it with decent materials and charge a median rent. You've just got to have several other profitable properties to fall back on when the first few years of new tenancy just breaks even (or worse).

$2k for a one bedroom? Having lived in Chicago and New York, I've found spots that offer Sub-Zero and Miele finish-out for much less. Sure, it requires a longer term contract, but it's more than possible.



BN
Which projects in Stone Oak offer better amenities, fixtures, appliance packages, and staff? I'm curious (seriously).

Your argument/assumptions about the economics of developing a multi-family project simply aren't correct. That's not the way the industry works. Each project (as it's developed under a single-asset entity) has to be financially viable on its own. You'd never, ever get a project financed that "just breaks even (or worse)" in the first few years.

Last, your claim about a $2k/month apartment in NYC (with Miele & Subzero) is ludicrous. That just doesn't exist...at least not anywhere near Manhattan...or in anywhere near Chicago's central city.
 
Old 11-07-2009, 08:47 AM
 
824 posts, read 1,601,344 times
Reputation: 597
Quote:
Originally Posted by nismospec View Post
while I don't live there, I was interested when it was being built. I had to go on a "hard hat" tour of the place because it wasn't going along according to the build schedule. they actually opened it floor by floor every other week. I live downtown in a different set of lofts and for what vistana charges....not impressed. while rent isn't too bad, you do have to pay $80-$100 for garage parking every month. can't justify spending over $1,000 in parking which you still have to walk a good distance to your pad. neat idea....not done right.
There are certainly cheaper places to live downtown. But constructing a parking garage is expensive. It's not "free".

Your comparison to Cadillac Lofts (my assumption) isn't really apples-to-apples; they have surface lots, and the finished are...uh...pretty horrible & dated.
 
Old 11-07-2009, 08:48 AM
 
4,796 posts, read 13,710,851 times
Reputation: 2709
Dvlpr....I have a question for you. What is your opinion of the space planning IN the apartment floor plans at the Vistana?
 
Old 11-07-2009, 10:11 AM
 
Location: SoCal-So Proud!
4,263 posts, read 9,690,898 times
Reputation: 1541
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvlpr View Post
Which projects in Stone Oak offer better amenities, fixtures, appliance packages, and staff? I'm curious (seriously).

Your argument/assumptions about the economics of developing a multi-family project simply aren't correct. That's not the way the industry works. Each project (as it's developed under a single-asset entity) has to be financially viable on its own. You'd never, ever get a project financed that "just breaks even (or worse)" in the first few years.

Last, your claim about a $2k/month apartment in NYC (with Miele & Subzero) is ludicrous. That just doesn't exist...at least not anywhere near Manhattan...or in anywhere near Chicago's central city.
It can be done in Manhattan, but in your defense, there are major sacrifices to be made. I'm not including rent control here...that's a totally different animal.

Won't be in a great area
Most likely in a 5 story walk-up (on or close to the top floor)
No doorman
Not very close to the train. (think long city block walks in the dead of winter)
Won't be the "much less than 2K" that BN states.

The first 4 items are extremely critical when living in Manhattan. So yes, his statement can be considered ludicrous...or simply BS.

I'm not qualified to comment on Chicago rentals.
 
Old 11-07-2009, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & San Antonio, TX
790 posts, read 3,615,857 times
Reputation: 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenjaminNicholas View Post
$2k for a one bedroom? Having lived in Chicago and New York, I've found spots that offer Sub-Zero and Miele finish-out for much less. Sure, it requires a longer term contract, but it's more than possible.
BN
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvlpr View Post
Last, your claim about a $2k/month apartment in NYC (with Miele & Subzero) is ludicrous. That just doesn't exist...at least not anywhere near Manhattan...or in anywhere near Chicago's central city.
Quote:
Originally Posted by firstclassflyer View Post
It can be done in Manhattan, but in your defense, there are major sacrifices to be made. I'm not including rent control here...that's a totally different animal.

Won't be in a great area
Most likely in a 5 story walk-up (on or close to the top floor)
No doorman
Not very close to the train. (think long city block walks in the dead of winter)
Won't be the "much less than 2K" that BN states.

The first 4 items are extremely critical when living in Manhattan. So yes, his statement can be considered ludicrous...or simply BS.

I'm not qualified to comment on Chicago rentals.
As a professional nomad & frequent renter, I can definitely speak to housing rates in NYC & ORD, along with DCA, and - barring rent control agreements - I completely agree with FCF that you're not going to find anything larger than a closet under $2K anywhere in a safe/decent neighborhood in a decent building that is remotely close to a metro/subway. For crying out loud, a 400sf studio in a nice Midtown building was $1500/mo 15 YEARS AGO. And a quick scan of craigslist seems to confirm that a decent sized apartment in a nice building in a nice/trendy hood will definitely set you back $2500++ and still not net you the designer kitchen you dream of. classifieds - craigslist
 
Old 11-07-2009, 08:39 PM
 
4,796 posts, read 13,710,851 times
Reputation: 2709
Quote:
Originally Posted by wCat View Post
Dvlpr....I have a question for you. What is your opinion of the space planning IN the apartment floor plans at the Vistana?
Dvlpr......any comments on this?
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