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Old 09-14-2010, 10:11 PM
 
3 posts, read 5,568 times
Reputation: 10

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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.
I had a 750 sq ft Studio. It was $1200 in June 2009. That's the cheapest they had.

 
Old 09-15-2010, 12:13 PM
 
1,836 posts, read 3,330,683 times
Reputation: 1735
Eek! Sorry to hear of your troubles with Vistana... It's not the first sob story I've heard out of that property. I was always shocked how they thought they could charge that kind of rent for the finish-out they provided. I've been back several times since my own walk-through (friends apts, etc) and it still feels spartan, half-baked and too quickly constructed.

The building itself (on the outside) is beautiful. Really nice addition to the block, but inside is a whole other story.



BN
 
Old 09-17-2010, 09:08 AM
 
410 posts, read 806,544 times
Reputation: 324
Does anyone have pictures of units/building/views aside from those on website. I looove lofts, but I wouldn't run to live in downtown SA. They should build similar lofts in a nicer area of town....but then it wouldn't be "cool, urban living" am i asking for too much? lol
 
Old 09-17-2010, 12:12 PM
 
1,791 posts, read 2,434,825 times
Reputation: 1421
South End Lofts and Judson Candy Factory are nice lofts.
 
Old 10-01-2010, 05:31 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, Texas
14 posts, read 22,155 times
Reputation: 15
I live there, have been there for a while. Here is the simple truth:

The gym equipment is usually dirty and it's a very small area but good for a quick workout.

Management often comes into your apartment for checks of this and that, I sometimes feel they do it just to make sure you are not trashing your place. Even though I am female, I'm not too big on privacy so it's not a major concern to me, as it may with others. They do give you notice though
and I've never had anything go missing.

Parking is good although it costs $50-$75 per month extra.

I do hate the fact that you MUST have AT&T cable at The Vistana. You heard right, you do not have a choice there. You must pay for it, around $60, to live there. It does include internet if that is any consolation. I agreed to it though so I guess I'm the dumb one there.

It's super noisy downtown so if you are not used to city living and noises, please don't rent here. The hospital is right next door and the police station a couple of blocks away. Sirens galore! Also, all of the street sweepers come late at night and just overall downtown noise.

It's not a terrible place just overpriced for what you get. New managers are young and may be inexperienced with great customer service. They are all about doing their job and "sticking to the rules" which are always in their favor but it is like that everywhere.

Carpets! Huge issue for most friends I've spoken to on my floor and other floors. They carpets in the hallways are always filthy, this could be my only really big concern and complaint. It's embarassing taking family or friends over and having them see nasty pet stains on the carpets, a little trashy for what you pay there.

From a scale of 1 to 10, I give an honest 4 or 5, 5 on the best day. I would not tell a friend to move in nor would I ever continue my lease their past it's original term. Not worth the headache.

To each his own.
 
Old 10-04-2010, 02:42 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, Texas
14 posts, read 22,155 times
Reputation: 15
Several people messaged me over the weekend to give them a little more details about my recent post.

For the record, I am not trying to bash The Vistana in any way, I am just trying to be honest from my point of view. The point of view of someone that lives there.

The gym situation is one I was asked about alot. The gym is small and while they offer free water, no one ever cleans the machines after using them so you see sweat stains everywhere and dried sweat on the bottom of the treadmills, it grosses me out. There are usually just guys in there and if there are more than 3 people, it's way to crowded. The other day some genius was trying to do his P90x routine there and was taking up half the gym, yes it's that small.

Someone asked me about the halls again. I was not overdoing it, the carpets can get really gross. Usually you see big stains right when you walk out of the elevator and it's just nasty, specially if you invite someone new to your place.

The lobby is very nice and everyone is impressed so that is a positive.

All tenants get 10 parking passes for guests a month. After you are out of those, all guests must pay $5 to park, so that becomes a mess if you like friends or family over. It's like they are paying to see you. I've spent $50 extra just in extra cash because I don't like my visitors to pay for their own parking.

The inside of the apartments are cool but my floor is concrete and there are alot of old grease stains everywhere. I thought it was cool when I moved in but it's not so cool anymore, part of the reason I won't sign again.

The interior paint jobs are sloppy but I loved the place so much when I first saw the apartment that I never noticed it until later. Now, it's a little too late to complain probably.

Noise from neighbors is okay, I guess. My neighbor on the floor above me is very loud though, I think he jump ropes or his hobby might be to take a hammer to the floor because he is VERY loud. Some of my friends there say they have no problems so it's hit and miss.

Recently, someone at the complex asked me about a strobe light that hits one side of the building. My apt does not face the same side but I asked others about it and they complained about a weird and very bright strobe light that started a month ago near the police station and flashes every 10 seconds! Basically, their view is ruined but the front office said they could not do anything beyond just calling the city. Sure, it's not The Vistana's fault but I feel bad for those people now. It's a lot of money for not having a view and most people moved in to have one.

The pool. The pool is nice, it's very small but has a great view. I see too many kids in the pool on weekends so I have never gotten in. There is a hot tub but I am not that brave.

Speaking of weekends, there is sooooo much noise from the Market Square. There are live bands almost every weekend sometimes as early as 8am and sometimes as late as midnight or 1am and it is loud bass and you can actually almost sing along to some songs, that's cool if you are a HUGE music fan or if you don't like to sleep late on weekends. By the way, no one ever warned me about that before I signed and if they did, I doubt I would have rented there. It took a while to get used to it.

All in all, like I have mentioned, it's just not a place I would ever look to lease at again. Since I signed I have visited a few other lofts that are priced better and offer better service.

I think eventually, they will have to lower their prices because not too many people I spoke to plan on continuing their lease either. Also, I hear so many complaints, it just can't keep going. I pay well over $1,000 a month for a small one bedroom.

I think The Vistana should just be a little more honest with people when they are showing people the place, that's all.

I will say this, there is a guy that works there by the name of James. He is so nice and helpful and a real breath of fresh air compared to some of the managers that are just cold and not as personable as they should be for the amount of money the tenants pay. When you pay a lot, you expect a certain level of attention and kindness, even a smile in their voice would help.

If I had to say one positive thing to balance out everything else, I do feel very safe at The Vistana. My friends say they feel as if they are visiting a jail when they visit because it is definitely hard to get into the place. Then again, I don't like people saying I live in a jail, LOL.

Last edited by Les DowntownSA; 10-04-2010 at 02:55 PM.. Reason: typos
 
Old 10-04-2010, 03:36 PM
 
824 posts, read 1,601,622 times
Reputation: 597
Quote:
Originally Posted by Les DowntownSA View Post
Several people messaged me over the weekend to give them a little more details about my recent post.

For the record, I am not trying to bash The Vistana in any way, I am just trying to be honest from my point of view. The point of view of someone that lives there.

The gym situation is one I was asked about alot. The gym is small and while they offer free water, no one ever cleans the machines after using them so you see sweat stains everywhere and dried sweat on the bottom of the treadmills, it grosses me out. There are usually just guys in there and if there are more than 3 people, it's way to crowded. The other day some genius was trying to do his P90x routine there and was taking up half the gym, yes it's that small.

Someone asked me about the halls again. I was not overdoing it, the carpets can get really gross. Usually you see big stains right when you walk out of the elevator and it's just nasty, specially if you invite someone new to your place.

The lobby is very nice and everyone is impressed so that is a positive.

All tenants get 10 parking passes for guests a month. After you are out of those, all guests must pay $5 to park, so that becomes a mess if you like friends or family over. It's like they are paying to see you. I've spent $50 extra just in extra cash because I don't like my visitors to pay for their own parking.

The inside of the apartments are cool but my floor is concrete and there are alot of old grease stains everywhere. I thought it was cool when I moved in but it's not so cool anymore, part of the reason I won't sign again.

The interior paint jobs are sloppy but I loved the place so much when I first saw the apartment that I never noticed it until later. Now, it's a little too late to complain probably.

Noise from neighbors is okay, I guess. My neighbor on the floor above me is very loud though, I think he jump ropes or his hobby might be to take a hammer to the floor because he is VERY loud. Some of my friends there say they have no problems so it's hit and miss.

Recently, someone at the complex asked me about a strobe light that hits one side of the building. My apt does not face the same side but I asked others about it and they complained about a weird and very bright strobe light that started a month ago near the police station and flashes every 10 seconds! Basically, their view is ruined but the front office said they could not do anything beyond just calling the city. Sure, it's not The Vistana's fault but I feel bad for those people now. It's a lot of money for not having a view and most people moved in to have one.

The pool. The pool is nice, it's very small but has a great view. I see too many kids in the pool on weekends so I have never gotten in. There is a hot tub but I am not that brave.

Speaking of weekends, there is sooooo much noise from the Market Square. There are live bands almost every weekend sometimes as early as 8am and sometimes as late as midnight or 1am and it is loud bass and you can actually almost sing along to some songs, that's cool if you are a HUGE music fan or if you don't like to sleep late on weekends. By the way, no one ever warned me about that before I signed and if they did, I doubt I would have rented there. It took a while to get used to it.

All in all, like I have mentioned, it's just not a place I would ever look to lease at again. Since I signed I have visited a few other lofts that are priced better and offer better service.

I think eventually, they will have to lower their prices because not too many people I spoke to plan on continuing their lease either. Also, I hear so many complaints, it just can't keep going. I pay well over $1,000 a month for a small one bedroom.

I think The Vistana should just be a little more honest with people when they are showing people the place, that's all.

I will say this, there is a guy that works there by the name of James. He is so nice and helpful and a real breath of fresh air compared to some of the managers that are just cold and not as personable as they should be for the amount of money the tenants pay. When you pay a lot, you expect a certain level of attention and kindness, even a smile in their voice would help.

If I had to say one positive thing to balance out everything else, I do feel very safe at The Vistana. My friends say they feel as if they are visiting a jail when they visit because it is definitely hard to get into the place. Then again, I don't like people saying I live in a jail, LOL.
Interesting points/observations. Appreciate you posting them.

The problems with the gym (or any "free" amenity) are difficult to address. Clearly, it's not big enough to use like a regular gym, but that's a problem in most "luxury" complexes. A 260-unit apartment complex can't absorb the cost of building and maintaining an actual gym.

The carpet stains are not cool. That's cheap/easy to fix. As far as the discoloration on the concrete floors goes, though, that's clearly a design choice. Concrete is imperfect and reveals cracks/stains/etc.

I understand that visitors having to pay to park is an annoyance, but here's the problem from the developer's side: parking isn't free when you're building in an urban setting. So if you're going to have dedicated visitor parking, it costs serious money. And how much is enough?

The noise from market square is where I'm not really sympathetic. I mean, you're living downtown. In a mid-rise, above a huge tourist draw. Most people would expect noise, even at late night hours. Did you really expect downtown to be quiet at night?

Most of these issues sound like problems that just come with living in an urban center. Said another way, most of these problems aren't things that can be 'fixed' (or that the developer didn't consider prior to development). For some people, the problems are overcome by the good things about living downtown. It sounds like you'd prefer a less-dense, quieter neighborhood (King William, Monte Vista, Alamo Heights).

But you've identified the "chicken vs. egg" problem for bringing more residential downtown: downtown proper really doesn't have enough 'there' to offset the higher cost and inconveniences of living there. Of course, that won't change without lots of people living downtown.

Oh- I don't think they're worried about dropping rents. The joint is 96% leased.
 
Old 10-04-2010, 04:26 PM
 
1,836 posts, read 3,330,683 times
Reputation: 1735
It sounds as if Vistana isn't being nefarious as much as they're talking up a product that's nowhere near the 'luxury' they're touting. I mean, hey, it's marketing 101... Get folks in the door, impress them with common spaces and hope they don't white glove the place in the meantime. I fell for it several years ago at a 'Mansions at' property in Stone Oak. Worst decision I ever made. I spent two years in regret. Western Rim (and all of their properties) can basically burn to the ground as far as I'm concerned- Nothing but crooked.

In any event, the concrete floor could have been done better. That's just a matter of proper sandblasting or chemical peeling to get a smooth, even coloring on the floor. Added, they might not have used a proper sealant or overdone a concrete stain.

Noise shouldn't be an issue with a built new building. I've lived in London, Manhattan and Chicago, all in buildings with new windows that were superbly soundproofed. I didn't hear a thing. No sirens. No honking. Nothing. Methinks Vistana cheapened up on their window installs, likely opting for double-pane, but not thicker, soundproof double-pane.

My own issues with Vistana continue to be their price point for what kind of finish out you end up getting. If I were spending upwards of $3300 a month for one of their penthouse units, I'd want something more than just a black-on-black common appliance package. Heck, even their 'tower' unit (at $6k+/mo) doesn't have a proper finish-out.

All of that being said, I love the look of the building. It's lit beautifully at night and is a nice addition to Downtown. What I'd love to see most is them rent out that large open space on their ground floor to a grocery store or neighborhood market. It's sad to see that IHOP didn't survive there, but it's just that much more space for someone like HEB to work with.

I can dream, can't I?




BN
 
Old 10-04-2010, 06:01 PM
 
824 posts, read 1,601,622 times
Reputation: 597
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenjaminNicholas View Post
It sounds as if Vistana isn't being nefarious as much as they're talking up a product that's nowhere near the 'luxury' they're touting. I mean, hey, it's marketing 101... Get folks in the door, impress them with common spaces and hope they don't white glove the place in the meantime. I fell for it several years ago at a 'Mansions at' property in Stone Oak. Worst decision I ever made. I spent two years in regret. Western Rim (and all of their properties) can basically burn to the ground as far as I'm concerned- Nothing but crooked.

In any event, the concrete floor could have been done better. That's just a matter of proper sandblasting or chemical peeling to get a smooth, even coloring on the floor. Added, they might not have used a proper sealant or overdone a concrete stain.

Noise shouldn't be an issue with a built new building. I've lived in London, Manhattan and Chicago, all in buildings with new windows that were superbly soundproofed. I didn't hear a thing. No sirens. No honking. Nothing. Methinks Vistana cheapened up on their window installs, likely opting for double-pane, but not thicker, soundproof double-pane.

My own issues with Vistana continue to be their price point for what kind of finish out you end up getting. If I were spending upwards of $3300 a month for one of their penthouse units, I'd want something more than just a black-on-black common appliance package. Heck, even their 'tower' unit (at $6k+/mo) doesn't have a proper finish-out.

All of that being said, I love the look of the building. It's lit beautifully at night and is a nice addition to Downtown. What I'd love to see most is them rent out that large open space on their ground floor to a grocery store or neighborhood market. It's sad to see that IHOP didn't survive there, but it's just that much more space for someone like HEB to work with.

I can dream, can't I?




BN
I don't disagree with most of this. It always gets back to what people want vs. what they can pay for. I think that most developers selling "luxury" is a pretty transparent thing, and I think it's silly to use it to market to more sophisticated urban buyers.

I really don't get the noise thing, though. I've been in many of those units (never at night, granted) and it's quiet. They didn't skimp on windows, at least in the units I've seen.
 
Old 10-04-2010, 07:41 PM
 
69 posts, read 159,311 times
Reputation: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvlpr View Post
Most of these issues sound like problems that just come with living in an urban center. Said another way, most of these problems aren't things that can be 'fixed' (or that the developer didn't consider prior to development). For some people, the problems are overcome by the good things about living downtown. It sounds like you'd prefer a less-dense, quieter neighborhood (King William, Monte Vista, Alamo Heights).

But you've identified the "chicken vs. egg" problem for bringing more residential downtown: downtown proper really doesn't have enough 'there' to offset the higher cost and inconveniences of living there. Of course, that won't change without lots of people living downtown.

Oh- I don't think they're worried about dropping rents. The joint is 96% leased.
dont be fooled by the 96% rental rate, while I think a lot of the basic units are rented keep a few things in mind:

1. the penthouse units on the top floor have been a total flop, there are maybe 1 or 2 people living up there but 9 out of 10 are empty because they are too expensive.

2. all the commercial space has been sitting empty for almost 2 years now, (there was an ihop that opened up and closed so fast you could have missed it if you blinked) because its too expensive

3. the parking and storage units are not being rented/paid for either because they are too expensive

4. having lived there I can tell you that people are NOT renewing their leases, its a place you get sold on, excited about, live their, grow to hate it and move out at the end of your lease. No one stays.

The problems there arent just because of the urban environment, you really can chalk up tons to bad, pompous management... they do not treat people well, they charge too much for everything, they are shady as ****
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