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Old 10-24-2011, 08:32 AM
 
38 posts, read 57,845 times
Reputation: 19

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Looking at the building it seems like a good solution for the next 2-3 years for me to reside and then maybe rent. Does anyone have experience living there or advice. Looks like I can get a 1/1 1050 sq ft for under 120k.

thanks in advance
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
3,237 posts, read 5,113,787 times
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What are your demographics?
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:54 AM
 
38 posts, read 57,845 times
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I'm 30 and would prefer a townhome in sth tampa thats not near kennedy but this seems like a short term idea that would be easily paid off in 4 years and then rent or sell it.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:03 AM
 
420 posts, read 749,222 times
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I had a friend that lived there in 2008-2009 and I visited it often. It's a nice building with a good location (not too far from downtown and S. Tampa). It was convenient to be able to walk to Channelside and there are now shops that have opened on this first floors of some of the condos. There's a bar there that's always fun to go to.

If there are any drawbacks, I'd say that the pool was always too lively. This can be good or bad depending on your tolerance. I thought it was good back in 2008, but now would probably be a bit annoyed by it. There are also a lot of UT/USF students that split that 2-2s which adds to the level of activity. The pool is definitely nice and worth the visit, I just wouldn't want to live on the pool floor or the first couple of floors above it facing it.

Another drawback is the lack of development in the area. I'm sure that this is the major reason that these condos didn't do too well, but that will change as the economy improves. It almost felt like Grand Central was its own location and there's nothing around. Again, that should change in the future.

Overall, based on my experience with some of the condos in Channelside (as a visitor and not a tenant/owner), I do recommend Grand Central. Based on your post, I may have to take a look at it myself!
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Castle Rock, Co
1,614 posts, read 2,668,299 times
Reputation: 959
Grand central, is this that high rise by ut right there?? I cant be thinking of the right place, what im thinking is almost all old people.
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:24 PM
 
38 posts, read 57,845 times
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it is def almost all students or young proffesionals from what i have seen. anyone else?
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
3,237 posts, read 5,113,787 times
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I imagine it would fit you fine
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Old 10-24-2011, 04:15 PM
 
1,106 posts, read 1,948,110 times
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The only thing that I would be cognizant of is the fact that this project has a colorful history. This is the second attempt at selling these units. When the project was first developed, they sold a handful of units at exorbitant prices to a few suckers who wanted to be first in.

And when I say "suckers", I mean it. Here is an article about someone who paid $458,000 for a similar 1 BR unit that you are looking at:

So, what's it really like living in downtown Tampa? - St. Petersburg Times

Here's another great 2004 quote from Joe Martin, a salesman at Grand Central, who is probably sleeping under the Platt Street bridge these days after putting all of his savings in speculative condo projects. "I'd rather have my money in condos than in the stock market. It's not like a tech stock, which can go bankrupt... Condo prices may not go up as dramatically as they've gone, but I don't expect them to go down or level off at this point."

Business: Living the high life

When the sales dried up, the developers went bankrupt and the new owners converted the remaining units to apartments and started renting them out, driving the value of the original purchasers' units to near zero. [no bank will lend money to buyers for a project that is 90% apartments]

Since then, they have attempted to sell additional units from inventory, as well as foreclosed units being sold as original buyers gave up on their mortgages and handed them back to the banks.

You can probably get a really good deal, but I would be aware that 1) you should check the association's financials very closely. Developers that go under usually don't put a lot of money toward reserves, etc, 2) the condo association is probably still run by the bank/developer if they own a majority of the units, which means individual owners votes/opinions do not count in the management of the property; and 3) There is no guarantee that you will be able to sell in X years. Remember, everyone else who is buying on the cheap is plotting the same strategy and you may find yourself as one of 150 units for sale in a few years. In addition, you may be competing against the developer who may still be reconverting apartments to condos. And don't forget, 4) there are still a huge number of renters. Renters don't care about the upkeep and "community" of a condo like owners do.

I would also run the numbers between renting and buying (that means ALL your costs: mortgage, propertry taxes, condo fees, upkeep, etc).

Good luck!
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
3,237 posts, read 5,113,787 times
Reputation: 1492
Quote:
Originally Posted by chi_tino View Post
The only thing that I would be cognizant of is the fact that this project has a colorful history. This is the second attempt at selling these units. When the project was first developed, they sold a handful of units at exorbitant prices to a few suckers who wanted to be first in.

And when I say "suckers", I mean it. Here is an article about someone who paid $458,000 for a similar 1 BR unit that you are looking at:

So, what's it really like living in downtown Tampa? - St. Petersburg Times

Here's another great 2004 quote from Joe Martin, a salesman at Grand Central, who is probably sleeping under the Platt Street bridge these days after putting all of his savings in speculative condo projects. "I'd rather have my money in condos than in the stock market. It's not like a tech stock, which can go bankrupt... Condo prices may not go up as dramatically as they've gone, but I don't expect them to go down or level off at this point."

Business: Living the high life

When the sales dried up, the developers went bankrupt and the new owners converted the remaining units to apartments and started renting them out, driving the value of the original purchasers' units to near zero. [no bank will lend money to buyers for a project that is 90% apartments]

Since then, they have attempted to sell additional units from inventory, as well as foreclosed units being sold as original buyers gave up on their mortgages and handed them back to the banks.

You can probably get a really good deal, but I would be aware that 1) you should check the association's financials very closely. Developers that go under usually don't put a lot of money toward reserves, etc, 2) the condo association is probably still run by the bank/developer if they own a majority of the units, which means individual owners votes/opinions do not count in the management of the property; and 3) There is no guarantee that you will be able to sell in X years. Remember, everyone else who is buying on the cheap is plotting the same strategy and you may find yourself as one of 150 units for sale in a few years. In addition, you may be competing against the developer who may still be reconverting apartments to condos. And don't forget, 4) there are still a huge number of renters. Renters don't care about the upkeep and "community" of a condo like owners do.

I would also run the numbers between renting and buying (that means ALL your costs: mortgage, propertry taxes, condo fees, upkeep, etc).

Good luck!
Yep, also see: skypoint, channelside towers, etc. etc, every other recent housing development built in or near downtown since 2004, this also includes that building on bayshore and platt. Suckers indeed...

I was watching for some of those studios or 1BR places to get around 60k, I would buy one just to live in part time since I work downtown, would be kind of nice to walk to work a few days a week, and live in my nice suburban castle the rest of the time. And sell it when I got tired of it
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Old 03-10-2012, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Florida
5 posts, read 7,103 times
Reputation: 17
Default grand central some facts

Been reading threads on GCK and there is a lot of useful info missing. I bought a unit 8 months ago and glad I did. The good deals are snapped up in a day or 2. The financials are very good and as a matter of fact my HOA fees went down this year. Another thing people don't know, but this really benefits owners, is that the monthy HOA includes ALL of the following: gas for cooking and the dryer, heat and air conditioning (that could be hundreds a month) trash, parking, concierge, cable, telephone, internet, all amenities, pool, fitness center, hot tub by pool, barbecue area, dog walking area by the pool (yukky, I think).
Bottom like is for my 361/ month I get everything except electric for lights etc., which is 40 bucks/ month. This is a great deal. It is virtually free HOA because of all the utilities it includes. They can do it because it has a chiller system for the A/C. Anyway I could go on. Also regarding the demographic, it's a lot of 20 somethings that are young professionals or kids going to college with a lot of bucks. I would recommend. A bunch of new restaurants just opened too, there are 4 in the plaza and in the building.
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