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Old 05-09-2009, 07:20 PM
 
4 posts, read 24,479 times
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Hello all. I'm looking for some input about my condo purchasing decision. I'm looking to buy a 2/2 condo in the Midtown/Downtown area, and I've been searching the market for the last few months.

I've narrowed my choices down to White Provision and a couple resale units in Plaza Midtown. I'm just looking to get some opinions about which one would be the better investment for the long term. Pricewise, my total housing payments (mortgage, HOA, taxes, etc.) would virtually be the same, thanks to the phenomenal tax abatement for the White Provision development.

I'm leaning more toward White Provision because, even though the area as a whole has not reached the gentrification level of Midtown, the businesses and restaurants that have taken space in White Provision would definitely boost the level of clientele that frequent the area.

What are your thoughts on taking residence in an up-and-coming area with much promise versus an established community situated closer to the growth of Midtown and the "Midtown Mile"?

Any feedback is greatly apprecated, thanks.

Jonathan
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Midtown, Atlanta
128 posts, read 351,353 times
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I was faced with the same decision a few months ago, except I was deciding between Metropolis and White Provision. Ultimately I decided on the east side of Midtown for a few reasons, even though I didn't end up buying. The Westside is a really exciting and upcoming area, but I was attracted more to the already gentrified feel of the east side. Industrial chic is beautiful, but it's not really what I would want my whole neighborhood to be. Also, Piedmont Park is close by Metropolis, which is huge for me. The Midtown Mile, when completed, was seen as an enormous asset for the unit at Metropolis. As a whole, east Midtown is just more of the walking oriented, close to everything neighborhood that attracts me. I know White Provision is terribly far away, but it's still far enough that it's not right next to all the other great neighborhoods I frequent. Anyway, with that said, I did prefer the actual building at White Provision more than Metropolis. There aren't as many units, and it does have some unique layouts with awesome views. I would say pick the one that most fits your lifestyle because I don't think anyone needs to think of a condo as an investment only anymore.
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Norman, OK
3,478 posts, read 7,223,446 times
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Honestly I would choose White Provision over Plaza. I know people who live in the Plaza and there have been several issues in that building, including an unfortunate suicide, drug busts, and some damage to the common area.
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jurban8 View Post
Anyway, with that said, I did prefer the actual building at White Provision more than Metropolis. There aren't as many units, and it does have some unique layouts with awesome views.
I agree with you...and that is one of the big pluses of White Provision, in my eyes. Don't get me wrong, Plaza certainly has some awesome views and great amenities, but the degree of uniqueness doesn't compare to WP (aside from the Publix). Not only would it have to compete with similar units in the building, it would also have to compete with other similar designed Novarre units throughout the city (Like Metropolis). Novarre is a good development group, but their designs are sort of cookie cutter.

I also agree with your take on the east side of Midtown versus west. The majority of the Westside isn't exactly walkable yet. As far as nightlife and the like, I don't mind the short drive to my various destinations. Commuting to work wouldn't be an issue either. I work downtown, and I plan on using MARTA, so a quick bus ride is fine with me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wxjay View Post
Honestly I would choose White Provision over Plaza. I know people who live in the Plaza and there have been several issues in that building, including an unfortunate suicide, drug busts, and some damage to the common area.
I also agree with this, to a degree. Drug busts and the like can definitely affect the value and comfort level of a place. However, I wouldn't think that 1 individual jumping off the balcony reflects negatively on the building and community itself.

Thanks for the feedback. Any other thoughts/input?
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:59 AM
 
1,114 posts, read 2,339,710 times
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I just biked by White Provision to take a look today since I hadn't heard of it before. The area is still highly industrial and surrounded on three sides by railroad tracks. I'm not sure how active they are but that could certainly be as big a problem as having West Peachtree and Spring St's around Plaza.

It was fairly deserted overall except for a few people at West Egg and no one really out walking/jogging. Personally as cookie cutter as Plaza is when compared the Novare bunch Metropolis, Spire, Viewpoint in that 2 block area, White Provision looks almost identical in build to all the nearby lowrise condo/apartments as Tivoli Tenside, Art Foundry, Element and all the other anonymous low rise quasi brick apartments w/ built in parking decks.

What % is the building sold given it's under construction in the worst condo glut in Atlanta history? That will affect your ability to get a mortgage in this environment or at minimum higher interest if it doesn't qualify under Fannie/Freddie. I am under contract on Viewpoint right now and despite being over 60% sold, 20% down, and the mortgage being under 2X my gross salary, they wanted to account for every dime in every single one of my accounts.

Personally, I value the view I get in Spire/Viewpoint, proximity to GT (currently an MBA student), Marta access, and proximity to Piedmont. It may be cookie cutter but until I have 500k in my bank account and the ability to buy into one of the buildings w/ actual style, it'll have to do. I figure if my job needs me to pick up and do a stint overseas, I won't come back to an overgrown and vandalized home.
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:07 PM
 
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Thanks for the feedback Mishap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishap View Post
The area is still highly industrial and surrounded on three sides by railroad tracks. I'm not sure how active they are but that could certainly be as big a problem as having West Peachtree and Spring St's around Plaza.
I've been up in the construction site (before all windows, etc. was installed), when a train came through. It wasn't much of an issue at all. That area is a "no-whistle zone", and the trains don't travel at a speed that creates much noise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishap View Post
White Provision looks almost identical in build to all the nearby lowrise condo/apartments as Tivoli Tenside, Art Foundry, Element and all the other anonymous low rise quasi brick apartments w/ built in parking decks.
The building quality is actually very good, when compared to some of the other lowrise/midrise condos that you speak of. That's one thing that blew me away when I toured the construction site. Everything is concrete, reinforced steel, and stucco (the good, real stuff....not the synthetic stuff). Like you said, some of the developments that you speak of is wood framed, brick on the first few levels, and synthetic stucco on higher levels (which is why Element went up like a book of matches during construction).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishap View Post
What % is the building sold given it's under construction in the worst condo glut in Atlanta history?
20% was under contract in January. There are about 90 units in the building, with 18 different floorplans. This degree of uniqueness is one thing that attracted me (and I'm sure, other buyers/potential buyers as well).
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:24 PM
 
1,114 posts, read 2,339,710 times
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That's good that it's solidly built. I lived out in Vinings for a while and I could hear the trains almost a mile away from the Wieland development I lived in. I toured Element a few times prior to the auction and it really put me off on low rise developments. They did the standard hardwoods/granite but little things like the lazy sheet steel/ brushed aluminum backsplashes just said cheap.

How much are the HOA fees w/ a doorman and only ~90 units? Seems like it could get expensive since Aqua has only a similar # of units and it runs $450/mon for the smallest 1bdr. Element was $300/mon for 2bdr's and that didn't even include concierge with 300 units to divide it over. I realize there are nuances to the different low rises around but I just felt that much of the intown value is in living in the very heart of everything. Not being a big foodie, I survive on the regular Midtown fare well enough although I hope some nicer restaurants will move into the area once the economy recovers a bit.

Standing inside Viewpoint, I really can't discern much of a difference from say Spire or Metropolis but I look at it as a blank slate with all the amenities already bundled in. If I come up w/ some real money I'd love to have something similar to my brother's loft in Buckhead which is a 1,600 sqft 1bdr/2ba, 14ft ceilings, w/ a 900 sq ft patio looking toward the Lenox area. Then again his place costs well over 400k.
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Old 05-10-2009, 01:21 PM
 
4 posts, read 24,479 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishap View Post
I toured Element a few times prior to the auction and it really put me off on low rise developments. They did the standard hardwoods/granite but little things like the lazy sheet steel/ brushed aluminum backsplashes just said cheap.
I agree with you about being turned off to lowrises. Most of them do have that same cheap external construction style, and the finish levels are just thrown together. I definitely wouldn't want to spend my money on a condo that has the cheap quality of most apartment finishes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishap View Post
How much are the HOA fees w/ a doorman and only ~90 units?
HOA is 33.6 cents/sq ft, which equals about $410/month for the 2/2 units I am looking at. HOA includes gas, water, sewer, landscaping, insurance, maintenance, amenities, and reserve. Amenities include pool, outdoor kitchen/grilling terrace, fitness center, concierge/24 hr. security, and a fully furnished guest suite that you can reserve for a little over $100/night (great for inlaws ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishap View Post
Not being a big foodie, I survive on the regular Midtown fare well enough although I hope some nicer restaurants will move into the area once the economy recovers a bit.
I'm in the same boat. I try not to eat out that much, so I can save money. However, there are some good spots in the immediate Westside area. You say you rode by there this morning and the area seemed dead. You should see it during lunch hour--Taqueria Del Sol is humming every day. Of course, you also have Figo and West Egg right there, Social House is right down the street, and they just opened Flip Burger Boutique, which I haven't tried yet.
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:58 AM
 
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The question is if only 20% is sold at white provisions, how much longer can the developers last before the bank takes it over and puts the remaining unsold condos into foreclosure? How much less will they be sold for and also what type of people will it attract? They were aiming for a "high income" and "high cultured" demographic - will they still be able to attract that once the prices come down?
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Old 06-29-2009, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Norman, OK
3,478 posts, read 7,223,446 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treet View Post
The question is if only 20% is sold at white provisions, how much longer can the developers last before the bank takes it over and puts the remaining unsold condos into foreclosure? How much less will they be sold for and also what type of people will it attract? They were aiming for a "high income" and "high cultured" demographic - will they still be able to attract that once the prices come down?
The way I read that was that by the end of January 2009, 20% of the units were sold. That means, in all likelihood, more units were sold since then.

But the OP can clarify that if I misunderstood.
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