Everyone wants new, new, new. Even a building that is only two years old, is apparently too “old” for some buyers (as tastes in kitchen and baths can change that quickly.)
But what about a building that is 8 years old?
The Bristol at 57 E. Delaware was the epitome of luxury when it opened in 2000. It has a great location right in the middle of the Gold Coast and the Rush Street corridor. The units are spacious, with great views, and the building has nice amenities, including a lovely indoor pool. It has 178 units.
Unfortunately, several years ago, a developer announced plans for a high rise at 50 E. Chestnut that would be directly south of The Bristol. All units on the south side of The Bristol faced having their views completely blocked.
When a new building is going in next door, you usually see prices drop as buyers are fearful of purchasing (due to the “unknown.”) But once a building is built, it doesn’t seem so scary.
50 E. Chestnut is slated to begin occupancy in about six months. Any buyer in The Bristol today will have a full view into how badly their views will be blocked.
But even with 50 E. Chestnut now built, units in The Bristol are struggling to hold their value and many are selling for less than what owners paid for them several years ago. Even some long time owners (5 years or more) are going to be lucky to make money (even in the units that aren’t blocked.)
What’s gone wrong at The Bristol?
It’s a very nice building. It has large units with large bedrooms and baths. No skimping on the master bedroom in this building- with it running 16 x 17 in many units. Yes, some of the kitchens now need updating (gasp- white appliances). But even those owners who updated aren’t seeing any appreciation.
Is it just too difficult, even with a remodel, to compete with the glut of new units also on the market?
Here are some examples of slow to nil price appreciation (or depreciation):
Unit #3605: 3 bedroom, 2 baths, 1885 square feet
- Sold in November 2000 for $910,000
- Sold in March 2002 for $1,045,000
- Currently listed for $1,195,000
- Assessment of $1324 a month
- Remodeled kitchen
- Chezi Rafaeli at Coldwell Banker has the listing
Unit #3102: 3 bedroom, 2 baths, 2015 square feet
- Sold in November 2001 for $1,137,500
- Currently listed for $1,070,000
- Southeast view
- Assessment of $1339 a month
- Remodeled kitchen with stainless steel and wine bar
- The Habitat Company has the listing
Unit #1505: 3 bedroom, 2.5 baths, 1975 square feet
- Sold in June 2001 for $745,000
- Currently listed for $850,000
- “Sunset and neighborhood views”
- Estate Properties has the listing
Unit #2906: 2 bedroom, 2 baths, 1500 square feet
- Sold in June 2000 for $626,000
- Currently listed for $689,000
- Assessments of $868 a month
- Koenig & Strey has the listing
Unit #1103: 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 1500 square feet
- Sold in March 2002 for $535,000
- Sold in April 2005 for $599,000
- Sold in December 2006 for $575,000
- Currently listed for $650,000
- Northeast corner
- Koenig & Strey has the listing
Unit #1401: 1 bedroom, 1.5 baths, 1050 square feet
- Sold in May 2003 for $420,000
- Currently listed for $434,900 (just had a price reduction)
- It appears that the unit looks at least partially into 50 E. Chestnut
- Susan Nick at Sudler Sotheby’s has the listing
I didn’t pick and choose here. I found several other units on the market where the owners are also struggling to make a profit.