Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Low Income Housing with European Finishes. Too Good to Be True? Maybe not!

A gentlemen, whom I'll call RG, was referred to me through another developer client of mine, Stu Kushner to whom I owe MANY thanks. Stu and I have been working together for about six months and have had much success on our first project together at Maricor Gardens Condominiums. Apparently, after our first meeting RG has several 12-15 unit buildings in NE DC that he is looking to develop. Talk about a wonderful opportunity! RG is looking to have a team represent him in the listing of the units, but that's not all, he is looking for a team to help him develop, manage, oversee and design the entire development himself. Having worked with many developers before I couldn't help but offer my team's services to him and guess what, he accepted. After our last meeting this past Friday he is basically turning over the entire project to me! From design, to co-branding with Eagle Bank and a chair member and owner of Paramount Title, Ben Soto, for financing and title work, to project management under the possible direction of the infamous Jim Delgado, of Delgado Home Inspections (and one of my closest and most respected business associates) as well as staging and interior design by Melanie Moses, we might just have a winning project!!!!

What's that you say? The condo market is going soft?

Well, I can't argue that the market has slowed down a bit but soft, not so much. At least not with differentiation. Can you imagine a new generation of luxury-esque 1 bedroom condos for under $222k. How is this possible you ask? Well, here's my proposal....

ABOVE ALL ELSE, CONSTRUCTION COSTS MUST REMAIN UNDER $100/sq ft.

In one of RG's buildings there are 14-one bedroom units. Now, I'm sure anyone searching heavily for a new condo has seen the run-of-the-mill unit, granite counter tops, cherry cabinets, ceramic floor in the bathroom, stainless appliances, hardwood floors, neutral painted drywall, etc. Am I wrong yet? Well, quite frankly, I'm sick of seeing them. I want something different. The client wants something different. We need to differentiate ourselves from the competition. So imagine this....you walk into your unit, as you open the door to your right you glance over to the left wall and see an in-wall stereo running to speakers located in the ceilings of each room in your house. You look down, what's that 6" x 6" niche cut out in the wall below the stereo...well...it's the first generation of a fully integrated ipod dock linked directly to your entire house. YES, that's right, FULLY INTEGRATED. Not bad eh? Well as you take your eyes off the stereo you look to the right and see a completely exposed brick wall. Not just any brick wall, but a brick wall painted with thick white lacquer, helping to brighten the unit but guess what's hanging in the center of the wall...Your very own 42" plasma TV. Still not good enough? So you walk across your light colored bamboo flooring to the kitchen in the far left corner of the unit and look around. What's on the floor? It's a new generation of flooring, deep amber colored stone filled in with tan grout? The texture is perfect and smooth enough to walk around bare-foot. As you look up you notice the white lacquer cabinets complemented by the brushed steel accents. The counter is a deep black silestone and the appliances are all stainless steel.

Back to the imagination....picture yourself 24 years old, ready to buy your first home. What would you want to bring your friends home to? I see it too! Pretty cool eh?

Update coming soon!'

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