Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The VUE Is The 500 lb Gorilla In The Room

There it sits on the corner of West Fifth and North Pine, a majestic structure rising 51 floors.  It dwarfs the Fifth & Poplar complex significantly, even though they share almost the same amount of units. 

I remember when the developer first came to town in late 2004 and met with the board of The Friends of Fourth Ward and shared pictures and descriptions of the amenities and views that would be available, it was quite something.  The early media splash garnered a lot of attention, then they opened their sales office on Trade and Tryon, can't get any better than that.
As sales started to take place, zoning issues arose, then funding issues, then site prep work issues, they were all resolved.  Things looked great for this building, until the market fell apart!  The developer had contracts in hand, enough to begin construction and went forward with the excavation.  Slowly, it began to come out of the ground. 

The finished product is pretty much as advertised.  The amenities deck is marvelous, the views are stunning, and closings are taking place, just slower than the developer would like to see.
  Loans have become issues for some as the appraisals are coming in below the contracted price.  The biggest problem for appraisers is what do you compare it to?   There is nothing like it, the TradeMark, and The Avenue are no where near the standards for The VUE.  The problem with the loans is that the lenders are telling contract holders that they will need to put more money down to secure a loan.  Something that many are uncomfortable with. 

Some have tried to back out of their contracts, but the developer is holding them to the terms of the contract, which may include financial restitution above the initial deposit.  Lawsuits (4) have been filed from both sides. 

While that takes place, closings are continuing to occur.  It seems like every day there are more lights on in the building.  Residents that have moved in seem to be pleased with their purchase and the urban lifestyle that it brings. 

My belief is that closings will continue, and new sales will be made.  It will probably take significantly longer than the developer planned, but within a year we will see many more lights on in The VUE

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