Downtown Condos: Not All Bad News

While the attempted positive spin on the Carlyles Watch Auction continues, it amazes me that none of the articles discuss the loss the existing owners at the development will suffer. 19 units have already sold or are in contract, those individuals are looking now at substantial losses on resale value. Units that were originally priced at $265,000, the developers are hoping to sell for around $210,000... I think you can blame the market all you want, but it's a fact, if you offer buyers what they want, at a price they can afford in a location that is desirable, they will buy it. The rush of developers to the downtown market to take advantage of the tax abatement seem to have ignored studies that have shown there is a need for affordable downtown condos. The $200,000+ price tag, ignores the young professional first time homeowner, who in my belief is the prime buyer for this market (and they do not have an existing home to sell). But more on that later...

Any agent that is familiar with the downtown market will know a good investment when they see it. Not only is it our responsibility to show a buyer what the want, it is our responsibility to advise them on whether or not it is a good investment and the likelihood of whether or not the will be able to resell it. What's in a location? EVERYTHING! The Arena District is hot, why? There is a lot of development happening and it's close to everything. Burnham Square is SOLD OUT, that's 98 units, ahead of schedule. The Buggyworks sold out phase one long ago and sales have currently started for phase 2. The Condominiums at North Bank Park (photo on the right), with possibly the best view of Downtown Columbus, has a third of their inventory of 109 units in contract and there is not even a model.

For those looking for something a little more affordable or spacious, there's is what is in my opinion, the Downtown areas best investment, Harrison Park. Located in Harrison West, right outside Victorian Village and an acceptable walking distance to the Short North. Harrison Park is basically a condo community: Single Family Homes, Flats and Lofts (coming soon). At a current starting price of $408,000 (up $30,000 from where thety began), the Single Family Homes will appeal to the young professional, couples and the empty nester. The Single Family addresses the need for the otherwise nonexistent 3 bedroom condo in Downtown Columbus, a finished basement and depending on the size, a finished third floor. Hurry, there is only 8 of the original 62, left. As for the Flats, Phase one is one unit from being sold out. Phase two will add green space to some of it's first floor units and prices begin at $180,000 for a 994 sqft 1 bedroom. Harrison Park has a 50% tax abatement and the City will eventually be building a park on it's West border. Reasonable condo fees cover the clubhouse, gym, and outdoor pool. If you haven't been to Harrison Park, check it out.