Saturday, September 08, 2007

Another Real Estate Disaster in the Making?

I took a little walk today near Marina Del Rey, the yacht harbor of Los Angeles. I started at one corner of a block that's about two streets east of Lincoln Boulevard and one street south of Washington Boulevard. Here is some running commentary with the photos I took. (Click on the photo for a larger version.)

Photo 1

PICT0001

Hey, look. Let's go see what this is all about. You'd think that with the real estate market tanking in California, these might sit on the shelves a bit; but then again, sales of high-end units are still holding value here, even though the inventory is piling up.

Photo 2

PICT0002

Oh, looks like a series of loft-style units. Oh yeah, I remember. This is technically Culver City. They've been doing a lot of rethinking about their city planning over the last ten years. Hmm. Don't know if the timing of this was well thought out.

Photo 3

PICT0003

Hm. More lofts. I don't really get this loft thing. I do get the cost of construction savings, though.
Photo 4

PICT0004

More of same. Not very attractive. Reminds me of the projects. Well, I guess the City was thinking about the potential tax revenue. Just goes to show why city bureaucrats shouldn't go into the housing development business.

Photo 5

PICT0005

Gosh, more lofts. What about parks? What about the view out your window?

Photo 6

PICT0006

Guess this answers that question.

Photo 7

PICT0007

Another good living room view, and it looks like the units go all the way across the block width.

Photo 8

PICT0008

Oh. I see they got their "mixed use" in. But a body shop, I would have thought that stinks up the neighborhood. (It does.)

Photo 9

PICT0009

Another building, even better vis-a-vis. Ugh.

Photo 10

PICT0010

Now I've come around the edge of the block and I'm walking down the street at the "back" side. More of same, but maybe not lofts, at least.

Photo 11

PICT0011

Oh yes, these seem nicer, but ... they're also almost completed, which helps. But still, the views....

Photo 12

PICT0012

Looks like they've calculated a huge demand for these apartments. And I hear they're priced at around, e.g., $700,000, for 1,200 sq.ft. or so., two bedrooms. Someone's going to make a killing, right?

Photo 13

PICT0013

Another mixed use. I suppose it could be nice to be able to get your oil changed right out of bed.

Photo 14

PICT0014

Another new one. Gosh, that makes about twenty huge new buildings or so. There must be 1,000 new apartments going in on this block alone. I hope they can sell them when the time comes. Maybe they're trying to empty out the Inner Empire.

Photo 15

PICT0015

Last shot, another mixed use.... looks like a punch line.... I guess the Arabs did well to go elsewhere with their petrodollars. (See previous post.) They didn't have to do anything to cause this future fiasco. I wonder if it's happening all over the USA--or even all over the world. Good grief, what a thought.

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17 Comments:

Blogger michelle said...

The Ground Zero sign belongs to an advertising agency that has been there for at least 5 years. I did see lots of construction on that street when I was there last week, but I doubt the ad guys have anything to do with it.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous griffinfinity said...

They're overdeveloping west of Lincoln as well. In 5 years, everything in the Marina will have been torn down and rebuilt on a larger scale. Probobly the same money that's turning Jefferson at LMU into Condotown U.S.A.

12:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just published an article about San Jose real estate market. It described the smallest house on sale recently. You may find the article at:

http://sanjosehomesforsale.blogspot.com/2007/09/friday-update-smallest-san-jose-home.html

John
www.movoto.com

12:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this entry is a bit irresponsible being that without even a quote from one of the builders, or any figures on the demand for the area or the number of units sold, you form an opinion, and possibly sway others, that there are too many units being built and that the area is questionable. I live in that neighborhood and it is a very desirable location due to its proximity to the beach, marina, movies, grocery stores, JOBS and dozens of shops within walking distance. This is the kind of growth the city needs. By the way, very few, if any, of the developments are in Culver City. Depending on who you talk to, it's other Marina Del Rey, Del Rey, or Marina adjacent. Please get your facts straight and don't try and deter people from a perfectly good area.

Thanks

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They look like projects? Have you ever been to Nickerson Gardens, Jordan Downs, etc.? If you don't like leaving the westside, go check out the Mar Vista Gardens. You can't even compare them....

8:55 AM  
Blogger Katy said...

Reply to Anonymous (sorry, it's difficult to be more precise):

As you point out, my post is my opinion. I think this kind of development is ugly. You have the right to your own opinion, i.e. that "it is a very desirable location" (I agree) and "this is the kind of growth the city needs" (I disagree, at least as to the aesthetics of it--a subjective reaction).

On the other hand, I accept your recommendation to get my facts straight. I will be glad to correct the name of the city that has encouraged this kind of development within itself. It may be Los Angeles, even Los Angeles County, and not Culver City. That does not change my opinion, however, about their aesthetics, and about how this kind of booming development is another victim (not the cause, but the victim) of the housing bubble.

The housing bubble destroyed market dynamics that I believe would have prevented this kind of multiplicity of hurried and un-market-tested development (in my opinion).

There is the chance that they will all sell at their present price, and I will have to shut up. I will do that when and if the time comes. I'll even tell the world that I was wrong, right here in my blog.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Katy said...

Reply to Michelle:

Ground Zero had nothing to do with this housing development. I did not mean to imply that they were involved in any way. It's the name that got my attention, and it's placement at the end of my walk.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous edla67 said...

Always more developments and packed condos, and less green spaces (note it never goes the other way: condo becomes a green park again), is the regrettable trend due to our unability to stabilize population and immigration.
There would be 12M illegal immigrants. Imagine if we could close borders and reduce that number to only 11M (deny jobs so 1M return to Mexico) then somehow 1M apts or homes would become vacant, which would dramatically reduce the trend. Latest condo devts are really pushing it in terms of packing a maximum of people against each other with no views or balconies or green. Anyone saw the movie Brazil (1986)? Pretty soon our cities will look like this.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Ravi kumar said...

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5:04 AM  
Blogger Kely said...

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12:20 PM  
Blogger Katy said...

Preceding two posts were e-mail spams advertising real estate property. All such spam will be deleted.

1:11 PM  
Blogger linda said...

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10:42 AM  
Blogger Omar Cruz said...

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6:26 PM  
Blogger Jose Antonio said...

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9:59 AM  
Blogger Omar Cruz said...

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9:11 PM  
Anonymous Laguna Realtor said...

I don't think we are really prepared for another real estate disaster. We have already been fed up of the recession and hope things will improve sooner rather than later.

12:30 AM  
Blogger Nicholas Sullivan said...

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4:28 AM  

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