Boston Financial District Broadluxe Condo Resale Activity Slows

Stuart St James has released the 2012 Broadluxe Condo Sales Report. The report highlights the fact that while price per square foot in the 44-unit loft style building has gone up over the past year, sales velocity of resale units has gone down.

In 2012, only two units in the Boston Financial District condo development sold, half the total from the previous year. Nonetheless, owners continue to see appreciation in price per square foot, currently at $593 per foot. Based on the results of the 2008 condo auction at Broadluxe, where buyers fetched condos at an average of $496 per square foot, auction buyers have realized an approximate 20% gain on their initial investment.

At present, no units are for sale at Broadluxe, while there is a single unit for rent – see all Broadluxe Boston condos for sale and rent.

Financial District Broadluxe Studio Loft Condo Now Available

Central location and convenience are the story behind the latest listing to hit Boston’s Financial District.  A studio, unit 5F, at the loft-style Broadluxe condominium development hit the market earlier this week.  Unit 5F is essentially the second true resale in the building since the auction in 2008 and the subsequent sellout of the remaining units.

Unit 5F at Broadluxe, a downtown Boston studio loft-style condo boasts approximately 539 square feet and is being offered at $309,900.  The exposed brick and beams, convenient floorplan (554 KB PDF), and extra deeded storage in the basement of the building presents a nice package to those looking for city center living.

Downtown city living loft-style exposed brick and beam studio unit in an elevator served concierge building. In the heart of the Financial District, you’re moments from the Waterfront, all downtown amenities, and the newly completed Greenway. Gas cooking, granite counters, stainless steel appliances, extra deeded storage. In unit W/D hookups. For pure turnkey move in, furnishings negotiable.

An open house will take place at Broadluxe unit 5F this weekend, Sunday, January 23, 2011 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Moments from the Rose Kennedy Greenway and the Waterfront, Broadluxe’s Financial District location has proven to be a coveted spot in downtown Boston.  For more information, use the Contact Us link tab at the top of this page.

Broadluxe Financial District Condos

Broadluxe Loft 5F

Is Condo Auction Pace Quickening?

It was almost a year ago to the day that Bostonians saw their last downtown condo auction take place at the Broadluxe on June 21, 2008. Prior to that, roughly two years had gone by since the last downtown Boston condo development auction at Folio was used to clear out inventory at the Financial District luxury development.  And now, with the June 28, 2009 auction at the South End’s 1850 loft-style condo development taking place, this may be a sign that the large-scale condo auction market is heating up.

Boston Broadluxe Auction June 2008

Brecht recently stated that there may be a chance for increased auction activity over the next 24-36 months (see 441 Stuart Street: What Happened?), and it appears that prediction is coming true in the form of another residential downtown Boston real estate auction now with the 1850.

The 1850 is a condo development that has been developed over the past several years, gone through a name change (formerly known as SoHa Lofts), has been marketed for sale for well over a year, and open to residents in mid-2008.  Both the Folio and Broadluxe auctions were successful in quickly clearing remaining inventory and paying off creditors, and the 1850, while some would argue has a less desirable location, is positioned to be on the same trajectory.

Exclusive Broadluxe Auction Interview

Monday marked the completion of developer unit sales at Broadluxe, which represents one of the shortest building sales cycles in some time.   We had the chance to catch up with Brecht Palombo, Broker and Auctioneer of Tranzon Auction Properties, who played an integral role in the auction of Broadluxe, and post auction sales coordination. Broadluxe, a 44-unit loft-style condo development in the heart of the Financial District, was brought to auction on June 21, 2008 after a short marketing blitz.  The event was the most significant Boston condo auction of 2008, and was considered a success by many after Tranzon was able to sell 60%+ of the property on auction day, as well as making quick work of the remaining units for sale in the building post auction.

Can you tell us a little about Tranzon and your role with the firm?

Brecht Palombo: Tranzon is the premier national network of independently operated real estate auction firms. Tranzon Auction Properties operates throughout New England with a headquarters in Portland Maine and with my offices in Lexington Massachusetts. My team in Lexington is responsible for driving new business relationships in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut and we service all of the southern New England auction business that’s written out of our headquarters.

How were you involved in the Broadluxe auction process?

Brecht Palombo: I was intimately involved with every aspect of the Broadluxe auction process starting with communicating with the developer when he was in default back before any real foreclosure proceedings began, through every aspect of the foreclosure auction, then through every aspect of the REO auction and finally I handled all of the negotiated sales of the remaining units after the auction. I worked with the lender, debtor, and lender’s counsel at Riemer and Braunstein etc. I was deeply involved.

What were some of the main factors that contributed to deciding when the auction took place, how long the property was open to the public before the auction, and the mechanisms by which you marketed and promoted the sale?

Brecht Palombo: The client determines when an auction takes place based on their business needs. The campaign lasted 27 days. The auction process is about controlling time and terms. The auction marketing process involves a broad, deep, and rapid exposure to the market on a very condensed time frame. In this case we relied heavily on technology, specifically a variety of online marketing initiatives, to promote the sale.

Was the auction considered a success, and if so, why?

Brecht Palombo: Absolutely. An auction is about a rapid recovery of capital. This campaign recovered two-thirds of appraised value in the first 30 days and recovered a total of 93% of the appraised value in 180 days according to the lender’s own internal documents. I’d point out that the appraisals we are working from were done in April/May of 2008, and Boston condo prices in this area have fallen during that time.

What was the biggest surprise that you ran into on auction day?

Brecht Palombo: There weren’t too many surprises but I guess I would say that what we saw was a number of successful bidders decided on the spot that they wanted to buy more than one unit and they weren’t prepared. We had to work with our client to accommodate them but I don’t think our flat-footedness on this item was apparent to bidders and it did allow us to sell several more units at the auction.

Broadluxe Lofts - Boston Financial District Condos

You’ve had listing experience (for individual homes), how much faster do you think the auction process and ensuing post-auction sales process sold these units versus the sales center approach we typically see in Boston?

Brecht Palombo: You folks may be better at answering that question than I am. How long would it take to bring a 44-unit building to market from zero to sold out in 2008? We sold 66% in 30 days, 80% in 90 days, and finished them off in less than 180 days. Have you seen any other new projects sell out in 6 months?

What was the reaction of the broker and agent community to the auction, and how do you think that those constituencies helped or hurt the auction?

Brecht Palombo: The reaction was mixed. I think some agents chose to ignore the project for whatever reason but there were a small number of agents who were very active and sold a number of units . MLS rules and regulations forbid us from entering every auction we conduct in the system but we almost always encourage broker participation unless our client forbids it, even then we’ll push back. We believe that embracing the brokerage community is in the best interest of our sellers. Brokers definitely contributed to our success.

What was one of the biggest lessons learned from the Broadluxe sales process?

Brecht Palombo: When we were first going to bring these units to market there was a lot of internal debate about how to get people there. There are a variety of methods at an auctioneer’s disposal. In the end we decided to go with guaranteed-sold published minimum bids. This meant that if you showed up and bid you were guaranteed a sale unless you were outbid. Our numbers were good for that day only. As I look at the success and failure rates of the various condo auctions over the last year, I think it’s pretty clear the bidding public approves of this message.

Do you foresee further development-level auctions (in Boston) similar to Broadluxe in 2009?

Brecht Palombo: Well we sure hope so… but if you’re asking if I see more lenders and developers embracing the auction process to eliminate inventory in 2009 the answer is a resounding yes.

Last P&S Signed at Broadluxe

As of Wednesday, the last Purchase and Sale Agreement (P&S) was signed at Broadluxe, (tentatively) bringing to a close original sales for all units in the 44-unit loft-style development.  66% of the property was sold at auction on June 21, 2008, and the remaining condos in the building were listed for sale following the auction, typically at higher price points than what was paid at the auction block.

There are currently 4 resale units in the building for sale, ranging in price from $429,000 to $999,000 – the $429K unit, a corner one-bedroom loft is the most reasonably priced from a price per square foot perspective.

We’ll take a more comprehensive look at this development, and the results of the auction and post-auction sales, in the near future.

Broadluxe Lofts – Studio 5F

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Affordable Financial District Loft Living

Situated in the heart of Boston’s Financial District, the Broadluxe loft-style condo development is, after several months, now down to its final two developer units. The final two units, both studios, and essentially the same floor plan, are approximately 540 square feet, have the same finishes that other units in the building contain, including granite countertops, exposed brick and beam, washer / dryer hookup, and extra storage in the basement.

Broadluxe 5F Kitchen

The two units, 4F and 5F, are both listed at $299,000, however, this price comes on the heels of several price reductions in an effort to move the last of the remaining inventory off the books of owner Apex, Inc. (a subsidiary of TD Banknorth).  The developer has appraisals in hand for the units at approximately $340,000, and are being aggressive about closing out the remaining two studio lofts.

Condo fees for these units are approximately $320 per month, and include hot water, water, sewer, master insurance, security (including concierge Monday through Friday), elevator, exterior maintenance, snow removal, refuse removal.  For more information, use the contact us link at the top of this page.

Broad Street Financial District Open Houses

For those of you interested in calling the Financial District home, today’s open house line up may be a perfect fit.  There will be, in total, 7 open houses on Broad Street this afternoon, giving potential Buyers access to the two premier anchor properties in the area, Folio and Broadluxe.

As a new construction building that opened in March of 2006, Folio, located at 80 Broad Street, is a luxury 96-unit building with 24-hour concierge and all valet parking in an underground garage below the development.  Broadluxe, located across the street at 101 Broad Street is a 2008 renovation to an existing building, and a buildout of upper floors.  Broadluxe offers a loft-style feel, part-time concierge, but no onsite parking.  Both condo developments are elevator served, and put you in the heart of Boston’s Financial District.

Price points are typically higher in Folio than Broadluxe given that Folio is recognized as more of a luxury building, however, Broadluxe offers a boutique feel with only 44 units and added features like additional storage for each unit in the basement of the building.

The following open houses are scheduled for Sunday, October 5, 2008:

  • Broadluxe 4E, 1 bed / 1 bath, 759 sf, $459,000, 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
  • Broadluxe 5A, 1 bed / 2 bath, 1,091 sf, $678,500, 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
  • Broadluxe 7A, 2 bed / 2 bath, 1,009 sf, $740,000, 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
  • Broadluxe 8B, 2 bed / 2 bath, 1,345 sf, $1.065,000, 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
  • Folio 604, 2 bed / 2 bath, 1,282 sf, $825,000, 2:45 PM to 3:45 PM
  • Folio PH1104, 2 bed / 2.5 bath, 1,573 sf, $1,399,000, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
  • Folio 1502, 3 bed / 2.5 bath, 2,185 sf, $3,200,000, 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM


Single One-Bedroom Condo Remains at Broadluxe

The dust has pretty much settled at Broadluxe following the condo auction that took place there earlier this summer.  29 out of 44 units (66%) were sold at auction, and there has been significant action on the development since then to close out the remaining units.  At this point, only two studio units remain unsold.  Additionally, there are four units on the market for resale – three of which are asking for significant premiums above prices paid several months ago (see Flip That Condo at Broadluxe), while the fourth, the only remaining one-bedroom in the building is priced to sell.

Unit 4E at Broadluxe, a corner unit with double exposure boasting approximately 750 square feet is being offered at $459,000.  The ten foot ceilings, exposed brick and beams, water views, and some extra storage in the basement of the building complete a nice package for what some are calling one of the best floorplans in the building.

Own the essence of modern city living with this loft style exposed brick and beam corner unit with water views in an elevator served new 2008 concierge building. In the heart of the Financial District, you’re moments from the Waterfront, all downtown amenities, and the newly completed Greenway. Gas cooking, granite counters, stainless steel appliances, and hardwood floors throughout. Double exposure front facing unit, with only 7 units per floor, never occupied, W/D hookups, and extra storage.

An open house will take place at Broadluxe unit 4E this weekend, Sunday, October 5, 2008 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Steps from the Rose Kennedy Greenway and the Waterfront, Broadluxe’s Financial District location has proven to be a coveted spot in downtown Boston.

Broadluxe 4E

Broadluxe 4E Water Views

Broadluxe 4E Broadluxe 4E Gas Cooking

Flip That Condo at Broadluxe

Not more than two months following the condo auction at Broadluxe in Boston’s Financial District, there are three resale units available for sale – all of which sold at the auction on June 21, 2008 to a single bidder. If you’re at all close to the Boston MLS, you may have even seen these units hit the market in July, however, they were removed because the auction bidder did not actually own the units at the time. Closings on auction units at Broadluxe began on July 28, 2008.

These three Broadluxe flips have steep price increases from the prices paid at auction less than two months ago (unit number – price paid at auction / new list price):

  • 5A – $482,500 / $688,500 ($635 per square foot)
  • 7A – $375,000 / $750,000 ($739 per square foot)
  • 8B – $595,000 / $1,075,000 ($809 per square foot)

Bear in mind that Broadluxe had two overarching unit types, finished units, and what were called shell units. The former are move in ready, while the latter need to be finished by the Buyer (i.e. unfinished concrete floors, sheet rock on the walls, and rough plumbing and electrical installed, that’s it).  Terms were written into the Purchase and Sale Agreement for the shell units that construction to finish the units needed to commence no later than 6 months following purchase, and finish no later than 18 months following purchase.

Unit 5A will remain as is, it’s a corner unit that came finished. Units 7A and 8B appear to have plans to be finished by the current owner (i.e. in addition to the price paid at auction, an investment will be made into finishing the unit to make it move in ready) . All in (including finishing units 7A and 8B), the current owner is attempting to make, as they say on the Flip This House TV show, an “expected profit” of at least $200K on each unit. 15 units remained for sale following the June auction, and most of those sold rather quickly in the month following the auction, but while post auction units have not been selling at (minimum bid) auction prices (i.e. they have been selling for more than auction minimum bid prices), tremendous value has still been available for most Buyers.

While the Broadluxe auction presented downtown Boston Buyers with one of the best bargains available in 2008, time will tell if such flips as the three described above will command anything close to their asking prices.