Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bon Voyage to Vaughn Place Condo Sales


After two years of marketing and sales, the Carlyle Group of DC and Bethesda-based Ross Development have ended sales for Vaughan Place condominiums at McLean Gardens on Wisconsin Ave and 38th Street, NW, and have turned the project back into rental apartments. The 574 units included three living options – “The Tower” which offer 1 and 2 bedroom units, townhouses, and terrace homes that included studios and 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom units. Less than half of the units were reported sold as condos before the decision to revert the remaining units to leases. Sales by McWilliams Ballard began in the winter of 2005 and were halted in April of this year. Rents are now starting from $1,750/month.

Several condo projects in DC have gone rental in the past months in and around the DC area. While institutional lenders have continued to impose pre-construction sale requirements on residential projects, often demanding the same sales quotas considered reasonable only two years ago, public perceptions about the market have meant increasingly fewer buyers are willing to sign contracts up to two years before a project’s completion. The gap in between lenders' requirements and actual sales volume has been the catalyst for many of the post-sale conversion to apartments recently, often against the judgment of the development team.

Past projects have also converted to leased apartments for developers’ fear of buyers walking away from their deposits at the last minute, particularly in projects that had higher levels of investors. Representatives for Vaughan Place would not comment on the decision.

15 comments:

Chris in Eckington said...

Maybe the decision was based upon the lawsuite brough by some of the tenants. From what I remember, the building was converted to condo "on paper" back in the 80's, but tenants were not made aware of this, so when they finally started to sell the units 20 years later, a group of tenants sued.

Anonymous said...

Vaughn Place is not a good building, its prices were not a good value and therefore it is not a mystery that it failed as a condo.

Ken on May 23, 2007, 2:29:00 PM said...

Chris - I think you are mistaken about that, you may be referring to the Embassy Condos, where that exact situation occurred, and where a judge ruled that the project could not go forward; it was a unique situation.

Nick on May 23, 2007, 5:02:00 PM said...

Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I actually found the renovations and sales prices of the "new" Vaughn Place to be one of the better deals at the time in DC - they are in an established 'hood next to shops and restaurants, and there was good attention to detail in the updating. I think a combination of the market forces and not the best marketing schemes might have been part of their undoing ....

Chris in Eckington said...

Yes, the Embassy was in the same situation (a friend of mine used to live there), but this was a separate lawsuit. I don't know if a judge put a hold on the Vaughn Place project or the developers just thought it was too much trouble. I think I read about it in the Northwest Current, which, unfortunately is not online.

Anonymous said...

It's no surprise here. After what was a great Saturday BBQ, I was forced to make an appointment to view other units. I had an appointment with the McWilliams Ballard agent who was over an hour late for the appointment (no apology, no followup phone call AND NO SALE), and the McWilliams Ballard Sales Manager was surfing the internet in his office...his glass enclosed office...for all to see instead of stepping in. Greed is never a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Nick,
I agree... for that area, they seemed to be a pretty good deal/value. Considering the high resale prices of the older Mclean Garden walkups. Must have been tenant issues.
Anon #2,
McWilliams has had huge success in the hot market of the last 5 years, just taking orders. Some of their young agents and managers are now just lerning to sell. Frustrating, when you think how much money they make.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
vahoya said...

I notice that you guys deleted the positive follow up comment about McWilliams, but managed to leave the negative ones...

Interesting considering you guys are competitors.

Seems to me if you're going to run an impartial blog (which is a great resource btw), you should keep it impartial on the boards.

Just my .02

Keep up the great work.

Ken on Jun 1, 2007, 10:46:00 AM said...

NO, we definitely did not delete a positive comment about McWb. I have no complaints with the agents for that project, in fact I think they were some of the best agents McWb has, we only deleted a piece of spam.

All rants, tirades, feedback and spin is permitted here, we do not censore content, provided it is even vaguely germaine. We block spam, but occasionally someone inserts it by hand, and the piece they inserted just had a general compliment with a link, it didn't mention McWb. Thanks for being vigilant.

Kimberly on Jun 4, 2007, 5:57:00 PM said...

This post previously mentioned that a portion of the Dumont was going to be apartments. Was this removed because this isn't true or just not yet confirmed? Thank you.

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Anonymous said...

I'm renting one of the extremely overpriced ($1775) efficiencies at Vaughn Place - basically, they installed a bunch of stainless steel appliances and granite countertops and called it a luxury renovation - while they neglected to have any ventilation or air circulation in the hallways - which means nasty stale cooking odors made even more pleasant in the humid summer. The air in the hallways constantly stinks b/c it just hangs there - it migrates into the units and in one as small as mine, there is no escaping it.

They clearly have some issues with their ventilation system to begin with - probably a result of cheap construction. Maintenance can't seem to figure out why someone's kitchen vent is apparently venting right into my unit. I am treated to the pungent smell of garlic and onions - sometimes late at night - as though it's coming right from my own stovetop. Not acceptable for a "luxury" unit. I've been complaining for over a month - yet all they've done is send in some maintenance guy who leaves a note saying that he checked for odor and couldn't find any. This is at 10AM on a workday. Go figure.

Vaughn Place is overpriced, and nothing more than a thin veneer of prettiness placed over cheap construction. Avoid it at all costs.

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