Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Monterey's Metamorphosis Ends Where it Began

The Monterey, a 434-unit condo-conversion project developed by Annapolis-based Triton Real Estate Partners, is officially being re-converted back to apartments. The project, located at 5901 Montrose Road in North Bethesda, was originally stalled when Triton defaulted on their mezzanine loan and CBRE Realty Finance became full owner. Triton did begin selling condos in March of 2006 before defaulting, hawking one-bedroom units from the low $300s and three-bedroom units up to the mid $800s, but now CBRE is releasing contract owners from their obligations and refunding deposits, rescinding just over 40 of Triton's contracts-to-purchase in the months to come in an effort to facilitate the property's eventual sale on the open market.

"After substantial analysis of the marketplace and viability of the condo market right now, it was determined that the property is most suited to the rental market," said Paul Martin, Executive Vice President of Portfolio and CDO Management at CBRE. "We've revalued our interest in the property, and determined that the best course of action is for CBRE to sell."

This particular property has changed hands three times in only two years. It originally began as the 432-unit Pavilion Apartment building, owned by Home Properties LLC. Triton purchased it from Home Properties in November, 2005, much to the dismay of the Pavilion's tenants, and reportedly planned to spend $45 million on renovation efforts for the newly christened Monterey condominiums (concept pictured). CBRE assumed its role as full owner of the project in May of 2007 when Triton was foreclosed on, both at the Monterey and at a second condo conversion project, the Rodgers Forge in Towson.

The fate of the 16-story, three-tower complex will ultimately be an upscale apartment community; the north tower currently has more than 50 units that are completely gutted, remnants of Triton's unfinished business, along with 143 units that need minor refurbishment. The south tower holds 228 units that are nearly-completed condo units, which will be going for much higher rates since they provide upgrades like granite counter-tops, hardwood floors and other indicia of condo conversion that the aforementioned units lack.


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