Monday, April 26, 2010

Takoma Overlook: Conversions Continue

Not every condo developer is sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the market to improve. Even in the suburbs, some are betting that the lack of competition means that condo conversions are still viable. To that end, DC-based Tenacity Group is still converting units in their Takoma Overlook project from rental apartments to market-rate condos. The team purchased the Hampshire Towers apartments in mid 2006 for $15.3 million and rechristened them Takoma Overlook; the 1960s high-rise at 7333 and 7401 New Hampshire Avenue is just outside DC in Takoma Park neighborhood of Maryland. In 2007, the team's general contractor, Monarc Construction, began gutting the rental units and converting them to for-sale condos ranging in size from efficiencies to three-bedroom units.

The team at Monarc construction completed renovations on the first phase, covering the 94 units of the north wing, in December 2009, now 50% sold, according to the sales office. Now the team is working on both the South and West Wings (not of Jed Bartlet fame) to convert yet more units. The work in the West Wing's 44 units is now underway, with 8 units sold; the development team expects the first units to be ready by June. Work has even begun on the 94 units of the South Wing, which should begin delivering by the end of this year. The team is largely delivering one-bedrooms first because of demand; three-bedrooms will come last. Greg Coupe, Project Manager at Monarc Construction, said the project could finish as early as December.

The building is FHA approved, with one bedrooms from $124,500 and "huge" two-bedrooms from $229,500. Sales began in October of 2007.

Takoma, Maryland real estate development news


Anonymous said...

what they don't tell you is that someone was killed there in an attempted robbery a few years ago. I guess it's not the safest of areas....

luly09 on Dec 5, 2011, 7:06:00 PM said...

And there is a LOT of theft, someone had their car stolen, packages left unsecured by management are just thrown in an unsecured closet so anyone can steal them. I wish I had never moved here! STAY AWAY!!!!

Jim Wilkie said...

I bought a condo here a couple of years ago and have been regretting it ever since.

All was fine in the beginning, but Tenacity decided to tackle the brick work on the outside and whoever they hired did such a sub standard job that moisture seeped in to the point of black mold developing around the window and wall. The problem was so bad that the entire wall had to be replaced. This didn't solve my moisture problem. Another moisture problem developed and it took Tenacity more than a year to fix the problem.

If you live here and packages are delivered, don't be surprised if they are stolen. UPS and other delivery companies will deliver and you will sometimes get a notification on your mailbox and sometimes you won't. It's been my personal experience that your package will get stolen from the workout room after Cap City (Tenacity's building management company) signs for it. Word of warning: get a PO box.

People have gotten stuck in the elevators (don't let the certifications fool you), the controls haven't been replaced since the building was built in the 60s.

There are however even more disturbing things to be wary of...

The financial status of the developer, Tenacity, is somewhat suspect since, on several occasions, Pepco has entered the building and posted shut off notices for the utilities. Every time when asking Tenacity the answer is always "Oh yeah, it's a mixup".

Just as a practical matter, remember that you are making the biggest investment of your life when buying your home. Takoma Overlook is located in Ward 6 where the majority of crime takes place in Takoma Park. Couple that with the absolute overflow of the less than desirable elements in the apartment building next door and you might, rightfully and correctly, be rethinking your decision. Remember that you have to actually re-sell your place and frankly knowing now what I do I ** NEVER ** would have bought here because I doubt that I'm going to get my money back.

If you are thinking of buying here, do yourself a favor, don't.

Here are some other resources for you to look at when considering doing business with Tenacity...

Mike Postal on Jun 12, 2012, 4:43:00 PM said...

In response to the blog from John Wilkie.

This blog does contain many relevant and specific concerns that provide insight as to the early buyers at Takoma Overlook.

This owner was one of the early phase buyers in Takoma Overlook and did suffer from the building’s growing pains throughout construction and management’s fine tuning the operations of the building.

CA Lindman is one of the premier masonry contractors in the region. Their work has been inspected and can be plainly seen as fine workmanship. The balconies, brick and building sealant not only look great, but have created a well healed coating over the building.

This particular owner’s unit fell victim to three different circumstances: an open expansion joint while the contractor was working on that location, a small roof leak, and an issue with their HVAC fan. It would be wonderful if homes did not have problems, but that is not realistic. It is realistic however, for an new condominium owner to expect a developer to diligently address the problem and pursue a solution. This did occur. We solved the problem and the unit today is free from moisture. Further, this was an isolated incident.

Tenacity, like many developers and home builders suffered through the burst of the housing bubble and subprime loan crisis. However, Tenacity, unlike some other developers and home builders, has survived. At the same time, we have maintained firm pricing levels at Takoma Overlook, continue to address punch lists, warranties, and other homeowner concerns. Further, we own the sister building within the community, are financial sound and maintain our primary offices on the ground floor of Takoma Overlook. We are always available to address the needs of our residents.

The construction process was very unfriendly to the elevators and the prior vendor was not able to keep up with the abuse. We have installed an outdoor man and material lift to limit the wear and tear on the three elevators, and hired Otis Elevator for regular maintenance. The elevators are in fine working order.

Capcity, the management company for Takoma Overlook, has worked diligently to create a safe and secure package receipt system, while keeping condo fees affordable. Capcity handles between 50-150 packages per month and is aware of less than 5 missing packages over a two year period. The package room is locked and viewed by a recorded security camera. We believe this provides more security than leaving a package at the front door to a single family home.

Lastly, Takoma Overlook is well located in Ward 6 of Takoma Park. This location offers pros and cons that should speak for themselves. We firmly believe that Takoma Overlook offers a tremendous value in Montgomery County along with extremely spacious and beautifully-appointed condominiums. Again, my office is located in the building and I see the vast majority of the owners in Takoma Overlook on a daily basis who appear to be enjoying the value of their unit and the amenity filled lifestyle which is offered.

Take a look for yourself.

Mike Postal,

Anonymous said...

I currently live in this building. The building is beautiful and my unit is to die for. We have never had a complaint about the unit, the neighborhood or the building. The residents are diverse and very friendly. The mgmt company is responsive, friendly and seem to have a social activity often. The amenities that is provided to us this close to DC is a steal compared to how much a comparable unit would cost in downtown Silver Spring or upper NW DC. I guess it speaks well of the condo to only have a few negative comments posted here, but I thought it would be nice to post a positive comment. The only thing that you may want to verify is the condo's current FHA status.

Anonymous said...

Years ago, I lived in the Takoma Phoenix, and these kinds of problems were rampant. They left the original space in terrible condition, in my opinion, and washed their hands of the owners the second they were paid. Things were not as advertisted. I wouldn't trust Postal or Fitzgerald as far as I can throw them.

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