Hello..!

by

In April 2007 I put down a deposit on an apartment at 407 Leonard st Williamsburg aka Aqua Condominiums. I’m excited about it but bummed about how long its taking for completion of the building and obtaining the certificate of occupancy – the latest estimate I was given was ‘several months’.

I figure there are various other buyers out there who may have more insight into whats happening – and might have news to share about the building /neighborhood etc – so I’ve started this blog for just that.!

Not sure of best way to run this but I guess I’m hoping people will join in here and provide updates news etc as they find things out etc.. I believe you just have to give me your email – and I can then add you as a contributor, then you can post away – I can create ‘categories’ as they become apparent so its easier to sift through stuff .. I think anyone can comment – so please do. Also – you can just add info via ‘comment’s and i’ll create posts of those that are ‘newsworthy’.

This is my first blog so please bear with me – as i might not have it set up so well – but i’m sure i’ll figure it out as I go along – any suggestions are very welcome.

Thanks..

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13 Responses to “Hello..!”

  1. carchrest Says:

    Hello!

    This is excellent, thank you so much for setting this up. Hopefully others will join. We put our deposit down at about the same time. After reading the article in NYT, and not receiving returned calls this week from our broker, I got kind of po’d and decided to write, hoping to learn more from others.

    The last update I received about 6 weeks ago was that the building construction would be complete within 30-45 days (and it looked like it) and it was all based on when inspectors could look at it and submit a COA. So now its a wait and see. But of course I’m anxious and the 12/31 deadline will be here before we know it. I hope that motivates the developer to get a move on because with the market being what it is right now and median prices dropping nationwide, they could potentially lose people if we’re not able to close by then.

    What has your experience been like so far?

  2. pq Says:

    Hi,

    No prob – thx for adding a comment! I hope others will join too.!

    I’m not sure what the 12/31 deadline is that you are referring to – I guess its the date at which you can cancel the transaction and get your deposit back without penalty ? If so – mine is not 12/31 – it’s Sep 08 – I didn’t pay too much attention to that clause as – due to verbal assurances – and the appearance of the building (it looked nearly done) – I never imagined it could possibly take so long.!

    When I bought I was told jun/jul – then jul/aug & so on.. until the latest is “we’re not really sure – but maybe oct/ nov” .. Not a good pattern.. The reason I’m told is that the city is holding things up – they are a small department and are really backed up in processing re Certificate of Occupancy..

    It doesn’t quite sound right. In light of the comment in the NYT article where the developer says “he did not feel comfortable explaining reasons for delays to buyers who did not have construction backgrounds and therefore would not understand the project’s complexity” – I guess thats whats happening here – rather than getting the details we are just being fed a line.. I’m not hung up on the gory details – but I would like a realistic date..!

  3. carchrest Says:

    (from my brownstoner post)
    We learned that our original broker, is no longer with Apts&Lofts and we spoke with our new broker yesterday. He said that they are waiting for inspections to be completed. Most of the construction is done with the exception of some finishes (second coat on the hardwood floors, for instance) because if the inspectors need something fixed, they don’t want to ruin the finished floors to fix it. He said that there are over 30 things that get inspected and not one person covers it all, and some have been done. Appliances aren’t in (but purchased) as the warranty clock starts to tick upon installation.

    We are in the same boat regarding locking in a rate and getting the appraisal; inspection needs to be done to get the appraisal.

    He did not have a time frame but said that move-in could happen 30-45 days post inspection sign-off. I would recommend you call your broke and get more info, keep bugging them.

  4. impatient Says:

    We’re in the same boat. We saw our place about 3 weeks ago, and other than the missing appliances and the 15 or so bathroom sinks being stored in our living room, the place looked about done. Our broker was estimating Sept for the COA, but hasn’t returned my call this week for updates.

    I did notice however, that if you check the DOB website, there are 3 stop work orders currently on the place. I don’t think that’s going to help at all.

  5. Ray Says:

    I feel your pain since I put my deposit down on a new condo in the same neighborhood in January and was told I could move in in about 3 months. Well, 9 month later I have 75k locked up in a non-interest earning escrow account and no apartment. I’ve been getting the 45d – 2 month run-around from my broker for about 7 months now. I’m very ticked off, just as you are.

  6. MotoGP Says:

    Have you followed up with any of the owners of the Manhattan Park building across McCarren about their experience? Its the same developer. They have been in for a few months now.

  7. pq Says:

    Thats a great idea MotoGP – I”ll try and contact them – and see if they can post & share their experience.

    Not sure if its the same builders/contractors -(I don’t know know who ours are yet – I’d like to find out? ) – but if it is – maybe they can share some insight on things to look out for in the final walk through.. e.g. if corners were cut that weren’t immediately obvious etc.. hopefully not – but no harm in asking..

    Maybe try and contact some owners of other recently completed apts & lofts buildings too.

  8. Left Williamsburg Says:

    We decided to move out of Williamsburg and not buy there. It seems to be a reoccurring problem with all these buildings that are stagnant for a long time. We moved to East Harlem.

  9. ccgh Says:

    It’s great that you and your fellow would-be condo owners at the Aqua are corresponding on this blog. Word to the wise: if push comes to shove, and frustrations run high, make sure to post “factually” and not editorialize what you “might think” is currently happening with the condo development. And also try to keep “emotions” to a minimum, I know it’s very easy to get pissed off and worked up on delays and potential “failure to deliver” by the developer(s).

    The developers will eventually find this blog (if they already haven’t thanks to curbed.com, which is a double edged sword), if they see anything that might be consider slanderous, you may get a cease and desist order.

    Just a word to the wise. We have seen issues with other similar blogs.

    That being said, good luck with building your great resource.

  10. Primo Says:

    What bothers me most of all is the lack of professionalism the brokers at aptsandlofts have displayed. Instead of the lies and the hollow excuses I would have appreciated the truth. This is a rather huge investment on all our behalf’s and they obviously do not respect us nor our investment enough to keep us abreast with what is really going on.
    Has anyone thought about trying to get out of their contract??????

  11. Good Luck Says:

    All of the following that I am posting is in my opinion. (There-Now it’s not slander to the broker or developer posting).

    YES, if rate locks are lost due to the delay of completion, getting out of the contract will need to be a consideration! I hope the developers are reading this! It’s not easy to do, but it is possible.

    When most of us probably signed our contracts, we had to get a bank commitment, but how many of us still qualify I wonder? Commitments are not loans. They better hope that rates continue to move downward. Not only that – they should check – banks are now creating stricter lending policies with credit scores, etc.

    There is no reason that the developers should not have their own deadlines and they should be able to provide us with their deadline for completion instead of “there is no timeline”. Funny, we had a timeline before we signed our contracts.

  12. MotoGP Says:

    GL – If by chance you were not able to qualify for your mortgage loan upon closing, the problem is yours, not the developer. Unless your contract is mortgage/financing-contingent, you are still on the hook for the deposit you handed over at signing.

    Did you get a date certain written into your contract? You might be able to use that option if your situation sours and you absolutely need an out.

  13. 297 Driggs Says:

    A story from residents at 297 Driggs (Manhattan Park Condos) the same developer and broker as Aqua: We had an accepted bid and contract on an apt in April 2006. We were told the building/apt would be ready by July/August. We signed the contract and were told August, but really September. August and September came and then they started unbuilding the building. When we went to contract, the building looked good. It was sealed up and we thought, this should be done. Whenever we spoke to apts and lofts we were told 3 months. in July 2006 we were told 3 months, in September 2006 we were told 3 months. In November 2006, we were told December/January. We weren’t able to close until May 2007, and then the building wasn’t ready. there was no mail and no front door.
    Good Luck!

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