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Re: The Beacon
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The valet have just received a spanking from the owners at the last Condo Board meeting last week - we're already seeing improvements.

We've also heard that Montgomery Gardens is coming down, so we'll see improvements in the local area outside... If you don't mind being almost a pioneer, it's good time to buy before prices start rocketing! (the real pioneers bought before construction)

Posted on: 2009/6/16 15:24
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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Quote:

jmcee wrote:

....Or how about the time on 4th of July the building manager kicked everyone off the rooftop observation decks...


You were one of those people who were either too drunk or too stupid to realize that there was electrical activity in the air and a potential lightning strike?

Did you hang on to the lightning rods as well while the building manager was trying to keep you from getting fried?

Seriously, the Beacon isn't for everyone, as no place is for everyone. If you're into hard core partying just after college, you probably don't want to be here. It's not a dorm room. Just because it didn't fit your needs, there's no reason to complain loudly about it.

The staff has been VERY friendly, the building management went through some learning as it was a brand new building, but I haven't seen any problems in 9 months or so that I could blame on building management. The Condo Board brought CitiPark to our recent meeting, and really let them hear what was going on. We're already seeing improvements from it.

You were renting, and the owners living here want more owners to live here, not renters. It's a simple fact that the more renters you have in a condo, the lower the property value..... so what you probably felt was your contribution to owners not wanting to see their value shrink.

Owners do a lot together, and have been very social. That's probably because we have a vested interest together, and really get mad when we see a renter come along, who's only here for a short time, trash the place. You're not as ready to make this your home for the long term, we are. We get to decide how the place is run according our interests, so of course you don't like the Condo Board.

Anyone thinking about buying shouldn't listen to what a renter has to say. If you are going to rent, then listen to what another renter has to say. The two experiences aren't comparable.

Posted on: 2009/6/16 15:03
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Re: The Beacon
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mia wrote:
I do think the buildings are gorgeous..... The location and that valet parking situation are problems....


^^^ Understatement of the year, right there!!

Posted on: 2009/6/16 13:51
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Re: The Beacon
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For those who are interested in buying.... Has anyone seen audited financial statements? Does anyone know how much money is in the reserve accounts?
I'm just wondering if there'll be an assessment after this sale.... All the financial info I got was the 2005 original budget from the original offering statement. That makes me nervous....
I do think the buildings are gorgeous..... The location and that valet parking situation are problems....

Posted on: 2009/6/16 1:10
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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JC_Man wrote:
jmcee, I wouldn't brag TOO much about Trump - sure it's way nicer and the area you can't compare, but unless you bought recently, you overpaid at Trump. Also, it's not like Trump doesn't have it's own problems (read - it's half empty!!).


JC_Man, I'm not bragging, I'm just comparing MY experience at the Beacon to MY experience at Trump. I'm renting here for a small amount more than I was renting at the Beacon. The fact that the building is half empty works to my advantage, I got a great deal on the rent and the amenities are awesome. The Beacon claims to be world class but turns out to be no class. Trump lives up to the hype. How am I bragging because I made the smart decision to move here instead of the staying at the Beacon?

Posted on: 2009/6/15 21:36
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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jmcee, I wouldn't brag TOO much about Trump - sure it's way nicer and the area you can't compare, but unless you bought recently, you overpaid at Trump. Also, it's not like Trump doesn't have it's own problems (read - it's half empty!!).

Posted on: 2009/6/15 21:21
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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As Wibbit states the new developments need to adjust their pricing. And I don't think you can really compare the Beacon to Crystal Point or 77 Hudson unless you decide to completely factor our location (but don't they always say the 3 most important parts of RE are 'location, location, location')...

Also agree that if I paid 'full' price and they were now letting the rest of the units go for potentially much less, I'd be upset too. But, I'm pleased to see a developer face the realities of the market. I'm not convinced that a new development needs to or should be exempt from market forces.

Posted on: 2009/6/15 20:14
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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mfadam wrote:
okay so the amenities aren't perfect - it seems to me the bigger issue is that prices will likely be more than 50% less than what others paid a year ago. What do you think the guy who spent $2mm on a penthouse is thinking? My guess is this exercise in "price discovery" will show that JC luxury condos are worth a lot less than people thought a year ago. Builders are doing this out of desperation, same thing is going on down in Philly.

If this auction fetches prices at half off, no amount of tax abatement from our illustrious city council is going to keep the other lux condo builders around here in the black - think 77 Hudson and Crystal Pointe.


yes i dont think it has anything to do with foot traffic or disturbence. If you paid 350k a year ago and it is now on the auction block for half off, i bet you will be pretty upset too.

But comparing beacon to 77 hudson or crystal point is really a joke. You cant be serious. All 77H/CP need to do to sell is lower the price by 5-10% as all the less nicer units around there are in that market price range, where as the beacon the surrounding units are at least 50% lower compared beacon's original asking price in the mid 300s for a 1br.

Posted on: 2009/6/15 20:02
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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I attended the open house last Sunday and it is intriguing. To echo other comments, I would personally not want to live there given the location and during the tour they emphasized the enclosed community aspect.

The open house was not as busy I would have expected but there appeared to be plenty of people looking at places as a primary residence which leads me to believe that pricing will not be as much as 1/2 off come auction time.

The little lady and I will most likely go back this weekend to take a look at some more units. We have been looking at new developments in the area.

FYI - some of the units are occupied with tenants but you have to request access to those through one of the auction folks on-site and they will arrange to take you to those units.

I can see how having these tours and talks going on all weekend long would definitely inconvenience residents.

Posted on: 2009/6/15 19:50
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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okay so the amenities aren't perfect - it seems to me the bigger issue is that prices will likely be more than 50% less than what others paid a year ago. What do you think the guy who spent $2mm on a penthouse is thinking? My guess is this exercise in "price discovery" will show that JC luxury condos are worth a lot less than people thought a year ago. Builders are doing this out of desperation, same thing is going on down in Philly.

If this auction fetches prices at half off, no amount of tax abatement from our illustrious city council is going to keep the other lux condo builders around here in the black - think 77 Hudson and Crystal Pointe.

Posted on: 2009/6/15 18:40
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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regulator wrote:
I visited the beacon (not during an open house but separately with a realtor), and i didn't see any of the lack of professionalism noted above. my quick thoughts:

- there was an attendant at the front gate - a plus as it served as an added measure of security

- guest parking sucks. however, i was able to leave my car near the front door and i didn't have to pay the valet fee. if you have guests over for more than 10 mins i would imagine they had to pay the valet fee (dont remember what it was, i think like $10).

- lobby is very nice, doorman was very polite

- amenities were nice, but not nice enough that i'd consider overpaying for them. the pool in particular was underwhelming.

a nice building but the monthly fee is very high, and if youre not planning on using the amenities regularly (like the shuttle to the PATH), then it may not be worth it.


I'll give you a few examples, the attendant at the front gate used to have his buddies stop by to smoke a blunt every now and then which I observed (and smelled) first hand on several occasions. Or the nights I would come home late only to find the guy at the front desk asleep.

Or how about the time on 4th of July the building manager kicked everyone off the rooftop observation decks, screaming and yelling at my guests and neighbors to get the f*** out. Or the package room people who would call you about picking up a package they couldn't find once you got there to pick it up.

How about the concierge service that was stealing people's credit card numbers and making unauthorized purchases.

And the guest parking thing is terrible, my friends never wanted to stop by because of the $10 (plus tip) fee.

For examples of the whining and bickering among the residents I would suggest going to http://www.beaconowners.com and browse some of the threads.

Posted on: 2009/6/15 16:45
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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I visited the beacon (not during an open house but separately with a realtor), and i didn't see any of the lack of professionalism noted above. my quick thoughts:

- there was an attendant at the front gate - a plus as it served as an added measure of security

- guest parking sucks. however, i was able to leave my car near the front door and i didn't have to pay the valet fee. if you have guests over for more than 10 mins i would imagine they had to pay the valet fee (dont remember what it was, i think like $10).

- lobby is very nice, doorman was very polite

- amenities were nice, but not nice enough that i'd consider overpaying for them. the pool in particular was underwhelming.

a nice building but the monthly fee is very high, and if youre not planning on using the amenities regularly (like the shuttle to the PATH), then it may not be worth it.

Posted on: 2009/6/15 15:54
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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moxiebaby wrote:
jmcee,
Thanks for your comment. What do you mean it's the "Island of Misfits"? did you have a problem with some of your neighbors in the building?


The neighbors, the staff, the management, the valet parking all sucked. The amenities were great but the condo board spent more effort on restricting the use of them then enabling. The owners acted like renters were scum of the earth.

I didn't realize how bad it was until I moved to Trump where the level of professionalism is so much higher and the people have more class.

Posted on: 2009/6/15 15:00
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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heights wrote:
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moxiebaby wrote:
Wibbit,
Most of the 1 bedroom apartments being auctioned off, especially in the Capital Bldg, are rented out and most tenants still have a month or so left on their lease.

Also, residents whose apartments are not being auctioned apparently feel put-upon by the flocks of visitors each weekened.

A hell of a way to live, side by side with renters and not knowing who your neighbors will be one minute to the next. If any potential owners plan on getting a mortgage with less than 20% down this place better be 70% owner occupied and not rented out to rent paying tenants.
Also keep in mind that tenants can be long term or even short term. Some owners rent out to corporations who "put-up" their workers in these buildings for only months at a time. The corporations have workers stationed all over the country, so they look for condo buildings nationwide. The owner advertises the world over. You may have a neighbor only living there for a few months, as if it were a hotel. Remember the first W.T.C. bombing in '93 where the terrorists RENTED out a storage facility for their bomb making tasks.


Lesson learned......RENTERS are TERRORIST. Thanks Colombo.

Posted on: 2009/6/15 13:44
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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I would think that seeing flocks of potential buyers is a good thing if you live in a less than fully occupied condo building.

Posted on: 2009/6/15 12:50
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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moxiebaby wrote:
Wibbit,
Most of the 1 bedroom apartments being auctioned off, especially in the Capital Bldg, are rented out and most tenants still have a month or so left on their lease.

Also, residents whose apartments are not being auctioned apparently feel put-upon by the flocks of visitors each weekened.

A hell of a way to live, side by side with renters and not knowing who your neighbors will be one minute to the next. If any potential owners plan on getting a mortgage with less than 20% down this place better be 70% owner occupied and not rented out to rent paying tenants.
Also keep in mind that tenants can be long term or even short term. Some owners rent out to corporations who "put-up" their workers in these buildings for only months at a time. The corporations have workers stationed all over the country, so they look for condo buildings nationwide. The owner advertises the world over. You may have a neighbor only living there for a few months, as if it were a hotel. Remember the first W.T.C. bombing in '93 where the terrorists RENTED out a storage facility for their bomb making tasks.

Posted on: 2009/6/15 12:45
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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Wibbit,
Most of the 1 bedroom apartments being auctioned off, especially in the Capital Bldg, are rented out and most tenants still have a month or so left on their lease.

Also, residents whose apartments are not being auctioned apparently feel put-upon by the flocks of visitors each weekened.

Posted on: 2009/6/15 12:21
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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I dunno if it is just me or not but I could never live there knowing it was an old hospital. The whole place just gives me the creeps.

Posted on: 2009/6/15 12:05
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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moxiebaby wrote:
jmcee,
Thanks for your comment. What do you mean it's the "Island of Misfits"? did you have a problem with some of your neighbors in the building?


i highly suggest you walk around directly outside of the building after 7PM.

Also just curious what do you mean the resident living in the apts are inconvenienced? i thought those were unsold new units the developer is auctioning off. How come they have people living in there already?


EDIT: dont walk around outside, what i meant is try to drive around outside the building at night, just dont get out of your car.

Posted on: 2009/6/15 5:37
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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jmcee,
Thanks for your comment. What do you mean it's the "Island of Misfits"? did you have a problem with some of your neighbors in the building?

Posted on: 2009/6/15 2:58
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Re: The Beacon
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moxiebaby wrote:
I am so there!


And for the person who asked pages ago, how people get their down payment for a condo.... you work your ass off for it!!!!!


Some other people get their down payment the old-fashioned way: They inherit it!

Posted on: 2009/6/15 2:12
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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I wouldn't call the Hyatt "a few blocks" from the Beacon. It's more than a mile away and in a completely different neighborhood two PATH stops away. Sure it's not central to the article but I often see these kinds of basic factual errors in the NY Times and it makes me question their competence on more important things.

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Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered

New York Times
By ANTOINETTE MARTIN
Published: June 12, 2009
[snip]
At the auction, which is to be held at the Hyatt Regency Jersey City, a few blocks down Montgomery Street, 12 units will be sold ?absolute? ? that is, regardless of the suggested starting bid.
[snip]

Posted on: 2009/6/15 0:00
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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I lived at the Beacon for a year I wouldn't buy there at any price. It's a gorgeous building and they did a great job with the renovations but that's about where it ends. It was like the Island of Misfits up there. Good luck at the auction. I'll be at the rooftop pool in Trump Plaza.

Posted on: 2009/6/14 22:25
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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We visited the Beacon yesterday (and fell in love with it). It appears that many residents there (tenants and owners alike) feel inconvenienced by the open houses and the parades of people this draws to the complex. People using various amenities feel disturbed in the activity they are doing as groups of people come in and gawk. Several times throughout the afternoon we heard residents asking the front desk if this was the last time there'd be an open house (it's not) or when they will be done. Additionally, anyone living in unit that is being auctioned off basically has people coming in and out of their home for a 3-hour stretch each weekend day. After going into a unit where a baby was sleeping (and feeling like this was invasive), my bf and I only checked out vacant units. We are looking for a 1 bdr and liked a number of them. All units are very bright, which will be a nice change of pace from the virtual bat cave we are living in now.

Posted on: 2009/6/14 14:12
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Re: New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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I am curious to hear what current Beacon residents think of this, assuming they paid top dollar for their condos.

I do applaud the developer for doing this -- and for admitting ambivalence at first. Move those units and move on to the next buildings!

Posted on: 2009/6/13 21:03
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New York Times: Beacon Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered
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Luxury Condos, All Bids Considered

New York Times
By ANTOINETTE MARTIN
Published: June 12, 2009

Resized Image
The Beacon in Jersey City seems to have a record for setting records and establishing superlatives.

MAKE AN OFFER Developers of the Beacon plan a ?closeout? auction of 25 apartments.

Created from the towering Art Deco buildings of the city?s former medical center, it is ? according to officials at the national historic tax-credit program ? the largest residential restoration project currently under way in the country. State preservationists say it is one of the largest historical restoration projects ever undertaken in New Jersey. And a couple of years ago, developers said, the Beacon became the first condominium building in Jersey City to sell a unit for more than $2 million.

Now, its developer has announced that the Beacon will be the first high-end complex in the Hudson River area to auction units.

In what is being billed as a ?closeout? auction, 25 one- and two-bedroom units in the first two towers to be restored are to be auctioned on June 27. Original prices ranged from $380,000 to $700,000; suggested starting bids are $150,000 to $250,000.

At the auction, which is to be held at the Hyatt Regency Jersey City, a few blocks down Montgomery Street, 12 units will be sold ?absolute? ? that is, regardless of the suggested starting bid.

Based on how things are going after the first dozen condos are sold, said the Beacon developer, George Filopoulos of Metrovest Equities, he will decide what to do next: sell some or all of the 13 remaining units at whatever ?absolute? price they attain during the course of the auction, or set a minimum acceptable price. ?At first I was a little shocked by that absolute-price idea,? he said. ?After all we put into this!?

But then auctioneers from Sheldon Good & Company, which is conducting the sale, convinced Mr. Filopoulos that ?if you are confident in your product, absolute pricing is the best way to draw as many participants as possible,? he said.

It is the way to establish what marketers call ?price discovery,? he added.

?Our biggest problem today,? the developer said, ?is buyers? not knowing if they are getting the best deal ? not knowing if they wait a little longer whether a better deal will be available. With the auction, you get everybody in a room, and they can see what other buyers, people who would be their neighbors, think a home is worth, and each one can be confident.?

Metrovest has done a $150 million restoration of the exteriors and public spaces in the first towers, which now hold a total of 315 condominiums and 4,500 square feet of amenity space. (About 80 percent are sold, with some additional units having been rented after the condo market sagged.)

?I don?t think there has ever been an auction at a project like this,? said Lawrence B. Samberg, a managing director at Sheldon Good, describing it as ?one of the most successful projects in New Jersey, where the developer is utilizing the auction process to close out this space, and move on to other buildings.?

Jeffrey L. Hubbard, the auctioneer?s executive managing director, said that despite frustratingly slow sales at the Beacon for the past year, the building is a ?running engine,? with almost 500 residents, distinctive and attractive amenities, and excellent ?commutability? to Manhattan via the PATH train.

Metrovest, which plans to create 1,100 residential units and 80,000 square feet of retail space at the Beacon, is already at work on a third tower, turning its 13 floors into 26 enormous open-area loft apartments. Originally the building, which has been named the Mercury, was to be configured into 103 more traditional condo units. But after the condo market ?debacle? of the last year, as Mr. Filopoulos characterized it, ?we decided to go with something fresh and new.?

?We are ready to stop putting money into marketing the first two buildings,? the Capitol and the Rialto, ?and close it out,? he said. ?With the auction, we can put that money into discounts offered to buyers instead.?

A 2 percent discount is offered to those buyers who can close their purchases within 15 days of the auction, according to the auctioneers. Bank of America and Chase are offering mortgages approved by the Federal Housing Administration, with down payments of 3.5 percent, to qualified buyers.

At the auction, successful bidders must provide a certified check for $15,000 (for a one-bedroom unit) or $25,000 (for a two-bedroom). But at the closing, any amount over the required down payment will be refunded, Mr. Samberg explained.

Before the actual event, which will begin at noon on June 27, all bidders must attend an open house at the Beacon and buy a $20 bid package.

Auctioneers reported dozens of attendees at earlier open houses, held with little prior publicity. Showings of available units and a tour of the amenities ? including the complex?s spa ? are continuing this weekend, as well as on June 20 and 21, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Charges at the Capitol and Rialto, which are managed by a residents? association, average $650 per month for one-bedrooms and $950 per month for two-bedrooms. They cover all utilities, use of all amenities, building maintenance and insurance, valet parking and shuttle service to the Grove Street and Exchange Place PATH stations and to ferries.

The Beacon first opened as a residential complex in early 2007, in a once-seedy section of Jersey City. Its grand halls and extraordinary views from buildings perched on a rise, not to mention its amenities, provided a distinct contrast with its surroundings.

The Beacon has rooftop dining and concierge service, a billiards hall and a large fitness center, among other things.

Mr. Hubbard said that the auction at the Beacon may well be the start of a trend. In fact, the auctioneers are preparing to hold a closeout auction of remaining units at another high-end building, in Hoboken, later this summer, they said ? without disclosing the site.

Posted on: 2009/6/13 18:15
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Re: The Beacon
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I am so there!


And for the person who asked pages ago, how people get their down payment for a condo.... you work your ass off for it!!!!!

Posted on: 2009/6/13 3:07
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Jersey City Condos Offered 'Regardless Of Price'
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Saw this come up on Dow Jones News Wires:

Jersey City Condos Offered 'Regardless Of Price'


By Dawn Wotapka
Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Florida-style desperation to move condo inventory is
headed for a neighbor Big Apple.

Metrovest Equities, developer of The Beacon in Jersey City, plans to auction
25 one- and two-bedroom luxury units June 27 at a nearby hotel. A dozen units
are being offered "regardless of price" - an attention-grabbing measure
designed to draw traffic. Suggested opening bids range from $150,000 to
$250,000; they were originally priced from $380,000 to $700,000.

The condo auction - aggressive for this region, but common in the Sunshine
state, which is battling a multi-year inventory glut - is designed to close out
sales in the first phase of the project, 315 units in two buildings, as well as
accelerate sales of the second phase, 25 live/work condos in a third building,
the developer says. The sale is also another indicator that the New York area,
which long seemed buffered from the nation's housing crash, is weakening as job
losses and foreclosures mount.

The Beacon project - a $350 million-plus transformation of the 10-building
Jersey City Medical Center - opened for sales at the height of the housing
frenzy in late 2005. Buyers rushed to sign contracts - 40 a month, at one point
- for the development replete with floor-to-ceiling marble, a billiard room
with $1 million of sculpted artwork, two theaters, a hot tub and an 8,000-foot
sundeck with a bar and barbecue grills.

But, by the time it was delivered in 2007, some buyers changed their minds or
couldn't secure financing, says George Filopoulos, Metrovest Equities'
president.

While the original phase, a former office building and hospital connected by
a lobby, was 90% presold, "when the market fell down the tubes, we lost about
50 original contracts," he says. It is now 77.5% sold and occupied.

The timing of the initial wave of condos was far from ideal, but Filopoulos
isn't giving up on restoring the art-deco campus built between 1931 and 1943.
Billed as the largest historical residential restoration project in New
Jersey's history, it will ultimately comprise 1,200 residences in 10 buildings
and 80,000 square feet of retail space.

Completion of five phases - originally set for 2010 - is now more likely
between 2012 and 2014.

"The work is very intense, number one," Filopoulos says. "Number two, the
market conditions changed significantly from when we first started."


-By Dawn Wotapka, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-5248;
dawn.wotapka@dowjones.com

Posted on: 2009/6/2 18:53
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Re: The Beacon
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It's a four story building. The tax department can tell you the formula for your building.

Posted on: 2009/5/27 16:06
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Re: The Beacon
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Quote:

Annod wrote:
In my condo in Paulus Hook, every subsequent buyer pays higher tax/pilot than the previous owner. The tax/pilot is recalculated based on the new price. I don't know what happens when the price drops.


that's interesting, is it a high rise condo?

Posted on: 2009/5/27 16:00
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