Developers will cut the ribbon Monday and officially open the last downtown condo project in a wave of residential construction. Velocity will act as the capstone of a building blitz that’s faded with the downturn in real estate.
The five-story condo project in the Gulch broke ground two years ago. Velocity’s announcement followed a time when speculators were snapping up units to resell, but came just before banks really cinched down on credit.
Bristol Development Group, which works throughout the southeast, is done with condos for now. CEO Charles Carlisle says another wave of downtown building will come once the completed projects are sold out, which could take years. At that time, Carlisle expects banks to be much more skeptical of developers.
“I think what they’ll require next time is not only pre-sales of a large percentage of the units in a building, but also very substantial down payments.”
Velocity pre-sold 150 of the condos in a building of 263 units. So far, only 17 buyers have closed. The neighboring Icon, also built by Bristol, has sold fewer than half of the 418 units. And that’s more than a year after opening. Carlisle says in the current real estate market, he’d be “delighted” with that sales pace for Velocity.
Bristol Development Group has turned its attention to the rental market. The company is working on a 170 unit apartment complex near Baptist Hospital.