Burien Town Square Condo Sales Resume With 11 Sold Since October
Condo sales have resumed at Burien Town Square.
The sales, which began in October, are the first since ST Residential became owner of the seven-story condominium/retail complex with 124 residential units.
They are also the first since building developer Urban Partners was forced to suspend sales in 2009 when the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) shut down the bank holding their construction loan.
“Since re-launching sales at Burien Town Square in October, we are pleased to report that there have been 11 contracts executed, of which five are with buyers who previously had pre-sale contracts in place,” Peter Marino, spokesman for ST Residential, told The B-Town Blog.
“We have closed three of the 11 contracts at this point,” Marino noted.
“Throughout the country, sales traffic typically slows down during the holiday season and in the early winter months,” he continued.
“We are encouraged by the response and interest in Burien Town Square. We look forward to a strong year of sales in 2012, but we don’t anticipate sales traffic to really pick up until late winter or early spring.”
These new sales are “good news” for the city, said Burien Economic Development Manager Dan Trimble. “I think it will help move completion of the Town Square project forward.”
The second and third phases of Town Square remain undeveloped. Urban Partners owns both parcels, located north of the condo/retail complex and the Library/City Hall building.
Urban Partners has until late January to submit plans for phase two development to the city.
“The other impact” of renewed condo sales “is that merchants on 152nd and 153rd streets and elsewhere downtown will have more customers,” Trimble added.
“That was one of the intentions” for the Town Square project. Merchants and restaurants “have been very patient and hopefully they will see that pay off.”
Only six condos in the complex, which includes 20,000 square feet of still-vacant ground-floor retail space, were sold before sales were halted in 2009.
The resumption of condo sales is ST Residential’s primary focus. The investment group has yet to announce leases of retail space.
In August, David Ploger, first vice president of ST Residential, told Burien City Council members that, even with lingering uncertainties in the housing market, they hoped to have a public launch of condo sales before year’s end.
Expressing confidence at that time in the marketability of the condos, Ploger described them as “very efficient. The floor plans are state of the art. I’ve looked around and I’m not aware of a better condominium complex in the South Seattle area.”
But to help move sales, he also said then that ST Residential would respond to market conditions by lowering condo prices well below the original 2009 prices.
Construction of the Town Square complex, then owned by Urban Partners, the city’s private developer for the project, was completed in June 2009.
But that September, condo sales were halted when the FDIC closed Corus Bank, which had financed construction of the building with a $38.5 million loan.
After the FDIC seized the bank’s assets, including Urban Partners’ loan, ST Residential became holder of its residential construction loan portfolio.
ST Residential is comprised of the FDIC, which holds a 60 percent share of that portfolio, and Starwood Capital Group and four other several private investors.
Urban Partners eventually transferred ownership of the condo/retail complex – avoiding a trustee’s sale of this property, which was in foreclosure – to ST Residential. The FDIC earlier had rejected an offer by Urban Partners to buy back its construction loan.
Urban Partners has since been waiting until after ST Residential resumed condo sales to propose a development plan for phase two of the Town Square project.
Read more of our extensive coverage of Burien Town Square here.