Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sorry - No Vacancies???

Want to live in Downtown Lynn? Tough! There are no available condos. I've said this before on the blog and have been shot down. I'm right. I might be being a bit dramatic. There is some smaller stuff and some larger units on Exchange Street that we're not interested, but all in all, there is nothing! This is a good problem, but it's still a problem!

A few days ago, my wife and I got fed up with the size of our loft, so we went to our real estate agent, the incomparable, Soraya Cacici of Nest Forward. Soraya recently put three people into condos in Downtown Lynn. I think she's so good at this that she's filled all the vacancies. Everything interesting for purchase is currently under agreement.

So I ask, where are we at with 14 Central? I'm hearing rumors it's not going to be residential anymore or only pieces of it are going to be. WHY WHY WHY????  EDIC recently began due diligence on a property to possibly build out as artist live/work space. Good for artists, not going to do me any good or the next me that comes to live downtown.

We need more inventory. Time for the next MV24 style development. Corner of Andrew and Central would be ideal. Takeover of some the buildings on Munroe would be awesome as well. Where are the investors? Are you watching?

I'm not buying the excuse that there's no market for condos anymore. There are two couples looking to move in and can't right now. I'm sure there are others that look and find nothing and move on that I never hear about. I'm also not buying the price excuse. The prices 5 years ago when we all bought were inflated. Period. That's true everywhere. We were operating with a broken model. They are corrected now, priced right, and selling. Develop accordingly, but for god's sake, DEVELOP!

I'm back and just spouting off as usual. Tell me I'm nuts in the comments below.


  1. You are nuts.  I have an 1121 sq feet loft in BML for sale for the past two years.  wanna buy it?

  2. Would have bought already. Can't get financing for BML with pending litigation you guys have going.

  3. Corey.  You need to get your facts straight. Your have no idea what your talking about. 
     A unit at 7 Central sold for about 51k a few months ago.  Gorgeous in mint condition.
     Currently there are about 7 units on the market sitting for long periods of time.    You can get people to look at units in DTL but they are not buying.Or they move in and then leave once they figure out the area is not fit for them.  Several people I know and clients I placed in rental lofts have not enjoyed life in DTL.    The good side is lots of people who live in the lofts have not allowed them to go to foreclosure.  MV24 was supposed to be condos --they would not sell back when the market was hot.  (Yep we know they are Mayo group as are many of the other developments.)  All of the office or bodega condos across from the MV24 sit empty as well with no interest.  There is also tons of office space you cannot give away.  
    Its a sign of the times and the areas.  Hopefully it changes soon.  Sorry but your information is completely incorrect.

  4. List the 7 please. Most are under agreement even though online sites are not listing them as such for whatever reason.  The 51K in my building was a foreclosure that the bank just wanted out of and someone came with all cash to pick it up.  It was stripped of almost every metal by former owner and looked like crap (mint?). It was also smaller than the condo I am in now. Tiny tiny. 

    MV24 came on last among all of our buildings and was right at the burst. It was also after very public complaints about Mayo from Keith building and 7 Central came online. It is not surprising those couldn't sell.

    We just had two people in the downtown trying to find usable office space. That doesn't exist either.

    People are looking to upgrade and take chances on DTL. There is NOTHING! Do you not agree that we need more developer activity to build out new usable space?

  5. 71203550ACT17 Margin St U:19Lynn, MA : West Lynn 4 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Mid-Risex11 94$84,900  71235680ACT88 Franklin Street U:101Lynn, MA 5 room, 2 bed, 1 bath Mid-Risex12 336$150,000  71238229ACT13-17 Willow Street U:202Lynn, MA 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Risex26 31$165,000  71206096ACT189 Oxford Street U:3Lynn, MA 7 room, 2 bed, 1 bath Mid-Risex13 83$179,000  71113801PCG70 Exchange St U:306Lynn, MA 4 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Low-Risex11 334$179,900  71171739ACT170 Oxford St U:402.Lynn, MA 5 room, 2 bed, 1 bath Mid-Risex9 187$199,900  71222070ACT70 Exchange St U:307Lynn, MA 1 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Gardenx5 58$249,900  

  6. I can email you the 7 listings active in mls now.  According to mls rules anything listed must be active.  There are also other units that may be in short sale mode, foreclosure or owners that are trying to sell on their own, not listed in mls. 

    There is  a lot of lofts currently rented as well.  I have rented several to clients over the years.  

    When a condo is rented it hurts the opportunity for traditional financing since at times the property may not meet the ratios required by the lenders. 7 CentralThe only unit that has sold in 7 central in the past year in mls is: unit 202.  Listed for 40k sold for 50k.  I was one of the bidders.  I viewed the unit and have photos and video tape of it.  Photos are also listed in mls.  Your are selling the unit short.  It was gorgeous. Mint condition! No wires were stripped. All appliances in tact, stainless ones.  It was a great size for a one bedroom.  Quick cash sale.  I kick myself for being out bid! It was a great investment.  I had intended to hold it a few months and resell it when it could qualify for financing, marketing it to a owner occupant. Hopefully and owner/occupant moved in.   A one bed selling for 50k, so a 2bd could list for sell for 60k.   I have purchased several foreclosures and unit 202 was in the top 10% as far as condition. Trust me, I have seen and bought some beauts!  I did an inspection myself and the a/c worked, water ran.  It was move in condition, there were even custom blinds included.  At the time 7 Central met the ratio for owner/renter ratio and the association was in good shape.  I am not sure if that has since changed with the Mayo group owning some of the units and all of their issues. In order to keep the current market appealing to new residents who may decided to move in, unit owners need to stay.  Once you start renting out a high percentage of units in a condo building it changes everything.  Cash sale only and or nontraditional financing are the only options, normally bringing in more investors, and so on. Property values are down everywhere.  Lofts are worth 1/2 if not less than what they sold for.  Its a sign of the times. Another building 285 Lynn Shore Drive on the beach had condos selling for 125k, now these same units are not selling for 39k.  The place is in shambles because owners have simply walked away.  Saving DTL current developments means owners stay and ride out the storm.  You seem like a dedicated bunch so staying and building community is imperative for more residents to move in. Empty commercial space.... I have owners calling me daily with empty commercial or office space.  I don't actively work commercial space and I know of a lot! What businesses are the people who are having issues trying open up?  Nothing will be turn key.  They need to expect to spend $ to redo the space to their needs. The listings of current lofts for sale didn't post well but I can easily email the listings. I came up with 7 searching condos, keyword loft in Lynn.  There may even be more if the agent did not target key word "loft".  I truly wish you the best on your mission Corey.  I just think you need another perspective and some actual concrete facts about the  actual real estate actions.  Talk to a few people who are in real estate for several different perspectives.Rental inquiries:People who respond to an ad for a rental from out of state (Tx or say NJ)never having been to the community or area are not looking for places.  They are checking out the area.  I myself have gone gaga over amazing loft spaces I have seen in Buffalo NY.  I have inquired with the listing agent.  Once I did some research I decided it wasn't a fit.  It's cold up there! I also own several rentals and 50% of my calls are based on looky loos who are lured in by my photos and the nice property. The average is for every 10 people who call on a rental on 2 or three are serious.  I pride myself on being an expert in this field having managed and owned my own rentals for well over 15 years now.  

    I hope this offers another perspective. 

  7. I do appreciate all the time you've taken here and it does offer a different perspective. I think you're definition of Downtown lofts is stretched when you include the one on Franklin and I've never heard of Margin Street. Where's that? I looked at 202 as well as an investment property but didn't want to do an all cash deal so didn't put my hat in the ring. Kick myself daily as well. All the metal was gone from the cabinets and the stove was completely dismantled when I saw it. I suppose not a big deal in the long run and easily remedied. The former tenant was also a smoker and that was evident, so there was a little work to do. Still a great investment, I was arguing with mint, and read my first paragraph I'm looking for larger units.

    Of the ones you list below 2 are outside of what I consider downtown, 2 are in the Exchange Street building (again my first paragraph). The Oxford Street one is gone. I don't know why it's still listed. The Willow Street one is under litigation and no one will finance it.

    You need to check into what has sold in the last month and at what prices. The 51K in my building (which does still have a stellar association, owner occupation, and reserve) is now a thing of the past.

  8. Sorry that it has taken me so long to respond... I'm just catching up on my blog reading and seeing these comments now. Thanks for the love in your blog post, Corey.  : )

    Here are the facts. Corey is right, DTL is hot right now because many of the units that have come on recently have been priced right, and that's not to say steeply discounted, just priced fairly from both a seller and buyer perspective.

    MLS is not always up to date, so you can't rely on it for accurate info. These are the facts:

    Margin Street is near GE and has nothing to do with DTL.

    589 Essex St., Unit 406, Sloan Machinery Lofts: This unit is under agreement and is scheduled to close on July 15th. We had four offers and people were outbidding each other. You know what happens with bidding wars... let's just say that the sellers are extremely happy with the outcome. It went under agreement in just 5 days, btw!

    Units 202 and 501 at 13 Willow St., Boston Machine Lofts: Unit 501 is a short sale and is under agreement. Distressed properties are not unique to DTL... they are everywhere, even in places like Marblehead, Nahant, and Swampscott. Unit 202 has been on the market accumulatively for over one year. It has never sold because it was always overpriced, until recently. It is now on the market for $165K, which is fair. However, you need to be a cash buyer for BML. I live in this building in a unit that my fiance owns. It is an excellent building, one of the very best in DTL. Very strong association and a very healthy reserve fund. High owner occupancy rate too. Pending litigation is the only caveat, but keep in mind that this litigation is a good thing which will hopefully result in the developer taking responsibility for some things.

    189 Oxford St., above The Blue Ox: This unit went under agreement within in the first two weeks, but then the buyer (young 1st time home buyer) got cold feet and backed out. Not a problem, because just one month later it is under agreement again with a new buyer and is scheduled to close on July 1st.

    Units 301, 402, and 201 at 170 Oxford Street: Unit 201 went under agreement in less than 7 days and had multiple offers on it. It sold for over asking price. Unit 301 went under agreement in 7 days and is scheduled to close on July 15th. Unit 402 is also under agreement, but the buyer has a contingency to sell his home in New Orleans before he can close. This unit is up for grabs... a 48 kick out clause is in place. I can explain what a kick out clause is if anyone doesn't know.

    Units 306 and 307 at 70 Exchange St: Unit 306 has been on the market for over a year because it started out way overpriced. It is now down to $179,900, which is more in line with where it should be. The unit could use some staging in my opinion... that would help it to sell. It is empty and doesn't show very well. Unit 307 is grossly overpriced at $249,900... it will never sell at that price.

    That's everything available in DTL. I should also mention that I have two sets of buyers just waiting for new lofts to come on the market in DTL, as do a few other brokers I know. People are excited about DTL, and so am I.

    I have to run, but am happy to jump back into the conversation later. Enjoy this gorgeous day everyone! - Soraya

  9. Sean,
    I think Ana was just providing another perspective on things. I think it's an opinion that is maybe 3 or 4 months too old. My impression (and I was out with Soraya this weekend looking at new places) is similar to yours. No room in the Inn.  Don't see a lot of opportunity to get these people in that want to live here if we do not start developing new buildings soon.

    I believe it's time and will agree to disagree with those who don't believe the same.

    33 Central and 14 Central - IT'S TIME!!!! Let's get moving on these two projects.



  10. fair enough in general Corey.

    My issue is when someone presents "opinion" as fact.  Ana's perspective is skewed from reality.

    Ana, like a handful of others don't seem to realize the gravity of their actions.  While not an Accountant, I can assure you there is a valuation detriment with each post like hers or others in social media.

    Whether she has cost me and you $.01 of $1000, it is reckless to spew and twist the facts as she does.

    I will continue to advocate for greater valuation and relevance in regards to DTL / The Arts and Cultural District, even if it means calling out those who work against us.

    Ana's fiction undermines the rest of us and our efforts plain and simple.

  11. Kinda like the fact that Stainless Communications is HQ at loft and your the CEO???

  12. I love the fact the people are running businesses downtown also.  Do you have an issue here, Ana?

  13. This is really surprising to me (both the resistance to the idea that there's actually vacancies in downtown Lynn, and the fact that the posters here seem to be more interested in arguing with and criticizing someone with an alternate perspective rather than addressing the listings plainly available).  I came on here for information as a new resident, and instead I see a thinly veiled promotion for one real estate agent.  Now that more than anything would make me wary of the "real" perspectives on downtown Lynn I'm seeing predominate here!

  14. what is surprising is your take on what was said and what is happening here Jen.

  15. Listings are plainly available on MLS, not in real life. Read Soraya's response which clearly outlines the units under agreement or in buildings where you can't get financing.

    I am actually actively trying to move into someplace bigger. I'm shocked at the lack of available larger units.  That was my point and still is. I haven't been presented with a valid different perspective on this.

  16. Corey, I too am looking for more space in DTL.  Try to find suitable loft space dually zoned, (residential/commercial), between 3000-4000' -it is difficult.  I have Clients looking for Retail space that just are unable to find suitable space.  I would consider buying a building, but as you know, we are limited on likely/feasible candidates at the moment.

    We need more  appropriate and marketable spaces in DTL.  If Lynn is to continue it's renaissance, we all need to focus on building density.  Density starts with space and ends with marketing and local government cooperation, not to mention a supportive public.

  17. Yes Bill.  It is Sean Lobdell.  Not sure why you would think I was not representing my firm well.

    But you are entitled to have your opinion, as are all of us.

  18. Don't I wish that I had the Downtown Lynn loft market monopolized! Many of my wonderful colleagues and I share this market together, just like we share all of the markets that we work... there is no way that one could survive in business by only focusing on Downtown Lynn real estate.

    As far as Corey "promoting" me, I don't believe that this is his intent. I just happen to be his real estate broker, and this happens to be his blog, and he and his wife happen to be searching for a larger home. Corey blogs about everything in his life, and at the moment I'm a part of that. Corey is a supporter of all who want to positively impact his neighborhood, which I do, because it's my home too. It's where I work and play, day in and day out.

    I hope that I do not come across as painting a perfect picture about the Downtown Lynn real estate market; however, I am seeing and experiencing lots of positive signs that have been somewhat consistent recently. Is this a trend? No, not yet... that would take consecutive months of the same activity repeating itself over and over. Should we all be excited about the fact that the DTL real estate market happens to be H-O-T at this very moment in time? Absolutely!    : )

  19. Sean's personality comes through in everything that he does... he's passionately intense. He means well and loves DTL with all of his heart and then some, trust me, I live with the man. As for his company, DTL is lucky to have this dedicated CEO's brainpower in its corner.

  20. Yes, exactly like that! I'm with Corey. Why in the world would that even come up?

  21. So funny that you mention people relocating from TX and NJ, Ana! Like crazy crazy funny coincidence. I literally just spent all of Sunday with clients from TX... a lovely young couple with a baby and a small dog... he will be teaching at the new KIPP school here in Lynn, and she is going to grad school at Harvard. They are super excited to be living in Lynn and I found them a sweet apartment on Michigan just one day... one block from the ocean and one block from the commuter rail. They are thrilled to become a part of the Lynn community. I know that you can hardly believe that, but it's true.

    I then spent all day Monday with another client relocating from NJ for a new job in Swampscott! It's like you knew, "(TX or say NJ)". We looked at places in Swampscott, Marblehead, and Lynn. Guess where she's moving?!? That's right, Lynn! I found her a gorgeous place in Lynn... also walkable to the ocean and commuter rail, and a 10 minute commute to her new job by car.

    Just couldn't resist adding this post because it was such a coincidence that you mentioned something so similar.

  22. "People who respond to an ad for a rental from out of state (Tx or say NJ)never having been to the community or area are not looking for places.  They are checking out the area. " 
    .... I just had to add your post for people to see.

  23. No it is not hard to believe.  Lynn is a great place.  As I mentioned before I have lived in Lynn and own several properties here as well.
    People need to be presented with both sides. 
    Personally I love the Diamond District...I have shared many life cycles with my family here.  People shun it because of the Lynn address at times but many a time I have brought out people from other communities to view my rentals here and they are sold! 

     Places in Lynn are just as nice as places in Swampscott.  Whatever you can do to bring up rents in Lynn by promoting the community is wonderful! Sadly rents I get for property I own in Lynn oceanside are 100.00 less than a unit I get oceanside in Swampscott. 
    Make sure to cool off in a pool or ocean this weekend since the market is getting "HOT" this summer.  
    You showed them my friends house the other day.  I am happy you found them something they like.

  24. Titles can get so confusing.  I think it is super awesome we have a CEO. Just this am my 3 year nephew told me he was the boss of the world! ;)

  25. That clears some things up. Though this thread is very much slanted toward your real estate work and opinions and seemed to slam the other person who works in real estate (whose experience was discredited, not just disagreed with), so whether you intended it or not, that's what it reads like. (Makes me wonder if the Sean posting is a promoter of your work, too?)  When I spoke to people in real estate before moving (am now potentially interested in commercial space now that I moved residences, and I have a baby on the way which may necessitate more room residentially), I got a very different picture, and they were very honest about pros and cons. 

    This thread just seems like a very small sector of people who work and play in a very specific version of DTL and it doesn't resemble my life here.  I don't go online to get unbaised opinions for sure and don't expect one here, but I was at least wondering how diverse these opinions would be. I don't feel like I'm getting a "feel" for DTL from this thread, whereas when I talk to others who live in the area like me, it's a very different perspective. 

  26. This makes more sense now.  I just saw this after I posted above.  So this thread is basically a a client and your boyfriend posting about your "incomparable" work.  I think I was giving more benefit of the doubt before.  And maybe I do business differently, but insults do not equal passion or intensity. I'm disappointed in this whole thread now that I see this kind of bias and excuse revealed, and can't see a reason to check back to this site for information despite what seems to be the author's (Corey's?) clear interest in DTL and its revitalization, if this is the direction the posts go in and the kind of participation that's encouraged.

  27. Opps.  I should say my husband owns some of these properties I spoke of for full disclosure.  Like if mommy or sister owns a condo maybe that should be disclosed too?

  28. Yes this blog is my personal viewpoint on my life in Downtown Lynn. It always has been. I think if you read the original post i wasn't hiding anything about this post.

    I am specifically talking about lofts and the new style developments in DTL, definitely a specific version of DTL different from a lot of the other types of residences down here.

    I'm of the opinion that there are none available and I have not been proven wrong yet. 

    I'm going back out with my real estate agent, Soraya, on Saturday to look at a few in the Diamond District and one possibility in a Downtown Loft.

    Was kind of an amazing experience yesterday when I went to Sloan Machinery Lofts on Essex Street to get signatures for our Ward Councilor to get on the ballot this year. Every unit was full and the one that was empty, Unit 101 is not listed on MLS. 406 is under agreement.  It's the same situation in all of these buildings.

    So, this post is simply about the need for more loft style development. I think we're ready for it and after several months of people looking and not being able to move in, maybe some more developers and you all will agree with me.

    That was my intent, that is my hope.   That is my version of Downtown Lynn.


  29. Thanks for responding, Corey.  I was referring to the thread, not the original post. You did note that you're looking to move out of a loft, but perhaps I misread the rest of the thread b/c it just references condos.  On quick that read wouldn't necessarily just mean another loft to me, esp. since the loft spaces I see talked about on other Lynn-related blogs are are often under 400 sq. ft., and didn't seem to be the roomy option you were looking for!  And they're not what I've been seeing myself.  But I appreciate your willingness to discuss and clarify.

    Anyway, I recently found your blog, and just thought I may be interested in checking back as I gain more info. on the area.  But this thread is the first discussion I've followed, and the negative tone and insularity of opinions predominating are unfortunately immature, when not outright mean (someone telling another poster that they're ignorant, or are purposely harming investments, or they should move out of the city?), and have really turned me off.  

  30. Hi, this may be a double post, b/c my original post doesn't seem to be showing up.  I'm sorry if so.  

    Anyway, what I was attempting to say in this response is: in my prior post I was referring to the threaded discussion, not the original post.  On quick read I  may have misread your general concern, since I defnitely see that you're trying to move out of a current loft, but since the rest of your post references condos I assumed they were not necessarily lofts, esp. since some of what I've seen talked about on other blogs or in person are often under 400 sq. ft. and don't seem to be the roomy option that you're looking for!  (Me neither, esp. with a growing family).  But I appreciate your willingness to discuss and clarify.In general, I recently found your blog and thought I might check back as I gather more info. on the area, but this is the first discussion I've followed and the negative tone and insularity of opinions predominating are unfortunately immature, when not outright mean (I'm not sure what it accomplishes, never mind reflects, for a frequent poster to tell another one that they're ignorant, that they're purposely out to harm investments or "work against us," or that they should move out of the area!), and it has really turned me off.

  31. I'm in one of the smaller lofts in DTL and it's around 680 sq ft. The ones in 170 Oxford, Sloan, BML and even in other parts of my building are more in the 1200-1500 sq ft range. Open layouts and really cool living space. There are several units like that in Sloan (maybe 20+) and BML has another large chunk. Can't wait for some of these to come on the market.

    I'm sorry that this thread has turned you off. My policy is to not delete and try to moderate through commenting myself. Perhaps not the healthiest thing as it jeopardizes my relationship with readers such as yourself.

    I understand if you do not wish to return, but I certainly hope you give it a little more time.

  32. I guess no one knew that 33 central was on the market!  listed at 140k...  9800 sq ft including 1800 of retail.  That is the only situation I am aware of bloggers negatively affecting property values. 

    Surely a successful growing company could make a home there!  particularly with the huge demand for retail!  Wouldn't that be worth thousands a month in rent? 

    Or maybe you missed the bid date for 12-30 central?  $475k for 47,000+ sq ft.  Surely a cadre of investors so bullish on DTL could easily justify the investment! 

    Seems like there is an awful lot of talk and not a lot of action

  33. Brian,
    EDIC is looking into 33 central. Lots of money needed in repairing that place.

    RCG bought 14 Central.


  34. if someone does another "MV24 style" development, for god's sake, put some insulation between the walls!

  35. Exactly Corey.  The point is a couple of investors (say 3 or four lofters or a CEO, COO) should have cash on hand to gobble up these investments.  OR said sales agent(with this portfolio of buyers) and a CEO(of this huge company) should have cash in hand or buyers ready to go.  Show boaters?
    The deals are there! I hope you stay in DTL, you've done a lot of positive with plenty more to do.  

  36. If someone does another MV24 style development let's pray to god it's not The Mayo Group.

  37. The figure I heard on 33 central for repairs was almost 1M. I think EDIC, RCG, etc have that kind of cash. I certainly don't.  I am REALLY excited about the projects though and I am hoping they include some large lofts that might be of interest to my wife and I. The point of this thread.

  38. Just to chip in here a bit.  I know I do not live in DTL, I live in West Lynn, Saugus Line, but when houses in my Neighborhood come on the Market, the usually do not last long at all.  House across the street last year sold in a little over 2 weeks.  A few just came on the market within the last month.  They won't last long.  Any way you look it, this is Lynn, and real estate is still selling...................PD

  39. Sean's choice of words are not my own, Jen, nor do I control or encourage him. (as he often says, he can barely control himself)

    Hopefully you'll have a chance to get to know your neighbors/local business people/bloggers beyond this one post... and I'm pretty confident that you'll like us.

    I also believe that you'll see the impressions you're getting aren't accurate... especially when you meet Sean... his sarcastic personality matches his post, but not in the mean-spirited way that it does come across.

  40. As much as we love DTL, we really would like to move out to a house in the suburbs....but are underwater on our 1200+ sq. ft. apartment and plan on doing the same thing you'll be doing...renting.  It's just not worth it to take the it seems that this is the quandary you are in, and others are in...there are people who want and wish they could sell, but who are not willing to take a $20 to 40k loss at the moment.  

  41. Thanks corey. That is Exactly the problem.  Someday.....


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