After the first few months of actual construction, we thought it might be a good time to look at early reviews of the project and reassess the current market.

 

The work is shaping up as a 3 step process that looks something like this:
1.Demolition
2.Pipe Replacement

3.Put Back

 

Demolition includes prepping the condo for work, completing wall and ceiling cuts, abating for hazardous or harmful materials, installing temporary floor and wall coverings; in short, getting ready for the new pipes to be installed.

 

Pipe replacement starts with assessment of everything behind the walls, preparing pipe and fixtures to be installed, removal of existing pipe, installation of new pipe and fixtures, restart and testing of systems.

 

The last step is getting the condo back to something close to its original condition.  During this step walls and ceilings are reconstructed, cabinets and fixtures are reinstalled, tile and decorative materials are replaced or put back, and a final review is completed with the owners.

 

This is simplified from the actual process and it should be noted that important steps like inspections and other checkoffs are not overlooked in this summary.

 

Given the preliminary schedules that have been shared with the community, we also know that each condo can expect about 3 separate periods of construction over the next 3 years and each of these will last for 3-4 weeks.  Both individual stacks, whole sections, and even the entire building may experience periods without water or use of systems during weekday hours.  The project is currently running ahead of schedule (3rd quarter results).

 

Let’s look at the market.  As we have discussed with many in the building, we are seeing the confluence of new, higher assessment levels and the early affects of a large, invasive project with many unknowns;  when both exist at the same time, the effects can be dramatic and in some cases they have been.  Buyers can be put off by the impending work being completed, while those who might sell want to get ahead of as much of the project as possible.

 

In the 3 major product types that are included in Brooks Tower we are seeing the following:

 

1.Studios- These are still popular in the market and are selling quickly.  For the most part, these were selling well prior to the assessment and they continue to sell well now. 
2.1 Bedrooms- There are more 1 bedrooms in Brooks Tower than anything else, so we have seen a slowdown in the 1 bedroom market and price decreases have been more pronounced.

3.2 Bedrooms- We are experiencing a split market divided by the condition of the condos being offered.  Upgraded and well-maintained 2 bedroom condos are staying at and often improving in value while less improved condos are experiencing some price declines.

 

We are seeing some different patterns in the handling of payment of the special assessments.  We are encouraging owners who are considering a sale or who are just curious to contact the brokers in our office for more detail on what your type of condo is seeing in the current market.  Brooks is currently a very complicated market and we are experiencing bifurcation in prices throughout the building.

 

Looking ahead, we expect to see the Brooks Tower market improve as we get through this first phase of the project.  Both residents and potential buyers will become more comfortable as more of the unknowns become known, timelines become more definite, and market acceptance of a better building is realized.  Active investors would also tell you that periods of uncertainty are a great time to invest in a project for those willing to hold onto a property for a few years.