Saturday, March 10, 2007

Here are some other examples of Ralph Walker's Architecture


ZCapitan said...

Hi all, so I have been trying to sign with Belltel, but I have felt nothing but shadiness from the realtors and even more so in the contract. Did any of you experience any problems regarding this? I am concerned about the taxes even after the j-51 being so much more than other new constructions and also that they may not qualify for it if the construction may not be done or the application to be submitted for the J-51 at least a year/year and a half from now based on indications from the developer's lawyer (Bloomberg is cracking down on J-51's because developers are abusing them as they are meant for low to middle income housing). I am also concerned about the ventilation in the lofts (and who will be maintaining the system).

Anonymous said...

I'm not offering legal advice or anything, but I really have to ask where your concerns regardin gthe "shadiness" of the contract. I'm a lawyer, I haven;t noticed anything unusual. More importantly, I used a trusted and experienced (in residential real estate) colleage as my lawyer in negotiating my contract and she didn't find anything "shady" in the contract; indeed, she thought it was notably above board.

Your point about the J-51 issue is, of course, fair, insofar as the number quoted is a little disingenuous, since no J-51 benefit will accrue prior to the completion of construction. I would not choose BellTel based upon the tax totals.

By the same toke, the tax estimates coming out of BellTel don't strike me as any higher (let alone "so much" more) than other developments in the area. We pressed the sponsor's attorney on this point to a good extent, and we checked comparable projects (110 Livingston amongst others). It's right in line.

I don't have a pat answer on ventilation; it's a point to investigate - have you asked anyone involved? (I didn't follow up on it because the unit we're buying is a corner unit with windows and heat/a-c in most rooms... so less of a concern for us).

Can I ask what your issues with the realtors have been? One of the things I've liked about this deal is that the realtors are a known factor - being Pru DE, it's like Corcoran - they're a 900 lb. gorilla, but they're not going to pull up stakes and dissapear on you. Nor are they likely to start pushing slums... it only sullies their very public reputation. On the other hand, if you've actually experienced some iffy behavior, that's an issue.

before signing, I went through many of the same tortured issues and concerns you did. I was able to satisfy them by research and direct questions to the lawyers and the representatives, as well as thorough review of the publicly filed material. I suggest all buyers to d the same - it's a big investment. If you do, and still aren't comfortable, then the answer is easy - don't sign a contract.

That wasn't our experience, though - we were satisfied with the answers we got and are in contract and looking forward to moving in!

guyfromdobro said...

Anon 9:53

Thank you so much for your detailed response to Zcaptin. You wrote everything I wanted to write and much more. I've used my current lawyer on other properties that I've bought and sold and trust him. He's keeping my mind at ease during this process.

I choose to buy in this building
because I feel that it's unique in the Downtown area. Try to look into the future. Imagine all of these modern facades on the new condos, hotels, bars and restaurants. Belltel has an iconic Art Deco charm to it. It's originality will draw people to it.

Anon 9:53
Please e mail me

Anonymous said...

I'm also a lawyer who has purchase in the building and I also did not find anything "shady" about the realtors or the sponsor. Of course there are some things in the contract/offering plan that are tilted toward the developer, but you will find this in EVRERY new construction.

As far as the J-51, it is true that it will not kick in until the first year after the building is complete, so you will need to be able to cover the higher carrying costs for that period. Once it's in effect, though, the taxes will be about half of what's shown in the schedule A. I haven't heard that there is any "cracking down" on the J-51. It's meant to encourage renovation of existing buildings, not affordable housing. You are probably thinking of the 421a, which is for new buildings and is intended to encourage affordable housing but has been used to subsidize luxury projects.

Good luck in your decision. Those of us who have bought already are looking foward to moving in!

Anonymous said...

[EJ]: anon 8:43 is right - I forgot to mention that in my own comment; the mayor isn't cracking down on J-51 so far as I know.

As for the clauses that were tilted towards the developer, I saw no more than I saw in other offering plans I was looking at at the time. Moreover, I found that the developer was very open to negotiation of terms and clauses. We had several things added and a number of passages removed, too. You really do need to have someone with experience helping you with this. Have you talked to a lawyer or person you trust who has done these kinds of deals before?

(as an aside: by the way, I posted 'anon 9:53' last night... I just forgot to put my identifying tag at the beginning of my comment. Between that and the number of typos in the post, I must have been pretty tired last night...)

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, what terms from the contract did you negotiate?

Belltel buyer (anon 8:43)

Anonymous said...

By the way, Guyfromdobro, just wondering if it makes sense to have a general page for questions on this site. I've noticed a number of people post general questions on the most current part of the page, even if they don't relate to the topic of the post.

Just a thought. Thanks for keeping this page and fostering discussion on this great building!

guyfromdobro said...

1:11 pm
I'll do my best to work on that. It's not a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

[EJ] To anon 1:08:

Amongst other things, we negotiated terms relating to the buyer's right to postpone closing for a period fo time without penalty and made changes regarding the penalties for delays in closing beyond that; adjusted the meaning of (and penalties for) "events of default"; clarified the terms of the aspect of the transaction relating to the mortgage tax credit; defined and limited the "reasonable time" allow ed to the Sponsor to complete repairs for damages caused by Sponsor; removing the "irrevocably bound" clause; negotiating a mortgage contingency; modifying the 'no assignments' clause...

there were definitely more changes, but those are the ones that come to mind at the moment (I don't have the purchase agreement on hand at the moment).

None of these were earth-shattering; but then again, nothing in the contract was shockingly skewed in the Sponsor's favor (IMO).

As for the suggestion on a "general page for questions" that almost sounds like a forum - where people can post topics on questions about the place and we can discuss at whatever length is appropriate. Such a format would also allow for discussion of local businesses (restaurants/cleaners/groceries/retail, etc) both current (with reviews?) and putative.

That would be an excellent resource!