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Downtown Investment

By September 19, 2007News

Vista ‘a Hot Property’ Regardless

By: Jeff Wilkinson
Lower interest rates should add to the momentum, which has slowed only slightly in the past year.

“The Vista right now is a hot property,” said Fred Delk, executive director of the Columbia Development Corp., which guides investment in the entertainment and arts district.

“There’s a tremendous amount of development now — and (planned) in the future,” he said. “The public investment the university is making in Innovista is driving much of that.”

The trend downtown is toward nontraditional housing — luxury condos and town houses, New York-style apartments, new urbanist-inspired high-density neighborhoods, even stadium-area “cockominiums.”

The options have attracted retirees and kept investors intrigued.

The high-end homes, most with such amenities as granite countertops and Viking ranges, are being snapped up by folks not as susceptible to ticks in interest rates — but who have the savvy to capitalize on lower rates when they’re available.

Wade Caughman is building the 54-unit City Club on Gervais Street across from the EdVenture Children’s Museum. Condos there start at $400,000; town houses at $650,000.

“Our customers have a lot of cash to put into a deal,” Caughman said. “But another half-point makes it more attractive. It will open up our market a little bit.”

Downtown sales, particularly of condos, have slowed a bit from last year’s boom. And some developers have switched from condos to student apartments as they wait for the market to sort itself out.

But with lower interest rates, “more people will be able to buy,” Delk said.

Source: The State Newspaper