A tale of two Uptown condo conversions

Five years ago we wrote about two Uptown condo conversions directly across the street from each other at 927 and 928 W Eastwood. We noted the similarities between the projects, which were being marketed at similar price points:

It’s a close call on several fronts. Besides their location, on a cul-de-sac just a few blocks from the lake, the projects have a lot in common. They’re both three-story buildings (plus a garden level) with eight units. Their condos both have two or three bedrooms, and “great room” layouts with breakfast bars separating living rooms and kitchens. Both have hardwood floors and exposed brick walls.

Distracted by the similarities between the projects, we missed the important differences between them.

Six of the eight units at Eastwood Commons, 927 W Eastwood, sold at about the time of our earlier post, at prices ranging from $237,000 for a garden unit to $315,000 for a third-floor unit. The other two remain unsold to this day. Unit 2E, which sold for $304,900 in September of 2007 is currently under contract at a list price of $199,000. Unit 3W, purchased for $300,000 in September of 2007 resold in July for $190,000. None of the units went into foreclosure.

Cross the street to 928 W Eastwood and you enter a Twilight Zone populated with names that have occurred repeatedly in deals involving shadow transactions and non-existent purchase-money equity funds.

At the time of our post, even though the project was being marketed as a single condo conversion, all eight units had recorded closings a year earlier to individual purchasers at a total sellout of $2.822 million. Seven of the eight units subsequently went into foreclosure, one of them twice. For your amusement, you can try to determine whether the original purchasers shared a common nationality.

Unit 1W, which had purportedly been purchased for $270,000 in September of 2006, sold for $71,000 following a foreclosure. It resold for $125,000 in December of 2011. Unit 1E, reported as purchased for $260,000 in August of 2006, sold for $80,000 following a foreclosure and resold for $208,900 in March of 2010. Unit 2W, nominally purchased for $364,000 in August of 2006, resold for $102,000 in August of 2011 following a foreclosure and sold again in July of last year for $185,000. And so on.

Five years on, despite the very different paths they followed in the interim, the condominiums at 927 and 928 W Eastwood appear to be exhibiting the similarities in pricing and features we noted in our earlier post.

If you have the time and the requisite skills you can further amuse yourself by questioning whether the original purchasers at 928 W Eastwood actually suffered any financial loss.

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