The model I have been "interested" in is a 1200 sf 1 Bedroom, 1.5 Bathroom Townhome that at the first grand opening started at 530k. That is 440$ per square foot! For the second grand opening they claim that prices will drop to the mid to high 400's. This still seems very high. I am curious as to how they are going to sell these, because the model I was interested in is the second smallest plan out of 11, the larger units are closer to a million.
The salespeople now pitch the Lake at Walnut as a hip urban community for young people. However, they require a 20% downpayment, which makes a lot of sense given the recent fallout in the housing market, but 20% of the cheapest model is around 100k. What young hip people are going to be able to fork over that kind of downpayment? FHA loans which require a much smaller 3% downpayment are not available until a complex reaches 60% occupancy. They are stuck in a Catch 22. The only way out that I see is to lower prices, but 530k to say 475k is a drop in the bucket.
As extravagent as this place sounds, it was actually originally pitched as a conservative and affordable alternative to the Prado just down the block. The Prado had much smaller units for almost double the price. The HOA fees were around 1000$ a month because the amenities included a pool, a movie theater, an over the top communal kitchen for throwing parties, consierge services, etc... I later found some irony that the salesperson at the Late at Walnut that I was speaking with revealed that she had purchased a unit at the Prado.
However, the biggest irony is that Standard Pacific Homes, the builders of Lake at Walnut, began construction about a year ago on another luxery condo complex about a mile away called the Dalton. This place is over the top with penthouses that have rooftop balconies and more. And don't get me started on the Cinema Lofts next store which are 500 sf lofts for 370k, that unbelievably people have actually purchased.
It is a little sad to see Pasadena change over the years. For decades to come the housing bubble will leave a scar on Pasadena with all of these rediculous complexes. Hopefully they won't end up abandoned and leave some real scars.