Developers counter tough market with big incentives

Filed under: real estate column |

Four purchasers of townhomes at Creekwalk also will receive a new Mini Cooper Clubman.

A tough housing market, a credit crisis and the highest gas prices in history are contributing to slow new home sales.
American ingenuity is alive and well, however, spurring builders to embrace bold home sales incentives.
Take Creekwalk Townhomes developer Danny Mientka, for example. His eight-unit luxury community along the banks of Fountain Creek in hip Manitou Springs is priced from about $500,000.
The two- and three-bedroom residences also include four-car garages, creek-side and roof-top decks, complete appliance packages and upgraded finishes.
But faced with reticent buyers, Mientka has decided to offer a new Mini Cooper Clubman to his next four buyers.
He also will pay up to $25,000 in financing costs for buyers who act before the end of the year.
“We’re dealing with a fearful market, and so to combat perception you have to remove the obstacles,” Mientka said.
Responding to downward pressure on home prices, Mientka has already adjusted the price of each unit, in some cases by more than $100,000.
But he’s hardly the only owner who’s had to find creative ways to entice buyers.
Bloomberg News reported last week about a series of celebrities and high-profile business leaders who have been forced to “get creative” in selling their exotic estates and mansions.
One Silicon Valley entrepreneur, for example, lowered his asking price from $14 million to $7 million within 24 hours.
And Olivia Hsu Decker will throw in a $174,100 Bentley sedan for the buyers of her California client’s 7.5 acre Los Altos Hills property.
Closer to home, developers such as Classic Cos. have offered finished basements and upgraded appliances as an incentive to act now.
Classic Homes’ officials credit incentives with contributing to a “significant number” of contracts written this year.
“We notice that activity peaks right before those offers expire,” said Classic marketing director Annie DeGeorge.

Brew pub taps new location

Trinity Brewing Co., owned by Todd Walton and Jason Yester, has leased 3,000 square feet at 1466 Garden of the Gods Road in the 18,760-square-foot Market Center at the Garden.
The food and beverage destination offers 35 or more microbrews and “artisanal” beers.
Gary Hollenbeck, leasing broker for the shopping center, represented the tenant and the landlord, G.W. Development LLC.
Trinity joins a 4,000-square-foot Sherwin Williams retail store and a 2,000-square-foot Spicy Pickle deli at Market Center.
Becky Hurley covers real estate for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.