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New Luxury Condos Make Upgrades Standard

Written by Posted On Sunday, 08 May 2005 17:00

The development of high-end condominium projects is changing the face of some coastal communities in San Diego, California, but with prices that compete with the median price of a detached home; how will they fare?

Empty-nesters wanting to downsize after their kids leave home, rising cost of detached homes and a general growing interest in attached homes are making the condominium market a booming business.

"In 2004, there were 15,366 new homes sold county-wide and 9,072 of the sales were attached condos, about 4,500 of those sales were condo conversions," says Peter F. Dennehy, Senior Vice President of the Sullivan Group Real Estate Advisors -- A Strategic Alliance with The Ryness Company.

The most recent median North Coastal price is $800,000, for a detached home, making it highly unaffordable for many. But even some of the new condos coming on the market are rivaling the prices of detached homes.

One condo development slated to open this summer in the North County is Laguna Point, a luxury project, located on the corner of State Street and Laguna Drive at the North entrance to the Village of Carlsbad.

The builder/owner of the upcoming project says it brings a unique style to the area.

"I would call it Santa Barbara style architecture and we're really building 21 custom condominiums... there are nearly 21 different floor plans," says Bill Canepa, of Wave Crest Resorts II LLC.

The project is designed by McGee-Behun from Mission Hills. "A couple of years ago they designed the Home of the Year in San Diego... they're just really terrific, talented designers," says Canepa.

The two-and three-bedroom units will run 1,500 to 2,200 square feet, and consist of both one-and two-story floor plans that will come complete with several upgrades throughout the unit. Pricing starts in the low $800,000 range.

Canepa says already there are hundreds of people signed up on the interest list.

"We're using stainless steel Viking and KitchenAid appliances as a standard feature. We're using Shaker style maple cabinets as a standard feature. The units are getting hardwood flooring in the living rooms and dining rooms as a standard feature," says Canepa.

There is also recessed lighting in the units, high-tech wiring, high-ceilings, custom light fixtures, granite countertops and the development will have a pool, spa, recreation room, gated parking and plenty of storage space.

"Every unit in the parking garage has its own storage unit and it's about two or three times as large as what Carlsbad codes require. Also, we've tried to put in a lot of storage space in the units, in the walk-in closets, and in secondary bedrooms because I think that's something people need," says Canepa.

The coastal appeal coupled with communities redeveloping and adding retail, dining and entertainment options make communities such as Carlsbad ripe for condo development.

"I think in some of these beach areas where they have villages, downtown areas, it's likely that we could see some more condominium development," says Canepa.

The Village by the Sea project, which houses 65 units, in Carlsbad is already nearly sold out, pricing ranges from $600,000 to over $1 million.

This same builder, Anastasi Development Company, is planning a project called The Bluffs that will offer ocean-view condos on the north side of Agua Hedionda Lagoon, east of Interstate 5.

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Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is an award-winning journalist, an author, customer service trainer/speaker, and founder of Setting the Service Standard, a customer service training and consulting program offered by Live Fit Enterprises (LFE) based in San Diego, California. She is the publisher of Live Fit Magazine, an online publication that features information on real estate/finance, physical fitness, travel, and philanthropy. Her company, LFE, specializes in media services including marketing, PR, writing, commercials, corporate videos, customer service training, and keynotes & seminars. Visit her magazine website:

Phoebe's articles, feature stories, and columns appear in various publications including The Coast News, Del Mar Village Voice, Rancho Santa Fe Review, and Today's Local News in San Diego, as well as numerous Internet sites. She holds a California real estate license. Phoebe worked for KGTV/10News in San Diego as a Newscaster, Reporter and Community Affairs Specialist for more than a decade. Phoebe's writing is also featured in Donald Trump's book: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying Foreclosures. She is the author of If the Trash Stinks, TAKE IT OUT! 14 Worriless Principles for Your Success.

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