The $40 million project features 87 units that consist of one- and two-bedroom flats, townhomes, and live/work spaces that have chic interiors, up to 10-foot-tall ceilings, generous pantry and closet space, and tailored floor plans. A rooftop "sky lounge" comes with an outdoor fireplace and 360-degree views of Mount Diablo and downtown Walnut Creek.
How much? UPDATE, thanks to Sunday's Contra Costa Times, we learn that the units, ranging in size from will range in price from 763 to 1,400 square feet, will range in price from the high $300,000s to mid-$700,000s. The complex also has five affordable-housing units.
The construction of multi-family housing is the way of the future of Walnut Creek. Some of the 1,000 new units in multi-family buildings under construction, recently completed, or in the pipeline, are being set aside under the category of "affordable housing."
Back in August 2007, after 555YvR's Mill Valley developers broke ground, they were full of high hopes, according to the Contra Costa Times. "We're obviously very bullish considering that we're starting construction at this point in the market," Bruce Dorfman of Thompson-Dorfman Partners told the Times.
Even the following year, the San Francisco Business Times was saying that sales of top-end condos throughout the East Bay, including in Walnut Creek, were going like gangbusters. The 181-unit Mercer on California Boulevard, where top floor condos were going for more than $1 million, was 70 percent sold out in August 2008. The building was also looking forward to filling its ground floor with high-end salons and restaurants.
Then came You Know What, and condo sales crashed throughout the East Bay. By November, the San Francisco Business Times was reporting that many developers were converting all their unsold condos to rentals. That apparently happened with the Mercer. I was told that the Mercer decided to lease out about 40 units.
As recently as yesterday, Craigslist had an ad for a one-bedroom apartment at the Mercer (with "gourmet kitchen," 9-foot ceilings, and balcony overlooking pool) going for $2,350 a month. I'm no expert on the Walnut Creek rental market, but from perusing some online ads for apartments for rent I would say that $2,350 for a one-bedroom apartment is definitely on the high end.
Nevertheless, the Mercer's plan apparently succeeeded, I called the Mercer today, and learned that all those rentals have been leased. I was asked if I wanted to be put on a waiting list.
Units in 555YVR start to go on sale in June. We'll see how it goes. We've been hearing different things about the state of the economy and housing market. Today, we learned that consumer confidence was once again down, while in the past couple weeks, these expert analysts were highlighting signs of a recovery to begin in late June 2009.
With 555YVR, it could all come down to the one crucial factor in real estate: location, location, location!