Monday, September 25, 2006

Mica Condos getting increasingly desperate

I hate to keep picking on the Mica Condos, but they keep asking for it. I was driving into the District yesterday evening, and among the dozens of D.C. mayoral and council campaign signs at the Georgia Ave & Piney Branch/13th St. intersection, I spotted a "Mica Condos Sales Office ---->" sign in the median. Note that this is over a mile and half away from the Mica building, and the sign had no address or directions on it, only a simple arrow pointing right. This is something you would put around the corner from the office, not well across the D.C. border.

Do they expect someone to immediately hook a right and drive all the way up Georgia through about 50 traffic lights to Silver Spring to check out the condos based on this sign? Not that anyone would have any idea WHERE the Mica Condos were (or even what state they were in) or if the office open at the time. Sadly, I wasn't able to snap a picture of it because words cannot do justice to how pathetic it looked.



29 comments:

Twoste said...

So when can we expect the prices to come down and demand to be met? Any indications? I sure do like the location even if the building is a little 1960s pre-fab-ish.

Anonymous said...

Its a great location but the condo is a conversion (ie lipstick on a fixed up pig) and the developers basicly tried to screw over the tenants to force them out during the peak of the bubble.
The Mico seemed to be a popular target, on the bubblemeter blog, on how ridiculous developers are to cash in and screw over the buyers

Terry said...

The location is fine (far enough from the tracks to reduce the train noise), but it's a scabby old building even with a coat of new paint. It's sort of like putting lipstick on a pig.

Anonymous said...

They have completely gutted the Mica building for renovation-- far from lipstick on a pig.

Anonymous said...

I think anyone that bought a condo in The Mica needs to have their head examined.

These are the people who will be crying in 5 years when they will have to sell their condo for LESS than they bought it for.

They have been trying to sell the condos there for over a year! Doesn't that tell you something?

My prediction is that Mica will sell a significant portion of its unsold condos to a Management Comany who will lease them. So, Mica will end up being a 40% owner/60% renter property. This is already happening to places in Las Vegas and Miami.

Sorry to those that bought there...

Terry said...

Ok, lipstick and a new ribbon on the pig's tail.

Anonymous said...

Do you have statistics on how many condos have sold at the Mica?? I don't have the most recent statistics, but do know that they are far closer to being sold out than you (anonymous) think.

Anonymous said...

Sales at the Mica have been slow (understandable given the housing market) but steady. So all you people that have enjoyed taking pot-shots at Mica can now go back to your calculators to dream up a new doomsday scenario, until that one gets punctured...

steve said...

I've got to take my own pot shot at Mica. At the beginning of the year when I was looking for a condo in the Silver Spring area, I stopped by to ask questions and see models.

I actually got some attitude when I asked about the possibility of two-bedrooms that were less than $400K. I was surprised, since they hadn't sold hardly any condos at that point. I was still slightly interested, but they didn't even take my name to add to a mailing list.

I ended up finding something I liked better in Takoma Park.

ihateyuppies said...

MICA is a complete bust for several reasons:

1. The old Springwood apartment building needed major renovations or demolition. This was a poor building for an upscale condominium conversion. Springwood had a reputation for a "ghetto-like" environment. It rivaled public housing in terms of disrepair and poor treatment of tenants. The reputation never leaves a building even if there is a change of ownership and buyer demographics.

2. The developer over-estimated the high-income market in Silver Spring. Simply put: there are not enough Yuppies in the Silver Spring area to justify the sky-high prices. Silver Spring is still a middle-class suburb where you have more families than single professionals.

3. The developer should have received contracts from buyers well before the finishing touches. In the real estate business if you don't sell a certain percentage of condo units (say 25-30 percent) before the completion of the building, you might be in trouble.

4. As one poster noted already, the developer will have to lease units in the building. This is a bad scenario when you have rentals and home properties in the same location. The condo owners will see their property values drop even further because you have rentals on the floor. This is a very bad situation.

Whenever I drive by MICA at night, the building is mostly dark. The developer should just suck it up and lease the ENTIRE property for rental apartments. Then, I could see more lights through the windows.

Anonymous said...

Friendly suggestion for ihateyuppies :

There's a feature called 'Cut/Paste' that saves a lot of time when having to insert a lot of repetitive text over and over again. The time saved could perhaps be used to develop some new ideas and a kinder/gentler hatred of yuppies.

Anonymous said...

To I hate yuppies,
I fail to understand why you continue to criticize things without any facts. Facts:
-- the Mica is not done with renovation
-- the building has been completely gutted and is being rehabed (i.e., has undergone major renovation)
-- people have started moving into units in the past few weeks
-- approximately 2/3 of the units have contracts. some of these folks have just moved in.

ihateyuppies said...

Uh-Huh. You must be an employee of the MICA development or a member of the HOA.

Talk about repetitive: I had some MICA defender (employee of developer) reply to me that the building does not have buyers moved in yet; they are finishing renovations.

This reply was back in May 2006.

So in September 2006, I am getting the same response. What...by Christmas time, you will be posting the same message to my same smackdown post of MICA?

Anonymous said...

people who are defending are full of bs and they know it. i live right behind the mica and i also have gone their several times to talk to the desperate agents who send me emails all the time. in july they told me that their first "wave" was moving in. i don't think anyone has moved in. but, i do think that after there was some posting about the dark windows that mica agents got wind of it. so now, the idiots leave lights on in random units ALL the time. what a freaking waste of electricity. i know no one lives in those units because i live right behind the building and those lights never go on or off.

Anonymous said...

Anon on 10/3 at 11:44 pm:

Several people have moved in-- seen many moving trucks in the evenings over the past couple of weeks unloading people's stuff (i.e., non-construction folks)

Anonymous said...

I was at the MICA recently, I thought the places looked nice. They were still doing construction and told me about 25 units remained unsold. Any update on what a MICA buyer could expect if they wanted to sell about 5 years from now?

Sligo said...

If I could tell the future of real estate, I'd be rich.

I recently went there myself. The place is fine, but like most other buildings that define themselves that way, I certainly wouldn't classify it as "luxury". When I think luxury, I think someplace like the Kennedy-Warren.

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