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VOL. 123 | NO. 44 | Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Partners to Build Condo Triplexes In Germantown

By Eric Smith

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SOMETHING NEW: Phase II of Greenleaf Condominiums in Germantown will soon rise on McVay Road, just south of Poplar Pike and not too far from the heart of Germantown. The developers, who last week filed application to build, will bring two triplexes to the neighborhood. -- Rendering Courtesty Of Architecture Inc.

With high property values, brisk
home sales and scant available land, Germantown is one of the most dynamic and desirable destinations in the local real estate market.

Now, a pair of condominium developers is banking on the affluent suburb's cachet to help overcome whatever housing slowdown might be occurring elsewhere.

Ray Beliles and Bill McWaters, partners in a real estate entity called Greenleaf Homes LLC, have filed applications to build two condominium triplexes on McVay Road, just south of Poplar Pike and not too far from the heart of Germantown.

"Germantown is hot," McWaters said. "There's only so much land they've got over there, and it just keeps getting harder and more expensive to get."

Beliles and McWaters' project is Phase II of the existing Greenleaf Condominiums, which were formerly known as Germantown Square apartments before the previous owner converted them to condos a few years ago.

That owner, Cambrian Development Co. of Sarasota, Fla., sold a one-acre parcel of land on the Greenleaf site in June to Beliles and McWaters for $300,000.

The duo promptly took out a $1.1 million construction loan, and last week they filed the building permits - equaling a combined $1.5 million - with plans to begin construction in the next two weeks.

"We were just sold on the location, where it is there in Germantown," Beliles said. "The existing units sold out right away when they converted them. Even though the market's down, we felt like the location couldn't be beat."

Hot stuff

The location is tucked into a leafy piece of property southwest of the Poplar Pike and McVay Road intersection. The architect on the project is Architecture Inc. of Memphis, who designed the property's recent apartment-to-condo conversion. McWaters Construction - of which Bill McWaters is vice president - will be the contractor.

The developers cleared the land, and added sewer, drainage and water to the property. The site pads have been leveled out, and now they're awaiting permit approval.

McWaters said they'll begin pouring concrete as soon as they're approved, and the first units should be ready for market by July.

The finished product will feature six condo units: two middle units selling for $255,000, and four end units selling for $275,000. The condos will be 1,780 to 1,850 square feet with two-car garages, something the existing units don't have.

The new condos will be three-bedroom, three-bathroom units with two of the bedrooms as masters. The builders said the condos will be loaded with amenities.

"We're going to dress 'em up nice," McWaters said. "They're going to have nice granite and hardwood and fireplaces," among others.

The new units will front McVay Road along the south side of the property, according to the architectural plans.
The property has a swimming pool and common area, with management by the Greenleaf Condominium Owners Association Inc.

No sales team necessary

Beliles and McWaters will act as brokers for the property, but if they end up listing the condos they'll use McWaters & Associates Realtors. They're not sure they'll have to resort to that, as interest in the property has increased steadily.

"Since we've put a sign up there, we've gotten at least one phone call every day," McWaters said. "We've got three or four guys champing at the bit. If the market was better and they could sell their houses, we probably could have sold the whole thing out by now."

The market is always an issue whenever developers go through with plans for speculative homes, as three of these condos will be. So far, the housing slump hasn't deterred inquiries, but whether that yields a flurry of offers remains to be seen.

"It has not hurt the desire for our product, but it has hurt the ability of somebody selling what they've got to get into what we've got," McWaters said.

In addition to banking on Germantown's salability, the Greenleaf partners are also counting on passersby wanting the condos after they see them materialize.

"Once we get something off the ground," Beliles said, "I feel like they'll sell themselves."

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