Saturday, March 08, 2008

360 The South Bay: The Last Word

Ghost Town East...360 The South Bay

On Wednesday at my weekly office meeting I brought up the abrupt departure ( abandonment) of this project by William Lyon. One of the agents in our office decided to go over and check it our for himself. When he arrived the on-site agent ( a different agent then I spoke with) was packing up the last of his computer gear and locking up the place.

After much back and forth guy talk the agent finally gave up the ghost so to speak. He said that William Lyon had no intention of revisiting the project and was looking for a buyer. kidding. This was not a well researched project in the first place and has paid the price. A slow real estate market combined with a not so hot market projection killed this one early. So here sits a huge chunk of land... we never see anything this size... that could probably be bought for a song.

The question is what do you build there that will turn a profit. Here's a thought to any would-be developer. A really nice 55+ housing complex with pools, tennis courts, gym and a 9 hole executive golf course would be a winner. These could be built around the perimeter of the complex to cut off Freeway/Aviation noise and offer a decent view for the units. You could build units more upscale then a 2 bedroom 2 bath 800 sq ft condo. The school district won't be an issue for 55+ housing. It won't be Manhattan Beach.. but a nice complex with some great amenities.. close to the Beach Cities could be a winner.

The area needs something slightly more classy then the current 55+ projects, most of which look like ugly apartments. Scott Anastasi is giving it a try; but at best these are still small developments with no recreational facilities. The number of pricey 55+ communities in Palm Springs attest to the fact that seniors will spend money for the right place.

Builders need to realize that downsizing from a 4000 sq ft house doesn't mean going to an 800 sq ft condo. Our local 55+ buyers have families and need guest rooms plus an office. I think a complex with 1500+ sq ft 3 bedroom units on one level with lots of things to do would be a winner. Another big bonus for this type of housing would be that most of the buyers are cash buyers so financing isn't an issue.

Sunrise is building a large project in Pasadena with full 24 hour concierge services and starting prices over $1 million and they are selling even in this market. A gated upscale community near the Beach Cities, with reasonable pricing (certainly less then $1 million), would be great for people who don't want to move out of the area but need one level living and would like a 55+ community atmosphere. It might be something for a developer to consider..


Anonymous said...

Kaye, if it pencils out, put together a business plan, pitch it to banks and investors, and you could get it built yourself!

Anonymous said...


I agree. Senior housing will be the next big thing. With boomers retiring, housing will be transformed for the next 30 years. The boomers who drove up prices since the early 70s will drive it down as they retire in droves.

After a 50%-60% correction in Manhattan Beach over the next 3-4 years, prices should continue a very slow multi-decade decline. Housing targeted toward retiring boomers will be one of the few bright spots in real estate for the next few decades.

Kaye Thomas said...


I don't have the patience to do this kind of thing anymore which is why I'm throwing it out here . But it would be nice if someone took the ball and ran with it..

Kaye Thomas said...

Anonymous 9:26,
When you are in the position where you have to deal with this in your family.. you will be praying to find a project like this close to home.

Guess we also aren't going to agree on the 50-60% cut in prices in MB..LOL