The failure of these projects is a combination of market conditions and their own troubled history. The Sabine is a troubled 10-story office building conversion project at Sabine and West Fifth streets that was completed in 2007. With 44 of the 80 units unsold and litigation between residents and the developer over sued faulty and unsafe elevators and leaks, sales of units have slowed dramatically. With the current foreclosure, an agreement is apparently underworks that will transfer control of the building to the building’s homeowner association. With the majority of units unsold, an auction is a likely next step to raise additional capital to make the lenders whole.
Star Riverside has had an equally difficult time getting off the ground. As an expensive project located on the wrong side of the lake and the wrong side of I-35, Star Riverside has been repeatedly reinvented as the result of changing market conditions and neighborhood concerns. Construction was halted two months ago, with only the parking garage about 80 percent complete. With prices starting at more than $600K, the low-rise project East of I-35 and South of downtown faces tough odds for success. With the economic decline, the project has lost key financial support.
Despite the bad news, both projects claim that deals will be reached before the projects are but up for sale in the January 5 foreclosure auction. For Sabine, the news is another blow to existing residents who will likely see the remaining units sold at a a significant discount. For Star Riverside, it’s hard to believe the project can be created without a significant repositioning that better matches pricing and configuration to the location and current market conditions.