According to Landmark Lofts broker Steve Remmert, the idea behind the development was to provide quality housing for students at the University of Colorado-Boulder. However, the project was started four years ago — an inauspicious time for the luxury condo market.
“The timing couldn’t have been worse,” Remmert said. “Six months into the project, the economy started going south.”
Because of the poor economy, Landmark Lofts’ developers decided to kick-start sales by dropping unit prices by about 15 percent, Remmert said, to compensate for the poor economic climate. In recent months, sales have benefitted tremendously from the growth spurt in the downtown luxury-loft market. All the units now are sold.
According to Remmert, Landmark Lofts is 85 percent owner-occupied, with most of the purchases made by parents who bought the units for their children attending nearby CU.
“There’s always been a shortage of student rentals, and parents want their kids to live in something better during their life at CU,” Remmert said. “But toward the end of the project, a lot of investors bought units as well.”
With the scarcity of downtown condominium space, Remmert said investor interest remains keen, and one investor bought nine units in the building.
Prices at Landmark Lofts range from $185,000 for a 640-square-foot, one-bedroom unit to $630,000 for a 2,000-square-foot penthouse. Landmark Lofts has eight penthouses, as well as a commercial unit that is occupied by a coffeehouse.
All units include amenities such as on-site parking, while the four-bedroom and penthouse units include a fireplace. Landmark Lofts also has its own exercise facility and community-room area. Its biggest benefit, however, remains its prime location on College Avenue, within walking distance of the university.
“The amenity we were selling is its proximity to campus,” Remmert said. “Putting in a pool would have been a waste of money, because most kids use the pool at CU.”
While the location was a huge selling point, Landmark Lofts’ success remains an example of how yet another luxury downtown Boulder condominium development has been able to sell out completely in a chancy economic market.
“There’s a whole paradigm in the Boulder market that’s difficult to understand,” Remmert said. “Our market is tugging along at historically low inventory — almost as low as I’ve seen in the last 10 years. And sales continue to grow, with multiple offers being made on properties. It feels like a whole new market.”
Remmert attributes this growth partly to today’s low interest rates. He also believes that, during the months when the economy was the most sluggish, many homeowners opted to pull their houses off the market and rent them, waiting for a more advantageous time to sell.
“It’s like the car industry; people got tired of sitting on the sidelines, waiting,” Remmert said. “But having a 3.75 percent interest rate now is extremely beneficial, so if you’ve been sitting on the sidelines, then now is the time to do it.
“A lot of purchase decisions are confidence-driven,” he added. “The current low inventory has provided the confidence, so it’s all trending in a positive direction.”