Goodwyn Condo Interest Builds Quickly After Foreclosure
ERIC SMITH | The Daily News
GOOD VIEW FROM THE TOP: The rooftop of the Goodwyn Condominiums at 127 Madison Ave. provides a good view of Downtown Memphis. The outlook for the beleaguered building – foreclosed earlier this year – also looks good. Its unfinished condo units are being completed and the listing agent now has nine contracts on the property. -- PHOTOS BY ERIC SMITH
Momentum is building at the Goodwyn Condominiums, where Hobson Co. Realtors has inked contracts for nine of its unsold units just weeks after the property was reclaimed by the bank following a foreclosure. The 18-story tower at 127 Madison Ave. had endured a rough year. When its developer defaulted on a construction loan, First Tennessee Bank NA foreclosed on the property and eventually bought back 21 unsold units out of 24 plus a small commercial space for a combined $4.5 million. The bank then hired Metro Construction LLC to begin finishing 12 of those units and Hobson to sell them. So far, all is going well for both companies. Metro is on pace to finish the units by January and Hobson is seeing good traffic and interest from serious buyers.
Hobson founder and managing broker Joel Hobson had a feeling the units would move if they were listed at a lower price point and also if they were completely finished, rather than letting the buyer make all the decisions about flooring, countertops and cabinets. The building’s smaller, two-bedroom, two-bathroom units (two to a floor) now run $175,000 to $199,000, down from more than $300,000. And the building’s larger, three-bedroom, three-bathroom units (one to a floor) now run $399,000 to $499,000, down from $750,000 to $950,000 before. “A lot of people who have been looking, who lived out east and have been looking Downtown for a while, now they’re seeing an opportunity to buy these at reasonable prices,” Hobson said. “It shows there’s real demand there.”
Price is right
Hobson said the timing of the Goodwyn project also was good because of other condo projects Downtown have been selling well. Specifically, the condo developments of the Nettleton at 435 S. Front St. and River Tower at South Bluffs at 655 S. Riverside Drive each had sold out of their unsold units during recent auctions. Hobson figured the time was right for lightning to strike the Goodwyn. “With the Nettleton, with the Goodwyn, with the River Tower, people will buy if it’s priced right,” Hobson said. “These prices are substantially different (than the original listing prices), but these are not auction prices. These are better.”
INTERIOR UPGRADES: The interior units of the Goodwyn Condominiums at 127 Madison Ave. are being finished, so they’ll soon resemble this model unit. Of the building’s 24 condos, 21 are unsold. Metro Construction LLC is finishing the units, and Hobson Co. Realtors is selling the units.
Hobson said the goal is to finish all the floors, although the emphasis now is on the 13 unsold units on the bottom half of the building. The eight remaining units on floors 9 through 17 eventually will be finished like the half-floors, unless a buyer emerges beforehand and chooses something different. The penthouse on the 18th floor will remain untouched so a buyer can choose all the finishings for that unit. Lynda Biggs and Laurie McBride are the Hobson agents showing the Goodwyn. During a tour of the building last week, they pointed out some of its unique charms, such as the large lobby with an entertaining area, replete with “liquor lockers” so each resident can keep spirits on hand for parties. Other features include a courtyard to the west of the lobby and a conference room that is reachable by spiral staircase. And the roof contains a hot tub and party area, including a gas grill for cookouts.
If Hobson is successful with the Goodwyn’s remaining units, it will bring to an end the historic property’s roller coaster ride. Built in 1908, the building’s condo redevelopment began in 2006. The developers, 119 Madison Properties Tennessee LLC and Goodwyn Institute Properties LLC, ran into construction delays and other financial troubles, causing them to default on their loan. First Tennessee didn’t choose the auction route, but the bank saw a good future for the property, and last month the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement issued First Tennessee a $500,000 permit application to finish the first 12 of the Goodwyn’s unfinished condo units, all of which are on the bottom six floors of the 18-story building. First Tennessee executive Dave Dawson, who can see the Goodwyn from his office window, said Metro and Hobson were the perfect fit for turning around a building that struggled when residential and commercial real estate crashed. “Our goal is to sell it through Hobson and hopefully get the majority of our money back that way,” Dawson told The Daily News for an earlier article. “We’ve got a good team working on it for us. I can’t control what the marketplace will do, but we plan on it being successful.”