So what’s happening with the failed Antares projects near Western Junior High? A reader wanted to know and so I asked my friend Frank Farricker who knows everything about local real estate news and is always an unimpeachable source of information unless you want to know (a) how many houses will sell this year (Frank, we will sell more than fifty – really) or (b) politics. Frank was dropped on his head repeatedly as a baby and as the result became a Democrat. We love and cherish him anyway and of course, pray for his soul (in fact, I voted for him when he ran for First Selectman, but that was only because I thought the job would keep him off the streets and out of trouble). Here’s what he says happened to the Antares’ dream of becoming residential kings:
The buildings are owned by Lehman Brothers, who, in its most simplistic form, took the property back in December, 2007. They then hired a company called RADCO (www.radco.us) to execute a “turnaround” strategy. RADCO only turned around Putnam Green, in which there was a significant expense to fix up apartments and rent. I understand they are about 60% full, with rents hovering in the $3-$4000 a month range.
They just left Weavers Hill alone along with the 15 or so senior tenants that beat Antares. There was a rumor that it was for sale, but that was knocked down by Marsal and Alvarez, the bankruptcy trustee charged with disposing of Lehman assets. They will probably begin the cleanup to Weavers Hill soon, then when it is finished they will try to sell $2 million condominiums, because there is no other logical way it makes sense to pour another $50 million into something that has already lost $360 million. Yes, between the purchase, the fees, the construction, the marketing, the lawyers, the new operators with their construction, marketing, fees and lawyers $360 million has been poured into those two projects.
I’m not the real estate whiz that Frank is but if those condos ever sell for anything close to $2 million, I’ll give up the practice and go back to lawyering, a horrible fate indeed.