As it turns out, First Church of Christ is turning into a 12-unit townhome building. Last week, they debuted their model home. During today's broker's open house, I had the chance to tour the building and meet up with the developer. Even though it is not a condo project, I thought it was still worth checking out and let's be honest, there aren't exactly a stampede of new condos being announced every week like in the good old days (and yes, I appreciate those days are part of the reason we're in a recession but they were good if you liked writing about new condos).
Anyhow, 12 townhome style units are constructed within the church with concrete walls between the homes. They range from 1,543-2,622 square feet. Prices range from $925,000 to $1,575,000. So far, two homes are sold. One owned by the developer and another one sold as a raw shell unit. They expect to complete all the homes in August.
These 12 townhomes face the atrium level lobby (The Sanctuary). The homes range from 3 to 5 levels. The roof dome is visible from all the homes through the glass windows or skylights. The interior is designed by Sechrist Design Association, Inc. Buyers who are interested in buying the raw shell unit can bring in their own designer or work with Sechrist to create their own space.
A few things to know about this project:
1.) As a historic landmark, residences qualify for a 10 year property tax rebate.
2.) The building has a new roof. Electrical and plumbing are updated to meet the current codes. The developer has also retrofitted the building for earthquakes.
3.) Most homes come with two parking spots. For a few owners, they can even have their own garage door installed within the common garage.
4.) 6 homes have interior balconies facing the atrium level.
5.) Monthly maintenance fee is $50-75/month.
The interior of the model home has quite a combination of elements; concrete walls and floors, exposed brick and steel structures, glass panel for stairway and loft level, frosted doors, original stained glass windows and plaster work, and modern finishes for the kitchen and bathroom. Surprisingly, it works!
Overall, the project is definitely unique inside out. I'm really fond of the stained glass windows. It's like a piece of artwork hanging on the wall. Only some of them are operable and you don't get as much sunlight than clear glass. However, I was told by the sales team that they could be made operable and more lights can be installed if the buyer prefers it. The multi-level living is probably not for everyone. If residents can keep up the historic building with that low quoted monthly maintenance fee for the common areas and repairs, this could be another appealing factor for the building.