Press

The Park Bankers Hill Rises Above Its Critics

by Ray Huard

May 20, 2019

Project Has Sold About 61 Of Its 60 Condos

Despite being panned with an Onion award for its architecture, the pricey The Park Bankers Hill condominiums are an apparent hit with buyers who are more interested in its views and amenities than snarky reviews.

The snub from the San Diego Architectural Foundation “didn’t hurt us at all,” said Chris Beucler, chief operating officer of Zephyr, developer of The Park.

As of mid-May, 41 of the 60 condominiums in the $175 million project at 2855 Fifth Ave. have been sold, including a $5.9 million penthouse that Beucler said was among the first to go.

Beucler is betting that the rest will be sold by the end of the year.

“It’s a very luxurious building with direct access that very few other buildings in San Diego have,” Beucler said.

Most of the units have their own elevator.

“You go up the elevator and the doors open and you are in your home. It’s really the difference between a hotel atmosphere and a home atmosphere,” Beucler said. “Typically, in a mid or high-rise, you go up the elevator and you go down the hall just like you would in a hotel.”

Among the condos still on the market are two penthouses going for a tad over $4 million – one at the northwest corner and the other at the northeast corner of the 14-story tower portion of the project.

The six townhomes that face Balboa Park were snatched up early on since The Park was finished about eight months ago.

Buyers have been a mix, but most are 55 to 70 who’ve made their mark and either want to downsize from a big house they no longer need or are looking for a second home.

“They’re definitely not starter homes, for sure,” Beucler said. “We’ve got some young professionals that have done very well.” The San Diego residential real estate market in general has been cooling, and Norm Miller, Hahn Chair of Real Estate Finance at the University of San Diego, said that’s especially true for pricier property where potential buyers have been affected by changes in the tax code that reduce the amount of housing costs they could write off.

“The million market and up are softened by the tax law changes,” Miller said. Beucler said that hasn’t affected his sales.

“The majority of what I have to sell is $2.5 million and up,” Beucler said. “That buyer is not impacted by the same sort of standards.”

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