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Axis Becomes Mozaic, Switches to Rentals

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, September 06, 2006, at 09:59AM

A few months ago Standard Pacific suspended sales on Axis, saying odd things about how they had told people they didn't yet have title to the land. The Times reports today that SP is out of the development and that the units will now be run as rental apartments by a different company.

The article presents this as a sign that Downtown's condo market is no longer as hot as it used to be. That may or may not be, but I have a tough time seeing Axis (now Mozaic) as a bellwether for Downtown condo sales.

To start, it's a tough location. Union Station is Downtown'ish, but it's not Downtown. You don't have the same amenities popping up in that neighborhood that you do in the Historic Core and South Park. Perhaps someday you will, but not yet. If you work Downtown yes you're now close to the office, but you're still going to end up driving or taking the train to your building.

When I look at Axis I see a very property that shares more fundamentals with the Puerta Del Sol TOD in Lincoln Heights than it does with other Downtown condos. That development is structured for workforce housing, with units selling in the $200 - $300,000 range. Axis was trying to get $600,000 for similar construction two Gold Line stops closer to Downtown.

That said, the building looks nice from the outside and I hope to see it successful as a rental property. Downtown needs more rentals in the midst of this condo boom. While this isn't necessarily the way I want to get them, the result's good.

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