Scott Boyers is taking a gamble that’s rare these days: He’s developing a high-end condo project.
He’ll soon break ground on the Tiber, a 15-condo development near Libbie and Grove avenues that will cost about $8 million to build.
Condos at the property, located at 510 Libbie Ave., will run between $600,000 and $1 million.
“This project bucks the current economic trends by appealing to an affluent buyer, less affected by winds of the economy, who sees the advantages of acting now to secure their place,” said Boyers, a developer and a broker with CBRE.
Construction on the project will begin early next spring. It’s a joint effort between Boyers and local builder John George, who will be the general contractor on the project.
As is required for condo projects, the Tiber last week registered with the state, meaning the units can begin to be sold. Berkeley Fergusson and Jennifer Fergusson of Long & Foster will be the real estate agents marketing the homes.
New condo projects have been scarce in the Richmond area since the economy tanked, but this year developers have started to dip their toes back in the water.
In April, BizSense reported that Gumenick Properties was restarting its stalled Monument Square project, betting that shortage of condo inventory had created a pent-up demand.
Rick Jarvis, a broker with One South Realty, said One South has sold about 10 condos in the 69-unit Ginter Place project in recent weeks. Jarvis said One South is negotiating closings on two more condos there, which will bring the development to more than half full.
In February, well-known local businessman Jim Ukrop sold almost $5 million of his stake in a local bank in order to pay off a construction loan at Ginter Place to help get things moving again.
Financing for buyers of condos has been hard to come by since the real estate bust because the values of the units have fallen so dramatically. That left banks hesitant to lend on such properties. Jarvis said condo values have fallen by about 30 percent since the downturn.
But Jarvis said Boyers’s latest project is likely to succeed because of the location and the prices.
“For that kind of a project, the buyers will likely have just sold a house and will have some equity,” Jarvis said. “In fact, some of them will just be buying them in cash, and that eliminates the financing headache all together.”