Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Utopia That Wasn't

847 Pine [Unit# ???], 90813
Price: $249,000
Beds: 1
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 980
$/Sq. Ft.: $254
HOA: $226
Year Built: 2003
MLS#: P659710
On Redfin: 316 days
Down Payment: $50,000
Income Requirement: $71,000
Monthly Payment: $1,500
Description: Check out what a live/work loft space can be. Use this very hip/chic space as your living and work space, or one or the other. It's up to you! The Courtyard Lofts are 16 spaces adapted from 2 retail spaces by the esteemed firm Interstices. This project won the coveted AIA design award and is an oasis in the city. The 16 units surround a tranquil courtyard beautifully landscaped, with a fountain soon to be completed. Inside you will find a very functional living space sharing the owner's photography business. Appliances include the stove dishwasher and microwave. There is a laundry area with hookups for your convenience. This is an end unit with a nice patio in the front for socializing with your neighbors. A short few steps will take you to your 1 car garage. There has been an added sleeping loft to create more storage space. Come and check out this very unique space today!

Market-Chasing 101:

Jun 19, 2009 - Price Changed $249,000
Jun 10, 2009 - Price Changed $299,000
May 07, 2009 - Price Changed $375,000
Mar 07, 2009 - Price Changed $395,000
Oct 08, 2008 - Listed $455,000

-$206,000 in price reductions and no action. That tells us a few things:

1) This short seller is a complete tool. The sheer idiocy (and ego) involved in asking $455,000 for a one-bedroom in this 'hood is simply astounding,
2) More price reductions are on the way, and
3) The only people who give a shit about "AIA design awards" are the AIA.

Maybe I have a different idea of what a live/work property means, but this makes no sense to me:

"Inside you will find a very functional living space sharing the owner's photography business."

I have to share my living space with someone else's photography business? Or someone else owns the "work" part of my "live" section? You might want to clarify that, son.

Worse yet, there aren't any friggin' windows! I've seen more inviting mausoleums!

And a ground-floor patio "for socializing" with neighbors? What about privacy?

Just what were developers thinking when they overbuilt all of this overpriced, overdesigned stuff in downtown?

It's like these developers convinced themselves that if they just build enough overpriced units in shady areas, societal wants, needs, and priorities would somehow shift tremendously. It's as if they believed they could create a focus-grouped utoptia where an endless supply of trust fund hipsters would eschew privacy ("high-density urban living at its finest!"), disregard personal and property safety (because it's "cool" to live in gritty downtown), sell their cars and happily share public transportation with derelicts and mental patients. Really?

That's some ballsy social-engineering you tried there, gang. Hats off!

Seriously! Isn't that the world they were essentially betting would be created? That paying beucoup bucks for "city living" and suffering through the frustratingly awful aspects of downtown life would suddenly become an overwhelming trend? It's not as if they were meeting some huge demand--it seems more like a case of "If You Build it, They Will Come."

It's obvious that attempts to gentrify downtown Long Beach have failed miserably. It's just not going to happen the way they imagined. Now we're left with these monsterpieces sitting smack dab in the middle of substandard neighborhoods, complete with the arrogant expectation that people should somehow appreciate (and be happy to pay top-dollar for) all this pompous horseshit.

This ain't Brooklyn, fools.

But don't take my word for it. As it turns out, massive price cuts still aren't enough to prevent these live/work ground-floor "lofts," built way too far inland, from spending an eternity on the market, waiting in vain for a major societal shift in attitude toward piss-stained bus seats and paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for the joy of walking out your front door and seeing a homeless lady take a dump on the sidewalk.


  1. I actually think the lack of windows might be the smartest architectural detail of this place given its location.

    Thanks for profiling this complex. There have been several listings (all short sales) here, and I've been puzzled by it for some time. I can't fathom what these buyers were thinking... we just moved to Long Beach and the first thing everyone said to us was, "If you're going above 7th, bring your gun."

    Anyway... for all the people that got duped it's just another "HOA implosion countdown! Run for your lives! The loss assessments are coming!"

    Great blog, BTW. I enjoy it tremendously.

  2. El Be..
    thats -206k.

  3. Anon, "If you're going above 7th, bring your gun." GREAT line.

    Wizard, good catch. Fixed in post.

  4. El Bee, boy that vacation did you well!!!!

    You are in RARE form this week.

    MAAAAAAJOR kudos, my good man!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I love hearing truth being spoken boldly. It's refreshing like a spring water river.

    You exactly captured the background of the elitist/liberal/socialist mindset, that definitely was the influence behind these designed plans.

    While I like nice and stylish architecture, lack of privacy, ignorance of environment, and other such things, are all too common in the RIDICULOUS mindset, of the liberal utopians of this day, whom think that they have the answer to everything (after all, they are smarter than the rest of us, wink wink), but when confronted with the harsh realities of REAL life, they just fill in the blanks with a bunch of make-believe feel-good-ism.

    I must say though, it's kinda sweet to see all of this PC liberal utopian LUNCACY, falling apart at the seems, and invoking the wrath of the sleeping dog/common folk.

    By the way, if you think THAT is looney, you really should checkout Santa Monica, the city in which I work.

    These people are paying way MORE to live over here, and yet the place is a homeless mecca.

    And you are not exaggerating on the "homeless woman defecation" story. I've actually seen that NUMEROUS times, and it even happens right on the front walkway of our building.

    Nothing like walking up to your office in the morning, and seeing a fresh hot pile of shit.

    THAT is why we pay big bucks to dwell here, afterall!!!

    Goodness, somebody please stop the bus!!!!!!!!!

    Save us El Bee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Lead us to victory!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Nail has been hit on the head. I can't speak on this property specifically. But if I were 'Joe' from outside LB and looking into buying in DT LB, and I read this post, I would be thinking, "this guy is just exaggerating". That's why he says "don't take my word for it". So take Anton's.
    None of this is false. None of this is hyperbole. He captured what I think when I step out my door each day. You may need the gun if you're above 7th, but it is still strongly suggested below. Not worth it. Look elsewhere. Not f-ing worth it. You've been warned.

  6. These are some of the most hilarious comments I have read on this blog! Such true statements... and I too am getting tired of walking over the multiple piles of people poo every morning!!!

  7. Please recall that nitwit, The Honorable Beverly O'Neil, was quoted saying great things about this project when it broke ground. Wonder how much Redevelopment Agency grant $$$ the Developer walked off with.

  8. Beautiful prose and spot on analysis el Bee!

    If you want to live in a nice place in Long Beach, move to a nice neighborhood in Long Beach. There are plenty, but not around downtown.

  9. Mike in LBC,

    re: "You exactly captured the background of the elitist/liberal/socialist mindset, that definitely was the influence behind these designed plans."

    I guarantee you that good old-fashioned capitalists were behind building these units. Using borrowed funds from an FDIC [read:taxpayer]-backed institution no doubt. I'm sure the banks and brokers all made nice fees too. Capitalism at work. Feel better now?

  10. Yes, liberals/socialists participate (somewhat) in Capitalism. That's why California is bankrupt.

    And it's the elitist/utopian mentality, that wants to push everyone together, and make us live like the Japanese (all pushed together with no breathing space), thinking that we'll all "see the light", and become good little utopians like them.

    Only thing about the utopians, is that THEY never live like they preach.

    It's always "do as I say not as I do" with them.

    Hence you have the Mayor of LA (another liberal/socialist/utopian) lecturing the entire LA region to conserve water, and observe the restrictions, and yesterday he was just exposed for having his mansion with the sprinklers gushing at 2am on restricted days.

    Or then there's nature's best friend Al Gore, lecturing everybody about conservation and pollution (another liberal/elitist/utopian, by the way), while he flies around on a private jet (just like the evil greedy corporate execs) spewing pollution, and his home using all kinds of extra utilities (I don't remember the stats, but his mansion uses something like the same as half the city).

    Let me know if you'd like to continue. =->