Dept of getting what you pay for: "as-is" units at Granville Gardens

Click to enlarge

Condo conversions can do terrible things to vintage buildings: developers often shove hulking breakfast bars into what were nice, modestly sized kitchens and reconfigure one-bedrooms into tiny, awkward two-bedrooms. Not at Granville Gardens, a 40-unit vintage conversion at 1215 W Granville Ave in Edgewater, where the units are being sold as-is. Developer Michael Lee, of Lee Street Development, says, “When renters move out, maid services come in and clean,” – and that’s about it.

That means buyers get original layouts and finishes, such as wood windows (stained and varnished, not painted), subway tile, hardwood floors and crown moldings, at lower prices than they’d find at a gut-rehab or a new-construction project. A few remaining studios are in the $130s and one-bedrooms are in the $140s and $150s, according to Michael Thomas of Coldwell Banker, which is marketing the project. The two-bedrooms are sold out, and 16 units have sold overall after almost two months on the market, he says.

“Some of [the units] need a little TLC,” says Thomas. “The owners coming in have a fantastic opportunity to build some equity doing their own work.”

To show off the condos’ potential, Lee says he invested between $5,000 and $6,000 to trick out a model (pictured) with new paint, lighting fixtures and other improvements.

But – and this could be a big but – Lee is making no effort to reassure buyers that these condos don’t have defects. Read the “Buyers’ as-is acknowledgment and agreement for all units,” which despite its flippant tone is an actual legal document approved by his lawyer, he says. An excerpt:

Seller does not offer to sell these premises at a discount because he is benevolent or because he loves his Buyers. It is only by the economies of an “as-is” offering that this lower price is possible. The Seller has done little or nothing to improve the premises beyond its pre-existing condition as a rental apartment building. This lack of improvement minimizes the unit cost for the Seller which translates to a substantial savings for the Buyer. The Buyer may either employ his savings elsewhere or undertake any desired improvements or repairs to his unit. Under no circumstances shall the Buyer attempt to “double-dip” against the Seller by claiming any manner of defect or implied warranty in the premises.