Downtown Raleigh condos to go on auction block

Posted October 7, 2010 6:13 p.m. EDT
Updated October 7, 2010 7:05 p.m. EDT

— The developer of the West condominium tower in downtown Raleigh plans to auction off 36 units in the development at the end of the month.

The auction, which is set for Oct. 31, will include one- and two-bedroom condos ranging from 930 to 1,800 square feet. Bids will start at $95,000 to $260,000 on units originally priced at $269,000 to $670,000.

"It's a unique marketing opportunity, especially in this area," said Andrew Chung, of RealPro Realty.

Bidders must be pre-registered, and the developer has five days after the auction to accept, counter or reject the highest bid on each unit.

"There's a price that's going to be set that the seller has to establish in his head," Chung said.

Located at the corner of North and West streets, near the trendy Glenwood South district, the 17-story West development is most known for its rooftop swimming pool. It was one of several high-rise condo projects to sprout in downtown Raleigh during the housing boom in the middle of the last decade.

When the bottom fell out of the housing market – both locally and nationwide – three years ago, the West was left with 89 unoccupied units.

Some real estate agents think the auction will help speed the recovery in the market for downtown condos.

"They figured, if they're selling on average two units a month, that it's going to take them three years to let that inventory bleed out and to (get) the point where they feel like they hit bottom," Realtor Sharon Evans said.