By JIM PARKER
The Post and Courier
New backers of the Tides condos are taking deliberate steps to renew interest at the posh mid-rise, having rescued it from hard times in the national housing slide.
The chief goal now: to complete sales for 50 original properties in the complex’s two newer buildings. Deals stalled and some buyers backed out during the real estate downturn, which started not long after the first tower filled up in 2007.
Colorado-based East West Partners, which is aligned with the development group that purchased a defaulted note on the 120-condo Mount Pleasant waterfront haven at the foot of the Ravenel Bridge last year, is heading the ramped-up sales effort.
“We got involved in the fall,” says Miller Harper, project manager for East West Partners.
At that time, the group kept things low-key, establishing a single-page website describing the property, briefly spelling out plans and encouraging potential buyers to stay in touch. In November, the backers opened an office on site and hosted condo owners including members of the Tides homeowners association.
Harper and others have continued to meet with existing condo holders — notably the 30 or so owners split among the two buildings with unsold units — to gauge their feelings about the Tides and outline future plans. About three-quarters of the 70 owners in all are full-time residents while the remainder rent out their condos various times of the year, he says.
“All of the owners are happy,” Harper says. “They were caught in unfortunate circumstances.”
In fact, the original developers had sold most of the condos in the second and third 40-unit buildings — which are more removed from the marsh than the first 40-unit mid-rise — but prospective buyers wihdrew their money a few years back when the two newer buildings fell behind their construction schedules. They were completed by 2008.
The new development group has spent months improving the Tides property, sprucing up hallways in the condo buildings, installing new flooring in a two-story poolside building with a concierge office upstairs and fitness center on the ground floor and preparing to install signs and redo the parking lot to improve the entrance off Wingo Way.
“It gives a sense of community to the neighborhood, the physical changes,” Harper says.
While headquartered in the Denver area, East West Partners is up to speed on the Charleston market. The venture was involved in developing 1 Vendue Range condos downtown and in 2012 built an office building as part of its 25 Calhoun project.
For the Tides effort, East West Partners set up a separate venture, Cooper River Realty. Mac Triplett, a veteran of the urban residential and resort market, is director of sales and marketing and heads up the Tides sales initiative.
East West Partners also has brought on Carolina One New Homes as a partner to beef up efforts to sell the remaining new units. Carolina One New Homes represents more than 35 new homes communities in the greater Charleston area. Patty Scott is the on-site director for Carolina One at the Tides.
Separately, Poston and Co. real estate agency in Charleston has been retained to manage the condos.
The sales team on Friday launched a marketing effort for a limited number of private residences — maybe 20 new listings in all. Prices start at just shy of $400,000 for a few ground floor one-bedroom condos to $1.2 million for three-bedroom penthouse residences. The various units are sized from 1,500 or so square feet to more than 3,000 square feet.
While the purchase figures are 30-35 percent off earlier list prices, “we see them gradually going up,” Triplett says.
Meanwhile, five condos are on the market for resale from $850,000 to $1.75 million. Various agents are handling the individual sales.
Will Jenkinson, broker-in-charge of Carolina One New Homes, says the outfit is “excited” to assist Cooper River Realty and East West Partners with the sales strategy.
“The Tides is a premier residential development, and with the strengthening of the Charleston real estate market, we looking forward to bringing this great product to market,” he says.
“We have seen strong initial interest in the property,” Harper says, “and adding Carolina One will enhance our sales and marketing efforts.”
Amenities at the Tides are numerous and varied. There are open floor plans, large windows, hardwood floors, high-end Viking appliances, private elevators, secured underground parking and “magnificent views,” the development group says.
Property attractions include the marsh-front pool, a spa and health club.
Triplett says buyer interest is coming from a variety of types: retirees, empty nesters, even families preparing for the future.
Property marketers agree there’s no shortage of prospective purchasers close by.
“I think a lot of interest is local,” Carolina One New Homes partner Kris Kordonowy says, Adds Harper, “A lot of local folks can sell their homes here and can make the move to the condos.”
For more about the Tides, visit www.TidesCharleston.com.
To reach the Tides from downtown Charleston, cross the Ravenel Bridge, staying to the left onto U.S. Highway 17 North. Take the first left, which is Magrath Darby Boulevard. Turn left onto Wingo Way. Go a short distance and The Tides is on the right.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or email@example.com.
TIDES CONDOMINIUMS AT A GLANCE:
Location: Mount Pleasant
Number of homes: 120
Square footage: 1,240-3,775
Look & feel: All three buildings have been occupied close to five years, which has brought about a neighborly feel with an active homeowners association. All-encompassing views are plenty: Every condo faces marsh, Charleston Harbor, the Ravenel Bridge or the Wando River. A walking trail connects the enclave to neighboring Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park. Entry road Cooper River Drive links up to Wingo Way-Harry Hallman Boulevard. Plush first floor lobbies mark each building, and all have access to the swimming pool, spa and health club. Thick cast-stone walls make the condos hurricane resistant. Elevators open into condos or to alcoves with doors to the units.
Homes on market: 20-25
List prices: $400,000-$1.75 million
Schools: James B. Edwards Elementary, Moultrie Middle, Wando High
Fun facts: The initial estimated cost of the Tides was $70 million in 2004; the six-story buildings, which have rooftop balconies, are close to 100 feet high.