River Dance Condo sales improving

Patten Sales & Marketing now has sold 40 of the condos, including 19 this year

jsalman@bradenton.comMarch 21, 2012 

BRADENTON -- Since acquiring 51 bank-owned units at the River Dance Condo in downtown Bradenton last summer, the wholesale land firm that cut the check has reported a steady wave of sales.

Patten Sales & Marketing now has sold 40 of the condos, including 19 this year, since its parent company purchased the properties in June from what is now Wells Fargo Bank.

Only about 10 condos remain at the eight-story, 115-unit building at 808 Third Ave. W. overlooking the Manatee River.

National Sales Manager Gino Taliento attributes the success to the list prices, which have dropped nearly 50 percent from those offered by the builder when the development first opened in late 2007.

He also believes the strong interest is an indication Bradenton’s condo market is on the rebound from the historic lows reached following the housing bust.

“We’re to the point where the new condo product has become scarce,” Taliento said during a tour Tuesday. “You can’t find these discount foreclosed units in great shape anymore.”

After selling 64 units at the River Dance Condo, the building’s developer, Promenade at Riverwalk II, defaulted on a $28 million construction loan.

National Land Partners, which specializes in reviving foreclosed condos, absorbed the units from the bank at a deep discount.

The 1,600-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bath units that were originally listed for about $350,000 now can be purchased for $199,900.

The two-story, three-bedroom townhouse units with about 2,200 square feet, are being sold for $350,000, down from the original list price of $650,000.

Because nobody has ever lived in the units, they’re basically considered the equivalent of new construction. All of the condos carry a $500 monthly maintenance fee.

Taliento said the amenities at River Dance also sets the condo complex apart. The building features a pool and spa overlooking the river; a parking garage; rooftop tennis and basketball courts; a fitness center; 25-seat movie theater; rentable guest units; and a social room.

Buyers also have been attracted by the adjacent Riverwalk project, which is on pace to be completed in October. The $6.2 million project will span a 1.5-mile area along the Manatee River, from east of the Green Bridge to past Manatee Memorial Hospital.

“We have kind of found a niche in the market,” Taliento said. “And this probably is the best and cleanest condo project we have ever done.”

Realtors say the condo market is slowly beginning to turn the corner from the lowly days of the housing crash. Just more than 200 condo sales were under contract in Manatee in February, a 34 percent increase from the same time last year, according to the Manatee Association of Realtors.

The median sales price on condos also has jumped 22 percent from a year ago to reach $115,500 in February, housing records show.

“More people are getting more used to what’s going on in the condo market,” said Marcus Vanzant, broker-owner of Marcus & Co. Realty.

“You can get a good condo for a decent price, and that makes sense for some people looking for that lifestyle.”

Josh Salman, Herald business writer, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @JoshSalman

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