Monday, September 14, 2009

Developer resorts to auction for Natick Collection condos

Bankrupt mall operator General Growth Properties is planning to auction off more than 40 high-end condominiums attached to the upscale Natick Collection with minimum bids starting at $160,000, about 70 percent below previous asking prices.

The 215-unit project, known as Nouvelle at Natick, opened last year and was supposed to usher in a new era of suburban living - marrying shopping and luxury - without the hassles and high prices of the city. But with only 37 of the residences sold or under contract, GGP has hired Accelerated Marketing Partners to handle the auction of 42 units on Oct. 4 as a way to jump-start sales and get some desperately needed cash.

“The homes are rather spectacular, but clearly there was a disconnect between what the consumer wanted to pay and what the developer wanted to get,’’ said Jon Gollinger, East Coast chief executive and cofounder of AMP, who added that the auction will determine the value for the remaining 100-plus residences.

Nouvelle is one of about 10 major developments in Massachusetts that have hit the auction block as the housing market unraveled over the past few years.