Willow Lake Apartments are going condo – with an affordable twist.
Newly formed Esperanza LLC will sell its newly acquired 218 units at 2500 10th Ave. N. for rock-bottom prices starting at $109,900.
Local prices for condo conversions have frequently started at above $200,000.
Lennard Kligler, one of two businessmen behind the $13.5 million purchase, said in a written statement that he envisions the renovated 19-acre property, newly dubbed Esperanza, as a “tropical enclave” open to working-class families. Kligler and Arnold Mullen paid about $62,000 per unit.
“Wages have not kept pace with the huge increases in home prices,” said Kligler.
A starting price just slightly north of $100,000 puts the Lake Worth-area condos within range of a person making Palm Beach County’s median income of about $64,400.
The selling price range stands out in this market, which has enormously expensive housing, even with real estate prices coming down in recent months.
As it stands now, home prices in Palm Beach County are so high that 90 percent of the workforce can’t afford to buy the median-priced home, according to a study by Palm Beach County’s Housing Leadership Council.
Early in 2006 an attorney for the apartments’ former owner, developer E. Llwyd Ecclestone, offered to sell the complex to Palm Beach County for almost $15 million, $1.5 million more than Esperanza is paying, saying it “might be ideal for the county’s workforce housing program.”
At that time, prices were still near record highs. The problem was that the hurricane-damaged complex generated complaints by residents of untreated mold in carpets and walls.
Kligler has pledged “major improvements” to the complex.
SOURCE: Palm Beach Post