Pictured: Photos of unit 10, a 2,298 square foot two bedroom asking $1.295 million; various model units shots via Sabine
Two weeks, everyone met Legendary Place, a new condo project on Detroit Street from Pasadena-based Legendary Development. Now, let's meet another Legendary project, The Sabine on South Lake Avenue in Pasadena. More upscale than its Hollywood sibling, sister Sabine offers 12 residences priced from $1.125 million to $1.6 million. All the units are two and three-bedrooms, and two residences have closed sales, according to Hilton & Hyland Christie's Great Estates agent Gary Gold. Given the location and the prices, we thought the residences would be drawing empty nesters downsizing from big air-conditioned homes in Pasadena, but Gold says it's actually more middle-aged buyers who have come through. In one case, the buyer bought the townhome as a second home (the buyer races horses at nearby Santa Anita). Neigh! Meanwhile, in the course of checking out all these Legendary buildings, an interesting pattern became clear: Legendary's portfolio (they have six properties from Glendale to Beverly Glen, all in various stages of development) are all formerly distressed sites.
It works like this: When a developer is floundering, Legendary steps in, buying the construction loan, for example, and then foreclosing. (A similar process was seen when CIM Group acquired The Palihouse.) Additionally, Legendary Investors Group is the group that bought seven construction loans on Meruelo Maddux's properties. Twice, they've tried to foreclose on all those properties, and twice, a bankrutpcy judge has swatted them away.
So, Legendary Development are really sharks---their business model is based on buying distressed properties. But who knows how many more of these Sabine-like deals they can pull off. "The pool of distressed properties is shrinking," says Surjit Soni, managing member of Legendary Investors Group, and one of the principals of Legendary Development, LLC.
· Sabine [Official Site]
· Legendary Development [Official Site]