Monday, October 27, 2008

A Spire In Bob's Empire Crumbles

Bisno-ess Not So Good For Controversial SanTana Developer

Originally posted by Gustavo Arellano in Notes from the Banana Republic, Shmortgage Board
October 21, 2008 2:07 PM

"What is it about SanTana's power structure that attracts them to moron landlords?" I wondered out loud as a friend drove up Broadway.

We passed by a meticulously landscaped building--pretty really. But when it was owned by mega-landlord Mike Harrah a couple of years ago, the structure seemed pulled from Beirut.

In fact, most of Harrah's buildings that aren't a manifestation of his ego (e.g. Orange County Pavilion, Santora Building, Original Mike's Restaurant) are similarly slummy (full disclosure, but a good one: Harrah was for years the Weekly's landlord, so we know what we speak of when we criticize Harrah's properties. Plus, his workers are little better than goons--again, an observation borne from experience).

I reiterated my remark as we drove past City Place, the lofts across the street from Main Place owned by Robert Bisno, the developer who loves to dick with SanTana politics by giving tens of thousands of dollars to dubious politicians and measures. Maybe Bisno should pay more attention to his business instead of trying to buy influence.

We drove into City Place, almost near completion. Most of the lofts were empty; some had auction signs. Yes: Bisno is so desperate to unload his City Place project that he's scheduled an auction for Nov. 9. Minimum bids are $295,000 for lofts once priced at $824,000.

Look: I know the housing market is down, but why on Earth do SanTana politicians continue to do business with men as delusional as Bisno and Harrah, who's still insisting he's going to build his 37-story One Broadway Plaza Freudian monument yet hasn't secured more than 50 percent occupancy at a time where "FOR LEASE" signs litter SanTana like Mexicans after Mass? You can find your answers in the campaign finance reports, which I'll report on later in the week!


(This is a post from

It looks like the vaunted City Place development isn’t quite working out for developer Robert Bisno.

Gustavo Arellano has written a post over at the OC Weekly’s Navel Gazing blog, revealing the fact that Bisno is dumping his overpriced City Place condos for as little as $295,000 - when they were supposed to fetch as much as $824,000! Maybe Bisno can get back some of the thousands of dollars he has given to Team Pulido?

The good news is that $295,00 condos ARE low priced enough to qualify as workforce housing! I don’t think that was what Pulido and Bisno had in mind. I also don’t think that working families are going to dig the overpriced yogurt at Pink Berry, or the tofu at the still not opened City Place Mother’s Market.

Here are some comments to the post

anon Says: October 23rd, 2008 at 10:44 am
Radio spots have been announcing this great auction in Santa Ana. Hope Mother’s survives.

Keoniana Says: October 23rd, 2008 at 10:51 am
Talking about a ‘can you hook a brother up’ scheme with these condos? That’s what Bisno gets for dealing with such a pathetic bunch of supposed civic leaders…

These condos were doomed even before construction started. If you kept track of how long it took for these condos to be constructed from start to finish, the writing was GLARING on those walls that there would be a problem in selling these suffocating boxes they call ‘condos’.

Even though there is a pretty significant reduction in price for these cracker boxes..the average working class resident of SA still cannot afford to purchase one due to the economic conditions currently sidetracking us all….

CQT96 Says: October 23rd, 2008 at 1:39 pm
What kind of idiot wrote that flyer up above? “Previous price” has nothing to do with current market value!

It doesn’t say what the association dues are either. I bet they are quite high too which reduces these units affordability.

After carefully considering all factors. I believe the lowest price unit in this disaster is only worth $137,000. It is more that I sold my 2B/2B unit at the Redwoods. That is how much I am willing to bid and pay on one of these low end units. I can go as high as $219,000 on the high end ones.Yes, those are my final offers!

BTW, what is the supposed draw to live at this complex? Looks to be just another failed attempt at “urban” living just like the units at 4th & French as was the case at Flower and First. Don’t these clowns ever learn?

Let us all thank Bisno for all these soon to be “affordable” condos supported by “Section 8″ funds.

anon teacher Says: October 23rd, 2008 at 1:45 pm
These things have always confused me. Is everyone who owns one supposed to live and work there? Or are most of them just supposed to be businesses? Who would want to live next door to something like, for example, the Harvey’s purse store? If they sell them for $100,000, I might bite though.

Danielle T. Says: October 23rd, 2008 at 2:17 pm
anon teacher..I would LOVE to live by Harveys.They have great bags.
HAHA..not the point I know but still fun.

Ben Says: October 23rd, 2008 at 10:40 pm
They have 2 tiny condos with a minimum reserve of $295,000, all the decent units are a minimum reserve of $405,000 - $495,000. Minimum bids that high says to me; this is not a real auction, but a marketing technique. Unfortunately $495,000 is still overpriced. The previous $750,000 was insane. I’m be interested in seeing if anybody actually shows up to this “auction.”
The assosiation dues are $160.00 to $220.00 an month.

I wonder what the prices will be once they foreclose on the developer…
F&E Fan Says: October 23rd, 2008 at 11:31 pm

I don’t understand the concept of a 1BR/2.5BA condo.I can see a 1 bedroom with a master bath en suite and half bath for guests, but what’s the point of the second FULL bath?That just seems ridiculous.

Ben Says: October 24th, 2008 at 10:35 am
“what’s the point of the second FULL bath?”

I agree. There isn’t a point. The bathroom on the bottom floor (where your business is suppose to go) is HUGE. It’s about the size of the retail space. It also has a GIANT stand-alone shower. Why? Complete waste of sq footage. I have noticed some of the buyers of these units (very few) ripping out this bathroom on the bottom floor, which is exactly what I would do.

1 comment:

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