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Condos? What condos?

Posted by John C. Drake April 12, 2007 03:42 PM

natickcondos.jpg

The Natick condos under construction earlier this year
(Globe staff photo by Bill Polo)

NATICK

Those two tall structures rising next to Natick Collection on Speen Street? They are the luxury condos the mall's developers are building to make a community out of its 500,000-square foot retail expansion.

Many potential condo buyers apparently don't realize that, said Claude Hoopes, of Boston's Otis & Ahearn residential marketing firm. The firm is handling the marketing of the Nouvelle at Natick residences for General Growth Properties, the mall developer.

"Without exception, when they look at those towers, they have no idea there's condos being built in those towers," he told Natick's Planning Board last night. "They don't understand where the Natick Collection ends and the Nouvelle at Natick begins."

So, he's asking for permission to have a 100-foot long banner placed atop the still-under-construction tower that faces the Massachusetts Turnpike, to drive the point home.

That General Growth Properties needs to aggressively market the condos bothered some planning board members who said they remembered the developer stating in earlier hearings that the high demand for luxury residences in the area would make keeping the towers full no problem.

"Why do you have to advertise this," asked Julian Munnich, a member of the planning board.

Hoopes said the confusion about the location, along with a slowing housing market, have hurt sales. He said about 20 of the 215 condo units have been pre-sold, so far. The company hopes to begin initial occupancy of the condos in June 2008.

The board put off until May 9 a decision on allowing the banner.

-- John C. Drake

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