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It’s become a familiar site in overbuilt markets such as South Florida and Southern California, high-end condo projects converting to rental units.
One prominent example 1010 Wilshire. The 17-story building was built in 1975 and served much of its life as an office building. When its major tenant, AT&T, didn’t renew its lease in 2004, the owners decided to convert the building into luxury condos.
Now 1010 Wilshire is opting for a new business plan—rentals for business people who want access to nearby downtown Los Angeles. The 227 fully-furnished suites feature laundry facilities, hardwood floors, fully equipped kitchens with stainless steel appliances, Jacuzzi tubs with sky line views. In short, things you’d expect to find in a condo building, not a hotel or apartment.
There are other perks: a private wine cellar, theater room, fire-pits and open-air billiard and foosball tables and a complimentary car service with chauffer for in-town destinations. Rental pricing has not been finalized.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.