Ivy Quad Update: January 2011

by Nick Molnar on January 21, 2011

Ivy Quad is one of several new developments building condominiums and townhouses near the University of Notre Dame, and the first I’ll  profile in what I plan to write as a series on the various projects building housing around campus.

It is east of and adjacent to campus, on Twyckenham Drive across from the Eck Tennis Pavillion.

The total development calls for 60 units in ten buildings on the 2.6 acre site, spread over three phases.

Here are a few candid and never retouched photos I took on January 3rd. The grass shown is the Quad in the siteplan above.

As you can see, phase 1 is mostly built. There are two units left in the “drywall stage” so that the buyers can select their own cabinets, colors and other finishes. They’ll take about six weeks to complete once sold. The developer told me he has closed 21 sales and has one contract that hasn’t yet closed. Here are the closed sales that I have independently confirmed in the county’s public records:

  • 18424 Killeen Ct in May of 2009 for $238,765
  • 18426 Killeen Ct in June 2009 for $222,840
  • 18430 Killeen Ct in July 2009 for $261,100
  • 18420 Killeen Ct in August 2009 for 246,445
  • 18428 Killeen Ct in March 2010 for $320,000 / $100,000 in personal property
  • 18414 Killeen Ct in May 2010 for $385,000
  • 18418 Killeen Ct in May 2010 for $385,000
  • 18428 Killeen Ct (again) in June 2010 for $350,000 / $25,000 in personal property
  • 18422 Killeen Ct in July 2010 for $375,000
  • 18408 Killeen Ct in July 2010 for $268,476.87
  • 18421 Tulla Ct in August 2010 for $254,000
  • 18425 Tulla Ct in August 2010 for $270,000
  • 18417 Tulla Ct in August 2010 for $388,345
  • 18416 Killeen Ct in September 2010 for $487,689.01 / $10,000 in personal property
  • 18412 Killeen Ct in October 2010 for $236,660 / $5,000 in personal property
  • 18415 Tulla Ct in November 2010 for $389,800 / $70,000 in personal property

That’s about $5 million in confirmed, closed sales. I also have copies of another 4 deeds, indicating closed sales, but I don’t yet have the sales prices. So, whether you use my confirmed number of 19 closed sales, or the developer’s 21, I think you can call phase 1 a success. It’s mostly built and mostly sold.

Plans call for the construction of phase 2 to begin in February. It will consist of 18 units in three buildings. The plans have been tweaked for phase 2: the smaller units are gone – now they will have 4 bedrooms and 3.5 or 4.5 baths and a different floor plan than earlier units. I’m told prices for phase 2 units will start in the low or mid $300’s.

Phase 3 is currently slated for 2012.

Depending how you calculate, Ivy Qad is about 1/3 complete: one of three phases is nearly done and at least 19 of 60 units have sold at prices from the $230s to almost $500k.

At this point I’d call Ivy Quad viable. While the plans may continue to be adjusted as future phases are built, you can get a clear sense of what the community will feel like upon completion. And even if construction stopped now, Ivy Quad should work as a community with continuing appeal. It’s important to understand how long construction might continue around you, both for noise issues and because it is difficult to resell if you are competing against the builder selling brand new units. But now, it’s probably more important to compare the costs, covenants, location, floorplans and other facets of the development with the other communities near Notre Dame.

If you’re looking at homes near Notre Dame, I’d like to hear from you. After a quick chat or exchange of e-mails to help you understand your options, we can see if there’s a way for me to help you. I try to make these posts informative and useful, but I hope you’ll take note of this very smart, if generic, advice.  Do your research before you part with your money, even if it’s not by calling me.


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Irish Eyes January 23, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I’m not sure I agree that I’d call the project “viable”. With about 30% of the project sold, the entire cost of the land and development was done upfront. That makes development economics difficult since although buildings built in phases, the development itself was not.

“They will also lose the siding for full masonry construction – a smart move since the back of these units will be visible from Burdette Street and that will make the entire complex more attractive. ”

– Huh? Their website shows Phase II fronting Burdette with the garages facing the inside of development.

I would also strongly advise them to make the Twyckenham frontage Phase II. That will keep the sales momentum going. I understand why they had to build the center buildings first but building along Burdette next isn’t wise.

I will say great job on hunting down the sales….buyers in this market would be wise to consult with you regarding making an informed purchase decision.

What was the average price/s.f. (not including personal property)? Was the personal property included in the sales price or had you subtracted it?

My sobering assessment posts seem to be confirmed “South Bend in Newsweek’s list of top 10 dying cities”…just saying’. This recession is kicking the area when it’s down.

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Nick Molnar January 23, 2011 at 1:20 pm

I’m using “viable” to describe the situation for buyers, not the builder. I think that even if nothing else happened at Ivy Quad except some more grass was planted, people would want to own there and units could be resold. It would be more like River Point, a small complex with a few units that can be resold, than Keenan Court, where resale is proving difficult for at least one owner.

Thanks for catching my error. It’s been deleted. I assumed the design would focus around the quad and I should have looked twice.

Prices are straight from the sales disclosures – I did not subtract personal property from the sales prices.

As far as Newsweek, I’ll admit that I’m biased but I disagree. Their metric of declining population under 18 makes sense on paper, but it doesn’t gel with what I experience living here. I’ll call it as inaccurate as when The Today Show said South Bend is the top city in the US for bargain real estate and ignore them both. National news isn’t likely to get these stories right (or really care if they do). South Bend isn’t thriving and it isn’t dying. Question the motives of anyone who tells you either.

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Irish Eyes January 23, 2011 at 2:16 pm

OK – Although Ivy Quad would look odd with just the center four buildings. The Twyckenham frontage buildings along with the quad buildings would be OK. I would strongly recommend they build the Twyckenham frontage buildings next.

My critique of the viability of the Ivy Quad development has nothing to do with whether or not I like the development…I really like the exterior brick detail and the creative floorplan planning by the architect….hat’s off to them for sure. My critique is purely economic…and that includes competition from other projects.

To clarify, for example, 18428 Killeen Ct in March 2010 for $320,000 / $100,000 in personal property, are you saying the actual sales price was $220,000 for the unit if you subtract out the $100,000 in personal property or are you saying the unit sales price was $320,000 and the buyer also purchased $100,000 in personal property? If it is the later, it smells fishy.

I see the Newsweek article and The Today Show as pointing in the same direction. Michiana is in a long decline and the recent recession pushed it a bit downhill quicker. Bargain real estate is a sign of decline…over supply and/or lack of demand. In this case, more of a lack of a demand. Look at the high end home reales (and new construction) in the area….OUCH. It really is a severe depression in that segment. What gets snapped up? Under $50K homes with a lot going Section 8.

I always sorta liked River Point a bit too. Keenan Court resales? Do you mean resale (singular)? How many actual got sold from the developer to an actual buyer (not to some LLC or something)? Clearly Keenan Court was a product of the real estate bubble thinking…also focused on the Notre Dame buyer. The Notre Dame buyer had the investment component in his/her purchase decision. That is now practically non-existant.

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Nick Molnar January 25, 2011 at 11:26 am

Eyes- I always appreciate your comments. They keep me digging.

Ivy Quad:
The sale at 18428 Killeen was for $420,000. The $100,000 likely included furniture, an elevator, entertainment centers, etc. My numbers are from the sales disclosure recorded with St. Joseph County.

I haven’t broken down Ivy Quad by $/sf yet, though I think it’s fairly straightforward to tell which sales are the smaller Clares, and which are the mid-sized Ardeens. I don’t believe they have sold their very-large Laragh yet.

Keenan Court:
Keenan Court had one sale in the MLS, 911 Keenan Court. It sold for $166,325 in May 2008 and is listed for resale now at $134,900.

On the decline of Michiana:
I probably don’t have the handle on all of Michiana I’d need in order to peg its prospects. But I have made bets with my own money on South Bend real estate several times and profited each time. It’s not a single market and some pieces are doing very well. Find me a bargain in Harter Heights.

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Positive January 24, 2011 at 1:15 pm

The article from Newsweek was misleading becuase it did not account for the population shift from South Bend to Granger, Mishawaka, Edwardsburg, etc for new homes being built by developers. The low cost of land has led to a lot of sprawal.

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Nick Molnar January 25, 2011 at 11:35 am

Agreed.

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Matt Creviston January 26, 2011 at 10:57 am

Don’t give up on SB yet. My job has me at the pulse of the area (leasing retail , office and warehouse). Over the past 6 months we have had incredible success filling our buildings, many with new companies from outside the area. If we could get the political climate to swing to business friendly side of things I think we could turn things around tremendously here.

Also, I agree with positive. A 3% decline in population in SB is around 3500 people. The population of Granger alone has gone from about 10K to 25K over that time period. I can say that many of my neighbors, including myself, work in SB. Also, homes that pop up for sale in my subdivision seem to sell pretty rapidly, even in this climate.

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Irish Eyes January 26, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Matt Creviston et al…. That’s the point. You, others, educated people with jobs don’t live within the South Bend city limits. There is clearly a “Flight from South Bend” going on…South Bend proper may have reached a tipping point in a nearly irreversible downward spiral. Those that receive the benefits of the city aren’t contributing back (i.e., taxes, community involvement) like they would if they lived within the city limits. The county as a whole is a different story (albeit one that is stagnant on a long term slide overall).

Newsweek didn’t condemn the entire county….just South Bend as a dying city. Youth population trends are a pretty darn good forward looking indicator for cities, countries, etc. Combine that with graduation rates, the west side, and other business flight and South Bend is becoming a bit depressing. And yes, leadership in government is one large factor in the trend…just like in business. Failure to see the opportunities and trends and translating that into action is critical. Even the college football hall of fame…..SO CLOSE TO ND….couldn’t make a go of it.

This isn’t a love it or hate it emotional thing….objectively, it is what it is. And what South Bend is ain’t pretty right now.

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Nick Molnar January 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm

It’s interesting that this conversation developed on this post. Ivy Quad’s developer is also building a townhouse project in downtown South Bend, the East Bank Townhomes. Maybe he’ll weigh in with any insight he’s gained concurrently building two projects; one focused on Notre Dame buyers and one in the heart of South Bend.

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Irish Eyes January 26, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Yes….and perhaps on Keenan Court too. The “same” developer there too (essentially the same, you know what I’m talking about).

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Positive January 31, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Irish Eyes, an attack on South Bend is an attack on the whole community because they are all related through that wonderful term…..Michiana. Poor journalism like the article put forth by Newsweek does cause damage. It is hard to quantify but there is absolutely a cost.

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Positive February 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm

With 18 units in 6 buildings, I get the impression this will work out to a unit per floor. How will this work from a parking standpoint when you have 2 garage doors per building? Wider building so there will be 3 garage doors per building?

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Irish Eyes February 8, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Positive — You need to read more of the details of things. The South Bend city limits is in fact declining and declining quite badly. The article was about South Bend, not Michiana. Also, the Ivy Quad 18 Clares is in 3 buildings (Phase II) and so far the 3 buildings in Phase III have not been released nor have their floorplans been announced. Moreover, if you go to: http://ivyquad.com/clare.php you will see the floorplans and how the units are stacked, including the garage layouts.

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