Gazette: “North King Street condominium project stalls”

Today’s Gazette reports that financing challenges and market conditions have suspended a condo development off North King Street. It was to have been one of Northampton’s largest residential development projects in recent years:

James M. Harrity Jr., of Northampton, has put 46 acres off North King Street on the market for $2.4 million. The listing comes one year after the Planning Board granted Harrity’s firm, Equity Builders Realty LLC, a special permit to build 88 condominiums on about 10 acres of the property as part of a cluster development.

“The market conditions are very tough right now,” said Harrity…

Several neighbors had criticized the project, including the clear-cutting of trees on land near the Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area. Harrity agreed to donate 29 acres to the city as protected open space, which the City Council has already approved…

“I’m not really in a position to carry this for the next two years until the market turns around,” Harrity said…

“It’s such a huge project,” said Carolyn Misch, a senior planner in the Office of Planning and Development. She noted that there were 47 permit conditions, which, she said, “is a lot.”

Many of those issues deal with highly technical matters, but they also address issues relating to stormwater management, wetlands, ledge, traffic mitigation and tree removal, according to city planners.

See also:

AP: 2007 sales of single-family homes “plunged by the largest amount in 25 years” (1/24/08)
Existing condominium and co-op sales fell 3.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 580,000 units in December from 600,000 in November, and are 24.5 percent below the 768,000-unit pace a year ago. Condo sales for all of 2007 fell 11.0 percent to 713,000 units.

The Republican: “House losses soar by 148%” (1/24/08)

AP: “Construction of New Homes Falls 24.8 Percent in 2007, the Largest Amount in 27 Years” (1/17/08)

Republican: Florence condo units sold at half-price (12/4/07)

Financial Week: “Lennar dumps 11,000 home sites for 40 cents on dollar” (12/3/07)

CNNMoney: “Home prices: Worst drop since ’70” (11/29/07)

House prices to drop much lower: Greenspan (9/19/07)