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On my way to an interview in the South Bay yesterday, I passed the hotel-turned-condo project just east of Interstate 5. There’s a huge banner hanging from the building now, advertising a public auction of units with a starting bid of $59,000. (Here’s a pdf flyer advertising what units are for auction.)

I wrote about the project, BayView Tower, in August 2006, when it was still a functioning hotel despite the “CONDOS FROM $185,000” banner hanging from its roof.

This morning I found out 32 of 49 remaining units sold at an auction on May 17. The auction was conducted by REDC, the heavy-hitter when it comes to these kinds of straight-to-auction home sales. (Here’s more on the way that company operates.)

I’ve put in a couple of calls to find out more about the status of the project — how much the units sold for, for one.

And I’m curious to know what the apparent trouble in the project means for the downtown renaissance that National City officials were telling me about last year.

From the story about the BayView Tower, in 2006:

Tony Garcia, acting building director for National City, said he thinks the development will be good for the area. He said this conversion and the other condo projects planned for downtown National City will make it a lot like the Gaslamp district in downtown San Diego.

“It’ll be a great place to live,” he said. “A vibrant street life, cute cafes, pizzerias.”

Real estate advisor Gary London said National City Boulevard is going to “redevelop with gusto” and the project will be right in the heart of that.

Plus, “sometimes price is the ultimate amenity,” he said of the project.

Let me know if you’ve heard anything about this auction or about the condo market in National City. We’ll, of course, keep you posted as we hear more.

KELLY BENNETT

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