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Many contracted buyers at Vantage Pointe received an e-mail last night from the developer of the largest condo building downtown, which is slated to start selling units in May.

In the e-mail, Brian Stoddard, president and chief operating officer at Pointe of View, addressed a few of the issues the buyers in Vantage Pointe have been worrying about — financing, prices and the construction process, among them.

Here’s a piece that caught my eye. I’d spoken to Stoddard in October after I’d heard that Vantage Pointe might be rented out. He told me then:

That’s not something that we’ve said officially.

But in this e-mail, Stoddard dropped this news:

Leasing Program
Most of the new condominium projects in the downtown San Diego area have an inventory of available homes that are being leased. Although our primary objective is to continue to sell all of the homes at Vantage Pointe, the Developer also plans to implement a leasing program during the sales process. The leasing program will bring vibrancy to Vantage Pointe during the sales process.

Stoddard told me in an interview this evening that he doesn’t know how many units might be rented out, or how much the rents on the units would be.

Here’s what Stoddard had to say in that e-mail yesterday about completion of construction. Remember, after certain dates in May, some of the buyers can walk from their contracts without losing their deposits:

Our construction team is diligently working to complete construction of Vantage Pointe and we anticipate receiving the Certificate of Occupancy on or before May 8, 2009.  It is likely that minor cosmetic construction will continue in the building for a few more months.

Are you wondering why I’ve been writing about this building so much? Here’s how I characterized it in December:

As a gargantuan condo building poised to enter the market late next spring, Vantage Pointe is an emblem of the major stress and uncertainty in the region and its housing market. The future of the building hangs in the balance as buyers hesitate on the commitments they stood in a frenzied line in 2004 to make, leaving the developers with the prospect of having to sell even more units in a difficult market. Buyers have signed contracts to buy 288 of the building’s 679 units — less than half of the total.

Market analysts see the building as a bellwether for downtown housing in 2009 and beyond because of the number of units and the fact that they are all entering the market post-boom.

KELLY BENNETT

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