The World's Largest Resource for the Cart, Kiosk, and Temporary Retail Industry
by Kevin Turner
Jacksonville.com

A new concept in selling condos is to bring the information and a model to a heavy foot traffic area.

Jennifer White, an advertising specialist from Atlantic City, N.J., knew she wanted to relocate to Jacksonville, but wasn’t expecting to find a condominium while shopping at the St. Johns Town Center.

She said it was the signs at the new CondoOutlet store that attracted her last month, she said.

“I just kind of drifted in there,” she said. “It’s kind of a neat idea, and I was curious. The price was right. I couldn’t walk away from it.”

After her sale closes in June, White will be the owner of a two-bedroom, one-bathroom condominium at The Colony at San Jose, a condominium complex at 3901 Toledo Road, she said.

It used to be a trip to the mall or shopping center meant buying shoes, clothes, toys, sporting goods, electronics or the like, but since the CondoOutlet store opened April 21, mall shoppers can buy a condominium, too.

The store is a branch of an 11-year-old condominium liquidation business and is the brainchild of Roman Bodnarchuk, founder of St. Augustine-based real estate marketing company N5R Realty Advisors, CondoOutlet’s parent company. Bodnarchuk said the store, a 10,000 square foot showroom for selling condominiums in developments where sales have ground to a halt, is a prototype and Jacksonville is so far proving a good test market.

Ray Rodriguez, owner of the Real Estate Strategy Center of North Florida, said there are 7,000 unsold new condominiums in Jacksonville. Bodnarchuk said there are many more than that in markets like Toronto, Phoenix and Fort Lauderdale – possible future locations for stores.

Bodnarchuk said the idea behind the store was to bring foot traffic back to condominium developments by bringing condominiums to the foot traffic. And after research, he said, he couldn’t find anybody with a similar business model.

According to the company’s marketing materials, the base price for a CondoOutlet condominium is $66,500.

“The idea was to take a big-box retail idea and give the lowest price on condominiums in Jacksonville,” Bodnarchuk said.

Inside are two actual-size mock layouts of two condominium floor plans at The Colony at San Jose, the first development CondoOutlet is representing. The mock-ups lack walls, but tape on the floor indicates where walls, windows and doors would go, and furniture positioned in them suggests which room is which. Rodriguez said he thinks the business model faces challenges in today’s market. Credit continues to be tight and condominiums are limited demographically with appeal mostly to young professionals and empty nesters, he said.

“People go to the mall to shop for clothes,” he said. “They don’t go there to buy condos. I wish them well, but the market is slow. There are too many negatives.”

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