Vantage Pointe: Quebec's Folly

Kelly Bennett at Voice of San Diego has another interesting story today on Vantage Point, the massive downtown condo complex that’s on the verge of foreclosure.

The 40-story Vantage Pointe, downtown’s biggest condo building, is stuck with 679 units that it can’t sell.

Developers are on the hook for a $210 million loan — the largest construction loan on a single residential building in San Diego history. Lenders filed a notice of default in March with a loan balance of $197.8 million.

Writes Bennett:

Now the building’s being handled like a giant hot potato. While the rest of the downtown market shows signs of stabilizing, no one has yet found a way to make Vantage Pointe profitable enough. The developers have been trying for a couple of months to find a buyer for the whole project or to become a partner. But the bank separately stuck up its own for-sale sign seeking buyers for the mortgage.

The developer is Pointe of View, a Calgary-based company, which formed a California partnership, Pointe at Balboa LP, to build this colossus.

The money for the project came from Caisse de Depot et Placement Quebec, Canada’s biggest pension fund, with $130 billion in assets. In 2008, la Caisse posted a $40 billion (!) loss, due in part to devastating losses on its U.S. real estate portfolio.

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