The name is the draw at The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton. Developer Craig Spencer promises his Center City condo, located next door to City Hall, lives up to the luxury “the Ritz” implies — from bottom to top.
“From the underground parking, to the garden, to the spa, up to the units, it’s only the highest-end products,” Spencer says. “We spent $290 million building it — no one else spent anywhere near that on a residential building in the city.”
The Residences has seen $100 million in sales since it was completed in January 2009. But that still leaves almost two-thirds of the building unsold.
The brand name is what attracted Danielle Py-Salas, who moved in with her husband and two children last summer, and what keeps her confident in the purchase despite the vacancies. “People get scared in this market,” Py-Salas says, “but I think because it has the Ritz-Carlton name behind it, in a couple years time it’s going to sell. It’s going to still be worth the value.”
Buyers consider a Ritz-Carlton project a “safe bet,” says Spencer. He predicts that as the market improves, wealthy suburbanites looking to relocate to the city will snag the larger units — just as soon as their single-family homes sell.
“We have the luxury of time and capital to make sure our project is sold the right way,” Spencer says.
“That’s the reason you don’t see us auctioning off units at big discounts. Not that that’s a bad thing, for some developers. But we will not be doing that at The Ritz-Carlton.”