Saturday, July 4, 2009

Ruins of a Golden Age

The photographer Edgar Martins captured the physical evidence of the real estate bust in the United States. This is one picture from the series.

This project in downtown Phoenix was supposed to include nearly two dozen luxury homes, priced from $2.8 million to $4.5 million. But by early 2007, the city's high-end condominium market — which was among the country’s hottest — had become oversaturated. Prices started to fall, and Chateaux on Central’s developer, Central PHX Partners, declared bankruptcy.
A local commercial lender, Mortgages Ltd., stepped in that year with an offer to provide nearly $50 million in loans to help Central PHX complete construction. But the deal turned sour, and in March 2008, the developer sued Mortgages Ltd., claiming the lender had not made promised payments. On June 2, 2008, the C.E.O. of Mortgages Ltd., Scott Coles, committed suicide. At the time, one-third of his company’s loans were in default. More than a year later, Chateaux on Central remains unoccupied and unfinished.
Photo: Edgar Martins for The New York Times

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