Three years after the Globe first brought us the story of "the suburban pioneers snatching up units" at the, um, Natick Mall, we get the latest update. Despite listing and auctioning off units for as little as a third of their original prices, the developer still can't find buyers for almost 30% of the units in this white elephant of a project.
Somehow, the Globe finds in all this a Schweitzerian tale of triumph in the face of adversity:
It opened amid the worst recession in generations, with some critics scoffing at the idea of a Boston-style condo tower in the heart of the Route 9 shopping district. But after some tough early struggles and a big markdown in prices — penthouses were originally on the market for well over $1 million — the Nouvelle at last count had sold 152, or roughly 70 percent, of its 215 units.
I can almost hear the corks popping at General Growth's headquarters.
The rest of the piece is yet-another-account of the "restless suburbanites who have found a sense of city at the Nouvelle." It's not just the shopping and the food; the "Nouvelle complex provides its share of urban stimulation — and a newfound sense of community." It's like an urban theme-park! Or, as one irony-deficient resident memorably put it, "It’s almost like walking into Disneyland." Tough to believe, really, that they still can't find takers.