Today December 10, 2007, the new Hard Rock Hotel San Diego had its official Grand Opening with an exclusive performance by the Grammy Award-winning Black Eyed Peas. The Hard Rock Hotel San Diego actually opened its doors on November 1, 2007 in downtown’s historic Gaslamp Quarter. The 12-story, 315,000 square foot hotel features 420 luxury rooms and suites and embraces the trademark rock ‘n’ roll attitude and high-octane nightlife for which Hard Rock hotels are famous. Hard Rock Hotel San Diego also houses a Nobu restaurant, an lounge and sky bar by Rande Gerber, a world-class spa and fitness center, a screening room, landscaped outdoor pool deck with private cabanas, a 5,000 square foot music venue for concerts, retail boutiques, and 40,000 square foot of unique indoor and outdoor banquet and meeting space.
Hard Rock Hotel San Diego is also the first of its kind Condo Hotel mostly known as Condotel. Each of Hard Rock Hotel’s 420 suites is a separate fee-simple condominium and all the suites have been purchased by individuals. The owners may sell, will or transfer their suite at their discretion. However the owner can only stay in the suite up to four weeks while the suite will be used as a rental with rental income divided by the hotel’s management, the hotel and the suite’s owner.
On May 2006 Hard Rock Hotel’s first release sold all its 300 suites in a matter of 9 hours and on December 2006 the remaining 120 suites were sold within 5 hours Prices for a 400 square foot suite were from the low $400,000 and up. At that time it seemed that everyone wanted to own a piece of San Diego’s newest hot destination. Hard Rock Hotel San Diego was flocked by investors from all over the world who wanted to buy a vacation suite in this new for San Diego concept as an alternative to owning conventional real estate in a market that had recently changed downward.
Last month the first escrows on those 420 suites were closed and some happy investors own now a piece of this new Hard Rock Hotel (Condotel) in San Diego. One of those “happy” investors from Orange County called me to list his newly acquired condo-suite for sale after he had close escrow on the property. I knew that there were some restrictions on the time frame of him listing his property for sale and he told me that according to his contact, he could not sell for a period of 12 months or before all properties in the project were sold – whichever came first. Well, since Hard Rock Hotel San Diego has so eagerly publicized all over that all the properties in the project were sold in a matter of hours, him and I did not see this time restriction as a problem. It was still my duty though to call the developer and find out if there were any other restrictions on listing the property.
After calling the Hard Rock Hotel Condo sales, it was confirmed that all properties were sold but the sales team had no information on any restrictions about listing a newly bought property for sale and I was told that the manager from the development team will call me with the information I needed. So the next day someone (Brent McClain if I’m not mistaken) from Pat Patel’s office called me and informed me that my client could not list his property for sale because many of the “sold” properties in the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego would not close escrow due to as he said “some of the buyers went over their head” which translates to buyer’s inability to obtain the funds needed to close. He also told me that the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego will have its own brokerage (the one responsible for selling the properties during their two releases) to handle any property sales that the current owners wish. Flat out he said that they discourage any outside real estate brokers to list any condos at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, due to the complication of the Condotel status of the property.
Naturally my next question to him was: “If the current brokerage that you want the owners to list the condos with is so familiar with the implication of the Condotel sales, why they did sell so many units to buyers that went over their heads?” I’m still waiting for an answer to this question!