Citi Property Investors, the real estate investment center ofCiti Alternative Investments, plans to hold a real estate auctionfor West Ocean Two, part of a two-tower $196 million, 246-unitluxury condominium development facing Downtown's shoreline.

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When the project was completed at the start of this year,project developer Intracorp acknowledged at the time that it hadsome sales cancellations because of the market downturn, but that68 of the 132 units in Tower 1 on Ocean Boulevard had already beenoccupied and roughly 80% were sold. Roughly half of the units inTower 2 had sold, Intracorp said in January. Intracorp executivescouldn't immediately be reached for comment, nor could executivesat Citi.

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The West Ocean Two auction will be conducted by AcceleratedMarketing Partners and will take place at 4 p.m. on Aug. 24 at theHilton Long Beach, 701 West Ocean Blvd., a block west and acrossthe street from the West Ocean development. The auction informationcenter and model residences for the 39 one, two and three-bedroomresidences are open daily for viewing from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 411West Seaside Way.

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"Just because we've got a market that's really not helpingdevelopers right now, it's going to be a terrific opportunity forthe buyers," says Ken Stevens, co-founder and CEO of Accelerated.According to Stevens, Citi has taken over as the managing entity ofthe community.

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Two lenders will be at the auction, Countrywide Financial andWells Fargo, pre-qualifying buyers, and bidders must bring acashier's check for $5,000—winning bidders must have a $10,000available as a deposit, Stevens says.

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This is a minimum bid auction, meaning the "highest bidder onthe day at or above the minimum gets to own the unit at thatprice," Stevens says, adding there are no buyer premiums.

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Tower 1 is Long Beach's second-tallest building at 345feet--just shy of the 397-foot World Trade Center across OceanBoulevard. The 30-story tower features 132 one and two-bedroomunits, with sales prices originally from the high $400,000s to $1million.

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There are 114 one and two-bedroom residences in Tower 2, the21-story south tower, which at 253 feet tall ranks as the city's11th-tallest building--that structure originally had asking pricesranging from the low $500,000s to $1.5 million.

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The nine one-bedroom residences being auctioned are roughly 893sf and have minimum selling prices starting from $275,000. The 25two-bedrooms range from 1,040 sf to 1,654 sf with minimum sellingprices starting at $350,000. The five three-bedroom residences areroughly 1,651 sf with minimum selling prices starting from$795,000.

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The thin towers are called "contemporary classic," a look thatmoves away from the older square-shaped style. It uses more metaland glass, with curved sides facing the water "to signal that's aspecial side of the building," according to the project'sarchitect, Vancouver-based Perkins & Co.

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Originally under development as part of the adjacent 9.5-acreCamden Harbor View project, the development is on the site of aformer parking lot at Ocean Boulevard and Chestnut Street near thePike at Rainbow Harbor retail and entertainment lifestyle center.Camden sold the site for an undisclosed sum to Intracorp LosAngeles LLC in 2003. In 1999, Camden Property Trust paid $20million for the property, according to city records.

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