NORTH HUTCHINSON ISLAND, FL-In a move to sell the remaining 103units in its 144-unit condo towers, Oceanique has cut its askingprice a whopping 43%. CondoVultures reports prices have dropped tobelow $200 per square foot on some unsold developer units in theSt. Lucie County luxury complex.

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Located in Florida’s Treasure cost just south of Vero Beach,Oceanique sold units for an average of $336 per square foot whenthe complex came online in 2007. Oceanique Development Co., withprincipals Maurice, Michael and Robert Kodski, have sold a mere 41units at an average asking price of $277 per square foot to date.Oceanique did not return calls seeking comment.

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“The developer was trying to stand firm,” Peter Zalewski, aprincipal with the Bal Harbour, Fla.-based real estate consultancyCondo Vultures, tells GlobeSt.com. “The good thing is they havevery little debt at Oceanique. They realized it’s not worth it togo after pie in the sky pricing and now they are trying to offloadthese units with aggressive pricing.”

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Considering new oceanfront condo units sell for a minimum of$415 per square foot in Greater Miami and $350 per square foot inFt. Lauderdale, Oceanique needed to make a drastic move to competefor South Florida buyers in a Hutchinson Island location thatdoesn’t offer the location amenities Miami and Ft. Lauderdaleboast. In the first eight months of 2010, the developer has soldonly eight units, according to St. Lucie County records.

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“The developer was trying to sell units at prices you pay inMiami Beach but there’s no real attraction in St. Lucie County,”Jack McCabe, principal of Deerfield Beach-based McCabe Consultingand Research, tells GlobeSt.com. “The Dodgers left Vero, it’s notnear Orlando and not close enough to South Florida to be consideredpart of South Florida. Vero is a nice community but there isn’tmuch going on.”

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What is going on could be Oceanique trying to avoid bankruptcy.Daniel Kodski, who is related to one of the developers ofOceanique, is facing foreclosure on the 346-unit Paramount Baycondominium he developed in Downtown Miami. Zalewski says ifOceanique call sell five to 10 units a month, they could hit strideand sell out the building next year.

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“The key for the developer is not to jack up pricing once theyget some velocity,” Zalewski says. “The cheap units on the lowfloors are going to move quickly. What a developer is likely to dothen is to raise prices. That’s a big mistake. The quicker they canget out, the quicker they can move on to something else.”

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