Marquee Park Place – High Rise Hell

There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to the Marquee Park Place: the first residential high rise in Irvine if not all of Orange County, the ridiculous amount of investors, the exorbitantly high HOA dues, not to mention the tons of units available on the market for sale or rent. I’d love to see an in-depth article on the Marquee and perhaps we may do one if we can gather the data and present it clearly. But for now, I’d like to point out a Marquee flip that went terribly wrong.

Welcome to 3141 Michelson Drive #402. This property’s sale closed last week. That’s a little different from the rest of the properties on this blog which are actually available for sale. In some ways it’s better since we don’t need to guess what the final selling price will be.

3141 Michelson #402 - Kitchen

Address: 3141 Michelson Drive #402, Irvine, CA 92612 (Park Place)

Plan: Plan D – 1492 sq ft – 3 (2bd+den)/2

MLS: P522216 DOM: 57

Original List Price: $829,000

Final Sale Price: $709,000

Date Sold: 9/29/2006

In order to obtain the initial purchase price of the property, I actually looked up the property tax information from the Orange County Tax Collector. From that I discovered:

Purchase Price: $690,800

Purchase Date: 2/13/2006

If anyone can corroborate that or find evidence contrary to it, please let me know because having accurate information is of the utmost importance.

A quick look at the purchase and sales prices will tell you that the buyer lost money on this deal after paying commissions and closing costs. However, the extent of the loss is far more severe. On the MLS listing, the description says “Seller will credit buyer 2 year HOA dues based upon the current one at COE which is worth more than $28,000.” And the private remarks say “4% COMMISSION !! 4% COMMISSION !! Yes, it is 4% !! Please take off shoes.” Another piece of the pain puzzle is that the property was vacant so we should account for the carrying costs for the mortgage and HOA dues for 7 months (let’s be conservative and assume they put 20% down and took out a 6% IO). Here goes:

$709,000 – 7% in commissions and closing costs = $659,370

$659,370 – $28,000 in HOA concession = $631,370

$631,370 – $27,500 in 7 months of carrying costs = $603,870

$603,870 – $690,800 purchase price = $86,930 LOSS

This seller may have lost more than $87,000!! Unbelievable! Makes me wonder how much pain some of the other flippers at the Marquee are feeling. What do you think?

49 thoughts on “Marquee Park Place – High Rise Hell

  1. anonymouse

    If someone moves into this unit, maybe we can expect another light bulb to be on as one drives by these twin towers on the 405 freeway? It’s been looking awful dark in the Marquee.

    I guess that confirms the OC Register story: HOAs start at around $1000 for these units. That’s grotesque, frankly. If people got the money to move into these units, all the power to ’em, but I suspect reality is more like people leveraging the bejezus out of themselves to purchase these units. The second sticker shock will come as association dues and taxes ($1700/mo. in total) come due. I hope free cable comes with that!

  2. nostradamus

    I work down the street from that albatross. Funny how the OC Register lauded the developer as some kind of genius when the real reason it sold out was a shitload of fool flippers. now look at Jamboree: lennar is building “Central Park West” across the street with at least 2 hi-rise condo towers and there are two more hi-rise condos at Jamboree and Campus. who is gonna buy these overpriced concrete boxes, there is nobody to flip ’em to.

    do more searching on that flipper hell (aka Park Place), there will be plenty more pain to come.

  3. Irvine_native

    It must be fun to be rent one of these places knowing how subsidized you are. These rent from the mid $2000s. That would barely cover the taxes and HOA. The landlords are getting killed on these units.

    Ironic how when these towers were built two of the selling points were “close to movies” and “view”. Well, that movie theater has closed and there is a new tower being built to the northeast that is blocking the view from that direction. Good times.

  4. the dude

    but who would buy now at 700.000$? my prediction (from my magic 8 ball): prices will continue to slide to get this unit to about 250.000$.

  5. oc_fliptrack

    Yeah, high-rise living is a novelty that doesn’t really work for people in a low density locale like OC. It’s a convenient lifestyle when you can walk to a train station, shops, food, etc. Those towers don’t have much nearby, and the area isn’t very pedestrian-friendly.

  6. nostradamus

    I would say the area is downright pedestrian hostile: there are long stretches of Michelson with no sidewalks on the way to the airport. indeed, the airport was evidently designed to discourage pedestrian access, there are no sidewalks on Michelson right across from John Wayne and to get into the airport you have to hop barriers in the parking garage. just perfect for that hi-rise lifestyle, yeah right. nice views of bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 405 and a towering building to be next door. lemme pay a mill for 2 bedrooms and such amenities, along with the insane HOA. stupid frickin flippers!

    i note that the “CPW living” lennar website claims that they will build a bridge over Jamboree at the Michelson intersection. i doubt it, there are no flippers to fund that extravaganza. gonna be a lot of sign twirlers in Jamboree/Michelson’s future to try to move all that hopelessly overpriced real estate. lennar is going to learn the definition of an “ignoro-anus”

  7. MarkusArelius

    Michelson is dangerous as hell. Everyone wants to get down to California Pizza Kitchen or that evil Ruth Criss steakhouse driving like madmen.

    My other comment is a question: 7% commission?
    These realtors make me sick.

    Obviously, they’re not living off “rahmen noodles” just yet.

  8. ajh

    The interesting thing for me is that the first residential high-rise in any particular area normally does well, because it soaks up all the hidden demand for that type of accomodation in the area.

    If that development’s in trouble I wouldn’t want to be involved with the latecomers.

    (Just my $0.02’s worth from a long way from OC.)

  9. zovall

    I’ve been assuming 6% for the selling costs (commissions and closing costs) on the other examples. Since this one offered a 4% commission to agents to bring a buyer (as opposed to a more common 2-3%) I assumed 7%. What’s crazy is that I’ve seen some homes offering 6% to bring a buyer.

    I suppose it depends on how you look at it. The development sold out pretty quickly. It’s just that a large number of the units came back on the market priced a lot higher. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when The Plaza gets completed.

  10. anonymouse

    Something else occured to me. I was staying in Irvine in a 2-story townhome on January 17, 1994. At around 4:30 am, the Northridge quake struck. As far away as Irvine is from Northridge, the ground in Irvine shook like mad, easily waking up our household and pretty much everyone around (and I am a very heavy sleeper) and sending us running outside in our jammies. It was a major quake, even locally in Irvine.

    Anyway, I was just thinking, people in these hi-rises are going to seriously poop their shorts if another quake hits. The buildings themselves, I’m sure can handle a quake, but that won’t stop the fear people will experience if they are in these condos at the time.

  11. Wait til 08

    These buildings fit my theory of what is/will happen to all these new condo projects in Downtown L.A, OC, Vegas etc. When the first building is announced, it presells like crazy with a heavy dose of speculator buyers. When it delivers, buyers look smart, next building same thing. But, when the 3rd, or 4th building gets ready to deliver everybody realizes the first two didn’t really sell because half the units are back on the market. So speculators dry up, and all of the sudden there are 3 or 4 buildings worth of units being sold at once. Can you say oversupply? Should be fun to watch these sellers battle to the bottom in 2008 (eating HOA, taxes and mortgage payments on the way down). We might see the last buildings on that street not get built. Consruction lender might just pay the developer to stop.

  12. oc_fliptrack

    I can forsee these units eventually dropping below the typical Irvine cost per sq ft.

    The cheapest one is presently $510/sq ft. There are mass-market ten year-old plane-jane Westpark condos at that price level. Tell me again why I’d want to pack in there, park far away, and pay big HOA dues?

    The cost per sq ft rises as you ascend the floors in the building. Maybe we need a “price elevator” graphic to show on which floor the break-even point with greater Irvine lies. We’ll climb those stairs soon enough.

  13. monkey_about_town

    My dentist bought one of these condos. She can’t sleep at night because of noises (405 freeway?). I can see the tireness and the stress on her face.

  14. oc_fliptrack

    I would’ve thought they’d have used double-pane glass and other noise reduction technologies.


  15. Dr. E

    Hey guys, yes I have bought one of these condos at Marquee Park Place. I see that a lot of you are outside looking in trying to put your 2 cents worth. All in all, I think it is a beautiful building. Of course it’s going to be difficult to see where this goes knowing that it’s the first building in the area. What I can say is that this building is for a different class of people. Yes there are investors and the like, but I really don’t see people who are your average OC citizen. Heck, I hardly see anyone at all! If you’ve seen the model before the first cement truck poured it’s first load, you know that it was tiny. But all of us who bought took a leap of faith. This is the main complaint of the buyers: tiny rooms. Bosa, I think, didn’t have the foresite (coming from Canada/SD) that OC people are used to having lots of space. With the high asking prices, small rooms, and high HOA’s it’s easy to see why there hasn’t been much movement on the MLS pertaining to these condos. And yes, I do believe the market will be further stressed with the unloading of more inventory onto the market. I’m only 25, so I have time on my side, but for those who were hoping this could’ve been their golden goose for that golden retirement, I say it must really suck to be paying close to $2k in HOA’s and taxes. I should’ve just bought a house in Pacific Ridge (Newport Coast) and easily rented it out for 7k/mo. Hindsight is always 20/20.

  16. Dr. Lana.

    Friends of mine bought that unit.
    I’ve been there at move-in party. Unit looks quite nice, not too big, but stylish.
    I think that is the perfect place to live for a small family.


    It seems from one negative comment all the wal mart people of the world jump on the coat tails of that naysayer and add to the negativity.

    There is always uncertainty when something is new. When a new car model comes out you will always see people become stand-offish. Then you will see the people with…step up to the plate and realize they want something different then the norm, as in this case. You will see that not everyone wants to come home to a box that looks like eveyrone else’s box with a tiny yard which you have to mow, water and rake along with painting the white picket fence and maintaining the pool. And not everyone has or wants 2.4 kids within its confinement where you would need 3 or more bedrooms.

    The people that want to live in a high rise are the people that want to come home to a …Hotel feeling..every day of thier life! Anyone that denys they do not like going on vacation and the feeling of a concierge to help you with your needs from a simple phone call has not been on vacation.Having a crew to take care of all maintence,landscaping,pool, weight room and the beautiful lobby, is a Pleasure.

    I have been in the towers and when you sit out on the balcony or even just sit inside and look thru the walls of glass over looking the famous O/C, you feel alive. Unlike living in the cookie cutter, boring run of the mill homes around irvine and the surronding cities where you have no views at all but your boring walls to stare at, you get to see it all from your home in the Marquee.

    The city lights of the freeway at night along with the planes landing into the O/c airport are beyond beautiful to look at and always get the WOW FACTOR WHEN FIRST SEEN! If you are on the side of the building, which is the front side over looking the freeway lights, beyond them you can see Disney land’s firework show every night at the 9pm hour right from your living room or balony! On the 4th of july it gets even more beatiful with at least 5 fireworks shows in view all around the city scape views. On rainy nights you see the lighting storms too!

    Some mentioned there is noise…well they are grabbing at air because they also mentioned why do they not have double sided glass?…..THEY DO! I noticed when the window was shut, the vegas suite like units fall ..silent. You get to see all the movement of each car and plane all day and night which equates to real lives in movement for your viewing pleasure rather then staring at a tv or wall, which in most cases are your only option in the million dollar homes around town.

    So in sum, life is based upon perspective, if you have no knowledge of the entire releam of the first and only highrise in the famous o/c and you cannot see the vision that this is just the first of many to come in the affluent city of Irvine /Newport areas since land is almost gone, then i am afraid you live in a boring box with a white picket fence and drive brown cars while shopping at wal mart.

    Sad life to live if this is you.

    Progression is coming in realestate whether you like it or not. People want views..convenience..and no yard work along with being able to take the elevator to the gym and pool with no travel time. People want to walk outside their home and walk across the street to mothers and tanning salons etc etc. The time saved each day is all worth the price paid per month if you look at it all on paper.

    People that pay $600 per month for HOA in thier home complexes around town, then have to pay for a pool man…yard crew…gas and water bills. The Maquee adds in these fees along with around the clock and cleaning crews to maintain a beautiful lifestyle. If your homes had all these services you too would be up to $1000 per month in service fees for having these luxuries.

    The bottom line is..this is a luxury way of life that is turn key, no maintenance at all..just living life in a hotel like atmosphere with amazing views.



    One thing Marquee Park Place does not have is “Mello-Roos”, that expensive add on that provides no direct benefit to the buyer. comments herein have referrenced a $2,000 per month dues and tax component at Marquee which is actually a great value when compared to homes with Mello-Roos in Newport Coast, Ladera Ranch, Aliso Viejo and other OC master planned communities. In those areas a million dollar property will include an approximate
    1.25% mello-Roos = $12,500
    1.00% property tax = $10,000
    master association = $3,000
    site association = $4,500

    Thats $30,000 or $2,500 per month or $500 more than Marquee Park Place and where is your hotel lock and leave lifestyle? those suberban locals are far over rated and expensive. My vote is for Marquee Park Place! yes!

  19. Rick

    Hell is Living in a HOME – OC is just way behing the times ! I have friends who live at the Marquee and WaterMarke (converted apts). They love their life stle. Immediate access to pool, gym etc. No need to get into a car. ok, my Watermarke friend has to walk to Park Place (5 minustes) to grap a bite to eat or a drink. Live in a home and enjoy your ride to where ever your favorite place is and then find a parking spot. Not sure what character has so much time to track flips and write negative posts about so many different communites but perhaps YOU should get a life ! And just how great is it where YOU (supposedly) live, you seem to hate every development,”Newport Coast Homes included and even Shady Canyon”, I guess you have a VESTED interest in writing negative articles.

  20. Christie

    I must say that after hearing you out, each one of you, that I do see some validity to Rick’s comment. Have any of you asked someone who lives in these buildings if they enjoy what they have purchased. Of course they do. I, for one, would never spend my money to live on multiple acres with horse zoning on Newport Mesa but people do, I would not pay these prices for shared walls, but I would like to come home at the end of the day and not have to leave in my car again. So if the pool, gym, concierge and food are all within walking distance; and I don’t have to care for a yard or look at how terribly the neighbors care for their yards…it would be worth at least looking into. It is a different lifestyle but one that serves thousands of people well in other cities…I think it is time the OC caught up with the times. Maybe not the best investment on the market where returns sit today, but just wait…when this catches in the OC like it caught in Long Beach…the flippers and investers will be more than ready to cash in.

  21. IrvineRenter

    You know the realtors and/or flippers (HAVE VISION & MARQUEE CLARITY) have become truly desperate when they would come to this website trying to convince people prices for these condos are reasonable. I’m sure many people would enjoy the lifestyle these places offer: it’s the prices that are stupid.

    The smart people are the renters whose costs are covering the taxes and fees. The stupid people are the investors who are paying off the mortgage. Think about the bargain being made here: the owners are allowing the residents to live there for the cost of taxes and fees while the owners are subsidizing the entire cost of ownership.

    You know, there are several makes of classic sports cars known to appreciate in value. Are there any wise investors out there willing to “rent” me a ’58 Corvette? I will pay all the registration fees, insurance, and routine maintenance (you would still have to pay any major repairs). You would still be the owner, and you can have the profits when it sells. There are probably lenders who will leverage your investment to a really high rate of return. Any takers? I would be delighted to drive around a free ’58 Corvette!

  22. Dr. E

    To the gentleman who had the very informational analogy with classic cars, I think I know what your priorities are. Maybe if u thought more about homes than houses, you just might be able to afford urself an “over-priced” flat at CPW by Lennar. All you had to say was your screen name: “IrvineRenter”. It says it all…… Wise man once said, “empty drum makes most noise.” So yeah, I guess you can call those people who bought at Marquee or ANYWHERE for that matter, “Stupid.” After all, any dumb person can make any investment, save up and buy a house, right? I think you’re best suited to live in Fresno or somewhere else where prices are falling at a higher rate. You can look up, point and scream all you like, the sky’s not falling. And for us who are writing in here, responding to ugly comments and foaming vitriol, at least we’re typing in the comfort of our secured and well-maintained condo. I guess you can view Marquee as an Ivory tower. People at the top will always have people commenting about them. So just get used to it and enjoy that view Marqueeans! Happy Holidays!

  23. Dr. E

    Hah, so yeah, I guess I have homes in my mind, I meant : “Maybe if u thought more about homes than cars….” 🙂 Makes more sense now. Cheers

  24. IrvineRenter

    “So yeah, I guess you can call those people who bought at Marquee or ANYWHERE for that matter, “Stupid.” After all, any dumb person can make any investment, save up and buy a house, right?”

    There are plenty of people like myself who have saved up money to buy a house and might be willing to do so if the prices were not so high. Stupidity is not reflected in saving and investment, it is reflected in the investment choices; and yes, I think it is “stupid” to pay several times an assets cashflow value, particularly in housing where prices tend to stabilize at cashflow value (in the past after horrific crashes). I’m sorry if you bought into a complex where the cashflow value is basically zero because the rents barely cover the fees. This is not an investment I would have made, but you may find a greater fool to buy you out. If you do, more power to you.

    “I guess you can view Marquee as an Ivory tower. People at the top will always have people commenting about them.”

    You got me on that one. I secretly envy your circumstances, and I am lashing out because I am one of the lowly peasants wishing I were the Lord of the Manor.

    I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy…

  25. aeneid


    Just ignore the previous comment. I personally feel that anyone who bought the high rise in irvine has their own reasons. Beside the financial aspects in buying a home, there is emotional factor as well. If staying in places like the Marquee Park makes them happy, then more power to them.

    For a 1K HOA, what sort of services can they possibly provide? I personally feel that I would not buy the Marquee for the prices it is going for. There is nothing intrinsic great about its location. Except, if one likes to look at freeway. The advantages of staying at such highrise is the convience factors (such as nearby restaurants, coffee houses). I don’t see that around the Marquee. At the same time, no Marquee Park’s owners would like to admit that their decision to buy that place was a wise one. Because that would make them…(fill in the blank)

  26. IrvineRenter


    I was probably too hard on him. I was surprised he decided to try to pick my posts apart. I must have struck a nerve. If I had purchased there and realized later I made a big financial mistake, I would probably be defensive too.

    He does not seem to understand how to value an asset based on cashflow, nor does he appear able to grasp the sarcasm in both of my posts. From his response, I infer that he truly believes I am jealous and bitter. He has a suite on the Titanic, and I am on the dock wishing him bon voyage.

  27. Jacqueline

    I live at the Marquee and it is the best decision I ever made! I bought as soon as units were for sale, before it was built, because I wanted a brand new single-level turn-key place in this area, and it had more square footage than any single-level I could find here–and I had looked for that for years. I really do love it here and always enjoy coming home.

    After owning a home for many years, I didn’t ever want to deal with all the maintenance, repairs, yard, roof, etc., etc. again. I absolutely love not having anything like that to take care of; always being greeted at the gate; always helped with whatever I need by the concierges; having many new and interesting friends; and being part of a “community”.

    I never hear my neighbors or any outside noise unless I open my double-pained windows or go out to enjoy the view from my deck.

    Being born in raised in California, I have been through so many earthquakes — so I spoke to an independent engineer about this place and am thrilled to know it was built far-above Irvine City building and earthquake requirements. Not worried at all.

    I plan to live at the Marquee for a long time and am sure it will turn out to be a great investment.

  28. George

    I live at Marquee Park Place and must say, it has been the best move I have ever made. Obviously, the negative comments about this high-end style of living is precipitated from people that simply can’t afford this lifestyle and have no clue about the cornucopia of amenities that are offered here. How can anyone complain about 10 restaurants, a grocery store and an abundance of awesome retail within walking distance from home? Or how about a 3 minute cab drive to the airport? Or 2 minutes to the 405 freeway onramp and close proximity to millions of square feet of Class A office space? Several months ago I watched the Bush presidential entourage drive from the airport to the Hyatt. Two black helicopters were scoping rooftops and police were stationed at ever intersection. I viewed all this from my 12th floor condo while sipping coffee on my sofa. It was like watching an Arnold movie – very cool! Daily, I watch jets making there final approach to John Wayne Airport. It is also very surreal to watch these jets execute their rapid assent like rocket ships into orbit. How would you like to call from your cell phone and speak to the concierge in order to have them meet you at your reserved parking stall with a hotel style luggage carrier? Groceries and all your personal affects are whisked up to your condo with gratuities not allowed. Within minutes you are enjoying the bright spectrum of distant colors better known as the sunset!

    Simply said, those that have comments that are anything but positive are alluding themselves. Marquee Park Place is a great place to live!

  29. Marquee - High Rise Heaven

    To Irvine Renter – You must be the originator of this blog since you seem to be the driver behind the dialogue here, and you sound like a starving residential real estate broker trying to drum up business to sell your non-high rise single family home listings in Irvine. Why else would you be spending so much time trying to figure out this property. Haha! I’ve never read so much from one person on a high rise who doesn’t appear to have had the knowledge or opportunity to own or live in one yourself. Only throwing rocks at our windows! You have no idea about HOA dues, just do your homework – try the LA Wilshire corridor for example where some units are being charged as much as $6,000 per month, or many of the other high rise properties in CA or Hawaii, or – just anywhere. Also check out the price per square foot for any new high rise construction. There are investors right now quietly picking away at the resales – and both sides are making profits. Yes, there are investors who are trying to sell out their investment units all around S. CA. to get through any potential extended downturns in real estate, however I know one investor who is selling out many of his properties in S. CA, but keeping back his Marquee unit out of his entire portfolio of properties -Why? Its a crown jewel property, great location, stand alone project in the middle of a high end masterplanned community, price per square foot construction and their cost basis – and in just one week they tell me they got (8) eight calls to rent their unit at the Marquee – so now they have all their carrying costs paid for. Where can you buy a nice property today with excellent potential upside and get all of its carrying costs paid for in a great location in OC? So about your comment about renting a unit so it covers the dues and taxes? That’s splendid from an investor’s standpoint, as its then a free ride to the time when the high rise matures and the market swings back and prices push up. For the renter? Its also a great deal, reasonable rent, a fabulous place to live in, but the downside for the renter is that all the profits, if the unit sells, goes to the “smart” investor. If you are a homeowner and don’t plan to sell your unit anytime soon, that’s fabulous too, you get the absolute BEST of BOTH worlds. By the way, not all the units are the same, so as an ‘outsider’ you just can’t judge just on price per square foot and level of the unit as the true valuation. Each unit has different views and assets and they vary from fabulous to not so fabulous – just like full and partial ocean views and garden views – the values will vary widely.
    As far as what is happening at the Marquee – we’re just going to keep that to ourselves. Alot is going on, and its all exciting. We don’t need to tip off the competition, but when you walk in as a homeowner or renter we want you to feel that you are in your own exclusive palace with your staff including your concierge at your beck and call, a very special experience that is brand new to OC. We have a very proactive developer, a very hands on HOA board with high standards and committees with people who are do-ers. Doctors, lawyers, CEO’s of corporations, international business people, rock stars, athletes, Hollywood producers, and just regular folk – the Marquee has already attracted a diverse, very upscale group which makes it a very exciting community.
    The place is barely one year old, and it is evolving quite nicely! Shhh – don’t tell anyone! haha!

  30. irvinerenter

    Marquee Park Place is the finest property in all of Orange County. The residents there are the best of the best, and they made a wise decision to buy in such a great place. No matter what happens in the rest of the residential market, these wonderful “homes” will never decline in value. In fact, they will probably continue to appreciate at double digit rates making all the early buyers wealthy beyond all their dreams.

    You were right; I was wrong; I am sorry.

  31. Aeneid

    It is obvious that people who live at the Marquee Park are different breed. You guys can afford it. More power to you. Enjoy your place. It is your home. Don’t let anyone tell you any differently.

    What IrvineRenter and I said are just opinions of two individuals who have different views about how much one willing to pay for a particular life style. Yes, it is all about lifestyle. If that is the lifestyle you want and able to afford. Give a @#$% of what anyone else say.

    Please refrain from accusing people being bitter etc. This shows immaturity. If you believe what you pay is for what you truely you want, you do not need to accuse people of being bitter etc. That just show that such comments stemmed from insecurity and mmaturity. For instance, people are willing to pay 800 dollars for an Hermes Wallet. I think that is absurb amount of money for a wallet. Nevertheless, I would be willing such about for such wallet because I do enjoy stuffs from Hermes.

    Jacqueline, thanks for giving reasons why you like Marquee Park. Those reasons warranted the premium price you are willing to pay.

  32. Delighted Owner - 6th Floor

    I absolutely LOVE living at the Marquee. This is the closest thing to living in a full service hotel – something that I have always wanted since visiting New York. To me, this is just such a gracious way to live compared to owning a house which is a constant money pit. No more deferred maintence, roof replacements, noisy trash trucks and kids playing in the street. Now it is coming home to the ambiance of piped in music in the lobby, beautiful marble floors, chandeliers, lovely furniture, gourmet coffee, attentive concierge service – – – – all before I even get to the elevator. I love that!! I also like having my packages accepted and signed for when I’m not home so I don’t have to go to the post office or UPS to collect them. I love having my luggage, large packages and other heavy things delivered right to my door by a hotel trolley and smiling concierge.

    I’ve owned houses, paid gardeners, pest control people, garbage collectors, picked up dog poop from my neighbors dogs on my lawn, dodged toys and children in the street – I’m done with that. My life at the Marquee is like being on vacation 24/7. Living here does cost more than living in a house, (assuming both are paid for) but it is a lifestyle that I love and to me it is worth it. I have not met anyone here who doesn’t like it.

  33. sfan

    How do you marquee owners/residents think of the big hulking office building that is being built right next to one of the residential towers? How would you like to be the one of the owners with a nice view of the mountains and the airplanes descending into John Wayne Airport, then find out about the major construction and find office workers looking into your condo? Are there other big office buildings to be built around marquee?

  34. Roya

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and sometimes its good to keep it to yourself. It is very simple, for those of you that don’t like Luxury living in a place like Marquee, hey, no one is forcing you to buy here. stay where you are and be happy, what is with all the bitterness. Your bitterness is in result of ENVY. Chill out. Those who buy or bought at the Marquee made a choice and obviously like their investment.

  35. sfan

    Look at this rental,

    You can rent a nice looking Marquee for $3,300. This same unit is also listed for $1,250,000. An IO mortgage for $1.25M would cost $6,800/month, plus 2K in HOA and PT means ownership costs $8,800/month. So buying costs $5,500/month or $66,000/year more than renting. Of course there are some tax advantages to the mortgage…but overall, why would someone choose to invest at the Marquee instead of rent?

  36. sarahfan

    You can rent a nice looking Marquee for $3,300. This same unit is also listed for $1,250,000. An IO mortgage for $1.25M would cost $6,800/month, plus 2K in HOA and PT means ownership costs $8,800/month. So buying costs $5,500/month or $66,000/year more than renting. Of course there are some tax advantages to the mortgage…but overall, why would someone choose to buy instead of rent at the Marquee?

  37. RW


    No one is forcing their opinions on the owners of these places. If Marquee owners aren’t interested in other people’s opinions, what are they doing surfing around on blogs like this one?

  38. sarahfan

    Marquee owners might not care what nonowners think, but actually as a potential Marquee resident I am very interested in the opinion of Marquee owners on the question of buy vs. rent. I personally am interested in living at the Marquee towers since high rise living seems to be an interesting lifestyle, but I don’t understand the economics of buying as compared to just renting a Marquee unit at the present time.

  39. irvinerenter


    “Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and sometimes its good to keep it to yourself.”

    You should have followed your own advice.

    “what is with all the bitterness. Your bitterness is in result of ENVY.”

    You people don’t seem to get what we are saying, so I will try to spell it out for you:








    You have made the worst possible purchase in all of Orange County. When the flippers can’t make the payments and are forced to sell, the value of your units is going to plummet: more so than others because your fees are so high. Every time we on this board drive by, we look up with amazement at the monumental folly of buyer greed. Your dark tower is going to stand as the symbol for the height of hubris of the housing bubble.

    We don’t envy you, we are very thankful we are not you.

    P.S. Please ignore my previous post where I tried to make nice, reinforce your delusions, and leave you with a shred of dignity.

  40. Roya

    to irvinerenter
    A happy person does not need Pity. I mean think about it, when was the last time you felt sorry for someone who is happy? does this make sence?

  41. Aeneid


    I hope this reply does not come out the wrong way. When you said you like living at the Marquee. If you pay such premium price for it, it is only fitting you like it. Why would anyone pay so much for a home (regardless of the market condition)when one does not get much of out it. Obviously, you have a great “perceived value” for Marquee Park. That should be enough to pay such premium.

    However, when you say that Marquee owners like their investments, it implies something else. Investment should be about postive cash flow etc. In that respect, I would agree with IrvineRenter.

  42. PuzzledByOC

    Yes, to each their own. If people can afford and wanna pay $2K a month to look at planes land and have someone receive packages, more power to them. Are you guys going to sue the developer as you become surrounded by office buildings?

    I don’t get the rationalization of having convenient stores, restaurants, etc. within walking distance argument in the OC. The stuff nearby Marquee is a joke, not really that close to walk to and you still need a car to drive to most places you want and need to go to. I’ve lived in nice areas in Manhattan (UES, Mid-town, lower Manhattan) and SF (Pacific Heights and Sunset (OK, this one is kinda gentrified ghetto)) that truly had great things within walking distance. Frankly, these areas have a lot more eating, shopping and entertainment options that justify paying arm+leg for urban living.

    Problem with OC (and LA but to lesser extent) is too much sprawl and by it is not designed for urban living (no public transportation, entertainment options stink and restaurants really aren’t that good and mostly just franchises). The main reason people live here is to be in the burbs and have parks for kids, etc. OC is boring as hell but now that I have kids, that’s the hell I chose.

    Again, for those who can afford the Marquee and plan to live there for a long time, be our guest. I really don’t think there are a lot of people in this category because most who really want and can afford urban living live in NYC, SF, LA, etc. It’ll be fun to watch the flippers and greedy developers crash in a few years when this becomes all too apparent. Then we’ll see the vultures.

    If I’m wrong and there are a lot of people who want urban living on Jamboree, have fun in 5-10 years when all the streets around you are parking lots because of the congestion. Irvine was built as a master planned suburb. The streets have not been redone to account for urban living so your lives will be hellish soon enough (think Wilshire, Santa Monica Blvd, and Westside in general but worse). Then your options will be to drive 30 minutes to go 6 blocks or to walk those blocks in 20 minutes.

    FYI, Marquee Clarity’s assessment of costs of living in master planned community is way overstated. At least no one in Irvine, Ladera or Aliso pays 2.25% in property tax + Mello Roos. Mello Roos is capped so for a $1 m box in Ladera, total costs is about 1.5%. Also, the majority of monthly assoc fees are less than $400 per month (I pay $200) for most communities although I can’t speak to NP Coast.

    Finally, Marquee is not a good place for a small family w/ kids as someone stated earlier. Given you’re in OC, do you really wanna have your kids living on the 12th floor looking at planes or running around Jamboree (which Kids will inevitably do no matter what you tell them)? That’s why I left NYC and SF.

  43. stevie boy

    Warren Buffett said the key to wealth is “Buy low, sell high”. Not buy high. Anybody you bought those complexs know they blew it and all the stories of how the marquee is perfection on earth is just a bunch of bullshit. In the words of Robert Deniro. “You blew it”.

  44. Michele

    I currently own a high-rise condo in San Diego and am looking to buy another condo in Orange County in the near future, thus explaining my discovery of this blog page.

    There is one major and intrinsic factor about high-rise living that I think most people are missing, or so it seems from reading some of the previous comments on this blog. The lifestyle associated with owning and living in such an environment offers a whole array of appealing features. This lifestyle is simply not available in single family homes, low-rise condos or town homes.

    The words that come to mind are convenience, ease, security and hip. The reason I chose to live in a high rise and pay a Home Owners Association fee of $1030.00 per month is because it is flat out worth it to me.
    I do not drag the three trash/recycle/yard waste bins out and back in every week.
    I do not need a gym membership.
    I do not need a lawn mower or ANY yard maintenance equipment for that matter and more importantly, I don’t waste any of my free time maintaining a yard.
    I swim almost every day but never have to worry about cleaning or heating the pool.
    I park in an immaculately maintained and secured garage.
    I frequently use the entertainment facilities that are built into my community with friends, and have now been deemed “the person to call to have a party”
    I do not have a killer view from my balcony, (I am on the 15th floor but am kind of sandwiched between two other buildings) but I still love being up high and feeling like I am apart of urban life.
    I travel frequently and never have to worry about the security of my home.
    And lastly, I love the vibe of my high-rise pad: very modern, urban and “alive.”

    Is there a price for this convenience? Yes, of course. Just like with anything else. Take the 73 toll road for example… it boasts a costly toll but when you think about how much time is saved (time well spent with family instead of sitting parked on a freeway) you begin to appreciate it’s value. But then again, I can argue that paying a home owners association of one grand a month is not really all that expensive.

    Prior to high-rise living I owned a single family home (a very reasonable home for Southern California standards…just over 2000 square-feet with a nice sized yard and pool) I was paying well over $1000.00/month in home maintenance costs after adding up all utliites, maintenance, cleaning, etc. And I was doing it all myself. Now, as I sit and enjoy my coffee and paper every morning on my 15th floor balcony I think about how glad I am write the association check every month. Personally, I feel like I am making a steal of a deal. I no longer worry about the fading paint of my entry way or replacing a roof or spending an entire weekend at Home Depot.

    I am not arguing that everyone will enjoy the same lifestyle that I do, I am simply hoping to point out a very key concept behind high-rise living that has apparently been overlooked. Lastly I would like to point out that it is inevitable that high-rise communities will most likely dominate in the near future. There simply is not any more land in Southern California and we will have to build up. So be it, count me in. I write this final sentence and then plan to join some neighbors at the Jacuzzi for our weekly “toast” meeting: we toast our wine and then toast our bodies in the perfectly maintained Jacuzzi…. Are you getting my drift here!!??!!

  45. Morton S

    I too am a resident at the Marquee Park Place. In addition to the many benefits mentioned above such as iving in the sky with a killer view of Orange County, having the concierge handle my package, the regular maid service, onsite amenitities like a fitness center, pool, jacuzzi, and breast implant surgicenter, the Marquee also offers complimentary anal cleaning so that my waste products do not stink.

    Finally, my neighbors and I like to pretend we are Bob Newhart (the original show) or Frasier Crane. Sometimes we even get the shoe polish out and pretend to be in a “deluxe apartment in the sky” like the Jeffersons.

    This is really living.

    Oh, did I mention I rent here…

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