Fishburn regains control at Tallus, pushes forward with original vision
It’s full-speed ahead one more time for Tallus.
The luxury vacation home development (referred to in past marketing as a Private Residence Club) located along the 10th fairway of Sierra Star Golf Course has been purchased by Chase Merritt, a privately-owned real estate investment firm located in Irvine.
The deal, which was consummated for less than $10 million, was finalized on Oct. 19.
Tallus currently consists of four luxury vacation homes, with a fifth nearly completed, and four more due for completion by the start of the ‘12-’13 ski season.
That would complete the first phase of the project.
Tallus is also entitled to build 10 additional homes in a 2nd phase.
The Tallus project consists of 4- and 5-bedroom, tri-level homes. Amenities include a private clubhouse, onsite staff, concierge services and complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport, slopes, dining and more.
Eric Fishburn was the Principal (and Architect) of the project when it was conceived almost ten years ago.
He then lost control of it when Minneapolis-based lender Marshall Investment Corporation foreclosed on the project in 2007.
But life has a way of circling around. To wit, Chase Merritt has re-installed Fishburn as the face of Tallus.
As Fishburn said over lunch Wednesday at Good Life Cafe, initially, most investors eyeing a bargain-basement acquisition of Tallus did so with the idea that it would make the most sense to break up the project; buy out the existing six owners who own 1/6th fractional shares and sell the homes individually.
The thought was that this strategy could raise enough capital to pay off the purchase while retaining the property in the proposed second phase – with the idea of selling or developing the second phase at a later date.
Instead, Chase Merritt is taking a different tack – embracing Tallus’s original business model, but at a lower price point.
While 1/6th shares in Tallus were priced at approximately $695,000 when shares were first offered to the public circa 2004, Fishburn anticipates resuming sales of fractional shares next spring at a price in the $400s.
For this winter, Tallus will rent to the public on a nightly basis. Fishburn anticipates charging $1,700/night on high winter weekends and $2,000/night or more over the Christmas holiday.
The project is zoned for nightly rentals, and Fishburn believes the Town’s recent promise of a crackdown on illegal home rentals could make renting at Tallus a relatively hassle-free (and legal) option.
So why go back to the original game plan? “Every other ski area has a high end but Mammoth,” he said. “There’s a real demand for quality, and there’s demand for larger homes where multiple families can gather.”
Fishburn also talked about the green aspect of fractional homes, referencing the oft-cited statistic that second homeowners typically only use their second homes about six weeks out of the year. Fishburn figures why not spend those six weeks in a 5,000-square foot, LEED-certified home where you don’t have to worry about maintenance and where you never have to get in a car.