Today’s news:

Water’s Edge nearly filled

In a down economy, the Waters Edge condominiums in Arverne are enticing potential customers with a free 42-inch television and free maintenance for seven months in hopes of snagging buyers.

The development, consisting of 130 beachfront properties, has 23 units left to sell, according to Vincent Riso of the Briarwood Organization, developer of Waters Edge at Arverne Condominium.

All of Waters Edge’s units are affordable housing and construction is being done in two phases.

Out of the 76 units in Phase I, 31 properties have been closed on and another 36 are under contract, Riso said.

In Phase II, 14 units remain unsold out of 54 properties.

“We’re moving along, we haven’t finished construction on the second phase yet,” Riso said.

Riso said difficulty in selling the remaining properties has as much to do with the economy as it does the season.

“Selling on a beachfront location in the winter is slow,” he said, noting he expects Waters Edge to sell out by the end of May or the beginning of June.

In hopes of attracting buyers, Riso said Waters Edge is offering a free 42-inch television, valued at $1,000, and seven months of free maintenance, worth $1,820.

“In the current economy, we give enticements on pretty much all of our jobs,” Riso said. “We’re pretty confident that things will move before the beginning of the summer.”

While 23 units remain unsold, the fact the homes are affordable housing prevents most potential buyers from purchasing, Riso said.

He said in order to be an eligible Waters Edge owner, a prospective buyer has to be working, saved a nest egg for a down payment and have what he termed “a great” credit score.

Riso said for every 350 people interested in a Waters Edge home, only one person is eligible to buy one.

Waters Edge is also competing with Arverne by the Sea, which consists of market-rate homes on the water.

“People are paying a hell of a lot more for those homes across the street,” Riso said of Arverne by the Sea.

He said the biggest difference between the two developments is Waters Edge homes have larger rooms.

Riso backed Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s affordable housing plan, which includes Waters Edge.

He noted the foreclosure rate for affordable housing that became available under Bloomberg’s plan is 0.06 percent.

“I think Mayor Bloomberg’s housing plan is what has helped us accomplish all these homes for people of low to middle income,” Riso said.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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