Gautreaux said he and Dale wanted to create something not found elsewhere in Oklahoma City with The Abbey: smaller houses, but loaded with all the extras and amenities upscale buyers want, with rear-entry garages to keep vehicles and garage doors from detracting from the cobblestone street.
They were thinking of upper-income people, empty nesters, looking to downsize.
“We started The Abbey, as it turned out, at the worst possible time in '07. Then '08 happened and the high-end market just went into the deep freeze,” Gautreaux said.
Dale said their target market “just pulled their cards in,” because they couldn't sell the big, expensive houses they were living in and so had no desire for what he and Gautreaux were offering.
Now, the upscale market thaw is well underway, plus, with the local economy still in good shape Dale and Gautreaux are hearing from move-up buyers as well as downsizers. The Abbey has two houses occupied, the three show houses for sale and 29 lots available.
Gautreaux said deciding to become involved with the Symphony Show House — and realizing that it could serve as a kind of coming-back-out event for the addition within an addition — prompted he and Dale to proceed. They added perimeter fencing, landscaping and other work on common areas that might have remained stalled until more potential buyers were expressing interest again, he said.
The timing seems to be right on. Gautreaux said he is seeing renewed interest “and I expect to have brand-new interest.”
“We are absolutely committed to finishing this project,” he said. “There's no give-up on this deal.”