Developer Hopes To Get Mileage From BMW Offer

By Sandra Fleishman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Forget about free plasma TVs, gift cards or upgraded cabinets. What about that free BMW Z4 Roadster that just popped up in ads for a new Fairfax County condo?

"Ask how to receive a FREE BMW Z4 Roadster or 325i,*" says the ad in newspapers and on the Web for Legato Corner, a six-building complex being built near Fair Oaks Mall by Texas developer Fairfield Residential LLC.

Builders are using more incentives in a softening market, but a car is a rarity. It's "definitely different, and much more eye-catching than just saying 'no condo fees for a year,' " said Tim Liu of condo guide

But hold your horsepower. Developers of the 202-unit complex aren't actually giving away the $38,000-and-up sports car or its $32,000-and-up four-door cousin. Buyers of two- or three-bedroom units get a free two-year car lease, according to a sales representative who said she was not authorized to comment publicly. Two-bedrooms start at $356,900 and three-bedrooms at $408,900, according to the complex's Web site.

While that's not quite the same as getting a Beamer, it's nothing to be sniffed at. BMWs lease for around $400 a month for 30 or 36 months, with a $2,500 down payment plus taxes and tags, said Alberto Zamorano, a salesman at VOB BMW in Rockville.

No word on whether Legato Corner's sales have gone into overdrive. Sales staff members deferred questions to marketing company McWilliams/Ballard, which did not return calls seeking comment.

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