Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Money magazine ranks Charlotte No. 1 Big-City Bargain

If you're looking to move and want a city that will give you good housing and cost-of-living value, Money magazine highly recommends Charlotte. Its newly released 2014 Best Places to Live rankings list has Charlotte pegged as the Best Big-City Bargain in the country.

The magazine ranked Charlotte No. 1 in that category. Phoenix, Fort Worth, Tx., Boston and Chicago rounded out the top five. The magazine created the list by studying metropolitan areas with more than 500,000 in population, and by analyzing housing affordability, economic strength, home price forecasts and livabililty data. The researchers also, in each city, singled out several "promising, well-priced" neighborhoods.

In Charlotte, they pointed out Plaza Midwood, calling it "an interesting mix of the gritty and the pretty" for its mix of tattoo parlors and antiques shops. Mountain Island Lake also earned a mention for being what local Realtor Francine Dupont called "a thrifty alternative to Ballantyne."

Charlotte didn't make the overall top 50 best places to live list, though. Cary came in 19th, Chapel Hill 36th.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Aloft hotel at EpiCentre bought by investment group

A Los Angeles-based investment group has bought the Aloft hotel at the EpiCentre in uptown Charlotte. Lowe Enterprises Investors announced Thursday that it bought the 175-room hotel on behalf of an investment client. A subsidiary, Destination Management, has assumed management of the hotel, which will continue operating under the Aloft banner.

Terms of the transaction were not announced.

"Charlotte is one of the strongest markets in the Southeast and one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., making it a very attractive area for investment," said Bleecker Seaman, co-CEO of Lowe Enterprises Investors.

This summer, McKibbon Hotel Management of Florida and Charlotte-based Vision Ventures and Mount Vernon Asset Management announced plans to build a 20-story, 302-room hotel tower at the EpiCentre. Vision Ventures and Mount Vernon Asset Management sold the EpiCentre earlier this year to Los Angeles-based CIM Group for $130.5 million.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New owners for Carolina School Supply building on Morehead

A real estate investment group from Asheville has bought the old Carolina School Supply building on West Morehead for $3.7 million. John Vickers of KW Commercial represented the buyers.

East West Capital closed on the 30,000-square-foot office building last week. The 1927 building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was renovated in 2000. "We think it's been renovated really nicely so we don't plan any long-term structural changes," said Brian Nelson, managing partner of East West Capital.

He added that the purchase is his company's first in Charlotte. He and his partner, David Moritz, have mostly invested in Asheville and western North Carolina, but are looking to do more in Charlotte, especially its central business district. Vacancy is down to 8.6 percent and asking rates on properties have risen for six consecutive quarters, reaching their highest since 2009, he said.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Shopping in uptown Charlotte? New retail recruiter aims to draw stores

Charlotte Center City Partners, hoping to attract more retailers to uptown Charlotte, has created a new retail recruiter position and filled it with one of its existing staffers. Chris Hemans, the uptown development organization's director of business recruitment, will fill the new role effective immediately. Center City Partners CEO Michael Smith called Hemans "an exciting choice for this new vital role."

Hemans, who once handled retail duties as an assistant commissioner with the city of Chicago, will lead Center City Partners' effort to execute strategies laid out in its 2013 retail studies of uptown and the South End. The uptown study said that uptown Charlotte, with its growing workforce and residential population, can support a thriving retail presence of specialty retailers and clothing stores, as well as electronic, grocers and other shops.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/01/27/4644543/can-an-asheville-style-shopping.html#storylink=cpy

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Insurance firm signs new lease for Piedmont Town Center office space

Lincoln Harris has brokered a new lease for the Kansas City, Mo.-based insurance firm Lockton Cos. at Piedmont Town Center. Lockton will occupy 10,207 square feet at the mixed-use development adjacent to SouthPark Mall. Lockton, which advises companies on property and casualty insurance as well as employee benefits, opened its Charlotte office in 2011 and now has 35 workers, said spokesman Dean Davison. It had been subleasing 6,400 square feet.

Campbell Walker, senior vice president of leasing in Lincoln Harris' Charlotte office, represented the landlord, Piedmont Row Drive LLC. Brent Royall and Brad Grow of Colliers International represented Lockton.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

New leasing management for Fifth Third Center building uptown

Cousins Properties, the new owner of uptown Charlotte's Fifth Third Center, has tapped CBRE's Charlotte office to handle leasing of the 30-story tower. Cousins, which recently bought the building from Parmenter Realty Partners for $215 million, called it an "iconic office tower in the best submarket in Charlotte." The 697,000-square-foot building boasts renovations and updates to its lobby, courtyard, elevators and mechanical system. CBRE's Anne Vulcano and Jessica Brown will lead the leasing effort.

In other developments at CBRE, the firm's Patrick Gildea led in finalizing the sale of the Oakhill Business Park near Arrowood Road in southwest Charlotte. Four buildings, totaling more than 248,000 square feet, sold to Adler Acquisition Associates out of Miami, Fl., for $16.6 million on July 31.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sedgefield among nation's hottest neighborhoods

Online real estate company Redfin has listed Sedgefield in south Charlotte among its ten hottest up-and-coming neighborhoods nationally. Redfin used its proprietary data to figure out which neighborhoods nationally were seeing the biggest jumps in pageviews on its site. The firm also took into account how many homes were marked as favorites.

Sedgefield, located adjacent to South Boulevard and the booming South End corridor, saw a 122 percent year-over-year increase in pageviews on the site, and a 133 percent jump in favorites per home. Charlotte real estate agent Marcy Prentiss explained why: "Affordability is a big reason Sedgefield is becoming such a hot area right now. The homes on the market don't cost as much as homes in other neighborhoods such as Dilworth and Myers Park, making it an appealing location for homeowners."

Median list price for homes in Sedgefield: $288,950, according to Redfin.