Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New two- and three-bedroom townhomes coming to Dilworth

A new townhome project is coming to Dilworth this summer with pre-sales starting this week, underscoring the condo market’s increasing embrace of smaller projects rather than high-rises.

The Cottages on Euclid will feature 19 New England-style two- and three-bedroom townhomes offering a garage, front porch and rear patio.

The project, located off Euclid Avenue between McDonald and East Tremont avenues, is being developed by Wendy Field, a former real estate executive with Bank of America and a real estate consultant.

Field originally planned to build a mid-rise condo project on the roughly one-acre site, but shelved those plans as the condo market crumbled with the economy in the late 2000s. In the center city, at least two high-rise condo projects turned to rentals. Another, the Vue, was sold last week in a foreclosure auction.

Field decided to build a smaller community, what she describes as “a pocket neighborhood.”

“We overbuilt the highrise, the midrise, the generic product that you take an elevator up to,” she said. “(Smaller) appeals to people in this down economy. People want to feel like they can nest.”

“I started thinking about what was missing in Charlotte,” Field said. “There’s a lot of people who want to (live in) one of 19 units, not one of 100 or 400.”

While home prices and sales volume remain far off the highs seen in the mid-2000s, Charlotte’s residential housing market has shown signs of renewed life in recent months.

Real estate analyst Emma Littlejohn sees demand for well-priced, appropriately sized, newly built condos and townhomes because supply is tight. Developers largely haven’t been able to get financing to build projects, so new construction has become rare.

Most buyers want units priced around or under $300,000, she said.

“The headwinds have lessened and there’s certainly demand for new construction,” said Littlejohn, of The Littlejohn Group, a Charlotte-based real estate consulting firm. “But it is an uphill battle. Credit issues and job security are limiting people (from being able to buy).”

The Cottages will range from 1,260 square feet to 1,565 square feet and include Jenn-Air appliances, gas cooktops, crown molding and French doors. Landscaping will feature wrought iron lanterns. Construction will begin either in late June or July and the first five units will be finished by the end of the year. Prices range from $350,000 to $460,000.

Tom Dorsett of Dorsett Construction is the general contractor.

Field said she has financing for the project lined up with Fannie Mae and has recruited lenders to serve buyers.

Littlejohn, the analyst, said pre-sales could prove challenging in this economy because buyers want to be able to see the product and know they can move in quickly.

Field said she isn’t worried about pre-sales because “I’ve got pieces the market wants and can build in phases.” Pre-sales start Thursday.

Real estate appraiser Fitzhugh Stout with Integra Realty Resources said the condo market remains weak but that there may be more demand for townhomes, where units are not stacked atop one another.

“If she can pre-sell at that price point,” he said, “that will be the key.”

For information about The Cottages on Euclid visit http://www.thecottagesoneuclid.com/.

The rending was done by David L. Hartley, Architectural Illustration.
Photo of Tom Dorsett of Dorsett Construction and Wendy Field was taken by Kensley Nelson, The Cottages on Euclid. 


David said...

I wish her a lot of luck at those prices.

Anonymous said...

Thats a homerun area at thatprice point. Dorsett builds quality as well so that will be nice once finished.

Anonymous said...

They're crazy. For those prices per square foot, you might as well live uptown.

Anonymous said...

That looks like any generic suburban development. I hoped for better in Dilworth at this point.

Anonymous said...

Hope you lucky buyers enjoy the property taxes on these babies.

Anonymous said...

wow, good luck with this project. I really hope they are successful but they must know something the rest of charlotte doesn't.

Anonymous said...

350k for 1256 sq ft? Are there oil wells underneath that land? The units are so small the buyer will have to go outside to change their mind

Anonymous said...

Checked out the website and let's be honest, the look of the project is not that great, at least not at that price point. I would certainly expect more on the exterior for the price. Project looks like a higher end version of low income housing. Good luck to them.

Anonymous said...

Wow, did the real estate price pick up that fast? I bought my HOUSE in Dilworth a couple years back at a lower price than that with a few hundred more sq footage; AND I'm only about 7 minutes walking distance from there..

freddy said...

I noticed that the architect of this development wasn't even mentioned in the article. That may be deliberate. Judging from the tired, white-bread, generic nature of the design from the included rendering, and the high prices these tiny units are expected to sell for, my guess is any reputable architect would be embarrassed to be associated with it.

Anonymous said...

Somebody must know something no one in the entire country knows. With Charlotte unemployment still near 10%, everyone's net worth decreasing, and no new huge crop of corporate CEOs, investment bankers or pro athletes, what makes these people think there is some pent-up demand for $300 per square foot multi-family housing? Color me skeptical.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. Has this group checked the previous purchase vs current selling prices of competing units in the direct area? I'm not going to say they are crazy, they should already know that if they have really done their homework.

Anonymous said...

It's a beautiful area, and a great idea. The timing is not great--the economy still suffers. Great surrounding location, beautiful homes--a great neighborhood. Good luck to her. Will be interesting to see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Cottages? As in Cottage Cheese, totally ugly

Anonymous said...

How are they slated to start construction before they have approval from the HDC?

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