Monday, October 31, 2011

Work started at Quail Corners

Work started last week on the controversial $6 million redevelopment of Quail Corners in south Charlotte. 

All entrances to the retail center on Park Road will remain open as the developer reconfigures the parking lot. 

The redevelopment includes the addition of a fast-food restaurant, something nearby neighborhoods had fought saying it would bring too much traffic and possibly crime. 

Crosland had tried to build fast-food at the center three times previously. Since proposing the center in1979, the developer had twice pledged it wouldn’t seek a restaurant with a drive-thru window. 

But last fall, Crosland lobbied the city for permission to build the restaurant saying revenue from it would help the developer pay for a planned remodeling of the center.

The dispute has pitted politically active neighborhoods against Crosland and its attorneys, who are large donors to council campaigns. 

The center’s storefront exteriors will be refaced this spring with a combination of brick masonry and stucco. The developer will also add an open-air plaza for outdoor dining and weekend entertainment.

To view the site plan, go to:

Families eye empty land

Real estate sales may be at an all-time low, but developer and broker Gerald Haymond has been busy - thanks in part to what may be a new trend.

Before the real estate slowdown, Haymond primarily sold land to developers. But new development is at a near standstill as the region copes with a housing glut and financing for new commercial projects remains scarce.

This fall, Haymond heard from a new type of buyer - people looking for a long-term investment for their family.

In September, Haymond sold 20 acres off route 84 in Union County. Last month, he closed on an 80-acre deal in Waxhaw. The buyers in both cases were individuals planning to put the land into a family trust.

The price of raw land in Union County, and across the region, is about a third to 40 percent of what it was four years ago, appraisers say.

Haymond said it’s the first time in his nearly two decades in the business that he’s seen this type of interest in real estate.

“People recognize they can’t buy to flip,” said Haymond, whose company, Haymond Properties, specializes in land and commercial real estate. “They are looking at the long-term purchase.”