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. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Work starts on Circle South Park luxury apartments

Construction started Monday on Circle South Park - a $52 million luxury apartment community by Crescent Resources near Piedmont Town Center in SouthPark.

The apartments, expected to be available in summer 2013, include 321 homes on a site on Carnegie Boulevard and are designed to feature classical traditional architecture, according to a press release.

Circle South Park is being financed by an equity investment from Crescent, construction financing from J.P. Morgan Real Estate Banking, and mezzanine financing from Nationwide Real Estate Investments.

The complex will be the third Circle community community developed by Crescent in the Charlotte area. Circle communities offer programs such as pet happy hours and volunteer opportunities, to enrich social experiences and foster a sense of community among residents. The South Park project will feature a multistory health club, two-acre dog park, pond with walking trail and a saltwater pool with sun deck.

Apartments will include a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom floor plans and feature stainless steel appliances and stone countertops.

Contractors involved include: architect The Preston Partnership, LLC; landscape artchitect LandDesign; civil engineer ColeJenest & Stone; interior designer Vignette Interior Design;  general contractor State Building Group and property management firm Greystar.

Thompson Child & Family Focus buys land on Wendover Avenue, prepares for move

Thompson Child & Family Focus has bought 3.65 acres of land on Wendover Road, where it plans to relocate its foster care, family education and outpatient mental health services and programs from its Seventh Street campus.

The sale, which closed in late May, includes two buildings totaling 13,456 square feet at 769 and 749 N. Wendover Ave. Thompson paid $1.15 million.

Founded in 1886 as an orphanage, the nonprofit offers child advocacy and support services for children from birth through age 18. Thompson has three campuses offering education, treatment and care for families with children who have been abused or neglected. One campus is on Saint Peter's Lane in Matthews, one is on Clanton Road in Charlotte and one is on East 7th Street in Charlotte.

The nonprofit plans to sell the Seventh Street campus, which includes a 14,732 square-foot building.
Joe Wilkinson with NAI Southern Real Estate is representing Thompson in both the purchase of its new property and the sale of its existing campus.

The agency asked the Charlotte City Council earlier this year to rezone the land on Wendover from residential to an office category to make way for the move. The property, in the Grier Heights neighborhood, has more room for future expansion, the agency has said. The property became available because of a foreclosure, according to the agency.

"Our relocation to Grier Heights is a strategic, proactive response to consumer needs, including accessibility," said Ginny Amendum, Thompson's president, in a statement. "Establishing a campus in Grier Heights brings to this community critical services that stabilize and improve lives."