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.