Monday, November 24, 2014

New reporter coming to development beat

Hi all. Just a quick note to let you know that I've moved on to become associate editor of the Observer's editorial pages. Ely Portillo ( has replaced me on the development beat. Please send him your thoughts and story ideas on real estate development in Charlotte.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Half-million dollar Saussy Burbank homes coming to Cherry neighborhood

There's been a lot of debate lately surrounding proposed rezonings in the historic Cherry neighborhood near the Metropolitan. Now comes news today that Saussy Burbank will be the builder of 39 single-family homes and two duplex lots there, with prices ranging from the high $400s to the low $600s.

Cherry, a working-class African American neighborhood near Myers Park, has been facing increasing gentrification pressures as the area around the Metropolitan redevelops. Earlier this year, City Council approved a rezoning for real estate developer Stoney Sellars' StoneHunt Development Group to build on 5.71 acres in the neighborhood. Some residents protested that decision, saying Sellars' plan to bring market-rate housing to the area would change the character of the neighborhood. Sellars has said he has upheld a commitment to keep some affordable housing by building Cherry Gardens, an apartment building for seniors.

Saussy Burbank will be the builder working with Sellars on the project. The homebuilder said today that lots will be made available for purchase in phases. The first phase will include six lots at the corner of Baxter and Main streets, with homes ranging from 2,900 square feet to 3,500 square feet and priced from $550,000 to $625,000. "The architecture will pay tribute to the style and vernacular of the surrounding neighborhoods," said Jim Burbank, a partner in Saussy Burbank. "It's important to us that we respect what's there. The real benefit for buyers is a new home -- and all the elements that go along with it -- in an older, close-in neighborhood."

A sales office and model home is expected to open in May 2015.

Read more here:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Another high-end townhome project for empty-nesters headed to SE Charlotte

Real estate firms around Charlotte pretty much stopped building condos during and after the recent mortgage crisis and real estate meltdown. While apartment construction has come roaring back, and sales of new homes have as well, condos seem to remain out of vogue among developers. What seems to be replacing them, especially in well-established Southeast Charlotte neighborhoods, are high-end townhomes aimed at empty-nesters.

Among the latest in that line is MECA Realty's Rea Court at Colony project, a 10-unit townhome project on Rea Road, across from the Colony Place Shopping Center. Units there will start in the high $400s next week, with customizable New-England style architecture. MECA Realty's Jason Noblitt says the project is aimed at the sizable population of Southeast Charlotte empty-nesters who are growing tired of maintaining big homes in neighborhoods like Myers Park or Eastover and would like to downsize, but don't want to sacrifice high-end living touches for the convenience of a townhome.