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70-Unit Affordable Housing for South Charlotte; NorthMarq Arranges Financing for Metrolina Apartments

24 Jan 2014, 8:58 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Woodlands Apartments

Affordable housing could be on its way to South Charlotte, as Charlotte City Council has approved a rezoning request for a 7.23-acre site on Weddington Road, clearing the way for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership (CMHP) to develop an up to 70-unit subsidized apartment complex, reports the Charlotte business Journal.

The affordable housing development will consist of 70 two- and three-bedroom apartments, 10 percent of which will be low-income housing, available for tenants earning a maximum of 30 percent of the area’s median income level. The remaining 63 units will house tenants earning 60 percent or less of the area median income level, resulting in rents ranging between circa $450 and $965. According to previous Charlotte Business Journal coverage, the two-or three-story building will rise around a courtyard and 54 percent of the site would be kept as green space. A 50-foot tree-line buffer will be implemented between the development and adjacent neighbors. CMHP is working on a preliminary tax credit application to fund the development.

The project site, owned by NewDominion Bank and under contract to the CMHP, was previously zoned for a child-care facility for up to 425. The project faces strong neighborhood opposition due to its affordable nature.

In other multifamily news, NorthMarq Capital’s Charlotte regional office announced arranging a $2,128,000 acquisition financing structured with a seven-year term and 30-year amortization period, facilitated through a Fannie Mae DUS lender. The equity was used in the purchase of the 100-unit Woodlands Apartments located in Statesville, N.C. NorthMarq was recently involved in the refinancing of several Metro Charlotte apartments, including the $10 million refinancing of the 423-unit Ashbrook Village Apartments in Gastonia, N.C., based on a 10-year term and 20-year amortization schedule through NorthMarq’s seller/servicer relationship with Freddie Mac. The same terms apply to the recent $10.66 million refinancing of the Sunset Village Apartments and Forestbrook Apartments, two Charlotte multifamily assets totaling 360 units.

Image courtesy of Northmarq Capital

Luxury Apartments Sell for $59M in Charlotte

13 Jan 2014, 8:18 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Invesco Real Estate, the real estate branch of global diversified independent investment management firm Invesco, has acquired the 10-acre Junction 1504 apartment community for $59 million, according to the Charlotte Business Journal. Invesco Real Estate made the acquisition through an affiliate, buying the 281-unit South End apartment complex from Dallas-based JLB Partners. The seller was represented by CBRE Group Inc.’s Phil Brosseau.

Located in the highly desirable neighborhood of South End, the property was developed by JLB Partners, breaking ground in November 2011 and opening in April 2013. JLB Builders LLC was general contractor for the high-end residential project.

Amenities include a multi-level clubhouse featuring a spacious entertainment lounge including a TV gallery, Wi-Fi café and serving bar, fully equipped fitness center, resort-style swimming pool, fire pit, grilling areas featuring high-end grilling equipment, controlled access, private one-car garages.  Units include one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging between 770 and 1,083 square feet and are available in seven layouts. Unit amenities include private balconies, stainless steel Energy Star appliances including microwave, refrigerator and dishwasher, gourmet preparation island, granite countertops, oversized soaking tubs and walk-in showers, water efficient plumbing fixtures, full-size washer and dryer, hardwood floors and custom cabinetry.  Junction is located on the light rail line, further boosting its sustainability score.  The community provides easy access to the city’s major employment centers, such as Uptown, as well as to upscale shopping, dining and entertainment as well as generous green spaces.

The community is managed by Greystar.

Image courtesy of Junction 1504 via Facebook

Patriot Equities Sheds 1.5MSF Charlotte Industrial Complex for $50M

13 Dec 2013, 9:57 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

A joint venture formed by New York-based LRC Properties LLC and New York Life have completed the purchase of a 1.5 million square-foot multi-tenant industrial complex in Charlotte for an acquisition price of $50,525,000, announced Cushman & Wakefield | Talhimer. The properties, 1800 and 1900 Continental Boulevard were acquired from Patriot Equities, represented by Cushman & Wakefield | Talhimer’s Capital Markets Group. Members of the commercial real estate firm’s North Carolina and Atlanta offices also handled the marketing of the property.

Strategically located at the interchange of I-77 and I-485 in Charlotte’s southwest industrial submarket, the 1.5 million square-foot industrial complex also features 25 acres of additional land, which could hold up to 270,000 square feet of warehouse space with direct I-485 frontage.  According to a press release, LRC plans to build out the undeveloped land into big box warehouses.

Patriot Equities purchased the asset in 2007 from Continental Tire, redeveloping and repositioning the industrial hub into a multi-tenant distribution facility with Class A features. LRC will further enhance the property, rebranding and repositioning both 1800 and 1900 Continental Boulevard and add environmentally friendly features.

1900 Continental Boulevard’s four tenants bring the property up to a 98 percent occupancy rate. The asset featured a publicly traded rent roll anchored by Continental Tire. Snyder’s Lance and Snap AV also occupy space in 1900, while the latter leases space in 1800 Continental Boulevard as well. While 1800’s occupancy rate is currently 34 percent, the asset has outstanding leases that will elevate occupancy to 74 percent.

According to Cushman & Wakefield | Talhimer’s latest data Charlotte’s industrial market reflects a steadily growing economy with decreasing vacancies and growing rental rates. Year-over-year vacancies have decreased by 2.3 points to a current 10 percent, while rental rates have grown by 8.4 percent to an average asking rate of $4.11 per square foot. The Southwestern submarket, where the newly traded properties are located has an overall vacancy rate of 5.7 percent and asking rate of $3.98, the lowest within Charlotte. By comparison, Charlotte’s strongest industrial market boasts a rental rate of $4.50 per square foot and a 6.8 percent vacancy.  According to Talhimer’s predictions vacancies are expected to decrease with the larger blocks of Class A and B industrial space to go off the market by the end of Q1 2014. Speculative developments are expected to be announced and buyers’ interest in the market to continue.

Click here for further Charlotte market data

Image courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield | Talhimer

Chart courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield | Talhimer

Cushman & Wakefield | Talhimer Lands 325KSF Leasing Assignment

9 Dec 2013, 7:04 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Maersk Inc. has awarded the leasing assignment of its 325,000-square-foot regional office to Cushman & Wakefield Talhimer, announced the Mid-Atlantic’s leading commercial real estate firm. Mark Holoman and Meredith Dickerson have been appointed exclusive leasing representatives of the office park.

Located at 9300 Arrowpoint Blvd. in the Arrowpoint Business Park, the corporate campus sprawls on 40 acres and features amenities such as an auditorium, executive suite, full-service cafeteria, fully-equipped fitness center as well as tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, and a softball field. According to PropertyShark.com, the 1985-built asset was purchased by Maersk in April 2006 for $31 million. The real estate website assessed the property’s 2013 market value just short of $31.5 million.

“A.P. Moller-Maersk’s global initiative to optimize its real estate portfolio” is the reason for the company’s move “to optimize its efficiency in its Charlotte office,” a Maersk spokesperson said in a press release, adding that the company will remain in the Charlotte office but will put excess space on the market.

Maersk’s corporate campus represents the largest chunk of available office space in the Charlotte market, which could attract new players to Metrolina, as the city suffers from a lack of available large blocks of office space. According to CBRE’s latest office market report, several entities have been interested in large office space availabilities in Charlotte, defined as more than 150,000 square feet. With move-in dates usually south of 12 months, these enquiries rule out built-to-suit facilities. Although several developers are considering large office projects, mostly in the CBD, to meet these needs, they aren’t expected to break ground prior to reaching a 50 percent pre-lease rate.  The exception is local developer Lincoln Harris, which recently announced plans for a two-tower, 480,000-square-foot speculative office project. Incidentally, the selected site for Capitol Towers at Carnegie is Maersk’s former SouthPark location (details here).

Click here for further Charlotte market data

Image courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield |Talhimer

Chart courtesy of CBRE


Lincoln Harris Eyes 480KSF Office Project, Amid Strengthening Market Fundamentals

2 Dec 2013, 9:42 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Charlotte-based Lincoln Harris has announced plans to develop 480,000 square feet of office space on the former Maersk site in SouthPark, according to a report by the Charlotte Business Journal. Dubbed the Capitol Towers at Carnegie due to design and architecture evocative of Washington D.C., as well as the site’s location on the corner of Carnegie Boulevard and Congress Street, the project is expected to break ground by June 2014. Capitol Towers will comprise two ten-story towers of 240,000 square feet each on a six-acre chunk of the former Maersk site. A seven-story parking deck is planned to the back of the site. Retail space is also in the mix, with the Charlotte Business Journal reporting that the lot’s zoning allows for as much as 15,000 square feet of retail, 5,400 square feet of which will be built between the office towers. Two small structures will also rise at the back of the parking garage.

Lincoln Harris is now seeking city approval for the project and has secured the backing of a yet-to-be-named financial institution to acquire the property owned currently by JLB Partners. The Dallas-based owners picked up the 13-acre former Maersk site in 2012 for $21 million from a U.S Steel and Carnegie Pension Fund affiliate. The Charlotte Business Journal reported a while back that the company intended to sell the eastern part of the site, currently eyed by Lincoln Harris, amid strong interest from office developers, while it planned two-phase apartment construction on the western half. JLB will raise a 350-unit apartment complex in the southwestern corner during phase one. Phase two, set to be built in the northwestern corner, could contain as much as 200 units, the zoning maximum.

While Capital Towers has yet to secure any tenants, developers are confident in building speculative office space, with SouthPark and Charlotte itself currently experiencing a shortage of large blocks of office space for company expansion. Colliers International’s latest data confirms that big blocks of Class A and Class B office space has gone off the market rapidly, although the vacancy for both classes is still in double digits: 13 percent and 15.4 percent. However, net absorptions continue to increase and are expected to continue, with rental rates expected to grow as well, making a Charlotte an attractive market for office development.

Click here for further Charlotte market data

Image courtesy of Google Maps

Chart courtesy of Colliers International


Schletter Celebrates140KSF Facility Grand Opening; DataChambers Breaks Ground on 50KSF Data Center

27 Nov 2013, 1:29 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor


Grand Opening of Schletter’s North American headquarters in Shleby, NC

Schletter Inc., a global manufacturer of photovoltaic mounting systems has celebrated the grand opening of its new North American headquarters and manufacturing site in Shelby, N.C. The expansion, announced in mid-2012, has increased Schletter’s original structure with about 100,000 square feet to a total of 140,000 square feet of highly-automated manufacturing space and administrative offices. As previously reported on this page, the upgraded Shelby facility necessitated a $27 million investment to realize. However, according to a news release, the highly automated and energy efficient character of its production systems allows the company to push prices down.

The facility currently employs 100 with a further 70 new positions expected to be created and be filled by the end of the year.  The expanded Shelby location, which started production in the summer, has given Schletter the largest manufacturing capability for solar mounting systems in North America. Its previous HQ, located in Tucson, Ariz. will continue to operate as the West Coast hub of operations, while the Ontario facility will serve the Canadian market. The company has plans to open a new Texas office in 2014.


Charlotte Regional Datacenter at North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, NC

In other green tech news, Raleigh-based DataChambers LLC has broken ground on a 50,000-square-foot third-party data center in Kannapolis, N.C. Set to open in the third quarter of 2014 in the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC), DataChambers’ third location is expected to provide services to existing and future residents of the research campus and will employ between 20 and 30 IT professionals.

As previously reported on this page, the data center will be LEED-certified for energy efficient operation. Parties involved in the design and development of the facility are all Metrolina-based. Land Design is handling land planning and civil engineering, Creech &Associates is designing the data center, while McCracken& Lopez, PA is providing mechanical, electrical and fire protection designs. The data center is being developed in partnership with Castle& Cooke, Inc. and David H. Murdock, founder, chairman and CEO of Castle & Cooke and Dole Food Company. Castle & Cooke is the company behind the development of the 350-acre N.C. Research Campus, a future hub of biotech, nutrition and health research.

For further Charlotte market data click here

Images courtesy Schletter and North Carolina Research Campus

Parkway Sheds Charlotte Office Complex for $37.5M; California REIT Buys into NC Hotel Market

18 Nov 2013, 8:10 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Newport Beach, Calif.-based REIT MIG Real Estate has announced the purchase of Homewood Suites Charlotte Airport, operated by Raleigh-based Concord Hospitality Enterprises. MIG acquired the hotel, its first North Carolina hotel asset, from the seller represented by Jeff Berkman of Hodges Ward Elliott. Although MIG has not disclosed the purchase price, real estate website PropertyShark.com lists the property’s current market value at $6,392,500, significantly lower than the $8.7 million that Millroc/Charlotte LLC paid for the hotel in mid-2007. The entity, sporting a Greensboro, N.C. address acquired the hotel from Queen City Lodging LLC with a special warranty deed.

The 102-suite asset, located on a 3.64-acres site, was built in 1999 and comprises 75,709 square feet of space. Amenities include 1,541 square feet of meeting space, business center, outdoor swimming pool, putting green and guest laundry. Units feature separate living and sleeping rooms, fully-equipped kitchen and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Located at 2770 Yorkmont Road, Homewood Suites Charlotte Airport is three miles removed from Charlotte Douglas International Airport and adjacent to the Queen City’s largest suburban office market. Two more hotels are located within a 0.4-mile radius of the hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Charlotte Airport and Hyatt Place Charlotte Airport/Tyvola Road.

In other news, Parkway Properties announced the close of sale on the 326,000-square-foot Carmel Crossing. The office complex sold for a gross purchase price of $37.5 million. Parkway Properties Fund II LP purchased the asset for $25 million in November 2010. Parkway had a 30 percent ownership stake in the property, which means that of the $14.5 million gain on sales, Parkway will be cashing in $4.4 million and an additional $7.1 million in its share of net proceed. The company will also take on $620,000 in mortgage prepayment expenses.

For further Charlotte market data, click here

Image courtesy of Homewood Suites Charlotte Airport via Google+ 

JV Breaks Ground on 331-Unit Apartment Project

8 Nov 2013, 9:17 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

USAA Real Estate Co. has announced that it has broken ground on Charlotte’s newest apartment development, 1100 South Boulevard. The upscale project is being developed by a joint venture formed by Houston-based Cambridge Development and USAA subsidiary USAA Real Estate Co.

Set to rise in Charlotte’s revitalized historic South End District, the apartment project, described as featuring an “urban style,” will be in close proximity to Uptown Charlotte’s 21.5 million square feet of office space and its numerous employment opportunities will be accessible by foot or the LYNX Blue Line South Corridor light rail. 1100 South Boulevard will also be located near Time Warner Cable Arena, Bank of America Stadium, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Charlotte Convention Center and the recently completed 500,000-square-foot EpiCenter hotel and retail complex.

The 331-unit development will comprise studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging between 577 and 1,262 square feet in size.  Units will boast features such as Energy Star stainless steel appliances, Roman garden tubs and showers, washer/dryers, controlled building and garage access, nine-foot ceilings and high-end finishes. Community amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness room, spinning cycle room, pool, Jacuzzi, clubhouse, cyber lounge complete with sidewalk café seating, four courtyards, a rooftop terrace with sweeping views of downtown Charlotte, an electric vehicle charging station, secured bike storage and complimentary cruiser bikes.

Other parties involved in the development of 1100 South Boulevard include the Capstone Building Company of Birmingham, which will serve as general contractor, project architect Humphreys & Partners Architects, L.P. of Dallas and project financier SunTrust.

1100 South’s first units will be delivered in November 2014. The project represents the joint venture partners’ fourth multifamily transaction.

Click here for further Charlotte market data

Southern Apartment Group Relocates HQ; Hyatt Opens in Luxury Condo Project

21 Oct 2013, 6:38 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Southern Apartment Group, a major player in the Metrolina multifamily market, has announced the relocation of its corporate headquarters to the rehabbed historic Grinnell Water Works Building.

The new location at 1435 West Morehead Street presents additional space accommodating the company’s growth.  The 85-year-old structure, a former branch office and manufacturing warehouse for the Grinnell Water Works sprinkler system company has been renovated to its historic look, featuring exposed brick walls, sizeable windows and lofty ceilings. Its location, off the West Morehead Corridor in Charlotte’s “FreeMoreWest” neighborhood provides not only views of the Queen City skyline, but also close proximity to Uptown Charlotte and a central location to Southern Apartment Group’s Charlotte metro projects.

The company’s projects include Crescent Dilworth, a $50 million 300-unit luxury residential project being developed in partnership with Crescent Communities (read more about the project here).

Other Southern Apartment Group projects in Metrolina include the 700-bed UNC Charlotte student housing community currently under construction in partnership with Inland American Communities Group, Inc., the $25 million 240-unit Mountain Island Lake in suburban Charlotte, the $40 million 300-unit West Morehead in downtown Charlotte and Sharon West Road, a $4 million 30-unit South Charlotte community set to break ground in 2014.

In other news, Hyatt Place Charlotte/Downtown, the 172-key hotel component of the SKYE Condominiums mixed-use development has officially opened.

Hotel amenities include 2,000 square feet of high-tech flexible meeting and event space, as well as a coffee and cocktail bar. Further amenities are shared with the condo component of SKYE and include a rooftop pool and sundeck and Charlotte’s first rooftop restaurant, celebrity chef Rocco Whalen’s Fahrenheit, which is set to open in January. SKYE is a 22-story mixed-use development in downtown Charlotte featuring the 172-key newly opened Hyatt Place and 67 luxury condominiums. Owned and developed by Small Brothers Charlotte, LLC SKYE will be seeking LEED certification, as previously reported on this page.

Click here for further Charlotte market data

Image courtesy of SKYE Condominium’s Facebook page

The Connor Group Increases Charlotte MF Assets; REIT Buys Assisted Living Facility in $15M Portfolio

14 Oct 2013, 5:52 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Centerville, Ohio-based The Connor Group has announced the acquisition of its third Charlotte apartment community, The Retreat at McAlpine Creek. The Ohio real estate investment firm purchased the 400-unit South Charlotte apartment asset from Professional Accommodator Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

Located off Pineville-Matthews Road, on Fishers Farm Lane, The Retreat at McAlpine Creek comprises one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments ranging between 563 and 1413 square feet. Unit features include sunrooms, built-in bookshelves, gourmet kitchens, walk-in closets and fireplaces. Community amenities include two resort-style swimming pools, lighted tennis and basketball courts, sand volleyball court, 24-hour fitness center, business center, children’s playground, dog park and multiple car care centers.

The Retreat is in close proximity to shopping and entertainment such as SouthPark Mall and Quail Hollow Club, which is set to host the 2017 PGA Championship. Major employment centers such as the Charlotte CBD and Ballantyne Corporate Park are a short commute away.

The Connor Group broke into the Charlotte apartment market in 2011 and owns two other luxury apartment communities in Metrolina: Alexander Place and Ashford Green. The company also recently entered the Nashville market with the purchase of Ashton Brook. Read more about the acquisition here.

In other news, Irvine, CA-based Cornerstone Properties REIT, Inc. (Core REIT) announced the sale/leaseback acquisition of three North Carolina assisted living facilities for $15.3 million, including one located in the Charlotte metropolitan area: 64-bed Shelby House. The 23,074-square-foot facility, built in 1991 is located in Shelby, NC. The other facilities included in the deal are the 64-bed, 29,570-square-foot Carteret House in Newport, N.C. built in 1994 and 60-bed Hamlet House in Hamlet, N.C. featuring 34,638 square feet built in 1999.

Core REIT acquired the assets from wholly-owned subsidiaries of Meridian Senior Living, LLC. The latter will continue operating the facilities based on a 15-year triple-net lease. Meridian operates two additional facilities owned by Core REIT. The company operates a total of 120 facilities amounting to 4,400 units in 12 states.

Image credits: The Retreat at McAlpine Creek via Facebook

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