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Investors Add New Charlotte Apartment Projects Amid Rising Rents

3 Feb 2014, 9:29 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

The Mint

Spectrum Properties is kicking off construction on its newest Charlotte project, a 177-unit luxury apartment complex in Uptown, reports the Charlotte Business Journal, after it purchased a 1.4-acre site in January for $6 million. Dubbed The Mint, due to its proximity to a site that once held a U.S. Mint branch, the development is expected to complete in April 2015. Initially slated to break ground before the end of 2013, The Mint boasts Balfour Beatty as general contractor and Charlotte-based Housing Studio as architect.

According to previous coverage by the Charlotte Business Journal,  the seven-story development will comprise five residential floors featuring studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments atop two parking levels and amenities such as a pool, fitness center, sky terrace, luxury community lounge, multiple  courtyards, dog park, pet elevator and bikes for resident use. Rents are predicted to be lower than Uptown’s average due to The Mint’s wood frame structure and midrise design.

2014 Forecast by Marcus&Millichap

In other multifamily news, Atlanta-based Tivoli Properties Inc. is also eyeing Uptown for apartment development. According to Charlotte Business Journal, Tivoli plans to develop a 30 to 35 story high-rise at the corner of east Sixth and North College Streets that could feature as many as 330 units and street-level retail space.

The Charlotte apartment market continues to be an attractive location for investors, with Marcus&Millichap predicting a 3.5 percent rent increase in 2014,to an average of $911 per month,  after a 6 percent increase experienced in 2013. Although vacancies will rise for the first time in 2014 to 5.6 percent due to 5,500 units coming online, which will outpace absorption, the demand and supply ratio will remain in a healthy balance.

Rendering courtesy of Housing Studio

Chart courtesy of Marcus&Millichap

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

Multi-Housing Advisors Brokers Sale of Charlotte Apartment Communities for $24.2M

8 Oct 2013, 8:39 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Multi Housing Advisors (MHA) has announced that it has brokered the sale of six non-portfolio apartment communities in North Carolina totaling 1,261 units for a total of $34.4 million, of which $24.4 represented the total sale price of the Charlotte assets. While Charlotte-based MHA brokers Jordan McCarley and Marc Robinson represented the sellers in all transactions, the buyers were not represented by brokers.

Of the six apartment complexes, three are located in Charlotte and three in Greensboro, N.C. Among the recently sold Charlotte communities is the 220-unit Beacon Eastchase, purchased by Eller Capital Partners. The Chapel Hill, NC-based multifamily investment, development and property management company paid $8.3 million for the value-add asset. Located at 1600 Chasewood Drive, the market-rate apartment community has easy access to mass transit and local interstates. The garden-style community is comprised of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments with features such as patio or balcony, dishwasher and fire place. Community amenities include swimming pool, storage units and laundry facility.

Another Charlotte apartment asset to be sold was the 192-unit Hanover Landing. Old Greenwich, Conn.-based Ellington Management Group purchased the 5920 Monroe Road garden style apartment community for $3.6 million. The East Charlotte asset is made up of one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging between 689 and 1,095 square feet. Unit amenities include walk-in closet, dishwasher, patio or balcony, while community amenities include pool, onsite business center, club house, courtyard and laundry facility, as well as easy access to public transportation.

MHA also brokered the sale of the 454-unit The Park to FMM on behalf of Northland Investment Corp. The buyer paid $12.3 million for the 2332 Dunlavin Way community.

The Greensboro communities include the 109-unit Lemans at Lawndale and the 106-unit Lexington Commons. The two Class C communities were purchased by SBV Communities for a total of $6.1 million, while Richard Anderson paid $4 million for the 180-unit Fox Run.

For further Charlotte market data click here

Image courtesy of Beacon Eastchase Apartments via Facebook

LEED Silver Luxury Apartments Set to Open in Northeastern Charlotte

29 Sep 2013, 11:04 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Charlotte is about to gain a green apartment company, as Fore Property Company (FORE) a full-service, national real estate company, has announced the fast-approaching opening of the 176-unit Belle Haven, a LEED Silver luxury apartment community in Charlotte.

The seven-building apartment community comprises one-, two- and three-bedroom luxury apartments featuring high-end elements such as Clean Steel appliances, granite countertops and open living spaces with nine-foot ceilings. Leasing for Belle Haven has commenced with the first residents expected in mid-October. They’ll enjoy community amenities such as a full-service fitness center with Yoga and Pilates room, clubhouse complete with HD entertainment area and conference room, and a pool. Several natural preserves are in close proximity to the community located at the intersection of E. W Harris Boulevard and Old Concord Road.

Belle Haven is also close to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Wells Fargo, and several business centers as well as shopping and restaurants. Reduced energy and water consumption create a low pollution and carbon footprint for the luxury residential community, designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver standard.

Belle Haven represents FORE’s first foray into the Charlotte multifamily market and only the second one in North Carolina. FORE has developed and owns Forest Glen Apartments in Durham, NC. A mid-October opening was also announced for 1000 South Broadway, a 260-unit LEED Gold luxury apartment community in Denver, Colorado. FORE has also started leasing at Groveton Green, a 226-unit luxury apartment complex about to complete development in Owing Mills, Maryland. The community will be the area’s first LEED Gold apartment project.

For further Charlotte market data click here

Image courtesy of Fore Property Company via PRNewsFoto

29KSF Orthopedic Medical Center Breaks Ground in Gastonia

20 Sep 2013, 4:40 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Brackett Flagship Properties LLC has announced that is has broken ground on the first phase of the future location of Carolina Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine, a Gaston County comprehensive orthopedic and sports medicine and care provider.

The new facility will be located at the corner of Court Drive and Summit Crossing Place, adjacent to the medical facility’s current location near Caromont Regional Medical Center in Gastonia, Charlotte’s second largest satellite city.

Located on a 12-acre site, phase one of the orthopedic center will consist of a 29,000-square-foot structure that will provide expanded medical office space, specialized space for bone, joint and muscle care, pain management procedure suites, expanded imaging services, such as digital X-ray and physical therapy suites. The facility will incorporate environmentally conscious features such as motion sensor lighting.

Completion is set for the summer of 2014, following which Carolina Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine will relocate its operations to the new address. Two additional phases of development are expected to create up to 41,000 square feet of additional medical office space.

The project’s development team includes a host of local companies including Charlotte-based developer Brackett Flagship Properties, general contractor Tyler 2 Construction, and project architect Peterson Associates, a firm specializing in healthcare architecture, engineering and interior design. St. Paul, MN-based American Engineering has been designated civil engineer. Project financing was provided by Raleigh, N.C.-based First Citizen Bank.

Formed in 2010 by the union of Brackett Company and Flagship Capital Partners, Brackett Flagship Properties is a full-service real estate company specializing in the development and management of healthcare real estate in the Southeastern US. Brackett Flagship has developed over 35 healthcare assets and owns and manages a 60-property portfolio comprising nearly 2 million square feet.

Click here for further Charlotte market data

Rendering courtesy of Brackett Flagship Properties

Kite Picks Up Shopping Center, While Whole Foods Sign Lease for Second Location

13 Sep 2013, 11:29 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Kite Realty Group Trust, a full-service, vertically integrated REIT focused on neighborhood and community shopping centers, has announced the acquisition of the 60,000-square-foot Toringdon Market in the Ballantyne submarket of Charlotte.

Kite paid $15.9 million for the grocery-anchored retail asset, not including closing costs. The shopping center boasts a 97 percent occupancy rate, with its tenant roster including a host of eateries, such as Tsuki Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar, Brigs, Zeitouni Mediterranean Grill, as well as retailers such as Ballantyne Jewelers, Big Frog and several others.

The property’s anchor tenant is Earth Fare, a health- and environment-conscious grocery store with a food philosophy that bans artificial sweeteners, preservatives and colors among a host of other substances, while also striving to source products from within a 100-mile radius of its store locations.

Located at the intersection of I-485 and Johnston Road, the shopping center’s five-mile trade area comprises a population of 169,000 with an average household income of $107,000.

“The acquisition of Toringdon Market gives us another high-quality asset in the Southeast,” says Company Chairman and CEO, John A. Kite.

Kite expressed his company’s intent on expanding its asset base in the region, which is spurred by strong population and income growth.

According to the Charlotte Business Journal, the seller RREEF, a REIT, was represented by Berkeley Capital Advisors.

In other retail news, metro Charlotte’s northern part will likely get its highly-anticipated Whole Foods Market, as the natural and organic foods supermarket chain announced its intent to open a second location in Metrolina.

While Charlotte’s first Whole Foods opened a little more than a year ago in Charlotte’s affluent SouthPark neighborhood, the newest store was announced for the Lake Norman area, another upscale area of metropolitan Charlotte. The 35,000-square-foot store is expected to open in late 2014.

According to the Charlotte Business Journal, Whole Foods Market Inc. has signed a 36,500-square-foot lease in Huntersville’s Northcross Commons shopping center, taking up the better part of a Food Lion store, that had previously announced its intent to close.

The shopping center is owned by Charlotte-based Hawthorne Retail Partners.  Upgrades to the property, as well as an influx of new tenants are expected by the owners.

Click here for further Charlotte market data

Image credit: Hawthorne Retail Partners

Rock Hill CBD Redevelopment Steadily Moves Forward

9 Sep 2013, 4:49 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Rock Hill’s Knowledge Park, an ambitious initiative aiming to redevelop Rock Hill’s urban core, took a major step forward by selecting the project’s master developer. Out of five remaining competitors, Sora-Phelps Rock Hill, was announced as master developer for the project at a recent Rock Hill Economic Development Corp. meeting, reported the Charlotte Business Journal. The next step for the new master developer will be the inking of a nonbinding agreement between Sora-Phelps Rock Hill, the city of Rock Hill, the Knowledge Park Leadership Group and Winthrop University. This will be followed by a binding contract, which will also specify the exact financial investment the developer will contribute to the project.

Sora-Phelps Rock Hill is a joint venture between Towson, Maryland-based Sora Development and Greeley, Colorado-based Phelps Development, a subsidiary of Hensel Phelps. Reportedly, the Sora-Phelps partnership’s edge for winning was Sora’s previous project, Rowan Boulevard, a $300 million urban redevelopment project in Glassboro, NJ, that links Rowan University Glassboro’s downtown retail district. The project comprises mixed-use properties featuring retail, office, hospitality, intergenerational residential and student housing in an environment with high walkability, which is along the lines of what Knowledge Park seeks to achieve.

Envisioned as Rock Hill’s center for 21st century economy, Knowledge Park as a concept emerged in 2012 as a public-private partnership, led by the Knowledge Park Leadership Group. Knowledge Park encompasses an area of circa one square mile located between the Old Town East development at Elizabeth Lane to Winthrop University at Cherry Road incorporating the old Textile Corridor in Rock Hill’s downtown, as well as landmarks such as Rock Hill City Hall and Winthrop University. It holds 18 development opportunities that have planning in place and sponsors as well as probable financing. Thirteen sites are up for development for residential, commercial or institutional development. Knowledge Park developers are being enticed with tax credits and a steady educated workforce supply provided by two major local education institutions: Winthrop University and York Technical College. Moreover, the city will invest over $50 million in infrastructure maintenance and expansion projects. According to the Herald Online, that number is in fact over $60 million and includes projects such as road maintenance and development, railroad track upgrades, a new electric substation, a new water tank and a new parking deck. Not included in this sum is a new 1.5-mile downtown trolley  line, as well as costs to demolish outdated real estate properties and the acquisition of the Bleachery, the biggest real estate asset within the park. With this investment Rock Hill officials hope to entice existing businesses to expand, as well as to lure new job creators and developers to the area.

Rock Hill is the fourth largest city in the Charlotte Metropolitan Area with a 66, 154-strong population. Rock Hill experienced a 32.9 percent population increase between 2000 and 2010. It’s projected that growth will continue between 2013 and 2018, albeit at a more temperate rate of 5.29 percent. Its 30-minute trade area is projected to grow by 8.3 percent, second only to Mecklenburg County’s 8.4 percent.

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Image courtesy of Knowledge Park Rock Hill

Concord Business Park Welcomes Second August Addition

31 Aug 2013, 7:20 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

OILES Corporation of Japan subsidiary OILES America Corporation has announced the completion of its newest expansion at its Concord, N.C. corporate headquarters.

The third expansion of the company since the American subsidiary moved its corporate headquarters to Concord’s International Business Park in 1990, it has added 48,000 square feet to the OILES onsite manufacturing facility. Expansion work included increasing development and research facilities, the addition of truck docks and parking spaces as well as renovating existing office and warehouse space. Energy efficiency was also improved with the addition of skylights and various sensors. Solar energy harvesting is being considered for the future.

Expansion costs are expected to reach approximately $6 million and will include equipment and machinery. The larger facility will also mean additional employment opportunities—an estimated minimum of 30 new jobs will be created.

Concord-based BJW Architecture, CESI Land Development Services and CM Black Construction worked together on realizing the expansion, along with The Nolim Group, owner of the International Business Park.

Prep work on the project started three years ago with actual onsite work kicking off in August 2012. According to a report by the Charlotte Business Journal, this addition has increased OILES’ total space in Concord to 129,000 square feet, while its employee roster will grow to at least 180.

The OILES expansion isn’t the only recent addition to the 500-acre International Business Park. Earlier this month, an 88,527-square-foot Class A speculative industrial building was inaugurated, reported Cabarrus Magazine. Located at 4541 Enterprise Drive, the asset was developed by 390 Business Boulevard, LLC, a joint venture between The Nolim Group, CM Black Construction Company and CESI Land Development, entities that also collaborated on the OILES expansion. The asset features side loading and the potential for LEED certification. It is scalable, with the ability to add office space and to expand to 141,000 square feet.

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Image credit:  BJW Architecture

Chart courtesy of Colliers International

Multi-Million Dollar Upgrades Planned at Two Charlotte Student Housing Communities

20 Aug 2013, 4:46 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

The Preiss Company, the fifth largest privately held student housing corporation in the US and the largest off-campus student housing provider in Charlotte, has announced it will be investing an excess of $3 million in upgrades at two of its Charlotte assets: 49 North and University Village at Charlotte.

The Preiss Company recapitalized both properties earlier in 2013 with its joint venture partner Heitman LLC, a real-estate focused global investment management firm. The value-add renovation is expected to increase ROI for the company. “Students are some of the most demanding renters in multi-housing, but they respond well to upgrades, property enhancements and new technology,” declared Kyle Barger, Preiss’ vice president of construction management. “These are ideally located properties that are highly regarded by students and their parents, and we want keep them on the cutting edge to provide the best possible student housing experience,” he added. Barger also noted that students are surveyed on a regular basis to have a realistic view on what both students and parents are looking for in regards to value and amenities. The upgrades that are to be implemented at both properties will reflect the needs and preferences of their renters.

The Preiss strategy is proving successful as University Village at Charlotte is 100 percent pre-leased and presents a 36 percent renewal rate, while 49 North is 90 percent pre-leased and boasts an impressive 49 percent renewal rate. The average student housing lease renewal rate stands at 30 percent.

The 130-unit 49 North (previously known as University Club) will undergo a more significant enhancement, with 70 percent of apartments being refitted with higher grade appliances, flooring and lighting. Some community amenities will also be upgraded, leading with the pool area, which will be outfitted with an extra water feature as well as a nearby fire pit and grill area. The fitness facility will trade up to new fitness equipment, while the rest of the clubhouse will also be outfitted with new lighting, furnishings as well as a computer café area. Acquired in January 2006, 49 North also features basketball and sand volleyball courts, a tanning station, and pool table, as well as patio, washer and dryer in all apartments. Units have a four-bedroom four-bath layout in individual two story townhomes.

Upgrades at 168-unit University Village at Charlotte include the addition of a grill area and new furniture to the pool area, as well as new fitness facility equipment, a tanning bed and a new computer cafe area and new lighting and furnishing in the 5,000-square-foot clubhouse. Current community amenities include a resort-style pool, flat screen TVs and game room complete with billiards and foosball tables, basketball and volleyball courts, and iPod docking stations throughout the property. Units are available in three- or four-bedroom layouts and feature washers and dryers, fully-furnished kitchens and stainless, energy-efficient appliances.

Work is scheduled to be complete by September 2013, before the start of the new semester.

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Photo courtesy of University Village at Charlotte’s Facebook page

Carmel Executive Park Sells for $25M

12 Aug 2013, 6:06 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Adler Kawa Real Estate Advisors (AKREA), a joint venture between Adler Group and Kawa Capital Management, has announced the acquisition of Carmel Executive Park. The master-planned office park was purchased for $25,459,000 or $113.69 per square foot.

The 223,850-square-foot Class B+ office park located at the intersection of Carmel Pineville-Matthews Roads comprises six buildings. AKREA purchased the South Charlotte asset from Pizzagalli Properties LLC, a Burlington, VT-based privately held, full-service real estate developer. Pizzagalli developed the property between 1981 and 1990 and was the owner until its current sale. CBRE Vice President Patrick Gildea and CBRE Executive Vice President Ryan Clutter marketed the business park on behalf of Pizzagalli.

Carmel Executive Park’s more than 100 tenants lease 95 percent of the property, with around 10,000 square feet vacant and awaiting tenants. The new owners plan on making capital improvements throughout the asset. AKREA will focus on renewing the property’s current tenants base, which includes Liberty Mutual Insurance, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Crump Life Insurance Services, Bank of North Carolina and Hanson Brick East. Leasing and marketing is handled by Colliers International broker Brad Grow. The property’s on-site management team will stay on with AKREA.

According to the Charlotte Business Journal, the sale was financed through Goldman Sachs. According to information released by AKREA, debt financing for the acquisition was secured in CBRE’s Debt & Equity Finance Group by Vice Chairman Charles J. Foschini, First Vice President Christopher A. Apone and Senior Vice President Compie Newman.

The purchase of Carmel represents the first acquisition of AKREA’s second fund, which has raised $50 million to date and has authorization to raise an additional $100 million. Adler Kawa Real Estate Fund II, a closed-end fully discretionary fund, is focused on purchasing multi-tenant office and industrial properties in the eastern and southern US. AKREA’s first fund transacted over 4.5 million square feet of assets valued at $460 million.

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Image courtesy of Adler Group’s Facebook page

Chart courtesy of Colliers International 

90-Acre Mixed-Use Planned by Childress Klein Properties and Crosland Southeast

5 Aug 2013, 9:39 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Charlotte’s real estate market is about to get hotter with local developers Childress Klein Properties and Crosland Southeast announcing a partnership to develop a 90-acre mixed-use master-planned community in the Queen City’s affluent and highly desirable South Charlotte submarket.

The 90-acre site, a former farm located at the junction of Providence and Ardrey Kell Road, is known as The Matthews Family Farm, after its owners. The land has been under the ownership of the Matthews family since 1860, when it entered the family estate as a wedding present and part of a dowry. Though the site is not yet zoned for commercial development, with the rapid expansion of Charlotte in recent years, a number of developers, both local and national, have been eyeing the property for several years. Hearing about Crosland’s interest to develop the site, Childress Klein approached the developer known for both small-scale built-to-suit projects, as well as large-scale development, such as the 270-acre mixed-use Blakeney in Charlotte and the 850,000-square-foot multi-use Birkdale Village in Huntersville, NC. Forming the partnership proved to be extremely beneficial for both parties, as their combined experience and past projects prompted the Matthews family to personally choose them to develop the site.

In its current form, the project envisions building an upscale grocery-anchored retail component between 225,000-250,000 square feet, with 90,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space located on the main street surrounding a public plaza that would feature outdoor dining. The partnership will also develop two Class A office buildings between five and six stories, targeting mid-sized Fortune 1000 companies. Two two-story medical office buildings totaling 60,000 square feet are also planned, as well as two one-level parking decks, in a wrapped style, resembling the ones at Childress Klein’s Birkdale Village asset. A significant residential component is also planned for the yet-to-be-named project: 375 luxury apartment units as well as 180 townhomes and single family homes.  The partnership has already started negotiations with both single- and multifamily developers for the residential component. The partnership has also set up meetings with the surrounding community so as to integrate the project optimally. Traffic studies have also been conducted. Furthermore, the project will entail infrastructure changes, such as the continuation of Ardrey Kell Road and the addition of a traffic signal at Golf Links Drive and Providence Road, all at the expense of the developers.

The project is estimated to cost around $200 million. The developers have filed a rezoning application with a public hearing expected to take place in October of the current year and a city council likely to happen in 2014.

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Image of Blakeney Square courtesy of Crosland Southeast

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