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Novare, Beacon Partners to Break Ground on $60M Luxury Apts. in Downtown Raleigh

6 Nov 2013, 4:26 pm







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By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Atlanta-based Novare Group and Gregg Sandreuter’s Beacon Partners are about to break ground on SkyHouse Raleigh, a 23-story luxury apartment tower planned for the southwest corner of Martin and Blount streets in the city’s downtown.  

According to the NewsObserver, Batson-Cook and NGI Investments are financing the 320-unit high-rise project, which entails an investment of $60 million.

Plans also call for 5,400 square feet of retail, a pool on the top floor, as well as a 1,224-space parking deck that divides the block where the building is slated to rise.

Upon completion by the end of 2014, the tower will be Novare’s seventh SkyHouse-branded apartment development. A similar project known as SkyHouse Midtown has recently opened in Atlanta (pictured), while a second one is currently under construction. Other SkyHouse apartment high-rises are slated to open in Austin, Orlando, Houston and Dallas.

“This is a demographically driven program targeting younger residents who desire convenient, transit-linked and efficient residences,” Mark Stewart, director of investments for Batson-Cook Development Company, told the newspaper.

SkyHouse Raleigh will be the first phase of the mixed-use Edison development that Sandreuter proposed in 2007. Initial plans called for two office towers, but demand in this segment has remained low in the wake of the recession. The revised version of the project now includes two apartment complexes and a 13-story office building which are expected to occupy an entire block of downtown.

“SkyHouse is aimed at young professionals who want a luxury in-town residential experience in a location where they can walk to restaurants, entertainment and work. It is a luxury high rise product that is intended to be a rental community from the outset and is specifically targeted at those who relish life in the city. We like downtown Raleigh and particularly the Edison location a lot,” Jim Borders, President of Novare Group, said in prepared remarks.  



Newland Buys Foreclosed 1,100-Acre Master-Planned Community in Wake County

24 Oct 2013, 9:54 pm







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by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

San Diego-based Newland Communities has acquired the long-stalled Wendell Falls residential and commercial project in eastern Wake County. The NewsObserver reports that the developer paid $34 million for more than 1,100 acres of land that Wells Fargo foreclosed upon in 2010.

Mercury Development and Burroughs & Chapin Co. of Myrtle Beach were the original developers of the project, which was suspended in 2008 because of the financial crisis. Initial plans called for the construction of more than 4,000 homes, about 2 million square feet of retail and commercial space, a 160-acre county park and an elementary school. The investors had borrowed $69 million for the project and spent more than $100 million before development stopped. Completed work includes water and sewer lines, a new interchange on U.S. 64/264, as well as the elementary school, which opened in 2009.

According to the Triangle Business Journal, the restarted master-planned community could more than double Wendell’s current population of 6,000 residents and add about $1 billion in taxable property to the town.

“This project isn’t just a Wendell project; this is a project that will impact eastern Wake County as a whole,” Wendell Town Manager Teresa Piner told the newspaper. “It’s going to set the tone not only for the community, but for those visiting, whether they’re from eastern Wake County or those coming in from D.C on (Interstate) 95. This is going to be the entranceway into Wake County.”

Newland Communities is currently in the process of finalizing the project’s details, which could be similar to the original plans. Construction is expected to span over more than 10 years.

The company is also the developer of Briar Chapel community (pictured), a 1,589-acre, mixed-use master-planned development in Chapel Hill. The property opened in September 2008 and offers more than 900 acres of open space.

Photo credits: briarchapelnc.com



Aloft Hotels Slated to Open in Raleigh and Durham by Mid-2015

16 Oct 2013, 10:18 pm







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by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Starwood Hotels & Resorts has announced it would bring the Aloft brand to the Triangle with the opening of two new properties.

In Raleigh, the company is planning the construction of a 135-room hotel on Hillsborough Street, across the street from North Carolina State University’s iconic bell tower.

Owned by a joint venture between the Bernstein Companies and Bell View Partners, Aloft Raleigh will feature an outdoor pool, more than 1,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, two retail storefronts, as well as an outdoor space on the second floor that extends over the Hillsborough Street sidewalk. The property is scheduled to open in the summer of 2015.

“We are delighted to debut Aloft in Raleigh and expect the hotel will emerge as a hotspot among savvy travelers, area professionals and students in this dynamic university town,” said Brian McGuinness, senior vice president of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. “Just five years since it launched, Aloft recently opened its 75th hotel and is coming online in new markets all the time.”

Earlier in September, the owners of the Aloft hotel chain have also announced plans to develop the 134-room Aloft Durham Downtown in the city’s American Tobacco Historic District. Owned by Davidson & Jones, the property will offer a variety of amenities, including an outdoor pool, a 24-hour gym, and approximately 2,230 square feet of flexible meeting space.  

Aloft Durham Downtown’s location at the intersection of Blackwell and Vivian Streets will offer guests easy access to the Durham Convention Center, Duke University and Medical Center and Research Triangle Park. Construction is expected to begin later this year and be complete by May 2015.

“Since the rebirth of the American Tobacco Campus almost 10 years ago, we have envisioned a complete experience with a full array of services and attractions,” said Michael Goodmon, vice president of real estate for Capitol Broadcasting Company, which owns American Tobacco. “While the vision to develop a one-of-a-kind destination has always been there, we’ve spent countless hours looking for the right plans and partners. By partnering with globally acclaimed Starwood Hotels & Resorts and respected regional powerhouse Davidson & Jones, we’re ready to create an environment worthy of dynamic Durham and the Triangle.”

Starwood’s other Aloft properties in North Carolina are located in Chapel Hill (pictured), Asheville and Charlotte.

Photo credits: www.starwoodhotels.com



Construction to Begin on New GlenLake Office Building in West Raleigh

11 Oct 2013, 10:08 pm








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By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Highwoods Properties has announced it would soon break ground on its fourth building at the GlenLake Office Park near Crabtree Valley Mall in west Raleigh. The locally based real estate investment trust expects to invest $35.8 million in the development of the approximately 166,000-square-foot project, which is already 25 percent leased.   

Raleigh law firms Ellis & Winters LLP and Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo LLP are the first to have signed on to occupy the LEED certified, six-story building known as GlenLake V. Construction is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2013 and be complete by the first quarter of 2015.

According to the NewsObserver, the company’s decision to move forward with the project reflects the ongoing improvement of the Triangle’s office market, as well as the success Highwoods has had with the other GlenLake office facilities. Called GlenLake One, GlenLake Four and GlenLake Six, the buildings are completely occupied by a tenant mix that includes the headquarters for Pepsi Bottling Ventures.

“Our GlenLake Park, which currently includes three, Class A office buildings encompassing 440,000 square feet, has proven itself as an established and highly desirable infill location and is 100 percent leased. In addition to signed commitments from these new Highwoods customers representing 41,000 square feet we have good interest from others who are actively considering relocating to GlenLake,” Ed Fritsch, president and chief executive officer of Highwoods, said in a prepared statement.

Plans for GlenLake V also include a 4,300-square-foot fitness center and a new general-use space for the building’s tenants. The architect of the project is Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio, which is also designing the $110 million campus Highwoods is developing for MetLife in Cary.

Within GlenLake Park, Highwoods has approvals to develop up to seven office buildings totaling 985,000 square feet.

With the addition of GlenLake V, the company’s development pipeline has grown to 1.1 million square feet of wholly-owned projects and 215 multi-family units in a 50 percent-owned joint venture, representing an investment of approximately $275 million that is 86 percent pre-leased.

Photo credits: www.highwoods.com



LexisNexis Chooses 120,000-Sq.-Ft. in Centennial Campus for Expansion

4 Oct 2013, 4:00 pm







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by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Legal research firm LexisNexis has announced it would relocate its software division from Cary to Raleigh to accommodate the company’s growth. According to the Triangle Business Journal, LexisNexis will occupy the 120,000-square-foot office building on Centennial Campus that technology firm Red Hat had vacated earlier this year when it relocated to downtown Raleigh.

The new location at 1801 Varsity Drive (pictured) will more than double the space LexisNexis currently occupies in Cary and provide room for up to 650 employees. The expansion will enable the company to fulfill its commitment made to the state in February 2012 to develop a “Software Center of Excellence” in North Carolina and create 350 new jobs by 2017.  

 “Our new office location, centered in the midst of one of the most vibrant and dynamic learning institutions for engineering in the country, is inherently beneficial to employees and customers alike,” Michael Lipps, vice president and managing director for the LexisNexis BLSS business, said in a statement. “Centennial Campus is brimming with passion, enthusiasm and ideas for technology innovation; the university location literally represents the intersection of theoretical research with practical application.”

If it meets its hiring and investment requirements, LexisNexis will receive a Job Development Investment Grant of nearly $9 million from the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The company currently employs 247 people at 2000 Regency Parkway in Cary and expects to complete its relocation by the end of 2014.

In other news, the NewsObserver reports that Greystar Real Estate Partners of Charleston, S.C. has acquired a 2-acre site on the north side of downtown Raleigh, where it plans to develop a new apartment community.  LNR Property Corp., the lead developer behind the Blount Street Commons project, sold the property for $4.7 million.

Photo credits: www.loopnet.com



Crecent Signs up 6 Tenants for Property’s 17,900 SF Retail Component

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by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Six new tenants have recently committed to occupy the entire 17,900-square-foot street-level retail component at Crescent Cameron Village, a mixed-use 282-unit residential community currently under construction in Raleigh’s historic Cameron Village.

The project, which is being developed by Crescent Communities of Charlotte, will include a Faire restaurant by Eschelon Group, a Brixx Wood Fired Pizza, a Benelux Coffee, Raleigh’s first Flywheel Sports, which offers high-energy indoor cycling classes, a Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa, as well as Raleigh’s first blow dry bar.

“We continue to have a strong focus in bringing new concepts and best-in-class retailers and restaurants to our communities,” Ben Collins, vice president of the Carolinas and Tennessee for Crescent Communities multifamily group, said in a news release. “Our retail partners ensure that residents of Crescent Cameron Village can enjoy fantastic new restaurants, high-intensity fitness, and plenty of pampering just steps from their front door – it’s a combination they won’t find anywhere else in Raleigh.”

Hill Partners Inc. is handling leasing and tenant coordination services for the project’s commercial component, while York Management is the retail property manager.  

Scheduled to open this winter, the new smoke-free, pet-friendly community will feature studio, one- and two-bedroom luxury apartments. Amenities will include a resort-style saltwater pool with sun deck, outdoor kitchen and grilling areas, a health and wellness facility, as well as a conditioned wine cellar with private lockers.

Crescent’s other multi-family projects in the Triangle include the 303-unit Crescent Ninth Street luxury apartment community, as well as the 208-unit Crescent Main Street complex, both of which are located in Durham.

In Hillsborough, the company has recently purchased 116 acres of land, where it plans to develop a 233-home master-planned community. The Triangle Business Journal reports that Crescent Communities has acquired the property along Business Highway 70 for $3 million. New home building is expected to begin next spring with prices ranging from the $200,000 to $500,000 range, the developer announced.

Photo credits: www.crescentcameronvillage.com



Highwoods to Develop MetLife’s Global Technology and Operations Hub in Cary

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by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Raleigh-based Highwoods Properties has unveiled its plans to develop a $110 million office park for MetLife on Weston Parkway in Cary.

Called Weston Lakefront, the 100 percent pre-leased build-to-suit campus along the shores of Lake Crabtree will initially include two, 213,500-square-foot, LEED-certified office buildings with structured parking. The facilities will be located on 26.5 acres of a 40-acre site Highwoods owns near the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The remaining 13.5 acres of waterfront land will be pre-graded to accommodate a third potential building, the company announced.

“We are very pleased to have been selected by MetLife to build a campus for their new southeastern-based, global technology hub, which will initially house 1,200 new MetLife employees. This represents entirely new absorption for the market and is a true testament to the strong technology-oriented employment pool that continues to attract companies to migrate to the greater Triangle area. MetLife has been a long-term, highly regarded Highwoods customer in a number of our other markets, and we genuinely appreciate their continued confidence in our team and brand,” Ed Fritsch, president and CEO of Highwoods Properties said in a news release.

In March, MetLife announced it would be opening two new hub campuses in Cary and Charlotte that would create 2,600 new jobs in North Carolina.

Construction on the Weston Lakefront project is expected to begin this fall and be complete in 2015. Meanwhile, the New York-based life insurance giant is using the 116,300-square-foot Danbury Building at the Imperial Center office park in Durham to accommodate its growth.

Photo credits: wikimapia.org



Lawmakers Back Controversial 167-Acre Mega Development South of Durham

6 Sep 2013, 11:17 pm







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by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

751 South, a residential and business mega development along the Durham-Chatham county line can finally move forward.

According to the Triangle Business Journal, Gov. Pat McCrory has recently signed legislation that requires the municipality to offer utilities to the 167-acre project, which falls outside Durham’s city limits.

The proposed development located off of Highway 751 had been stuck in regulatory limbo since the City of Durham refused to annex the land into the city limits and provide water and sewer to the site.

Local firm Southern Durham Development is behind the project, which is slated to bring 600,000 square feet of office and retail space and as many as 1,300 residences. Plans also call for markets, cafes, restaurants, one or two schools, as well as park settings, open spaces and civic sites. NAI Carolantic Realty in Raleigh is already marketing the land to potential builders, the newspaper reports.

Southern Durham Development’s founders are Alex Mitchell and Tyler Morris. Both are partners in The Landing at Southpoint located on Hwy 751, the first “LEED for Homes” multi-family project with more than 50 units in the United States.

It is estimated that the economic impact of 751 South will reach $8 million in new taxes for the City of Durham and Durham County. The project is also expected to create about 3,000 new jobs.  

 “We assembled an internationally-renowned team of urban planners and designers with the goal of creating a very livable, sustainable development that would attract national attention. The commercial core of 751 South is designed to accentuate a live, work and play community with retail that can stand on its own,” Mitchell said in a prepared statement.

Under the new legislation, the city will also be required to annex the 751 South properties, as well as the Colvard Farm residential neighborhood, into Durham’s limits by 2023.

Photo credits: www.751south.com



Capitol Broadcasting Acquires Old Bull and Noell Buildings at American Tobacco

6 Sep 2013, 10:17 pm








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by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Two historic apartment and retail buildings at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham have recently been purchased by the original developers of the 16-acre site.

According to the Triangle Business Journal, an affiliate of Capitol Broadcasting Company known as ATC North Residential LLC has acquired the Old Bull and Noell buildings at 300 and 312 Blackwell Street for a combined $9.5 million.

The properties had been under the ownership of American Tobacco HH LLC, an entity managed by Capmark Financial Group of Horsham, Pa. The bank took possession of the buildings in 2011, as former owner, Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse of Baltimore went bankrupt during the recession.  

The Noell building has been converted into 17 apartment units, while the Old Bull Building has been redeveloped into 57 apartments, ground-floor offices and retail space.

According to Michael Goodmon, vice president of real estate for Capitol Broadcasting, renovation work on some of the residences will continue until early next year.

“The change in ownership will be seamless for current residential and commercial tenants. We look forward to completing unfinished apartments in the buildings … and to the positive impact this work will have on American Tobacco’s renaissance and on Durham,” Goodmon told the newspaper.

In other news, the Herald Sun reports that the Durham City Council has approved $1.7 million in city/county incentives to support the reconversion of the former McPherson Hospital off West Main Street into a 143-room hotel. The city will contribute $1.3 million to the project, while the county’s share will amount to $400,000.

Developed by Concord Hospitality Enterprises Co., the approximately $29.4 million project is expected to create 31 full- and 14 part-time jobs.

In the past year, Durham’s city council and county have helped finance two other hotel developments in the city. One of the projects involves the conversion of the former Mutual Community Savings Bank on East Chapel Hill Street into the Holland Hotel, while the other involves the 21c Museum Hotels’ redevelopment of the former SunTrust tower.

Photo credits: www.opendurham.org



Carey Watermark Investors Acquires 400-Key Marriott in Downtown Raleigh for $83M

22 Aug 2013, 9:06 pm







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by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

In an $83 million deal, Carey Watermark Investors Inc. (CWI) purchased the 400-room Marriott City Center hotel in downtown Raleigh. The New York-based real estate firm also announced it would spend another $6 million to upgrade the 17-story property and cover other acquisition–related costs. The investment was financed with $51.5 million of debt.

Developed by Noble Investment Group of Atlanta, Raleigh Marriott City Center has been open since 2008. Interstate Hotels & Resorts will continue to manage the property, which is connected to the Raleigh Convention Center via an underground walkway.  Amenities include 15,000 square feet of meeting space, an indoor pool and whirlpool, fitness and business centers, an onsite Starbucks, as well as an Italian-themed three-meal restaurant and bar.

“The acquisition of Raleigh Marriott City Center represented the opportunity to acquire a strategically located property in a strong downtown market that is further supported by the vibrant regional economic activity of The Triangle. By virtue of its location alone, it is already the preferred hotel for visitors to the Raleigh Convention Center and, in combination with the quality of the asset itself and the improvements planned, we believe it will prove a solid addition to CWI’s portfolio, consistent with our strategy of acquiring assets with the potential for generating stable cash flow and building future value for our investors,” Michael Medzigian, CEO of CWI said in a news release.

In other news, the Triangle Business Journal reports that Heitman Capital Management of Chicago has paid $42.2 million to acquire The Jamison at Brier Creek apartment community in northwest Raleigh. The seller, Epoch Properties of Winter Park, Fla. developed the 276-unit complex in 2011.

The property offers one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, as well as a pool, a 24-hour fitness center, a business center, summer kitchen and gas grills, playground, enclosed pet park and movie theater.

Photo credits: www.marriott.com



Lone Star-Managed Fund Acquires 11 Distressed Office Properties in Raleigh and Morrisville

9 Aug 2013, 9:42 pm







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by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

An investment fund managed by Lone Star Funds of Texas has acquired 11 office buildings in Raleigh and Morrisville for a total of $45 million, the Triangle Business Journal reports. U.S. Bank acquired the properties for $49 million at a foreclosure auction in January.

Three of the buildings are located at the Spring Forest Business Center in northeast Raleigh. Built in the late 1980s, the structures offer a combined 154,581 square feet of flexible office space and were 86 percent leased at the time of sale.

The remaining eight buildings are located at the Eastridge at Perimeter Park corporate center in Morrisville. Built in the mid-1980s, the properties total about 478,356 square feet and were 61 percent leased upon closing.

In regional news, Publix Super Markets Inc. has announced plans to open the chain’s first store in the Triangle region. According to the Triangle Business Journal, the 49,000-square-foot supermarket will anchor the $60 million Bradford apartment and retail development currently under construction at the northeast corner of High House Road and Davis Drive in Cary. The new location is expected to welcome its first customers by the end of 2014.

The Florida grocer has also announced it would enter the Asheville market with the opening of a new store next year. The 49,000-square-foot supermarket will be located at the southeast corner of Hendersonville and Overlook Roads.

The company’s first three North Carolina supermarkets are slated to open in the Charlotte area startingin early 2014. One of the establishments is currently under construction in Ballantyne, while the other two will be located at the intersection of South Boulevard and Iverson Way and at the intersection of Matthews Mint Hill Road and Lawyers Road, respectively.  

Photo credits: www.lutzinvestments.com



PREI Joins Dominion Realty to Develop $54M Charter Square Office Tower in Downtown Raleigh

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by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI) has entered a $54 million joint venture with Dominion Realty Partners to develop the first phase of the Charter Square speculative office project in Raleigh.

The 11-story, 236,000-square-foot glass and steel tower will be located in the heart of the city’s downtown business district, at the corner of Lenoir Street and Fayetteville Street.

Expected to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the office building designed by JDavis Architects will also feature an exterior courtyard, restaurants, retail space and underground parking. Construction has been scheduled to begin this fall and take 12 to 13 months to complete.

“Charter Square is the cornerstone of the revitalization of downtown Raleigh, and Dominion Realty Partners is proud to partner PREI to develop this 236,000 square foot speculative office building,” Andy Andrews, CEO of Dominion Realty Partners LLC said in a news release.

Dominion Realty Partners first unveiled the project in April, without disclosing the name of its equity partner. The company is also planning the construction of a second office tower on the north site next to the Bank of America Plaza building, the NewsObserver reports.

According to Soultana Reigle, managing director and portfolio manager at PREI, Raleigh has become one of the country’s best cities to live, work and play in. The growth of the region’s technology sector has transformed the city into a tech hub similar to Seattle, Austin, San Francisco and Boston.

“We chose to invest in Charter Square because of the growing popularity of Raleigh’s downtown business district, coupled with the rising trend among working professionals who now prefer to work in direct proximity to the 24-hour amenity base a city like Raleigh has to offer. These facts and the strength of Dominion Realty Partners make Charter Square a compelling investment opportunity for our fund,” Reigle added.  

Photo credits: JDavis Architects



Crescent Communities Offers Larger Apartments in $40M Multi-Family Development

25 Jul 2013, 9:50 pm







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by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Crescent Communities of Charlotte has announced plans to develop Crescent Main Street, a $40 million multi-family complex in Durham’s Ninth Street district.

Upon completion in the fall of 2014, the property will offer 208 spacious apartments, as well as parking, a health and wellness facility with private training room, a pet spa and demonstration kitchen. Many of the two-bedroom units are expected to range between 1,200 and 2,000 square feet. Residents will also have access to a resort-style pool with sundeck, outdoor kitchen and dining area, community fire lounge and rooftop terrace.

“Our research indicates growing interest in larger apartments in the Durham area,” said Ben Collins, vice president for Crescent Communities’ Multifamily Group. “Apartments at Crescent Main Street, many of which incorporate den floor plans, will be among the largest in the region, which we believe will appeal to nearby professionals looking for more space than typically is available in urban apartment communities.”

The community’s three-story and four-story buildings will feature contrasting interior and exterior architecture, color schemes and aesthetics. One of the structures will display a classic appearance, while the other will have a more modern design.

“We’ve designed Crescent Main Street to resemble a neighborhood built over time – much like the charm of Durham itself with architecture reflecting the ornate ambience of Old Durham juxtaposed with more contemporary structures,” Collins added.

Crescent’s other multi-family projects in the Triangle include Crescent Ninth Street, a 303-unit luxury apartment community in Durham, and Crescent Cameron Village, a 282-unit apartment community in Raleigh’s historic Cameron Village lifestyle center. Both properties are scheduled to open this fall.

Photo credits: www.crescentcommunities.com



Terwilliger Pappas Restarts Crabtree Village Mixed-use Development

19 Jul 2013, 9:48 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Developers have begun construction on the first phase of the long-stalled Crabtree Village master plan in Raleigh.

According to the Triangle Business Journal, an initial $35 million investment will bring 293 apartments and prepare the site for the development’s future phases. The units are expected to welcome their first tenants by May 2014.

Behind the project is Terwilliger Pappas Multi-Family Partners of Charlotte, a new joint venture company between Ron Terwilliger, former Trammell Crow Residential CEO, and Peter A. Pappas, CEO of Pappas Properties in Charlotte. JDavis Architects of Raleigh is the designer, while Brasfield & Gorrie serves as construction contractor.

The Crabtree Village mixed-use development will be located on an approximately 24-acre site atop Kidd’s Hill near Crabtree Valley Mall (pictured). The project’s additional stages call for 232 multifamily units, a 200-room hotel, as well as retail and office space.

Pappas Properties acquired the property from an entity of Wells Fargo bank in 2012, the newspaper reports.

Before the economic downturn, previous owner York Properties of Atlanta was planning the construction of up to 749 residential units, more than 410,000 square feet of office and retail space, and a 150-room hotel. In 2006, the city approved York Properties’ master plan, and the company bought the property for $10.2 million in 2007. Once the recession hit, the project was canceled, and Wells Fargo took ownership of the site in 2010 following foreclosure.

Photo credits: members.virtualtourist.com



Investor Buys Multifamily Property from PREI for $165,436 Per Unit

10 Jul 2013, 10:06 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The Alexan Garrett Farms, a 298-unit rental community located off of U.S. 15-501 in south Durham, has changed owners. According to the Triangle Business Journal, real estate investment firm Bentall Kennedy of Boston acquired the property from Prudential Real Estate Investors of Chicago. The community sold for $49.3 million, or $165,436 per unit.

Open since 2009, the apartment complex is conveniently located near the city’s major employers and universities. The property offers one-, two- and three-bedroom units along with a wide range of amenities, including a resort-style swimming pool with over-sized sun deck, summer kitchen with gas grills, an outdoor lounge with fireside seating, green spaces, children’s park, clubhouse, cardio studio, full-effect movie theatre, laptop stations and WiFi access.

In other multifamily transaction news, the same source reports that a group of investors represented by AEW Capital Management of Los Angeles has acquired the 328-unit Artisan at Brightleaf apartment complex in east Durham. The property sold for $43.8 million, or $133,536 per unit.

Developed by Greystar of Charleston, S.C., the one- and two-bedroom garden-style community opened last fall. Amenities include a pool and deck with Wi-Fi, 24-hour emergency maintenance, sports club, interactive gaming lounge, outdoor courtyards, a private tanning salon, dog park, private detached garages, as well as concierge services.

Photo credits: artisanatbrightleaf.com



21c Museum Hotels to Convert SunTrust Building to Hotel for $48M

5 Jul 2013, 10:40 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

21c Museum Hotels of Louisville, Ky. is reconverting the former SunTrust Building in downtown Durham into a hotel, restaurant and art museum.

According to the Triangle Business Journal, the redevelopment of the historic 17-story office tower on Corcoran Street entails an investment of $48 million.

Through the partial use of a $9 million loan from the Self-Help Credit Union, 21c Museum Hotels has funded the $5.25 million acquisition of the property. The renovation project is also benefiting from $5.7 million in incentives from the Durham City Council and $2 million from the Durham County Board of Commissioners.

Originally known as the Hill Building, the tower dates back to 1937. Its historical designation derives from the name of state senator and philanthropist John Sprunt Hill, who hired Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, the architects of the Empire State Building in New York, to design the headquarters for his Home Savings and Trust Co.

Upon completion in 2015, the new hotel will feature 125 guestrooms. Stephanie Greene, a spokeswoman for 21c Museum Hotels, told the newspaper that the project is expected to create 200 construction jobs and 150 permanent jobs.

Launched in 2006 by philanthropists and art collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, 21c Museum Hotels is a boutique hotel chain that seeks to integrate contemporary art into everyday life. The company’s other properties are located in Louisville, Ky., Cincinnati and Bentonville, Ark.

Photo credits: army.arch via Flickr




Kane Realty Plans $82M Office High-Rise in North Hills

28 Jun 2013, 9:05 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Kane Realty is planning to develop an 18-story office tower at North Hills in Raleigh. According to the NewsObserver, the company expects to break ground on the $82 million project by December.

Scheduled to open in the fall of 2015, the 300,000-square-foot high-rise will be located on Six Forks Road between the 17-story CapTrust Tower and the First Citizens Bank building.

Kane is developing the office project without having pre-leased the space.

“There is a lot of demand and there’s not much out there space-wise for Class A space over 25,000 square feet,” CEO John Kane told the newspaper. “We feel very confident that, bringing this to market now, it’ll be very successful.”

 The Triangle Business Journal reports that the new high-rise known as Tower Two will feature 10 floors of office space above seven levels of parking, retail and restaurant space. Duda Paine Architects of Durham is the project’s designer.

Kane Realty has also co-developed the 300,000-square-foot CapTrust Tower, which opened in 2009 and is nearing full occupancy. The company has partnered with Duke Realty of Indianapolis to build the high-rise. In February, KBS Realty Advisors purchased the property for $98.4 million.

Kane’s other projects in Raleigh include a 214-unit apartment complex to be built next to Harris Teeter and the Park & Market apartments, as well as the $40 million Hyatt House hotel. Developed in partnership with Concord Hospitality Enterprises, the property is scheduled to open in July.

Photo credits: Kane Realty Corporation



Ohio Investor Acquires Holly Springs Shopping Center for $11M

25 Jun 2013, 8:36 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Aurora-based Optimus One LLC has recently purchased the SouthPark Village shopping center in Holly Springs. According to the Triangle Business Journal, SouthPark Village Investments I of Atlanta, which is led by Philip E. Stephens, sold the property for $11 million.

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Southeast Capital Group, led by Whitney Knoll, Mark Hallis and Jason Archer of Atlanta, brokered the transaction on behalf of the seller.

Located at the intersection of the N.C. 55 Bypass and Avent Ferry Road, the approximately 82,000-square-foot retail center was 98 percent leased at the time of sale. Harris Teeter, the Fiesta Mexicana restaurant, Yopop, Great Clips, Curves, Carolina Family Vision, Go Realty and China Uno are among the property’s tenants.

In other news, the same source reports that New York-based life insurance giant MetLife has leased the 116,300-square-foot Danbury Hall office building at the Imperial Center business park in Durham for two and a half years. The facility would house 250 information technology employees.

The company is also considering a deal with Highwoods Properties to build a new facility for its global technology and operations campus on Weston Parkway in Cary. In March, MetLife announced it would be opening two new hub campuses in Cary and Charlotte that would create a combined 2,600 jobs in North Carolina.

Photo credits: http://www.tacquire.com



New York-Based Co. Buys Hope Valley Square in Durham for $7.7M

12 Jun 2013, 8:55 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

An affiliate of DNA Partners of Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. has acquired the 40,524-square-foot Hope Valley Square retail center in Durham.

According to the Triangle Business Journal, Hawthorne Retail Partners of Charlotte sold the property for $7.7 million. Berkeley Capital Advisors represented the company in the sale.

Formerly known as Shannon Plaza, the shopping center at 3710 Shannon Road is anchored by one of the busiest U.S. Postal Service offices in the city. According to the newspaper’s quarterly Space survey, Hope Valley Square was nearly 100 percent leased during this year’s first quarter. Three popular restaurants, including Only Burger, Bull Street Gourmet & Market and Pop’s Backdoor South are also among the center’s tenants.

In 2007, Hawthorne Retail Partners acquired the property for $2.4 million. Through substantial renovations, the company has converted the distressed structure into a Class A neighborhood center. Upgrades included a façade enhancement, a new pylon sign, parking lot resurfacing, as well as parking lot lighting and landscaping improvements.

In regional news, CVS has signed a 20-year ground lease to build a new, 13,000-square-foot stand-alone store on the vacant outparcel at the 113,000-square-foot Rams Plaza shopping center in Chapel Hill.

The 30-year-old retail property at 1728 Fordham Boulevard is owned by the Kalikow Group, through a joint venture entity known as Rams Plaza Associates L.L.C. The company purchased the center in December 2011.

Rams Plaza is currently 95 percent occupied and anchored by Food Lion. As a long-time junior anchor, CVS will continue to occupy 8,500 square feet of space within the center until the new store is completed.

The new lease marks the beginning of the second phase of a $3 million renovation plan. In March, the owners completed the first phase, which consisted of $1.5 million in upgrades to the facade, building structures, interior courtyard and parking areas.

“We are extremely pleased to announce this agreement with CVS, which allows us to complete our redevelopment of this shopping center,” said Edward Kalikow, president and CEO of The Kalikow Group. “Tenant retention remains very high in the area, which has significant barriers to entry, and we are gratified that CVS has chosen to expand at the new Rams Plaza.”

Photo credits: www.loopnet.com



Erwin Square Plaza in Downtown Durham Changes Hands

5 Jun 2013, 9:40 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

In a $37.5 million deal, Federal Capital Partners of Maryland has acquired the 10-story Erwin Square Plaza office building in downtown Durham from National Asset Services Inc. of Los Angeles. Ben Kilgore at CBRE represented the seller in the transaction.

Located at 2200 West Main Street in the master-planned Erwin Square Development, the property offers 215,048 square feet of office space, as well as 23,744 square feet of retail and a four-level parking deck. Duke University and Duke University Health System-related companies and organizations are among the building’s tenants, which has a current occupancy rate of 96.2 percent.

“Erwin Square Plaza is of very high quality and is well-located in downtown Durham, which has seen enormous growth and revitalization in the last 10 years. The Durham CBD is experiencing healthy demand for office space, and the property has maintained a 95 percent+ occupancy since 2007. We look forward to renovating the property back to its institutional-grade potential and repositioning the important retail portion of the property,” FCP Managing Partner, Esko Korhonen said in a statement.

Federal Capital Partners now has controlling interest in or has provided financing for more than 350,000 square feet of commercial space and nearly 2,000 apartments in the Triangle area. This includes the 156-unit West Village community currently under construction in downtown Durham.

In other news, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is expanding its Durham campus on University Drive with the acquisition of two office buildings.

According to the NewsObserver, the company has purchased University Place 4 and University Place 5 for a combined $10 million. Together, the properties offer approximately 100,000 square feet of space. The new acquisitions will enable Blue Cross to relocate its operations from the current headquarters in Chapel Hill to Durham by next year.

Blue Cross is North Carolina’s largest insurer, with more than 4,000 employees across the state. The company now owns about 560,000 square feet in eight buildings at its University Place corporate campus in Durham.

Photo credits: CBRE







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