Monday, March 22, 2010

First Ward Park To Follow UNCC Classroom Building

Construction is scheduled to start this fall on a 4.5 acre-lot on Brevard Street between East Seventh and Ninth streets, said Daniel Levine, president of Levine Properties, which will pay the up-front costs of the $9.6 million construction project.

With restaurants and other attractions planned nearby in later phases, the park ultimately could draw visitors from more distant communities along the light rail line, Levine said.

"We're going to make it a great urban neighborhood," Levine said. "In 30 years, we hope to have Charlotte's equivalent of (New York's) Greenwich Village."

Levine Properties is moving forward with plans for the first phase of a 22-acre mixed-use development in First Ward. Long-term plans call for residences, offices and retail businesses such as restaurants and shops and possibly a hotel.

First Ward Park is part of a partnership between Levine, UNC Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and the city of Charlotte. Park and Recreation was gathering feedback this week on the park's master plan.

Crews will level off the drop in elevation at Eighth and Brevard. Construction also will begin on an underground parking deck with an entrance on East Ninth Street.

Crews also will begin work on a new section of 10th Street and on Market Street, a new street that will run parallel to the proposed light-rail extension.

The area closer to Seventh Street and ImaginOn will have features for children, including two fountains where they can play in the water. That side of the park also will have a lawn that can seat about 4,000 people for concerts or other activities.

Most of the park north of Eighth will be built above the underground parking deck. The proximity to UNC Charlotte's classrooms led to a design for a more serene space, with a reflecting pond.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Art Of Short Sales

I was fortunate enough to be featured in an article in the April edition of Charlotte Magazine concerning Short Sales.

These type of sales are becoming more common as some owners are faced with declining values, and a need to stop the debt burden. Short Sales have a reputation of being diffuclue and time consuming, but I have found that understanding the requirements of the financial institution, and patience in organizing and dissemination the necessary documentation is the key.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New High End Development To Hit The Market

For many years, it was just known as the Clock Tower, the empty space between the two hotels in the Second Ward. Slowly, the space in the middle was developed into 26high end condos, noted for their attention to detail.

The developer will be bringing these units to market shortly, and with only 26 units in the building, they will immediately make an impact on the market.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thanks for the notice!

I was interviewed a while ago for the March issue of the Charlotte Magazine regarding a "Short Sale" that I conducted in 400 North Church Street. The article contains most of the details. The important thing here is that these "Short Sales" are becoming an important part of the current real estate environment.

Since that sale, I have become involved in several other opportunities to do "Short Sales" and have become the defacto subject matter expert at Center City Realty.

This is a changing market, and flexibility is key in being successful either as a buyer, seller, or realtor.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Is Your Agent Working In YOUR Best Interest?

There is a real estate firm town (not Center City Realty) that, as a policy, pays its’ agents more per transaction if they sell one of the firms own transactions. In some cases, the agent may receive twice as much if they sell one of the firm’s listings than if they were to sell one of a Keller Williams agent as an example. As a buyer, this should concern you as it does me.

As a buyer, I would be concerned the agent I just hired may only show the listings that benefit them financially the most instead of the best options to fit my needs. Maybe they are showing all the listings but being more persuasive towards the ones that pay more over others.

During the home search phase of the buying process, the agent’s role is to provide perspective and information to assist the buyer in making their own decision. As a home buyer looking to hire a real estate agent, ask them directly if they there are properties that they are being incentivised to show and sell you.

As a matter of practice, when a "realtor bonus" is being offered, I forward that to the buyer.

What do you think?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Will Growth Continue On North Tryon?

As an owner in ChapelWatch, it is somewhat discouraging to note the deterioration of property values in the building. This is especially true when compared to The Ratcliffe located on South Tryon near the Wachovia Cultural Campus. Since 2007, there have been 15 sales in The Ratcliffe, and 2 sales in ChapelWatch. The average dollars per square foot for The Ratcliffe has averaged $385, while ChapelWatch has averaged $338. I should also note that there have been no sales in ChapelWatch since 2007.
The product is similar, both buildings are well constructed and well appointed, so then, why is there such a difference?
ChapelWatch is in what many consider to be the premier neighborhood, the Fourth Ward. There is truly a feeling of being in a neighborhood. The Ratcliffe on the other hand is clearly in an urban environment, Overstreet Mall connections all the way to the Hearst Tower.
ChapelWatch sits at the end of the current downtown expansion, whereas The Ratcliffe sits clearly in the center of it. With the Betchler Museum of Modern Art, the Knight Theatre of Performing Arts, and the soon to be completed Mint Museum, not to mention the NASCAR Hall of Fame, South Tryon is awash in activity.
ChapelWatch is also burdened by being next to the Days Inn. Hardly a showing goes by without a client making a comment about that property.
As sobering as that information is, there are changes that are taking place which will slowly shift the area of growth from South Tryon to North Tryon.
The construction of the UNCC building is rapidly rising from the ground to make a dramatic statement in the First Ward skyline. It’s commanding height, 12 stories, will stand out like a beacon, and will be followed by additional development. The First Ward Park and associated parking deck are awaiting groundbreaking sometime this summer.
The North Carolina Dance Theatre on North Tryon next to the McColl Center for Visual Arts is nearing completion.
Other projects will emerge to change the complexion of this area of the city, and increased property values will follow.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Things are beginning to move

This has been an interesting weekend. Significant activity has been taking place on my listings over the past 10 days, and I have received two contracts over the weekend.
Just as a brief rain shower doesn't mean the end of a drought, it can signify a change in the attitudes of the buyers.
Interest rates look like they will begin to creep up, and sellers are examining their prices and "right pricing" their properties in an effort to move buyers to the closing table.
It will be a while before we return to the heady days of 2007, but the corner appears to have been turned.