Sunday, January 2, 2011

What To Look For In 2011

As employment begins to increase and our growth starts to return to pre-recession levels, 2011 will bring about some significant issues/opportunities that will have an impact on our property values.

2012 Democratic National Convention. The decision as to the location of this event seems to be between Charlotte and St. Louis. The economic impact of a convention this size is substantial, but of even more importance to Charlotte will be the national attention focused on our city. Expect a decision early in the 1st Quarter.

Rhode Island School of Design. This is a topic that originally surfaced about 4 years ago. It was rumored that in part due to the success and growth of Johnson & Wales, RISD was looking to open a campus here. The likely site was located in the First Ward near the UNCC Downtown Classroom building and the LYNX Light Rail Line. The synergies for this Fine Arts College to be connected both with the downtown area, and the UNCC Campus via the impending rail extension are great. Great also will be the associated development this will bring along the North Tryon corridor.

Knight Stadium, Third Ward. This will need to be the year this is finally decided. Jerry Reese is almost out of appeals, he has not one any of his petitions. Construction costs are likely to be as low as they will ever be. The impact of this development will create the opportunity for upwards of 10,000 people to find their way to the stadium some 70 times a year. This will bring out merchants and restaurants to take advantage of that traffic flow.

Amtrak/Greyhound Stations. Stimulus funds will be used to do some track relocation near the ADM plant which will be the needed impetus for these stations to be built. The double impact of the Stadium and Stations will breathe life into an area that has been abandoned for the past 20 or so years.

The Park, Two Ten Trade, The VUE. All three of these developments were caught in the recession, only The VUE proceeded to completion so far. The Park is scheduled to finish its construction this year, only different from originally planned. It will now be a Hybrid of condo’s and hotel rooms. An interesting product, and one that is used in many cities. Two Ten Trade (Epicentre) is finally coming out of the courts, but I do not expect anything to substantially develop on this site for some time.

The VUE is entering a time of legal action. Some buyers are suing the developer
 to get out of their contracts, and the developer is suing some buyers for non-performance on their contracts. I would expect the legal action to settle down by summer, and believe that by the end of the year there will be over 150 units (of the 408 in the building) to be occupied. All legal action aside, there will not be another building in the city like The VUE for the next 10 years. The size, the amenities, the location, and of course the views are all incredible. It is a shaky birth, but I believe it will survive.

To be sure, there will be other issues that will come up, but I expect that these will be the talk of the town!

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