Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Another Call For Action

As if to endorse my previous post concerning taking action on our own and not waiting for someone else to "save" us, the CEO of Starbucks is calling for corporations to stop making campaign contributions to any of the elected officials of our country!  Go here to read the editorial in the Seattle Times last Friday.

It is refreshing to hear this coming from a CEO of a company that regularly contributes millions to gain some political influence.  It is not right and we all know it.

His call for action does two things, first, it cuts off the life blood of campaigning that seems to be all politicians care about, and second, it calls for hiring and investing, taking matters into our own hands and not waiting for someone else to make things better.

In this real estate market we are faced with similar decisions, or indecisions as the case may be.  We are sitting in a perfect time to invest in real estate.  Prices are incredibly low, interest rates are incredibly low, values abound. 

If you are thinking of purchasing real estate, or have a friend who is interested in purchasing real estate in downtown Charlotte, please call me today, 704-236-7119.

Take that first step.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Time To Reboot

I spent some time with a friend of mine, and a former Charlottean, over the weekend.  As we walked around the city, looking at its strength, a diverse population, good weather, new construction, continued growth, moderate taxes, etc.  My friend is an artist, and she "sees" things.  She said it must be amazing to be here now.

I thought a lot about what she said.  The times are difficult as a large part of my business has shifted from sales to rentals.  At times, things can seem overwhelming.  Her comments made me look back to what I have written in previous articles in this blog.  Many articles concern new industries moving to this region.  I have written about how a major complex, Fifth & Poplar, has seemingly turned the corner, and is now becoming a highly sought address.  I have written of how the increased demand for downtown living, a combination of rentals and sales, is higher than it has EVER been.

Major issues like the Democratic Convention, the potential of downtown baseball, two new parks coming into the city, the expansion of light rail, UNCC opening a downtown classroom building, Northeastern University putting a location in downtown, Wake Forest Masters program moving to downtown are all filling the public debate, and all will add to property values

There is much to be excited about.

So when we read of housing prices being down or up from month to month, how do we reconcile those seemingly different stories.  The data seems to have somehow gotten truncated or corrupt, it just doesn't seem to make sense.

The analogy here is that when our computers sometimes become crammed with remnants of programs, we need to "Reboot" the system to clear out the cobwebs.  The government is not going to fix our economy.  Multinational corporations are not going to fix our economy.  We are! 

We have all heard "Buy low, Sell high" well we are at the Low time.  Valuation on available property is hovering around the 2003 levels, very affordable.  Interest rates are at historic lows.  Over 80% of the available financially distressed properties in downtown Charlotte have sold this calendar year, only 14 remain listed in MLS.  Someone is getting the message.

We need to "Reboot" our thinking.  As sellers we need to determine which is most important, the amount of profit from the sale of property, or moving on with life.  As buyers we need to stop trying to figure where the bottom of the market is, and select a unit and a price that allows us to buy low.  We control those things!

Things are different, and may never be the same.  That does not mean that opportunities don't exist.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Move Towards Urbanization

Here is part of an article from Inman News:

" The U.S. population is projected to grow by 150 million within the next 40 years and 'more compact, mixed-use development' is needed to handle the growth and changing demands, Patrick Phillips, CEO for the Urban Land Institute, told an audience at the National Association of Real Estate Editors annual conference this week. 'The design and development of urban areas will be radically different in the decades ahead,” he said. “We are seeing a push to make our cities more livable and sustainable.” One-person households are the fastest-growing type of household, he noted. Also, younger generations, in buyer preference surveys, are placing a higher value on the sense of community and are willing to swap extra space for convenience. An urban renaissance has been taking place with neighborhoods that are near urban centers becoming more desirable, Phillips said. Source: Inman News"

This trend bodes well for those who own property in the urban core.  As more development starts to infill existing property will also rise in value.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Northeastern University Picks The Independence Building

In my July newsletter I pointed out activity taking place at the former site of  TheVUE 's sale center on the corner of Trade and Tryon.  At that time, the occupant was "unnamed", but there sure was a lot of work taking place.  This was in the August 5th edition of the Charlotte Observer, go here for the full article.

"After an 18-month study, the school announced in May it had chosen uptown Charlotte to make its first physical expansion outside of Massachusetts.  It declined then to release information about the nine graduate programs, but disclosed details this week after a request by the Charlotte Observer.

In addition to the doctorate program, the offerings would include an MBA degree and master of science degrees in finance, taxation, project management, sports leadership, leadership, education and health informatics.

The doctorate will be among the few in the country delivered online and in the classroom by a "nationally recognized, top-ranked university," said Cheryl Richards, Northeastern's dean and chief executive in Charlotte.  The school, Richards said, hopes to hear in October about the licensing from the UNC Board of Governors, the state's higher education licensing authority. If successful, it would start graduate programs in January.

The school must be optimistic: It has hired Richards away from Central Piedmont Community College and renovations are underway for its new uptown campus.

Northeastern couldn't have picked a more central site in Charlotte: 14,000 square feet on two floors in the 20-story 101 Independence Center at Trade and Tryon streets.  It will have street-level presence, taking some of the first floor.

The school would depend heavily on drawing uptown working professionals.

"The campus in Boston is urban, right in the heart of the city where it can stay in touch with the growing needs of the business community," Richards said. "For us, it's really important to be at the center of Charlotte's growth."

This continued expansion of non-financial service industries in Charlotte will make the entire community stronger.  Welcome NEU!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Signs Of Live At The Proposed Knight Stadium

It appears that the Charlotte Knights have installed a "Home Plate" on the proposed location for their stadium.  This coming on the heels of the announcement of Romare Bearden Park groundbreaking on September 2nd, and the county commissioners giving the Knights 10 more months to line up financing for a planned baseball stadium in Third Ward.

This is mostly a publicity ploy in my estimation but it is exciting to see some activity taking place at the site.

During the height of the condo building boom, a local developer had an option (maybe still does?) on the parcel on the southwest corner of MLK, Jr. Blvd. and South Graham Street nestled against the Duke Energy parking garage.  Interestingly the project has the code name "Home Plate"!