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Saturday, April 19, 2008

It's A Wrap-Saturday with Condo CanDo

Saturday April 19, 2008
Green, green, my world is Green!

Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte, NC
And what a week that was/ er…ah…still is. We started by learning about the creative financial plan Wachovia put in place for the development of The Charlotte Law School. It is a Federal program that tries to spur development in low income areas. The program is named New Markets Tax Credit program and is Wachovia’s first. You may recall Monday when we reported this that the 100,000 square foot school of law is the first building in a 250M redevelopment of Radiator Specialty’s 40 acre site as a multi-use project named Bryant Park.
Folks, this is a big deal because although the Westside is already perking, this sets the course for major change as Westside goes from warehouses and commercial to multi-use with condos and townhomes. That’s one.
Next was the announcement of Center City Green and Spectrum Properties superb plan for parking, condos, open air fresh air market, organic fare…and built under the LEED banner. Green building practices are great in our book.

The Business Journal published their first Green Book…how fabulous is that?Charlotte Clean and Green is happening as we speak.Charlotte was named as one of the top ten cities for sellers! Hurrah!And I think I finally have the technical pieces together to try our first telephone interview and put it on our podcast!
All that…and I planted 7 pink dogwoods!
All in all, another beautiful week in Charlotte, The Queen City.

Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte, NC

Friday, April 18, 2008

Question and Answers with Condo CanDo

Friday, April 18, 2008

Points…Paying Extra…The Short Sale

Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte NC

There are many things to like about being an active real estate broker on a full-time basis.There are many things to love. Like learning. Learning constantly about the Charlotte market and a business that is as changing as the river. Did you know that Real Estate professionals are required to attend two classes to keep their license in good standing?

I have been taking quite a few because they give me an opportunity to discover options.From these classes, I create our Q/A for this day.
So let’s get started on our Question and Answer session:

Question: For years I have heard it is a wise move to pay one extra payment a year at least and that will save you lots in interest.
Answer: I learned this today from Jim Garrison who is joining The Real Estate Here goes. For years I have paid lots more on principle. No more. I’ll sock that extra money into a savings account because it will earn more for me and help me nurture that path to wealth. We’ll hear more from Jim about this when he comes aboard.
Question: If you have missed several payments and know you can’t bail out and foreclosure is imminent, can you start taking the necessary steps to a Short Sale even before you engage a real estate broker?
Answer: Yes. It’s the rule of being pro-active and starting the process yourself. Taking charge can help reduce the stress and understanding the process is knowledge building.

Question: If you make purchases based on 90 days same as cash or a year same as cash and you pay it off early or on time, is that great for your credit score?
Answer: No. Those terms are through a finance company. Not well regarded by the score keepers.

Question: By paying down the rate with points you might be throwing good money down the drain?
Answer: Not necessarily. Depending how your mortgage is structured, you may save a good bit and build wealth as well. Listen for Jim Garrison’s take.
Question: Is there such a mortgage that would accommodate a major renovation?
Answer: Yes and Jim will tell us how.

Question: Who is Jim Garrison?
Answer: The latest team member on and he’s fabulous.

Tomorrow we do the week’s wrap and what a great week it has been.
Have a good one and thanks for joining us.

Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte NC

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A First and A First: A Favorite

April 17, 2008

Lynnsy Logue The REal Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte NC

I spoke of this project, Center City Green, yesterday and directed you to the full story on our website is such a fabulous project because it incorporates at the moment Green Building Practices, Organic Sustenance and a creative use of form and function. I am applauding Spectrum Properties. So it is a first for me to offer such applause. And I do like to give credit where credit is due. Here is the whole story...and the detail were posted yesterday.
The 12-story Center City Green – across from Time Warner Cable Arena – will include 1,400 parking spaces, 88 condos (far left) above a farmers’ market, and a restaurant (far right).

Uptown Charlotte's latest Next Big Thing started with a need for parking spaces, but it will be much more -- possibly even a year-round green market.
Spectrum Properties plans to develop Center City Green, a 12-story, 1,400-space deck to include condos, a restaurant and a farmers' market across Fifth Street from Time Warner Cable Arena, formerly Bobcats Arena.
Spectrum is buying the 2 acres on the light-rail line between the arena and ImaginOn from Bank of America, which will lease 1,300 spaces for its employees.
The $60 million complex will be developed with a goal of achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, said Spectrum CEO Darryl Dewberry.
The bank bought the land last fall from the city and requested proposals from developers on how they would create the needed parking within an animated, green development.
Spectrum's proposal was accepted. Bank officials said they were pleased with the response, but declined to disclose how many proposals were submitted.
"It was our intent that this site be developed in an environmentally responsible manner, as yet another component of our enterprise-wide commitment to green building practices," said Bank of America corporate workplace executive Mark Nicholls. "We are pleased to help bring such a useful amenity to uptown Charlotte."
Bank of America took the lead a decade ago in creating uptown parking decks that are more than just a depository for cars.
Its 10-story Seventh Street Station, for example, includes a specialty grocer and restaurants in an interactive structure that makes musical sounds and lights up when its multi-colored exterior fins are touched.
Center City Green would have 88 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom condos priced from the $180,000s to the $280,000s and oriented toward Fifth Street for views of the arena and the skyline.
Steve McClure, vice president of Spectrum Properties Residential, said the residences would meet the Urban Land Institute's "workforce" affordability guideline, meaning that police officers, teachers, nurses, etc., could qualify to buy there.
Spectrum wants to attract a restaurant that would feature a health-conscious menu and become an on-site pantry for organic meats and produce sold at an adjoining green market.
A year-round green market has been on the uptown wish list for more than two decades. Bank of America once considered providing sites at Seventh Street Station and the IJL Financial Center at 201 N. Tryon St.
Dewberry said residential development uptown is helping create the population density to support a green market.
Charlotte Center City Partners, which estimates 12,000 people live in the center city today, expects the population to exceed 27,000 by 2012.
The proposed market location would be ideal -- about 1 1/2 blocks from the intersection of Trade and Tryon streets, accessible to drivers, and convenient to public transit, said Center City Partners President Michael Smith.
Over the years, city leaders have visited public markets in Seattle and Philadelphia, and Dewberry said Spectrum's goal is to pattern its market after those well-known facilities.
The market would operate from about 10,000 square feet of indoor space, but would include outdoor space for fresh-food pavilions during the spring and summer months.
Center City Partners, which operates a seasonal green market uptown, is talking with Spectrum about becoming part of Center City Green.
The seasonal market, across Seventh Street from Seventh Street Station, was never intended to be permanent, Smith said.
"We still need to tee up Center City Green with the City of Charlotte and put together a game plan," he said. "I think we have an interesting opportunity."
Smith said a permanent market would fit with Center City Partners' strategy for attracting more retail to serve workers, local visitors and out-of-region visitors.
"In a lot of cities, these markets become suppliers to the restaurants," Smith said. "You see chefs at the market buying fresh food for their restaurants."
Dewberry said the developers will work with Center City Partners and government leaders to create a market featuring local vegetables, cheeses, fish, meats and poultry with an emphasis on organic foods.
Spectrum, which developed the 230 South Tryon condos and is working to create mixed-use projects in Third Ward and Second Ward, expects to break ground by late June on Center City Green.
The project would be finished in the fourth quarter of 2009.
McClure said the "green" in the complex's name stands for both the green market and the green certification the developers hope to achieve.
The structure was designed by LS3P Associates Ltd. with 12 floors of condos next to the deck, glass elevator towers and a helix-shaped parking ramp adding an artistic element to the center.
The farmers' market and restaurant would be on each side of the complex at street level.
"We applaud the vision," Smith said. "We have a developer who has shown great support for Charlotte, offering to do this if the city is interested. We are glad to be a part of it."
Appluase. Whistles. Cheers!

Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte NC

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hallelujah! Uptown Charlotte Goes Green!

April 16, 2008

Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady with Condo CanDo in Charlotte, NC

Hallelujah! Uptown Green Market! Condos, Organic Food!

• Size: 12-story parking deck to include condos, a restaurant and a green market.
• Location: 2-acre site bounded by Fifth, Sixth and North Brevard streets and the light-rail line.
• The condos: 88 units, 560 to 960 square feet, priced from the $180,000s to the $280,000s. Green features to include eco-friendly finishes such as cork, recycled glass, bamboo, compact fluorescent lighting, and energy-saver appliances.
• The restaurant: Developers are aiming for a health-conscious eatery featuring wholesome dining.
• The green market: Developers are working with Charlotte Center City Partners on a year-round market featuring fresh vegetables, fish, meats and dairy products -- all sold by local vendors.
• Parking: Condos with balconies would be constructed beside a 1,400-space deck. Glass elevator towers and a helix -shaped parking ramp add artistic elements.
• Design: Developers will seek LEED silver certification and include such green features as bicycle storage, showers and changing rooms.
• Development team: Spectrum Properties, developer; LS3P Associates Ltd., architect; BE&K Construction, general contractor; Bank of America, lender.
• Timetable: Groundbreaking by late June; completion by fourth quarter of 2009.
• Information:
Developers are trying to improve the uptown streetscape by hiding or disguising parking decks. Here are some examples:
• Seventh Street Station, on the light-rail line between Sixth and Seventh streets, houses a specialty grocer and restaurants. It features fins and reflective panels that play musical tones.
This garage and several of its contemporaries helped changed the public's perception of uptown as a giant office park and made it more attractive for the residential resurgence under way in the center city today.
• Wachovia created The Green, a lively, 1.5-acre park atop an 860-space parking garage on South Tryon Street between The Ratcliffe condominiums and St. Peter Catholic Church.
• Bank of America's Gateway Village on West Trade Street conceals a 2,800-space parking garage behind condos, apartments, shops and restaurants.
• At other uptown projects constructed since the city adopted screening rules in the 1990s, parking garages such as the one at the 46-story Hearst Tower on North Tryon Street are shielded by building facades on the lower levels.
• Wachovia's First Street Campus under construction at Tryon and Stonewall streets conceals about 2,200 parking spaces beneath a 48-story office tower.
Doug Smith: Charlotte Observer
The full article is on Condo News at

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Condo Documents...Here we go again!

April 15, 2008

It's the fine print,really!

Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte NC

“Use restrictions” are just what they say they are-restrictions on what the condo may be used for. The following restrictions were taken from an actual document. Children are defined as those twelve years and under. Permanent residents are defined as those occupying a unit 60 days or more. Interpretation: You can have children under twelve if you are vacationing 60 days or less.Imagine your buyer moving in and habitually parking in the nearest space to the elevator. Six months go by. All of a sudden the new buyer receives a notice that in accordance with the condominium documents an assigned space has been reserved. The only problem is the assigned space is across the parking lot, next to the swimming pool! Perhaps parking is unassigned. Usually it is assigned. Advantages of unassigned parking are less management headaches especially if parking is tight. Here is a clause guaranteed to start a war: “but one parking space per unit and one storage space per unit may be later assigned from time to time by the board of directors of the association.”Did you tell your buyer parking was unassigned? You did? Good. Did you tell your buyer he/she might be assigned a permanent space at the discretion of the board? You didn’t? Why not? Because you didn’t know it was in the documents. I’m sure you get the point. The documents are important. And they are not all the same.

Next week on Regulation Tuesday, I will discuss the Typical Use Restrictions and publish a summary.

Thanks for joining us. Remember…read the fine print. All of it.

Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte NC

Monday, April 14, 2008

Catching Up with Bryant Park

April 14, 2008
Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte, NC

Catching up with Bryant Park

This is the site that was an industrial brownfield that needed to be reclaimed and the neighborhood qualified as low income and in need of revitalization.

Now The Charlotte School of Law is becoming visible against the uptown skyline. Motorists can see the four story building marching towards a completion date of August. What is not visible is the financial story. This building is the first Charlotte project Wachovia has financed under the federal New Markets Tax Credit Program. Officials say the program goes beyond affordable housing construction to create jobs and encourage revitalization with new stores, restaurants, day care centers and jobs.

The 100,000 square foot school of law is the first building in a 250 million redevelopment of Radiator Specialty’s 40 acre site as a multi-use project named Bryant Park. This is just the first phase of a broader plan that could have great impact on the area-in transit orientation, green orientation, and mixed-income housing.Bryant Park is on the Westside…and Westside is beginning to shape itself into becoming a significant part of Charlotte. Just as North End has sparked growth just north of the city.

Charlotte is still a small southern town in so many ways…we have room to grow…to the west, to the north and to the east. I have a real estate friend who is quick to say if you miss a condo tower or two uptown, hang on…we have areas of the inner city that are just beginning to cook. The best, I believe, is yet to come.

Feature articles about Bryant Park and North End are on our website under “Condo News”. You bet there is an abundance of both condos and townhomes in each project.

Thanks for joining us.

Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte, NC