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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Skybridge Condos: Up and Running

August 20, 2008
Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte, NC

West Morehead is on the rise
Skybridge Terrace is up and running …

Project size: 144 condos in three buildings off the 1200 block of West Morehead Street.
Prices: Units range from 500 to 1,078 square feet and sell from the $120,000s to $280,000s.
Timeline: First of three buildings completed. Two others to be started as the market dictates.
Features: Elevators in each building secure parking and controlled access, private balconies on most units, 10-foot smooth ceilings, double-bowl stainless-steel sinks, granite bar tops in kitchens and hardwood flooring in living areas.
West Morehead Street has emerged over the past decade as a commercial revitalization district as aging warehouses have been converted to modern offices.
Now, residential revitalization is poised to be The Next Big Thing in development there.
The first building in Skybridge Terrace, a planned 144-unit condo project, has been completed on West Morehead at Calvert Street near Interstate 77, and the initial owners have begun to move into their units.
The $22 million project occupies 2.2 acres with a greenway connection that provides pedestrian access to uptown via Third Ward and the Bank of America Stadium area.
Farther out Morehead at the Wilkinson Boulevard intersection, American Investment Exchange plans a 40,000-square-foot office building on a 1.6-acre parcel that once housed the Plantation Grill.
Ogunrinde, a principal in Neighboring concepts with Darrel Williams and Luis Tochiki, said the firm has been active on West Morehead since it bought the triangle-shaped Carolina Moving and Storage warehouse in 1998 and converted it to office condos.
The commercial development under way in the corridor is setting the stage for future retail and residential development, he believes.
The increased density has the potential to attract shops and restaurants to serve office workers and residents.
And the area also could appeal to office tenants and condo owners seeking to enjoy center city amenities without paying center city prices.
The remaining Skybridge Terrace condos – 500 to 1,060 square feet – are priced, for example, from the $120,000s to the $280,000s.
Prices fall in the $250-a-square-foot range compared with $350 a square foot or more inside I-277.
The project eventually will have three buildings – 48,000 square feet each – connected by sky bridges to give owners uptown skyline and Wesley Heights tree canopy views.
Ogunrinde said the skyline side, with the largest and most expensive units, has been the most popular so far.
Buyers put contracts on all the units, he said, but some are struggling to arrange financing and close in the uncertain lending market.
Purchasers have been a mix of older professionals, young professionals and people seeking a second dwelling.
For more information on the West Morehead Stretch, refer to our podcast on Bryant Park and on the Charlotte Law School. And also remember that the city-county offices at the Hal Marshall Center on North Tryon are being re-located to Freedom Drive.
Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte, NC

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Yes,Conservation Is Habit Forming...

August 19, 2008

Conservation is Habit Forming

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

Ali, Ali In Free…The game was fun. We played after inner…dusk. We would play kick the can and then Ali,Ali in free. We got to come on in…no penalty. We played. We were tired. We came home.Conservation. We adapt. We change our habits, our thinking, our perspective. We return home better. Saved for another day of energetic play.I replanned my days as gas prices peaked upward.. Figured my stops more carefully. Sectioned out the city. Did not use air-conditioning. Checked tire pressure. Foot off the pedal going down hills, coasting to stops. Eating more at home. Finding more time at my home office to do more. More time with my companion dogs. Hung more laundry out to dry, checked all the light bulbs and changed where necessary. Programmed the thermostat to a higher temperature…used ceiling fans and vertical fans more than ever before. Used my electric lawn mower and electric weed eater. Changed the temperature on the water heater.I like it. It feels good to be proactive. Now I am on it. Check weather stripping, doors and locks. Security. Efficiency. Yes. We can do this.As summer vacation season kicked in, Americans got out of heir cars, driving 12.2 billion fewer miles in June than the same month a year earlier. The 4.7 percent decline which came while gas prices were peaking, was the biggest monthly driving drop in a downward trend that began in November according to the Federal Highway Administration. Overall Americans drove 53.2 billion fewer miles November through June than they did over the same eight month period a year earlier.I recall the town in Texas all set to build another coal burning plant. But they decided first to see how much they could conserve in a year. How much could they save by being prudent. A year goes by…what do you think? They proved to themselves they can conserve, they can act pro actively together…they do not need the coal burning plant. They are fine.

We can do so much if we believe we can. Hard times bring challenges.
Yes, we can!

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

Monday, August 18, 2008

We Knew...We Knew: June 2006 Report

August 18, 2008
Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte, NC

We Knew…June 29, 2006
That Hissing Sound
Robert Reich, pointing to leaks in the housing bubble, gives the Fed some advice:
Market Meltdown: Say goodbye to the housing bubble, by Robert B. Reich, American Prospect: ...America’s housing bubble has not exactly burst. It’s just sprung a leak the size of your average mortgage banker. What’s clear is the boom is over. All across America, backlogs of unsold homes are long. Price increases are slowing. In some markets, home prices are actually dropping...
It’s better that bubbles leak than burst. Gradual declines are always easier to manage than explosions. But the housing boom has been so large and important to the American economy over the past five years that even this slow leak will cause severe headaches.
One will be experienced by millions of households that had turned their growing home values into piggy banks to finance their continued consumption. That easy route to cash is just about gone. The inevitable result will be less consumption, which will mean fewer jobs.
A more immediate problem will arise for all the people making, financing, and selling houses. Here we’re talking about a vast army of carpenters, plasterers, roofers, plumbers, electricians, mortgage bankers, home inspectors, real estate agents, architects, structural engineers and many more. According to Moddy’s, housing-related employment has accounted for almost a quarter of the five million jobs that have appeared since 2003.
These jobs pay well even though most of them don’t require a college degree. That’s because they don’t have to compete in global commerce. Workers in Beijing or Calcutta can’t easily build houses in Phoenix or San Diego. ... But now with the housing boom over, many of these good jobs are over, too.
In other words, without the housing bubble, the American economy will lose a lot of its fizz. I don’t like bubbles, but from a jobs standpoint this recovery has needed all the fizz it can get. Median wages have gone nowhere. The ranks of the long-term unemployed have been unusually high. The percent of the labor force with jobs is lower than in 2000. Housing has been one of the few bright spots in the economy.
All of which brings us to Ben Bernanke and his gang at the Federal Reserve Board Open Market Committee. They’re determined to raise interest rates because they think the economy is too fizzy and still prone to inflation. I hope they listen carefully: The hissing sound they hear is air escaping the housing bubble. There’s less fizz in the economy than they think. Raise interest rates, and the Fed raises the likelihood the economy will deflate.
We'll know more soon when the Fed announces its rate hike decision from today's meeting.

That was in June 2006. We Knew.

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