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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Remembering Tommy Furr, Central High School Prom 1956

Remembering Tommy Furr…

The first stop on Saturday morning around 8 a.m. is Matthews Farmers Market, then I scoot to Phillips Place and Café Monte to have breakfast with BFF, Mary. Then we are off down Fairview to Tyvola to Park Road to Atherton Market.

But after SouthPark shopping center before Tyvola, the earth movers are digging through the red clay.
The tears well up quickly. This was once country. “Out Park Road.” People bought home sites and built nice ranch homes here. I remember. Tommy Furr and his family, Mom and Dad and sister moved here when their house was finished. Tommy’s Dad worked at Lance and Tommy was in Central High School and a bag boy at our grocery store. He was darling. Tommy Furr had coal black hair and sparkling blue eyes and the sweetest smile in all the world. He was a year younger than I, five years shyer and had the courage to ask a girl from Myers Park on a date. He from Central and me, well, from Myers Park.
I could see Tommy Furr this morning. See his smile, smell his young boyishness, feel his gentleness and glow from his sweet attention. He asked me to his prom and I went. To Central High’s Prom with Tommy Furr.  Now the house was gone, the landscaping gone, the  whole block was gone, getting ready for others. And I never knew what happened to Tommy Furr. And I feel sorrow that I do not know what happened to this precious young man who kissed me Prom night.

Further on down Park Road on the way to market, I passed another block before Park Road Shopping Center, it, too melting under the weight of earth movers. Our red brick ranch was gone, the driveway was gone, nothing was there but the fleeting memory of my own family, my older brother in the Air Force, my younger brother in high school, my dad, a travelling salesman. They say half of the men in Charlotte left on Monday mornings, our town was growing, folks were on the move. I was working as a Relief Clerk at The Hotel William R. Barringer. A hotel much like The Plaza in NYC in style and class. A uniformed doorman, handsome waiters in white waistcoats, oriental rugs, crystal chandeliers, a place fitting for Richard Nixon and Arthur Rubenstein and Vaughn Monroe but not Leontyne Price. I had to make arrangements for her at The Alexander, the hotel for Afro-Americans, when she came to Charlotte to perform at Ovens. It was my job to drive her to the Alexander Hotel in First Ward, settle her in with her luggage. And when I did I turned and said, “I am sorry.” She looked up and nodded,”I’m okay.” I remember that moment so vividly. The shame I felt.

Further down the street, down Park, I came to Dilworth. When we came Charlotte, my dad’s boss said he must find a house in Dilworth because of the schools. Myers Park High School. And he did. And he left every week while I painted every room, tended the coal burning furnace and drove my brother to all the basketball practices. Jon  pestered me to teach him to play tennis and maybe even golf. Jon C. was and is a most convincing spirit. So we did. And on the golf course, running down a hill steeper than I anticipated with my father’s heavy golf clubs on my shoulder, I ran into a tall man. Golf clubs went everywhere and I hit the dirt, too. Only to have the tall, handsome man come to my aid. He was gorgeous and sweet and a good golfer…and dancer…and kisser.

So, this morning I remembered Tommy Furr and being his first crush, my family seeming comfortable in the brick ranch, we seemed normal, regular. And Dilworth was the best. I watched my Mother flourish as a decorator, my brother come home with the woman he planned to marry and my young brother being a great student, a tender hearted young man who still has a super sense of humor and enduring commitment to the ones he loves. He has been my hero on more than one occasion.
I see them all this morning on the way to market. I relive the seconds in the speed of a shooting star.I am warmed and charmed, delighted and moved. I cry. I laugh and I am most of all grateful.

 So much remembered and I feel the reason I am angry over all the teardowns, all the insipid dangerous over building of apartments, tearing down of houses and leveling blocks of our shops and hang-outs, the places that have made Charlotte so attractive and adorable and profitable, the world wants to come here is because parts of my life are disappearing. I am unafraid of change, I rather relish the challenges they may bring but Leo’s is gone, Kofinas Snack Bar is gone, The Hotel Barringer as it was is gone,  Charlottetown Mall is gone, Eastland is a huge gaping hole, and most of our Mom and Pops are gone, certainly almost all of our favorite restaurants are gone (read locally owned) and the airport is overwhelming in every way, especially the degrading Wilkinson Boulevard and more. I am strong enough to keep memories intact, to keep my passion for Charlotte alive and burning. And if not, I feel blessed to have been here at all. It was the best of times.

Lynnsy Logue Real Estate
408 Wilby Drive, Charlotte, NC 28270

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Ratcliffe by The Green, Uptown Charlotte Jan. 1, 2002

This is short. We have been in Condo CanDo's® Archives
 all day and now this evening. Today is about the visual
 representations, please hang with us as we sort it out.
This journey is very much like the Yellow Brick Road.
One tekkie I ran into today lugging my cool Lenovo laptop,
 a small suitcase of graphics to be
scanned, asked "s'up?
Writing the history of condos?" Hmmm...

Here is The Ratcliffe,
uptown by The Green.
Did you know all the floor plans are different.?
Yes, we do. Here it is soon after it was completed.
So elegant.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Barn, Union County 

Sometimes when we touch, the ripples break and I return.

It’s a five dollar ride through Charlotte. 
The construction cranes, the orange barrels everywhere,
 “Stop”, “Slow”,“Detour”, and rollin' rivers of red clay, 
vociferousness from a multitude of vacant sites with their
 layers of thick new gravel and the rental fences 
marking the boundaries, keeping us out, 
holding us off  at the edge, dividing us, planting stakes
 in the stones and I know our city is changing
 before our very eyes. And not by design and not by plan 
and not by a desire to be better, to maintain our 
place in distinctive and charming cities growing 
with all the aplomb of professional sports, towering headstones,
 the money lenders, the thriftless who dictate the cracker 
box apartments with the stale, stenciled design that
 pastes layers of the same torrid browns 
and military drab,the lateral stripes of hardi-plank. 
This is not the language of legacy.

So today I went back. 
The air is fresher across the line. The fields are there, yes, green.
 The narrow road that leads to Union County, the backway, 
Old Charlotte Highway was where I needed to be. 
This avenue reminds me we are playing “big city”. 
Because on our fringes, our roots can be seen 
and felt and the country air breathed. I was both happy and sad. 
If you are new here you do not know our fringes. 
Where some of us go to check and make sure there
 are places where homes and barns and trailers,
 and storage sheds, and chicken coops, 
and old tractors and hundreds of pick-up trucks are 
everywhere. I love them. They are heartbeats. The workers
 are here, the farmers, the doers, the mechanics and carpenters,
 the people who are good with this Union County. 
Make me smile. Here’s to Union County!

 I feel better sitting in an old, well worn metal chair on an open porch
under a massive tree with massive limbs
 hanging unabashedly over the home,
the barn and me. 

Just for fun...Condos Galore!
From Condo CanDo's® Archives

So you know by now, I am going to the very beginning of our love
affair with the Internet as CondoCanDo® took to the skies.
And you also know by now, my affair includes my love
 of writing, photography and Charlotte.

Zip! Pow! Bam!
So, as I turn 77 this year,

 I am repackaging myself pulling from all the data
 and information I gathered before the Internet
 or as it was being birthed.
Take a peek: 

800 Cherokee

Carol Hall

Condo CanDo® ON FIRE!

Factory South

Gateway Plaza

St. Serrant


Twin Oaks


Oh, before I forget it. Condo CanDo®'s database  along with photographs, articles and pictures plus over 300 brochures of property as it was being developed are in our library. These are not listed for sale as far as I know. I have photographed every one myself,too!This is to share Condo CanDo's®
world for the past thirty years.
We have fun!Up,up and away!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


Posted long ago, Sat, Aug. 30, 2003 

The Charlotte Observer


Condos: The hottest form of housing

WASHINGTON - Call it the Cinderella segment of the American home real estate market: Condominium apartments and townhouses are now officially the hottest form of housing -- appreciating in value at more than double the rate of conventional, detached single-family resale homes.
New national survey data reveal that the median price of a resale condominium in the second quarter of this year was up 15.1 percent from the same period the year before. The median price of detached single-family houses nationwide, by contrast, was up 7.4 percent.
Equally significant, the gap in overall pricing between condos and traditional houses is now almost negligible. The median priced resale home in the national survey was $168,900. Condos -- once marketed as the lower-cost, lower-maintenance alternative to detached homes -- sold for just $5,400 less, a median $163,500.
Lawrence Yun, senior economist at the National Association of Realtors, the group that conducted the pricing study, said in an interview that the "condominium market historically had lagged behind" the detached single-family market in appreciation rates and sales. But now demand for condos -- and all their amenities and efficiencies -- "has been rising very sharply" both at the luxury end of the spectrum and at the entry-level, low-cost end.
The lower-priced segment "is super hot," said Yun, with condos now a major entry point into the homeownership market for first-time purchasers.
On a regional basis, the appreciation performance of condos has been most impressive along portions of the two coasts: In the Western states, prices of resale condos soared 22.8 percent from the second quarter of 2002 to the same period of 2003, to a record median price of $211,300. In the Northeast, condo resale prices hit a median of $177,600, up 21.6 percent over the year before.
In the South, the median resale condo went for $131,500, a 17.2 percent annual increase. In the Midwest, the median condo gained by just 6.3 percent to $158,900 -- the only region where condominiums appreciated at below the national average for single-family detached homes.
Overall national sales of condos hit a record high in the survey -- a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 861,000 units. The previous record sales rate was 829,000 in the last quarter of 2002.
What's behind the relatively sudden transformation of condos into the premier profit-producers in real estate?
Part of the answer, says Yun, is demographics. In virtually every metropolitan market in the country, the leading edge of the baby boomers is now looking at empty nests. The kids are finishing college or starting first jobs, and the family home is beginning to look too big.
No-maintenance, high-amenity luxury condominiums offer a reasonable way to downsize and simplify life for many of these homeowners. In fact, condominium communities often come with superior facilities compared with detached houses in traditional neighborhoods -- exercise rooms, pools, tennis courts, and no lawns to mow, no gardens to weed.
Resales at this end of the market are squeezing away the historically large differentials in median prices between detached homes and condos. But it is the sizzle and fire at the lower-priced end of the market that is helping stoke demand throughout the condo pricing continuum.
"You have a very large pool of buyers who have been brought into the (home buying) market by low mortgage interest rates," says Yun. They are newlyweds, middle-income renters who find that with rates in the 6 percent range they can now afford to own a home for the first time.
Yun says "the condo market is in a better position to capture these buyers" than the detached home segment because it offers greater numbers of lower-priced resale units with smaller square footage.
The big equity gains available from condos also might have caught the eye of still another type of purchaser -- small-scale real estate investors. Although Yun's latest survey did not examine investor purchases as a contributing factor to the national 15.1 percent appreciation rate, earlier survey data on second-home purchases suggests this might be the case.
Polling data from recent second-home buyers conducted this past spring by the National Association of Realtors confirmed that a rapidly rising percentage of purchasers are motivated by "investment gains" rather than more traditional recreation or personal use. The study found many second-home buyers fed up with poor investment returns in the stock market, and impressed by high appreciation rates in residential real estate.
Whatever the cause, here's the bottom line: Condos are now the documented profit-leaders in housing this year, yielding more than twice the percentage gains of detached homes.

Monday, February 15, 2016

February 15, 2016

There is an old saying,
                   “It was so noisy, busy, yadda yadda,
                               I could not hear myself think.”

Lynnsy Logue, Broker/Charlotte, NC
That completely explains why early morning is best for me to write. I am fresh, out of my sleep and slumber, leaving another world in which there is peace, uncluttered with the noise of civilization complete with its humor, interesting dialogues and rich visual representations.
All or almost all engaging and curious.
I really want to share what I know and have experienced about being a real estate broker. In today’s climate, a riff with flotsam, I chose to stay away lest I be influenced. On waking, I felt the larger picture, summoned
by a line from Downton Abby:

 “The law of property is the cornerstone of all civilization.”

And coupling with that pronouncement, I recalled a recent conversation with a young man studying for his real estate license, when asked,
                                                     “How is it going?” replied, “It is all laws.”
Yes, it is. Real estate is a conglomerate of laws and codes, and restrictions, and applications and interpretations layered with layers from county, city, state and federal. And real estate is emotional, romantic, homespun, corporate tigers, menacing profiteers, gluttonous money mongers and ruthless profiteers.

 It is also the beginning or end of a rainbow sheltering a family, children, guests at holiday, a retirement nest, a studio, a tree house, a workshop, a swing and a garden, dog and bulbs from Grandma’s house. For me, it was and is the avenue to stay in a city I have always loved, Charlotte, and have the opportunity as a woman to earn a decent, livable wage.
 I just had to work hard and that, no stranger.

And at the same time I became enamored with a complicated, intriguing, ever changing industry with a constant cast of variable characters, profound shifts, ongoing diatribes and  sometimes even touching exchanges, and all of that with
memorable and teachable moments.

These are the true lessons upon which our years of experience are built.
At least in my case. I suspect most with those who have lasted.
I  am quiet when someone says, “I have thought about real estate, I love looking at houses.”  The task as a broker, as I see it,  is to examine everything seen and unseen.
 And therein, the puzzles.
So the dreamgiver has given me a platform from which to speak: of surveys, and titles, of lead and mineral rights, of asbestos, and flood plains, of contracts and of people  not as an expert, more as a guide and/or a voice of experience.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

February 14, 2016

400 North Church St. Condominiums January 1, 2003                         photo Lynnsy Logue
Happiness is planning and building, too!
Happy Valentine’s Day!

This weekend, several projects on the drawing board are taking shape and that makes me happy. They work pretty much together sometimes. For instance:
Over thirty years, my real estate archives have grown and grown. Because, you see, or may know, I have a love affair going on with our city. So of course I collect information, drawings, take photos, clip articles, secure booklets and brochures about large and small projects, sometimes floor plans, sometimes site plans, and then there are the photographs. The condominium part of that passion runs about eighteen boxes which includes the announcement of 400 North Church Street (picture above 1-1-2003), the newspaper articles and the original brochure about Ivey’s conversion, how I don’t know, blue prints for Dilworth Crescent, well over three hundred folders! And the prize, the floor plans for The Ratcliffe, they are all different.
They were headed to the archives of the university, but for now, I thought I would share some with you. To do that, there had to be a better system. And there is now. Only to expand storage, the excess kitchen stuff had to be packed up and responsibly distributed to a non-profit so women somewhere can enjoy my original Corning Ware
 of over 45 years ago-intact.

The first six condominiums are selected and will be scanned tomorrow, made ready for the Internet. First on the blog (and Facebook) and then migrating to a new website on a great and updated platform. I am excited.

So today is the official 30th Anniversary of my real estate tenure. And I am still a full-time real estate broker, still marketing residences, single family homes, farms, and of course condominiums and town homes and
working with buyers for same.
Condo CanDo®, The Real Estate Lady® and I thank you for your support and think you will be pleased with treasures from our archives….plus our spin on where we are and where we might be heading.

Happy Valentine’s Day!