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Author Archives: Tony Brown, Staff Writer

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Alzheimer’s care center to replace proposed hotel on Park South Drive (access required)

The latest twist in a rezoning drama that has been going on for 18 months has left developer CN Hotels of Greensboro with no room for an inn. The outcome of a contested rezoning usually satisfies either the protestors on one side or the landowner and developer on the other. But the case of a vacant 0.72-acre lot at 6026 Park South Drive has been anything but usual.

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‘Chic-urbanism’ apartments going up in Cornelius (access required)

More than one year, two developers and a rezoning battle later, construction is finally underway on new Class A apartments in the Kenton Place mixed-use development on West Catawba Avenue. Kenton Place Partners LLC of Charleston, S.C., last Tuesday pulled nearly $3.5 million in Mecklenburg County building permits to start construction on a three-building, 210-unit complex, which is expected to build out at a cost of more than $25 million, according to Lance Youngquist, one of three partners behind the project.

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Home wasn’t built in a day; it took a day and a quarter (access required)

How do you build a house in 30 hours? Help. Lots of help, like 150 around-the-clock volunteers, a handful of professional supervisors and a dozen paid AmeriCorps interns. If there was a third "H" in Habitat for Humanity, Frank Spencer said, it would stand for help, on which the organization depends for its existence.

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Bruce Andersen: Planning chair micromanages the micrograms (access required)

Bruce Andersen: Planning chair micromanages the micrograms <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/10/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Bruce Andersen is the long-time chairman of the planning board in the area’s fastest-growing municipality, Huntersville, a board he’s been appointed to by the town’s Board of Commissioners since 1998. Andersen, 74, is also confident enough to poke fun at himself and his fellow board members, calling them “micromanagers.”

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Wall Street taps Main Street: Investment firms looking for return on Charlotte’s rental homes (access required)

Wall Street taps Main Street: Investment firms looking for return on Charlotte’s rental homes <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/10/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Led by the behemoth Blackstone Group, the largest alternative investment company in the world, institutional investors are buying a lot of single-family homes in Charlotte, fixing them up, renting them out and holding onto them to see if they rise in value. One of every five houses sold in May, June and July in the Charlotte market went to big investors, a higher percentage than in any other market but Atlanta.

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Year’s largest single-family permit pulled for Peninsula home (access required)

Thanks to a building permit worth $755,872, a property owner on the Peninsula soon will be able to boast, “I can see Denver from my house.” That property owner, Ramzi Abul-Hajj of Huntersville, on Tuesday pulled the most valuable Mecklenburg County single-family home permit of the year to build a 10,000-plus square-foot waterfront home on the very westernmost tip of the county’s extension into Lake Norman, according to county records.

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Developers read the signs: Available land, I-485 lure activity to Mint Hill (access required)

Look at the signs on roads with names like Lawyers, Idlewild, Matthews-Mint Hill, Lebanon, Margaret Wallace, wending their way through bucolic, small-town America 15 minutes from the big city, and the signs are pretty clear: Mint Hill is available, baby. A-vail-a-ble.

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