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Developing news: Commercial projects likely to increase (access required)

Retail follows rooftops. It’s the old real estate adage explaining how commercial development responds to residential development. So the recent growth in homebuilding and homebuying in the Charlotte market – which is expected to continue into 2014 – will likely be accompanied by increased commercial development over the next two years, even if developers are still cautious about the overall economy.

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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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Apartment developers: Renting growing as ownership declines (access required)

Apartment developers: Renting growing as ownership declines <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/10/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Whether it’s Class A apartments, value-added properties or workforce housing, the Queen City’s apartment market is expected to remain strong in the foreseeable future. Five apartment industry leaders said so on a panel Tuesday morning at Bisnow’s third annual Multifamily Summit held in a ballroom at the Omni Hotel in uptown Charlotte.

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Plans for Belmont development unveil old building (access required)

John Church planned to tear down the 110,000-square-foot, three-level former textile mill in Belmont and put in new retail and residential space. In mid-August, as a wrecking ball dug into the brick, an architectural gem began to emerge: the original Chronicle Mill - Belmont's first textile plant - built in 1902.

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Lennar begins work on its first Charlotte apartment complex (access required)

Earth is moving this week on a 2.5-acre patch of the Metropolitan district slated to become home to a 261-unit, Class A apartment complex tentatively named in public documents as South Kings Midtown. The project is owned and being built by Lennar Multifamily Inc., according to public records, as part of a $1 billion nationwide dive into the apartment feeding frenzy by the single-family homebuilding giant Lennar Corp.

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Crisis in craftsmen: Construction activity is up again, but the industry faces another, more troubling dilemma (access required)

Crisis in craftsmen: Construction activity is up again, but the industry faces another, more troubling dilemma <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/10/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Construction industry insiders now rushing to determine how best to cope with a labor shortage and its primary cause: Young people largely aren’t interested in joining the trades. Contractors are struggling to find skilled labor, a trend that could hinder future construction work.

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South End by southwest (access required)

Call it what you want, but South End, which was largely carved out of an industrial, railroad-crossed section of westernmost Dilworth in the 1990s, when people thought developer Tony Pressley might be a little nutty, is now rapidly spreading far beyond the traditional boundaries of its historic district.

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