Back in August, a once buoyant Chris Orr was beginning to worry about the health of the Charlotte commercial real estate market.
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When The Shopping Center Group took over leasing duties at Carolina Commons, which is about five miles into South Carolina, Darrell Palasciano knew the company needed to take it slow. The neighborhood shopping center, anchored by Harris Teeter, was built a few years ago to service the residents of Sun City Carolina Lakes, a massive active-adult community, and other residents of Lancaster County, said Palasciano, a broker in the Charlotte office of The Shopping Center Group.
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As with more popular single-family homes, both the construction and sales of town houses appear to be slowly building their way back up from the rubble of the Charlotte-market housing crash. But a real recovery is still thousands of empty lots away. Mecklenburg County building permits for town houses are up dramatically in the first quarter of 2013 compared with the same period last year.
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While an improving economy has given Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools the confidence to restart construction projects that stalled during the recession, its board members foresee hardships caused by the ranking system that gives county government control over the scheduling of school projects. After voters approved a $516 million bond package in 2007, the district ramped up construction and spent more than $200 million annually until late 2009, when the economy soured and the county shut its wallet.
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The housing market crash was so tough on Central Piedmont Community College’s real estate department, it took on a new identity. Before the downturn, CPCC in Charlotte was offering up to 20 real estate broker pre-licensing courses per semester. That plunged to three a semester at the nadir of the recession, said Cindy Savage, who heads the department now known as the financial services institute.
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A project he is representing, Walter Fields said, would add 115 multifamily units to an existing five town homes in the Stonecrest area in south Charlotte, but to do so, his client needs a rezoning. Fields has accompanied the project through the city’s regulatory pipeline, and on April 15, the full plan for a total of 120 dwelling units on the site -- which is beside an existing 215 apartments owned by the same company -- will go before the Charlotte City Council for the rezoning vote.
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When Charlotte School of Law opened its first campus on South Tryon Street in 2006, Harry Workman, the school’s director of facilities management, said that he and other school officials had dreams of having an uptown, Class A campus. Back then, that idea seemed a reach for a startup school.
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At the intersection of Providence Road and Strawberry Hill Drive rests an aging apartment complex. Camden Pinehurst, which was not always the name of the 40-building complex with the brick-and-vinyl exterior, has been in south Charlotte since 1967. But the owner, with pressure from the numerous brand new, Class A apartment properties popping up around the city, decided a change was needed.
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New home starts in Mecklenburg County for 2013 continued their surge in March, as did new home prices. As of March 31, the county had issued 834 building permits for the benchmark detached single-family home. That’s up nearly 33 percent over the first three months of last year, according to an analysis of county records.
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