Development Beat

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

A new auto body repair shop could be coming soon to Southeast Raleigh near the intersection of New Bern Avenue and New Hope Road, according to site plans filed recently with the city.

Drawn up by the Raleigh office of the engineering firm the Timmons Group, the plans indicate that the new shop would occupy 5,400 square feet of what is currently an empty, 1.587-acre lot at the corner of Bullock Farm and Partin Road.

The site indicated by the blue dot is where the new shop would go

Bing Maps

The site indicated by the blue dot is where the new shop would go

Although the developer listed on the plans is an LLC that traces back to local homebuilder Carpenter Homes, county records indicate the property has been owned by an LLC out of Greenville, NC since 2005.

That LLC traces back to a lawyer’s office, so it’s hard to say whether this lawyer is actually the property owner, or just a registered agent that the actual owners are hiding behind. And lest you think I’m lazy for not reaching out to this lawyer to find out — well, OK, I am pretty lazy, no argument there — I should point out that I’ve had to make a lot of calls like that over the years, and have a success rate of around 0 percent.

I’m fine with, from a societal standpoint. Lawyers are one of the only remaining ways to protect your privacy in a world where the majority of public documents are available to any (lazy) moron with access to Google. Like me.

Somewhat unusually, as site plan drawings are generally the work of engineers, in this case, the Timmons Group, there is already an architect listed on the plans, David Ripperton. Oddly enough the address given is out of California, but the phone number traces back to a Chapel Hill Address also tied to Ripperton.

siteplans

This isn’t exactly the world’s most exciting project, but it’s always good to see new commercial development, especially the kind that will generate jobs and provide a valuable service to those in the area.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

With the demolition finally complete on the Palms Apartments off Lake Boone Trail, permits have now been issued for a portion of the site’s planned redevelopment.

That redevelopment includes a 283-unit luxury apartment community, Sojourn Lake Boone, as well as Waltonwood at Lake Boone, a senior living community.

It’s Waltonwood that got its permits first, on July 2, although the sitework currently underway will be relevant to both projects.

Although Grubb Ventures is behind the site’s redevelopment, it is Singh Senior Living that will be developing Waltonwood. Singh currently operates Waltonwood-branded senior-living communities in Cary & Charlotte, two cities that Raleigh should clearly be doing everything it can to emulate.

waltonwoodprovidence

Singh Development

Waltonwood Providence in Charlotte

A total of nine permits were issued July 2 to an LLC going by the surprising name of Singh Construction. The total value of these permits amounted to $21,64,8,681.

According to the permits, the development will consist of four residential buildings, ranging in size from 29-61 units. While three of the buildings are designated for independent living, the largest one, at more than 92,000 square feet, is described as “nursing/mental care.”

The facility will also include a nearly-30,000 square-foot recreational building, two “open shelters” in the courtyard, a podium, and, most exciting of all, a “recycle/trash/generator” enclosure. I lost a copy of the brochure I picked up for the place, but I’m pretty sure a rendering of the dumpster/generator was on the front. This structure is listed at a cost of more than $31,000 on the permits.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Yes, it’s Tuesday, and we know that normally means it’s time for Teardown Tuesday, but we’re going to do something slightly different this week. Why? Because once again, the only permitted demolitions from last week were for single-family homes. It’s ridiculous.

Last week, I jokingly suggested that if I were to be presented with this situation, I would replace Teardown Tuesday with Terrific Tuesday. Well, why not?

So Terrific Tuesday will focus on a still-standing structure in Raleigh that we’re thrilled has stood the test of time.

The first subject: The Randolph and Anita Brack Dome, located on Park Side Drive in Raleigh. Built in 1994, this home is apparently influenced by the geodesic dome structures made popular by futurist Buckminster Fuller.

This home is designed in the tradition of the geodesic domes popularized by Buckminster Fuller

Wake County

This home is designed in the tradition of the geodesic domes popularized by Buckminster Fuller

 

The most famous example of a geodesic dome is perhaps better known as “The Epcot Ball” or, “Spaceship Earth” — a giant ride/structure at Epcot Center in Disney World.

Fuller, incidentally, was a teacher at Black Mountain College in North Carolina in the late 1940s, and later manufactured geodesic domes for the United States military from his Raleigh-based firm Geodesics, Inc.

Of course, I’d be remiss if I went on about Fuller without working in one of his most famous quotes; one that actually appeared in the Incubus song “New Skin.”

Up to the Twentieth Century, reality was everything humans could touch, smell, see, and hear. Since the initial publication of the chart of the electromagnetic spectrum, humans have learned that what they can touch, smell, see, and hear is less than one-millionth of reality. Up to the Twentieth Century, reality was everything humans could touch, smell, see, and hear. Since the initial publication of the chart of the electromagnetic spectrum, humans have learned that what they can touch, smell, see, and hear is less than one-millionth of reality.

Cont_emspec2

Monday, July 6, 2015

Welcome back to another week of the Development Beat. And since it’s a Monday near the beginning of the month, that means it’s time for By The Numbers, where we take a look back at the real estate transaction and permit numbers from last month and compare them to years previous.

Today we’re also bringing back an old feature of By The Numbers — year to date comparisons. Since we’re already halfway through the year, there’s no sense in just doing month-by-month comparisons anymore; it’s important to know how things are looking for the entire year.

A rendering of Pine Hollow Middle School, which was the recipient of 2015's largest permit to date

RATIO Design

A rendering of Pine Hollow Middle School, which was the recipient of 2015\’s largest permit to date

It’s a good month to start with, too, since the numbers were up in every category — the number — 698 — and value — $182,812,360 — of permits issued in June were both higher than they were in 2014, and both were comfortably above the five-year average.

Year to date numbers for permits are looking good as well — 3,523 total permits issued through the end of June, compared with 3,010 at this time last year. The total value of those permits, at $694,720,950, was also higher than last year, and both categories exceed the five-year average.

The biggest permit issued to date in 2015 was to Balfour Beatty for the Pine Hollow Middle School on Leesville Road. The biggest permit in June was also the second-biggest of the year, and was also issued to Balfour Beatty, for the Wake Tech Multi-Purpose Building.

A previous construction project at Wake Tech

James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

A previous construction project at Wake Tech

The number of real estate transactions in June was so high that we had to triple-check the numbers; even then, we’re not discounting the possibility of an error somewhere. According to county records, there were a total of 1,443 transactions, compared to 788 the year before, and a five-year average of 724.

The total value of these transactions, however, was more in line with historical trends — $399,520,085, compared to a little more than $312 million in June of 2014 and a five-year average of $324 million.

Thanks in part to June’s big numbers, the year-to-date real estate transactions are also much higher than previous years — 7,019, more than double the five-year average of 3,399. The total value of these transactions was also close to doubling the five-year average: $2,249,022,846 so far for 2015, compared to a five-year average of $1,392,022,972.

The Renaissance Hotel at North Hills

Photo by Donwest48.

The Renaissance Hotel at North Hills

The largest sale of the year was that of the Renaissance Hotel at North Hills for $77,910,000 to a company based out of the Cayman Islands. The largest in June was the $45.8 million sale of the Bainbridge Six Forks apartments to a company based out of Boston.

While that wraps it up for By The Numbers this month, we’re pleased to announce a winner to our Photo Hunt Contest! Peter Davis contacted us over the weekend and sent in this wonderful picture of his lovely bride Mary, standing astride an abandoned Volkswagen Bug near 525 Peebles Street in Raleigh.

Congratulations to Peter & Mary, and thanks for everyone who guessed at the location!

Mary Dimney (LaSalla) Davis and her husband are the proud winners of the Development Beat photo contest. They are both 68 and had a VW when they were married in 1968!!

Peter Davis

Mary Dimney (LaSalla) Davis and her husband are the proud winners of the Development Beat photo contest. They are both 68 and had a VW when they were married in 1968!!

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