Anyone who’s driven recently from the far exurbs of Raleigh – U.S. Highway 1, say, miles north of the 540 interchange – to the very heart of its downtown has noticed a veritable explosion in new housing developments.
If the numbers are any indication, the expansion of everything from North Raleigh’s cookie-cutter mansions to downtown’s outsize apartment complexes will only continue. In the near-six months this column has run, the city of Raleigh has issued permits for more than 460 single-family homes, 265 townhomes, around 1,500 apartments and four condominium units.
The yearly total for 2014 is about 560 single-families, nearly 350 townhomes and just shy of 2,000 apartment units.
As of this time last year, the number of single families – 675 – and townhomes – 461 – were slightly higher, although 2014 has seen nearly 400 more apartment units permitted.
Allowing some questionable math, where we assume 2.5 people for every SF, 2 for every townhome and 1.5 for every condo and townhome, the city of Raleigh has added enough housing space to accommodate 5,479 new residents this year. Last year, the city topped out at 6,355 spaces added.
It’s safe to assume this year’s total number will be greater than last year’s, and that 2015’s will be even higher still. And why not? Raleigh is continuously listed as one of the best
cities in the country to live in, and the growth of industry in the area, including high-tech companies like Red Hat and Citrix, will help push up the demand for new housing.
But how much is too much? The 2010 census indicated Raleigh is one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities, with a population increase of 46% from 2000.
Available housing increased at approximately the same rate over that time period. Both are likely to grow at an exponential rate over the next 10 years. Which means that as much griping has been done over the new gated communities, the new apartments, the new townhomes, all of this has been necessary to help maintain a relatively stable market in which to afford housing. And that’s a good thing.
In those aforementioned far north exurbs of Raleigh, just off Falls of the Neuse road, work has begun on the new Maystone at Wakefield multifamily development. $12.8 million in permits were issued to Greensboro’s Carroll Investment Properties, which has both construction and property management divisions.
The 360-unit development will be comprised of 15 buildings on a 57-acre tract of land. A recent visit to the site shows the development’s first residents may have some very unwelcome neighbors indeed – Canada geese. They are seriously the worst.
While $12.8 million may seem like a lot – and it’s certainly not reflective of the entire cost of the project, which included not only other construction work but the purchase of the land as well – the most expensive permit issued this week nearly doubled that amount – $21 million for, of all things, a parking garage.
The garage is being developed in the new Wade Park subdivision, which currently contains a mix of office, retail and residential spaces. The permits for the 2-story, 61,590-square-foot garage were issued alongside a $14.2 million permit for a new 4-story, 105,978 square foot office building in the adjoining lot. Both are being built by regional construction powerhouse Choate Construction.
Another downtown residential development was issued permits recently as well, as four new units at the Blount Street Commons near the Krispy Kreme have been given the go-ahead for construction, while four others were scheduled for interior completion. No smart comments about this development, as the townhomes are well designed, appear well-built and are certainly in a great location. Far better to live on Blount, minutes from downtown, than in the far reaches of north Raleigh or even the just-outside-the-Beltline Wade Park development.
Much more exciting than any new apartments or parking garages, however, were the permits issued for Raleigh’s new fire station no. 29, which is being built at 12117 Leesville Road. Like the Maystone, the station’s address is also a ways past 540, through a stretch of Leesville that is itself under heavy construction. Work by Chapel Hill’s Resolute Building Inc. was visibly underway as of September 4, although the work is estimated to take around 10 months to complete.
The 10,000-square-dfoot station, designed by Raleigh’s Williard Ferm architects, is scheduled to be certified LEED Gold.
City Council approved a series of planning commission recommendations this week, alongside a new – and this should be of little surprise – 215-unit apartment complex to be built on Oberlin Road.
Local resident Dall Wilson had filed an appeal against the planning commission’s recommendation of approval, granted in June, in which he argued that the Daniels Street access to the new development will increase traffic in his neighborhood.
Mack Paul, an attorney representing the project developers, said they had agreed to a compromise of only allowing right turns in and out of the development, although neither Wilson nor Councilman Thomas Crowder found this acceptable.
Nonetheless, Council voted to approve the project 6-1, with Crowder serving as the lone dissenting voice.
The planning commission items approved included name changes in the southeast Raleigh’s Walnut Terrace Development and modifications to the city’s zoning codes to conform with the new Unified Development Ordinance.
Council also voted to waive a two-year waiting period for a new rezoning request which would allow higher-density residential development on East Six Forks Road, granted a 60-day time extension for a Hillsborough Street residential project near Meredith College, and set a public hearing date of next month for a residential project in East Raleigh north of New Bern Avenue.
By The Numbers
Although this piece already contains more than enough math for its own good, August has come to a close, which means it’s time to take a look at the total number of permits and the total number of land sales for the month, and compare them to years past. Let the excitement begin.
The city issued 580 permits for residential and non-residential construction last month, with a total value of$142,158,027. The most expensive of these projects was the $21 million Wade Park parking deck, which received permits on August 26. The least expensive was a minor $100 residential renovation for the replacement of three doors.
The previous five-year average for August was 539 permits with a total value of $73,271,528. Although both of this year’s totals exceeded the average, and the total value was higher than any prior year’s, August of 2012 did manage to maintain its high score of 677 permits issued. Bravo.
There were a total of 732 residential and non-residential real estate sales for the month of August, with a total value of $272,759,000. The most expensive of these was the Legacy at Wakefield development, which sold for $50,525,000. The least was a $2,000 sale of a foreclosed property to the neighborhood‘s homeowners association.
August 2014’s real estate sales also managed to beat out their five year average, which stood at 587 permits with a total value of $196,437,585. However, 2013 still holds the record for both the number of permits issued – 854 – and their total value – $362,090,300.