Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Uptown condo boom: All good news?

What do you think of Charlotte's boom in building uptown condos?

I posed that question to readers after Monday’s article and WCNC report from the top of the TradeMark, the second high-rise tower to open to residents in uptown. It’s among 20 high-rise condo projects planned or underway inside the 277 loop.

Respondents had mixed views of just how positive the trend is. Examples:

---Jimmy Jordan: "It is amazing that a market the size of Charlotte can support the seemingly ‘sudden’ and ‘overnight’ construction of 20 new residential high rise condominium towers in the (center city). I believe it says a lot about desire of America to return to the heartbeat of its greatest cities. Very exciting!"

---Bob Ellis: "Years from now the view could be the seventeenth floor of the next tower. Give me my view of my trees from my deck."

--Marcos: "Charlotte has plenty of jobs available so far. However, we have to stop building so many condos because this growth is unsustainable for the next three years."

Now it’s your turn to weigh in!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live Uptown, but in a midrise condo building that's been around for a while now. While I love the possibilities of the new condo towers, one problem for me is that the view is often just of other buildings; that's not cool. The Vue, not yet built, offers some potentially spectacular views, but it suffers the second problem: It's exce$$ively expen$ive. $880K for a 1500 sqft condo? That might fly in NYC, SF, or Chicago, but in Charlotte we are not yet ready for $600/sqft condos. I'll stick with my $300/sqft condo for now.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope the retail options catches up with the condo developments. I'm sure in time Uptown will become more livable. An upscale retail complex with an H&M would be perfect!

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uptown doesn't offer enough for their rates.

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to know where all of these people that can afford (and are willing to pay for) an 800 sqft box for $700K are working? Are all of the bank employees seriously making that much? I hope most of these condo projects fail and sit there empty for years on end. Charlotte isn't Manhattan, and I'd refuse to pay Manhattan prices for it.

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with anon 7:08. I am a Charlotte native and grew up with modest house prices, and can't believe what they are trying to sell these condos for! I read in the paper today about the new condos over the theatre with the elevator garages and was seriously interested until I saw the $1.7 mil price tag. Ridiculous! I also want to know where these people are working to make the money to afford these condos! I make good money myself but GEEZ! I'm not a millionaire!!! They're overbuilding and they will figure that out when nobody can afford to live uptown and nothing sells.

7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The projects will be successful, Uptown just more to attract wealthy buyers. Owners pay $700K and greater in Manhattan becasue they can walk to a variety of entertainment, services, and retail. Hopefully the "condo boom" will start to attract brand name retail and services. Uptown is boring and lacks the amenities that attract million dollar condo buyers.

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, the million dollar condos are selling. I think there has been pent-up demand for awhile now. There were literally no high rise condos in this city at all 3 or 4 years ago. Not everyone who moves here wants to live in the suburbs. You need more people downtown before more retail and services. It will all come together one day - stop being so negative.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Notice the typical trend ? Local Charlotte natives always bitchin' and moaning about uptown.
Wanting it to fail. Get over it already, it's not going to fail. It's fine, you don't like it then don't move uptown.

In 3 years there will be retail swarming all over the place. We are already seeing announcments of new restaurants, european bakeries and retail in all ground levels of the new towers.

There are still plenty of small 600-700 sq. ft. condo/lofts for $175k - $220k in uptown.
As alway, like in ANY city, you need to be able to deal with a litle less sq. footage in order to be able to afford it. On any scale $175k up to $10 mill. It's all relative.
Personally I gave up 3,600 in Ballantyne 4 years ago for 700 uptown. Looking forward to moving into Avenue at 1,100 sq. ft. in a few months.

These condo's are not all $ 1 million PLUS.
Such anger in you locals. Truly showing your "Red" side.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe the condos are wonderful, but the prices alone are outrageous. i know though the presale alone on these places is unbelievable. i work with a man who buys 10 condos at a time and sells before it's even complete and makes a good 300-400k profit. the only problem is the more highrises we build there is going to be less room or businesses or new banks etc. which will lead to people moving to other areas of charlotte, such as the growing south park area. as someone put i am not going to pay a manhattan price to live in charlotte.sorry.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, none of these projects allow you to buy up a bunch (or even one for that matter) and resell before the project is completed. NONE OF THEM.
You have to close on the property before you can even list any of them.

Secondly, these are nowhere near Manhattan prices per sq. ft. You can easily pay upwards of $850 to $1,000 er sq. ft. for the new condo towers in Brooklyn alone.

We will never be Manhattan but we will be an entirely filled up inner I277 loop within 10 years. Complete with street cats, shopping, markets, etc. Who wants to be just like another city. Charlotte is finding its own way. She'll turn out just fine. Give her a little time.

As far as uptown being boring goes...you have got to get off your couch if you want to enjoy life. This month alone we have Elvis Costello, Van Halen, Blues Brews and BBQ, Shout Food Festival, Greek Fest close by, Festival in the Park close by and countless other events in Septembers Shout month.
There's always something going on every single night. Live music at Blue, Alley Cat, Therapy, Rock Bottom, Cafe Sienna and tons others. Always a play, opera, concert at Blumenthal or Spirit Sq. Always an exhibition at The Mint or Light Factory.
Soon we will have all the new museums down on S. Tryon.

I am totally exhausted by Sunday because of all the "bordom" uptown. I am actually getting bored typing this.

You people are insane. Get out a little more.

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



Complete with street CARS.

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd buy a HOUSE with a YARD sitting under nice TREES in NODA anyday. Uptown is just a bunch of stuffed shirt conformist yuppies existing in a sterile cultural scene.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Frank Zappa said....the real motto of the US is "Let's go shopping!"

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"stuffed shirt conformist yuppies "


Dude, I am an uptown resident and am sooooooooo far from that decription. Sure you have your banker types, but you also have a bunch of regular Joe's.

NoDa is way cool as well. That would be my second choice. Just not so sure about the safety issue up there just yet.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a sample of your so called "Manhattan" prices.

WEB ID #24070 - 2 Bedroom
$5,295.00 per month
2 Bedroom Bathrooms: 1
Sq Ft: 987
Bldg Type: High Rise

So don't even "go there" with the whole NY price tag crap.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can rent 1,100 sq. footers in brand new Charlotte hirises for about 1/2 of that.

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope we get more street cats

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would not pay that much for a condo. I would rather purchase a house with a front yard. There needs do be more retail downtown instead of condos.

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I mean it needs to be retail downtown.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Niner National said...

retail will come when there is a sufficient market in downtown. That won't happen until downtowns population grows substantially.

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which it is. More than doubling in the next 4 years.

I rather be attending concerts, games, walking to breakfast, lunch or dinner, coffee, park, biking uptown, Dilworth, Myers Park. Railing it to South End.
Grabing a beer from any one of 30 or more bars.

Anything but a front yard for me. Give me my pool on the 10th floor overlooking the city.

5:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just love how they are locating all these rich people in one location it will make it that much easier for all that bad element close to downtown to pick and choose who they want to rob!

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Comments like this....only in Charlotte.
Green doesn't suit you.

Uptown is the safest of areas. Just ask any police officer or go to their website.

I've lived uptown for 6 years and haven't even come close to an incident. You Burban scardy cats are very amusing.

I would take my chances any day of the week up here rather than in the Burbs (fewer cops out there). That's where the easy pickings are and the criminals know it.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

living in a cramped overpriced box with neighbors so close would make it difficult for me to crank my amp up to 11.

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very insulated walls. My two outer walls are all glass, so no neighbors to worry about. My remaining two walls back up to a neighbor on one side and the fire escape stairwell (solid cement) on the other side.
Since my 900 watt Yamaha is in the room closest to the cement and outer glass walls - no issues.

I BLAST away.

As far as being overpriced goes - you get what you pay for. Can YOU hop on the elevator and arrive at your gym, pool, theater room, internet cafe, gaming room, sports room, grocery store, bakery, corner restaurant ?
Does your home have a concierge, an office center, high priced art in the lobby ? Does your home have a lobby ?

Is your home equipted with state of the art surveillance cameras ? Garage secured ? Home secured ?

Does your entire home have floor to ceiling/wall to wall windows ? Are all counter tops granite ? All floors wood throughout ?
Do you have WiFi throughout your home as well as 2 hard ired high speed internet plug ins ?

Can you walk out your front door and stroll to the park, football game, NBA game, hockey game, soon baseball game, fine dining, concerts, play, bars, music halls, museums ?

I doubt it.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want some of that stuff too. I think I am going to spend the weekend checking out what the city has to offer. I am bored to death in my neighborhood.

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) Uptown Charlotte is RIDICULOUSLY cheap compared to downtown districts elsewhere, even in smaller and less attractive cities. Anyone who thinks it is overpriced is just demonstrating ignorance. You can easily fit a small family (2 or fewer kids) into an Uptown condo for less than $300k. A couple can live there for under $200k. Singles can get by on $150k.

2) Suburban homes are not protected from changes over time. I'm sure that people buying homes in University City 20 years ago thought they were getting into the next SouthPark. Don't fool yourself into thinking that suburban areas are more stable than downtown areas; the opposite is true, and always has been.

3) Nobody needs more than 500 sq ft per person. And I mean nobody. If you have one child and a 2000 sq ft home you are the equivalent of the middle-aged single guy buying an Expedition; ask yourself what you're compensating for.

4) On any given day of the week, you are more likely to be robbed on Providence Rd. than on Tryon St.

5) If you have not been uptown in more than 3 years, you have no place in this discussion. It is simply not the same place it used to be.

6) What have you done with your yard lately, other than groom it?

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a Charlotte native and I am thrilled about the development of the center city.

Comments like "I hope they fail" and others reek of jealousy and resentment. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Why would you want the core of the city which dates back to the 1750s to fail?

I prefer a house with a yard, but I'm glad there are these high-rise options for those who want them.

And I am particularly glad that the Carolina Theater will be restored. If it takes condos over a million dollars in price to save it, good. That will insure the Carolina's long term health and use.

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Are there more locals like you ?
Please stand up.

5:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What have I done with my yard?

Actually, I own several tens of acres, some wooded, some not, in the Ramah Creek area. I have some significant gardens, and many wooded trails leading down to Ramah Creek, where we have large boulders. My kids love playing out there, as do my pets.

6:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:51, "local" isn't exactly right. I'm a native who has lived away for 20 years (Atlanta, NY, LA, currently SF and planning a return in the near future.) Growing up in Charlotte I was always thrilled about the next tall building and next big company move-it's the way I and many others were raised. We celebrated Charlotte (total homeboy, I know) and it makes me sad when some don't celebrate it.

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:37, "several tens of acres" is not a yard.

8:32 AM  
Blogger Julie Kelly said...

I agree whole heartedly with some of these other comments. Where are these people working that can afford to live close to or in town? I have seen pretty average paying jobs. I saw one the other day for an IT Specialist paying up to $30k. Up to? Is that supposed to be impressive?! Maybe if I had 17 roommates!

What happened to being able to buy an actual house somewhat in the same area as your job? I don't want to drive so far; I want to be environmentally conscious - I want uptown to be terrifically successful. I also want to have kids and dogs and a yard. Dad gummit, I'll just say it. I want my cake and to eat it, too!

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^ Then move to Dilworth, South End or NoDa. Sheesh. It's not like uptown isn't COMPLETELY SURROUNDED by old streetcar suburbs.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dilworth, South End or NoDa are already over priced for this poster going on their comments. Why not look into Wesley Heights ? This area looks a lot like Dilworth, only smaller but still has some ghetto/hood element to it (so prices are still reasonable - but not for long). But it is getting bought up and remodeled very quickly. This may likely be one of your last areas of chance to move close in at a some what reasonable price. But if you have kids the neighborhood may not quite be there yet as far as safety goes.
They are rebuilding Brooklyn Village in the 2nd Ward and they are supposed to have very reasonably prices condos and apartments to rent for the "working man".

Go for it now - or you will be sorry later - IF you really want to live close in town.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^ For that matter, the West Boulevard area is in much the same boat. If you get in on the ground floor you're paying a reasonable ($200-300k) price for a family-sized home close in to town and basically walkable from the center of Dilworth.

Part of the problem is that suburbs have had the "Walmart Effect" on real estate: people expect to get SO much per dollar that their expectations are totally out of line with reality. You don't NEED 2,000 square feet to have a family! I live in an 895 sq ft duplex with my wife, son and two small dogs... and we have a guest room we never use!

Part of the reality of the new millenium is that we are going to start downsizing our lives (and our expectations) in the face of a resource shortage. If you can handle that, living in a "shoebox" is really not all that difficult.

4:07 PM  
Blogger cannman said...


"All boats rise on a high tide"

The money these folks are paying for condo's means they have to spend more on many items and trades, constuction etc. that will lead to more jobs and so on...

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about some AFFORDABLE apartments under $800 a month to attract single people instead of just families!?? And some shopping and more unique restaurants uptown wouldn't hurt either.

11:54 PM  

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