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atlrvr

Possible new NoDa development.

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I am in the process of putting together a new condo development here in NoDa. One of the site's I'm considering in on North Davidson, immediately south of 30th St.

These condos will be a concept new to Charlotte, and new to most of the US for that matter. The units will be assembled like a pre-fab unit, except I will be using shipping containers as the basis. (think containers you see on the ocean-frieghters or on the back of 18-wheelers).

I'm looking at doing 1 BR, 1 BA units and 2 BR 2BA units. The 1 BRs would be about 625 sq. ft. and the 2 BRs would be roughly 925 sq. ft. They would be stacked 4 high, with catwalk access. The 2 buildings would each contain 15 units total, and each container would be painted in red, yellow, and blue, with a bricked veneer foundation. Glass would be used as much as financially and structurally possible to give the buildings a modern feel.

I have a few questions.

1. Does this sound at all appealing?

2. What is the prices for a 1 bedroom and a 2 bedroom that would seem fair?

3. Is it important for these units to be as low cost as possible, or do upfitting them with higher grade furnishings justify a higher price?

4. Sound off any ideas that you may have in regards to this project.

I've been somewhat vague I realize, but I'm trying to perfect my concept before I officially announce it.

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you will not believe this, but in high school, i did a report on how to decrease poverty in the third world (nearly wrote third ward lol), and one of my ideas was to stack frieght containers for housing. :).

I'm sure the quality of the inside, and skin will make a big difference as to whether it is accepted in this community. Will these be recycled (ie. ex-) freight containers?

I'd say this might be more appropriate in Optimist Park, where Tuscan is doing some of their work. But NoDa south of Matheson/30th is similarly industrial and borderline-poor.

I know the concept is low cost and modern, and it is a great idea (and i won't charge royalties ;) ) but i think you must take pains so that it doesn't look like a freightyard.

(On second thought, maybe that is bad advice, maybe you should run with that theme...).

One risk is these come across as urban "trailers".

I'm not sure if price, but as this is a low-cost approach, i'd say it would need to be in the lowest quartile of pricing in the noda.

These are just a few brainstormy thoughts. i hope it helps. Good luck

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I appreciated the free useage of your concept..... :D

These won't be recognizeable as containers........

As far as pricing, I could get down into the 60k's if interiors were kept to a minimum, and 90k's for a 2 BR.

I looked at Optimist Park, but there just aren't any parcels available they exactly fit my needs.

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This sounds like the condos they have installed at parts of the beach. Basically they look like stacked trailers. Is your design going to have the same look?

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These will definetly have a more mod feel to them.....plus the ground floor units will likely have a "brownstone-esque" stoop.

One of the goals is to do do industrial re-use (though I will likely use new containers just as a structuraly safety standpoint) and incorporate some green technology where economically feasible......

What I'm attempting to find out is does the market crave eco-friendly features, and higher quality upfit, or is the most affordable unit available in higher demand......I'm at the stage where I can still go either way, but of course the price difference is a $10k-$20k premium depending on what eco and "luxury" features are offered....

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At any price you have mentioned, these would sell fast. You could even list at the lowest price and let people upsell themselves into the lux features. I think adding some key green features would be a selling point with noda demographics.

I'm imagining stained concrete flooring and combo washer-driers in the kitchen.

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atlrvr- It sounds like a challenging task (obviously you want to avoid the "trailer" look that dubone mentioned).

Your idea reminds me of an article I read in the Las Vegas Review Journal about 2-3 weeks ago (I tried searching for it but it's been archived for paying members only, darn!). The article was about a Houston or Dallas developer that specializes in constructing large townhomes made out of brightly colored sheet metal. They were announcing their plans for a new project here. It mentioned that this company has also done similar projects in Atlanta, Houston and Dallas. Anyway, it sounded like a really good concept... basically the company buys land in the rougher neighborhoods where land is cheap, constructs these condos out of very afforidable materials (but still quality nevertheless) and then sale them WAY below the market prices of other units. The paper said their projects often create an insatiable demand for themselves. I cannot remember the name of the company :( , but they are the only ones in the US that make these condos (they're patented). Has anyone (in Atlanta, Houston or Dallas) seen these townhomes or know the name of the company who constructs them). I'll try to get pics once they get built here.

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I guess I'll be the lone dissenter. Artsy people may go crazy for them but I wouldn't be caught dead in one. Just the sound of them sounds ugly. I may be proven wrong if they're built and if I saw one in person, but I don't like the idea.

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i also wouldn't buy one either. But artsy people that would goto live by an industrial area that has a bit of crime... for 60K...um hotcakes.

I'm envisioning something like camden square west, which ialmost looks like barns, but has lots of color and some interesting features.... and there is a demographic out there that would love it.

I would love to see it, but it sounds like neither raintree nor i would actually live in one.

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Yeah, it sounds like a great idea if your into the whole artsy thing and you don't make so much money, and it's in a pretty good location. But please try not to make them dumpy looking, make them as nice as possible so it will add to the revitilization of the neighborhood and not take away from it. Again, I probably wouldn't live in one, but then again I'm probably not the kind of person who would live in NoDa anyways, I'm more Uptown/SouthEnd, or where I live right now in the burbs near Providence, but that's b/c my parents live here and I'm still in high school, lol.

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This is a link to the containerbay website that has links to projects done with shipping containers. Some are hideous and some are quite trendy, so I guess it's all in how it's done. My guess is that there would be a market for it in Charlotte and NoDa would seem like a good area for it.

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OK, so now that I've seen pictures of what they would look like thanks to that link, I'm definitely against them. They look like shanty towns. Are we living in The Grapes of Wrath and are looking to attract the "Okie's" (nothing against people from Oklahoma, just using an illustration :) )? Look at third world countries and their slums and you get a similar picture, or at its best it'll look like we have either a shipping yard or a giant construction site in NoDa. Sorry for slamming your project, but I think we could do better here.

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2201D13890DD8A2E.jpg

Cairo, Egypt

3E1DAFE91E9AE2FD.jpg

Cairo, Egypt

CCTHC_project6.jpg

Tower Hamlets College (Not sure of location)

cc2_project6.jpg

Container City Project at Trinity Buoy Wharf, London

See any similarities? I realize this is an extreme, but it's the image that comes to mind when this type of project is mentioned. And I don't want that image in Charlotte.

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http://www.zen17279.zen.co.uk/CC1_project.htm

This would be something comparable to what I plan to create, though their would be a visible brick foundation, and the colors would be bright in bold primary colors a la Camden Square West.

I'm not going to try to defend this project in any way since I realize that there are always critics of architecture and developments, and I have criticized many new developments here for not addressing their context. Certainly this would not fit in the suburbs or SouthPark, but I think what I am trying to create will be recognizeable as a residential project that drawns strong cues from the existing industrial landscape.

I would however think that as people are "priced out of Uptown", and former NoDa pioneers are priced out of the neighborhood that they helped to restore, that there would be an opportunity that would be appealing. Certainly this project is not designed with everyone in mind, but with the idea that affordable housing does not have to occur in vinyl sided buildings in the nether-regions of Charlotte. Additionally, this is affordable housing offered at pricing that previously has only occurred through government subsidy.

Ok, so I defended it a little. :)

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Ok, I'm for this project, just don't make it look like a shanty town, maybe you should run some renderings over with us for our opinions before you build this thing, cuz this could be really cool and chique or it could be an absolute abomination.

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Personally, I like the idea. I think this type of project would be really good for NODA. It would be a swift kick in the pants toward all of the BS going in there. I think it is certainly interesting looking and appealing in a sculptural sort of way. In an arts district I think "out side of the box" developments like this one are not only appropriate but add to the interest of the neighborhood. Neighborhoods like NODA need to strive to continue to encourage visual interest and diversity if they want to maintain vitality. I would say green architectural amenities are great but price may be the main sticking point with these units overall. Be careful though, pricing them too low or stripping them down too much to price them low may lead potential buyers to wonder what may be wrong with them. A one bedroom for 60-80K is a sweet deal though. I would also try to make an artistic feature of the exterior lighting. I think that would give it a little more energy and add to the "safe" feeling, even if the structure is more industrial. Looking at Raintree's pictures I have to say that the Trinity Buoy Wharf project in London is pretty hot. If I were in the market for a small condo and something like that were in NODA at the prices mentioned here I would be interested. This is exciting and NODA is a great neighborhood for something like this... I say best of luck! Just my 2 cents.

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I agree with appatone, I think it's time to get away from the same old "traditional" architecture around town. I would love to see some bold statements made in the right places, and I belive NoDa would be right for a project such as this.

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Those aren't shipping containers though, are they? That just looks like the typical style of beach condos built in the 70's and 80's in Myrtle Beach.

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i'm not sure if this would be preferable or not, but if you can actually get prices so low with these, may you could partner with habitat for a mixed income community. just a thought.

Personally, i think that that price with the explicit intent of getting artists will be a major boost, not only to this project, but also to that part of noda. You could even figure out of artists capital items (i'm not sure what that would be... black room, kiln, easle, drafting table, not sure), and include them in a club room. some people want pools... but it might be cost effective, and could act a bit like an incubator. again, just some thoughts.

I think in many (most?) parts of charlotte kind of construction would not fly, but it will likely be welcomed in noca. I can't wait for conceptual drawings, etc.

The shanty-town comments, should be heeded as warnings (and a challenge), but i definitely think that a few bright coats of paint, some north carolina-style trees and a blue sky (non-existent in england :) ) behind it... it will not look like a shanty.

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