elrodvt

Possibly moving to Charlotte - Some questions and observations

70 posts in this topic

We may have to move to Charlotte and I have some questions:

 

We're moving from downtown Denver, which has it's share of undeveloped parking lots, but is much more urban than Charlotte. I want to remain as urban as possible and we prefer condo high rise living - in concrete building with no sound from my neighbors. Basically we want as close as possible to what we have here.

 

1) Do your crystal balls tell you there is hope that Charlotte Downtown (i refuse to say uptown yet) will achieve higher density levels and if so where? Along the same lines, if I want to live in a high density area of downtown where would be the best location? 

2) Last time I walked around downtown on a Sunday morning there was not a single place open to eat. Is it still so desolate on a Sunday morning? Where do people eat breakfast?

3) I've been looking at the high and mid rises on mls and see some that seem ok: 230 S Tryon, Avenue. Others, such as Courtside or Skye, are in the middle of areas that I doubt I would let my wife walk in alone at night. But their lower prices and larger sizes are attractive. Any advise? Other places to consider? We're looking to spend around 500K.

4) Taxes are much higher - both state and property. Are they at least stable or will the property tax continue to escalate and at what rate? They are around 2X CO and provide no relief for retiree's.

 

Thanks!

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Higher density is absolutely inevitable uptown and in the inner neighborhoods, and is happening at a steady pace. 3rd ward is probably going to have the most momentum in the short term for redeveloping underused space (southwestern quadrant of uptown, with the new ballpark in the center).

 

When was the last time you were here and couldn't find anything open on Sunday? I had the same problem when I first moved uptown in 2008, but its gotten so much better since then. Still, the really really popular brunch spots are mostly in the surrounding neighborhoods. 

 

If you're buying you should consider Trademark as well, its in a good location and may be a notch less expensive than Avenue. Fifth and Poplar, while not a high rise, is pretty nice too. I wouldn't consider Courtside or Skye to be much more dangerous to walk around at night, they're just in less happening locations. If you're open to renting, consider Vue or Catalyst, both high-quality buildings. 

 

As it happens, my next move will probably be to Denver. 

Edited by nonillogical

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It's uptown not downtown.

Come visit (again) first. Why are you moving? Sounds like you like it out west

Edited by AirNostrumMAD

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Higher density is absolutely inevitable uptown and in the inner neighborhoods, and is happening at a steady pace. 3rd ward is probably going to have the most momentum in the short term for redeveloping underused space (southwestern quadrant of uptown, with the new ballpark in the center).

 

When was the last time you were here and couldn't find anything open on Sunday? I had the same problem when I first moved uptown in 2008, but its gotten so much better since then. Still, the really really popular brunch spots are mostly in the surrounding neighborhoods. 

 

If you're buying you should consider Trademark as well, its in a good location and may be a notch less expensive than Avenue. Fifth and Poplar, while not a high rise, is pretty nice too. I wouldn't consider Courtside or Skye to be much more dangerous to walk around at night, they're just in less happening locations. If you're open to renting, consider Vue or Catalyst, both high-quality buildings. 

 

As it happens, my next move will probably be to Denver. 

Burg, thanks for your comments. I don't often see listings at Trademark but it looks nice. Is it stick built though? You will love Denver. Maybe you can buy my place. Downtown denver is hopping. Cranes everywhere. I can walk to maybe 50 breakfast places in 10 minutes or less. And 10 microbreweries! You'll love it if you do end up there.

It's uptown not downtown.

Come visit (again) first. Why are you moving? Sounds like you like it out west

Yeah I know about the odd uptown stuff. Moving to be close to family. Love it out West but have only been there 3 years. It's sure a lot less expensive. Although, ironically, everyone here complains about high costs. It's all relative right?

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Burg, thanks for your comments. I don't often see listings at Trademark but it looks nice. Is it stick built though? You will love Denver. Maybe you can buy my place. Downtown denver is hopping. Cranes everywhere. I can walk to maybe 50 breakfast places in 10 minutes or less. And 10 microbreweries! You'll love it if you do end up there.

No it's not stick built, anything you see over 7 stories should be concrete/steel construction. I used to know some people who lived there and it was very nice though not as amenity-rich as some of the others.

 

For breakfast uptown, many of the nice restaurants offer a brunch and there is no shortage of quick places on weekdays, though there's no big destination brunch spot I can think of right now, Fourth Ward Bread Company is very good though and might be the best non-chain spot there right now. 7th Street Market is a good spot for miscellaneous food on the weekends, I imagine they have breakfast stuff. Outside of but near uptown the big brunch/breakfast spots are Tupelo Honey Cafe, Pike's Soda Shop, Zada Janes, Toast, Midnight Diner, Heist...there are many more though. 

 

When it comes to breweries, you actually moved to the right place. Our craft beer scene is blowing up. Look up NoDa Brewing, Birdsong, Olde Mecklenburg, Triple C, Unknown, Heist, and the soon to come Free Range, Sycamore, and Dukbone. Plus you're less than 2 hours away from Asheville, beer city usa. 

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I feel like this thread is going to get hostile, haha.

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Burg, thanks for your comments. I don't often see listings at Trademark but it looks nice. Is it stick built though? You will love Denver. Maybe you can buy my place. Downtown denver is hopping. Cranes everywhere. I can walk to maybe 50 breakfast places in 10 minutes or less. And 10 microbreweries! You'll love it if you do end up there.

Yeah I know about the odd uptown stuff. Moving to be close to family. Love it out West but have only been there 3 years. It's sure a lot less expensive. Although, ironically, everyone here complains about high costs. It's all relative right?

Trademark is a 28 story condo tower. 

There are dozens of great breakfast places just a short train ride or walk away in uptown or south end. Here are just a few. 

 

http://fourthwardbreadco.com - UPTOWN

http://www.ameliesfrenchbakery.com - UPTOWN

http://www.7thstreetpublicmarket.com - UPTOWN

http://www.dandelionmarketcharlotte.com - UPTOWN

http://charlotte.vidacantina.com - UPTOWN

http://roosterskitchen.com/index.cfm UPTOWN. 

http://www.chefroccowhalen.com/fahrenheit-charlotte/ UPTOWN - will have brunch soon.

http://www.nanandbyrons.com - SOUTH END

https://tupelohoneycafe.com/location/charlotte - SOUTH END

http://commonmarketisgood.com - SOUTHEND

I'm sure there are a bunch of others that i can't think of right now.

 

There are also Microbreweries a short train ride away too in SouthEnd.

http://www.unknownbrewing.com

http://www.triplecbrewing.com

http://www.sycamorebrew.com

http://www.oldemeckbrew.com/index.php

If you wait 3 years there are 4 more in Noda that will be a train line away once the extension opens.

 

 

Great Beer Stores/Tap Houses

http://commonmarketisgood.com - SOUTHEND

Edited by ricky_davis_fan_21

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I'll second what nonillogical said about the breakfast situation. Fourth Ward Bread Company is a great uptown bakery, and Not Just Coffee in the 7th Street Market has the best coffee in the city. For brunch, the surrounding neighborhoods are the where to go and will include the places nonillogical mentioned like Tupelo Honey, Nan and Byron's, Zada Janes, Toast, and The Peculiar Rabbit. Places in South End are a short light rail ride away, while places in Plaza Midwood, Myers Park, and Dilworth will require a bike or car.

Edited by Windsor Parkitect

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Burg, thanks for your comments. I don't often see listings at Trademark but it looks nice. Is it stick built though? You will love Denver. Maybe you can buy my place. Downtown denver is hopping. Cranes everywhere. I can walk to maybe 50 breakfast places in 10 minutes or less. And 10 microbreweries! You'll love it if you do end up there.

Yeah I know about the odd uptown stuff. Moving to be close to family. Love it out West but have only been there 3 years. It's sure a lot less expensive. Although, ironically, everyone here complains about high costs. It's all relative right?

It's not odd uptown stuff.

It's a word people use regularly. Commercials, TV, Real estate agents, newspapers, signs, corporations, visitor centers etc.

Its not odd; it's the way of life here... Its just distasteful to go somewhere else and say certain customs/linguistics are odd. I'd be so embarrassed if I went to say London with someone and they were telling the locals " I refuse to call cookies biscuits" or "I refuse to call fries chips" or "I'm aware of the odd tube"

But anyway, you don't sound like you'd enjoy it here to be honest. So I'm not sure there's any place here I'd recommend. Why not Atlanta? Larger city than even Denver; surely it can fill your needs and you'd be closer to family? Or DC

Edited by AirNostrumMAD

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I've lived here since 1995 and I still struggle sometimes to remember to say uptown instead of downtown. No big deal if you find yourself saying downtown more. It's the same part of town whatever you call it.

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I've lived here since 1995 and I still struggle sometimes to remember to say uptown instead of downtown. No big deal if you find yourself saying downtown more. It's the same part of town whatever you call it.

I'm from Charlotte, born in 1985, and I can't recall myself calling it Uptown until recently when people started making a big deal about it. I've always called it downtown ::::GASP::::

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I live in uptown and still refer to it as downtown quite often, especially with people who don't live in Charlotte or rarely head into the city.  It just makes things easier.  I don't get the big deal.  It's unusual; things like that take time to get used to.

 

 

You might want to check out the Arlington in SouthEnd. Kinda sounds like what you'd be interested in. There would be a lot more breakfast/brunch options over there and you could hop on the light rail at any time and be in the heart of uptown within 5 minutes.  As others have mentioned, if you're interested in renting there are a lot of options in great locations in uptown.

Edited by birky

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I generally say center city and sometimes downtown. I just don't go out of my way to let everyone know I am from Charlotte and That I refuse to call it downtown.

(if I seem defensive I blame it on allll the people I work with from Jersey & NY :D it's alwayssssss about jersey, being jersey, getting jersey on someone etc)

Edited by AirNostrumMAD

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I guess I'm the only one that calls it "Da' QC, BOYYYYYYYYYYY".  

 

 

 

Weird.

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But anyway, you don't sound like you'd enjoy it here to be honest. So I'm not sure there's any place here I'd recommend. Why not Atlanta? Larger city than even Denver; surely it can fill your needs and you'd be closer to family? Or DC

To be fair, the only recent transplants I've met here who weren't psyched to move to Charlotte were from either Denver or Seattle. Both very cool cities so I can understand. However they all settled in to liking it here just fine, and found their first impressions a little off. Frankly I think Charlotte is a better place to live than to visit in a lot of ways, and it just takes a little while to find all the neat niches that are more concentrated in some other cities.  

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Thanks everyone for the comments. It does sound like there are a lot more options than we realized and I'm feeling better already! Forth Ward bread company sounds fantastic and that's exactly the kind of place we like (we avoid chains as much as possible). 

 

i don't mean to be insulting about the whole uptown thing. 

I won't complain about it ever again. ;-)

 

CLT is one of the "top" cities in sprawl: http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/measuring-sprawl

Do you think the people in charge want that to change? Is there a strong urbanist movement that politicians are beginning to listen to?

I would join that if we move.

 

If I could trouble you a little more, I have one question left unanswered, do the property taxes continue to escalate there? Does buying a place automatically trigger a reassessment? In some states when they do a periodic reassessment they look at the total brought in and set the rate to keep the total tax revenue level (on a macro level). In others a reassessment just means a huge tax increase.

 

Thanks!

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^ No.....properties in Charlotte are re-assessed every 8 years I believe, and not at a sale, though if you purcase a property below tax value I believe you can challenge it downward.  Tax rates typically do not rise often here, and this year the county may lower the tax rate.  That said, it's a guessing game.  Typically when properties are re-assed, the tax rate will drop to keep the overally tax-burden neutral.

 

The people in charge is a bit ambiguous.  The state loves sprawl, the city itself does an ok job of trying to control growth.  One thing to consider is that a lot of lower density exists in areas where transit will never be a viable option, with hyper density prevalent along the current and planned light rail and streetcar lines.  Average single family density is about 4 houses per acre, vs transit areas and commercial nodes, where the average density is over 50 units per acre.  Simply putting 50 units per acre in areas with 2 lane roads to increase density would be an overall negative. 

 

I think Charlotte offers a nice mix of urban and suburban, offering a wide variety of choices.  It will never be a destination city for people who crave an urban environment, but there will be anough of an urban core to keep those people who happen to relocate here satisfied (I hope).

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^ No.....properties in Charlotte are re-assessed every 8 years I believe, and not at a sale, though if you purcase a property below tax value I believe you can challenge it downward. Tax rates typically do not rise often here, and this year the county may lower the tax rate. That said, it's a guessing game. Typically when properties are re-assed, the tax rate will drop to keep the overally tax-burden neutral.

The people in charge is a bit ambiguous. The state loves sprawl, the city itself does an ok job of trying to control growth. One thing to consider is that a lot of lower density exists in areas where transit will never be a viable option, with hyper density prevalent along the current and planned light rail and streetcar lines. Average single family density is about 4 houses per acre, vs transit areas and commercial nodes, where the average density is over 50 units per acre. Simply putting 50 units per acre in areas with 2 lane roads to increase density would be an overall negative.

I think Charlotte offers a nice mix of urban and suburban, offering a wide variety of choices. It will never be a destination city for people who crave an urban environment, but there will be anough of an urban core to keep those people who happen to relocate here satisfied (I hope).

Very well put.

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^ No.....properties in Charlotte are re-assessed every 8 years I believe, and not at a sale, though if you purcase a property below tax value I believe you can challenge it downward.  Tax rates typically do not rise often here, and this year the county may lower the tax rate.  That said, it's a guessing game.  Typically when properties are re-assed, the tax rate will drop to keep the overally tax-burden neutral.

 

The people in charge is a bit ambiguous.  The state loves sprawl, the city itself does an ok job of trying to control growth.  One thing to consider is that a lot of lower density exists in areas where transit will never be a viable option, with hyper density prevalent along the current and planned light rail and streetcar lines.  Average single family density is about 4 houses per acre, vs transit areas and commercial nodes, where the average density is over 50 units per acre.  Simply putting 50 units per acre in areas with 2 lane roads to increase density would be an overall negative. 

 

I think Charlotte offers a nice mix of urban and suburban, offering a wide variety of choices.  It will never be a destination city for people who crave an urban environment, but there will be anough of an urban core to keep those people who happen to relocate here satisfied (I hope).

That's a great summary. Thanks so much everyone for their input.

 

As we look further, is this the right place to ask opinions on specific locations and buildings and their assessment of the market trends in that area? 

We'll be looking to move either this fall or next spring.

 

For example:

I am still intrigued by the Courtside building. It has fairly large units, is concrete construction, so is presumably quiet, and the cost is much lower than units just a few blocks away. However, it's in the middle of a parking lot desert, which makes my wife nervous about walking alone at night, has small balcony's, and the amenities are not even close to 1'st class. Is buying there at $300/sq ft (hypothetical #'s) vs $400/sq ft up on Tryon a better investment? It could be if that area fills in right? Will it - anything on the board now? 

 

I do like to make some money on each purchase/sale. ;-)

Edited by elrodvt

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Hopefully the area just to the north and west of Courtside will not remain a sea of asphalt for too much longer. There is a developer (Levine) that has been promising a large mixed use project there for a few years. Phase one is to include a new park, retail, and more apartments. Now how long it will be before this actually materializes is anyone's guess although we have been teased with a spring '14 start date for this.

Either way don't expect any large swaths of lots to stay that way for too long. The momentum in densifying uptown is just awesome right now. Ten to fifteen years ago there was at least twice the amount of land devoted to surface lots.

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Back again, Thanks for all the help so far!

 

We've sold our home in Denver and are looking to purchase now so I reviewed this thread. It seems like there is a lot of buzz in southend. The only high rise I see there is the pink one which doesn't suit us (kind of low end). Maybe we could change paths though and go for a quality midrise, it has to be single floor not a townhouse. We really want to be able to do without the car much of the time, walking for groceries, restaurants, breweries etc... I know I can do that by taking the train from "uptown" but that's obviously not as convenient as a walk around the block. Will uptown ever have this level of retail? When does the crystal ball say it will? I would think with all the apartments opening it'll be appealing for more retail to open?

 

So, should I give up on uptown and consider southend the true urban livable center of Charlotte?

If so, what locations should I look in?

Anyone recommend any nice mid-rises with single floor units (preferably constructed well enough to not make you listen to your neighbors tv)

On google maps it draws a shaded area for southend but it's really hard to discern where the action is.

Edited by elrodvt

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Would the Metropolitan condos at Kings & Charlottetown be of interest to you? Tons of retail, several restaurants, the greenway's right there, within walking distance of uptown, and the area has one of the highest walkscores in the city,

Edited by Vitamin_N

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I think 400 N Church st condos would suit your needs perfectly.  The lower floors are "townhome style", but the top 5 or 6 floors are all single unit flats.  Mostly all 2 and 3 bedroom units.  2 block walk to the Harris Teeter grocery at 6th and Pine.  Plus, it seems like development momentum might finally be reshifting to the north side of Uptown.  The building is very desirable (in my opinion) and not a lot of units sold cheaply during the downturn.  The building is very well built from a construction quality perspective, though it was one of the first new construction buildings in Uptown, and therefore the finishes of the yet-renovated units are a bit pedestrian (white laminate counter tops/ceramic tile showers, etc)  though a lot of units have been upgraded over time. 

 

If I was childless and married in Charlotte, this would be my pick.

 

Metrolopitan suggestion above is great in that everything from a basic necessity is right there withi 1 block and the unit quality is very high end, but you do need a car to engage in "cultural" activities if that makes sense.

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Back again, Thanks for all the help so far!

 

We've sold our home in Denver and are looking to purchase now so I reviewed this thread. It seems like there is a lot of buzz in southend. The only high rise I see there is the pink one which doesn't suit us (kind of low end). Maybe we could change paths though and go for a quality midrise, it has to be single floor not a townhouse. We really want to be able to do without the car much of the time, walking for groceries, restaurants, breweries etc... I know I can do that by taking the train from "uptown" but that's obviously not as convenient as a walk around the block. Will uptown ever have this level of retail? When does the crystal ball say it will? I would think with all the apartments opening it'll be appealing for more retail to open?

 

So, should I give up on uptown and consider southend the true urban livable center of Charlotte?

If so, what locations should I look in?

Anyone recommend any nice mid-rises with single floor units (preferably constructed well enough to not make you listen to your neighbors tv)

On google maps it draws a shaded area for southend but it's really hard to discern where the action is.

There really isn't much for sale in SouthEnd. All of the new midrises being built are rentals, not condos.

 

There are some townhomes under construction or soon to be under construction, but those obviously will not be single floor units.

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From everything you've told us I think you would be happier Uptown, even if you might have to do a reverse lightrail trip for certain shopping needs or a change of pace. There will be more high-quality condo options for you there and even though a lot of people don't give Uptown much credit for "hipness", they're thinking in averages against much smaller more focused neighborhoods. There is still plenty to do there and more diversification on the horizon IMO. 

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