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Timetable of Uptown Charlotte Projects

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I know that this might be addressed through and through on other threads in some manner or other, but I wanted to dedicate a thread that might asssit me as well as others in understanding the time table of projects from inception to completion.

Is it becasue of our Zoning process ?

Is there too much red tabe in the process to obtain air rights and certain permits through the city?

Is it becasue our market is young and developers are sketchy at best about their projects success?

Is it because of sub-par contractors ?

Is it becasue of GREEDY land holders (ie Levine) not willing to contribute to the greater good of our city?

Is it because Charlotte is still run by a much more conservative Government not willing to cross the inevidable line of becoming an actual Urban City?

These are just a few of the questions I know many of us have, and I know that there are members of UP who might shed light on a VERY frustrating occurance of time delay in Center City Developmet.

My frustration with most all Uptown Projects is their extrememly long time table. It seems as though when I am in other cities (especially ATL, since I am there often on business) that a project is announced, ground is broken, and then in some sort of constuction magic they are competed either on time or before.

Each and every time I am in Atlanta I notice another crane another building added to their many skylines. And even as a kid when I lived in Atlanta I noticed a much busier development scene. This is when Atlanta's MSA was roughly what Charlotte's is today.

We on the other hand have projects like:

The Park

The Renwick

The Vue

615 East Morehead

The Garrison

Midtown's Redevelopmet (announced OVER TWO YEARS AGO!)

and many many many more....

that take on the long process of getting approved, opening a sales office, or perhaps just never seeing the light of day.

I SAY TO CLT DEVELOPERS ONE THING:

GET ON WITH IT ALREADY AND START BUILDING !!!!

Any thoughts from our resident experts is greatly appreciated.... :)

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In my understanding is a function of American culture and conservative financiers. Banks don't want to be on the hook for a project that won't sell. Urban projects require a high degree of presales because the banks don't just assume they'll sell out once built. In New York, they don't need to do those presales, in the suburbs, they don't need to do those presales, but urban buildings in smaller cities do. The only exception appears to be Novare, which has worked out a successful business model and has forged a strong degree of confidence from financiers, because of their low pricing.

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In my understanding is a function of American culture and conservative financiers. Banks don't want to be on the hook for a project that won't sell. Urban projects require a high degree of presales because the banks don't just assume they'll sell out once built. In New York, they don't need to do those presales, in the suburbs, they don't need to do those presales, but urban buildings in smaller cities do. The only exception appears to be Novare, which has worked out a successful business model and has forged a strong degree of confidence from financiers, because of their low pricing.

I tell you what D, it is Developers like Novare that are going to reap the real first fruit of Charlotte's growth. All development carries with it a degree of risk (to the lender and the borrower), but to me Charlotte has great appeal to growth of "in city" residents and thus shear market demand should put banks in a much more comfortable postion to lend. BUT, as with most things I guess they are still wanting to proove the market especially in the High rise dept.

I still see what you are saying dubone, I am just frustrated that with the proven success of 1st,3rd, and 4th wards that the banks still hold the purse strings too tight.

But even with banks a big question mark, why do other projects which seem to have financing take so damn long to build. A great example is Courtside. It was suppose to be finished months ago. Another exapmle is the Courthouse. This is a Public building and it is still going to chalk up over THREE year to build !

Remember the Empire State building only took 13 months from digging the hole to topping it off. (Wachovia's Project will take that long just to get renderings out :P ) . Even in current day Atlanta, their projects seem to grow like weeds in their skyline almost overnight. Maybe it is because I, like many here, are so impatient that the time table just SEEMS longer than it really is. C'mon hurry up 2010 :(

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The courthouse is a bizarre case. That thing has taken a crazy amount of time. They are now down to only one spot that needs stone for the facade. Part of the reasons for that is that it is cheaper when the time table is stretched out. There is less pressure for coordinating various jobs, and you don't have to pay any overtime and such. Also, public projects like to use small businesses, so often, they don't have the experience or capacity to do the job quickly. The county wasn't in a hurry, and was concerned with keeping costs as low as possible, so I'm sure that all explains that.

I'll bet that all these projects are being disrupted by shortages in concrete and steel. With so much demand, production facitilities for those raw materials are probably tight, so it leads to more delays.

Also, for uptown, there is some issue with needing to blast rock and fix issues with the soil in order to create a sound foundation.

Between financing, sales, design, engineering, and construction, there are many possibilities for delay. And at every point, they must eliminate or mitigate risk. They don't want to have an empty building, they don't want to have building that bankrupts the developer or the bank, they don't want to have an ugly building, they don't want to have a building that has structural problems or safety problems. So we get these projects taking multiple years to pull off.

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Between financing, sales, design, engineering, and construction, there are many possibilities for delay. And at every point, they must eliminate or mitigate risk. They don't want to have an empty building, they don't want to have building that bankrupts the developer or the bank, they don't want to have an ugly building, they don't want to have a building that has structural problems or safety problems. So we get these projects taking multiple years to pull off.

I know dubone, it just seems to be our city that has the longest time tables with Urban Projects. FWIW, maybe all of the Atlanta projects I have seen go up lately have taken just as long, but due to lack of knowledge in when the project was proposed it only appears to have a short time line.

BUT, it does seem that several development firms as well as General Contractors (ie Brassfield & Gorrie) tend to have their act together in other cities and don't waste much time erecting magnificent strutures in a timely fashion.

I think one project that is defying the trend of being slow is Trademark. Furman has possibly learned from his recent project (Courtside) how to operate more efficiently in this area of development. I also thing that TWELVE will go up MUCH faster than The Avenue. I really think that project is taking a long time because of its tight fit for a high rise and also the fact that this was their (Noveare's) FIRST project in Uptown.

I have my finger crossed that with experience gained from Uptown developers we see some operating efficiencies that make doing future project quicker.

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