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Hillsborough Street - NCSU Area developments


orulz

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That overhead really doesn't look anything like actual Hillsborough St. Must have used an old google map view and polished it up and never actually come visited the site. Regardless, I'd almost rather this be regular, but a smaller apartment building with full time, employed residents. It isn't horrible on its street face but the scale back though the site is massive.  I get this feeling that the next economic collapse will be tied to mega-block and/or student apartment complexes being overbuilt seeing too much of stuff like this and Theory all at once instead of a measured buildout...

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I'm kinda curious.  Who was the first architect that said, "hmm, lets have a brick facade, but then do the top floor with stucco."  And the bigger question, how has almost every architect for these cheap mega-block apartments since then thought this was a good look?

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3 hours ago, Green_man said:

I'm kinda curious.  Who was the first architect that said, "hmm, lets have a brick facade, but then do the top floor with stucco."  And the bigger question, how has almost every architect for these cheap mega-block apartments since then thought this was a good look?

Maybe the same one that thought could fool people into thinking a fancy house by putting brick on front a vinyl siding on sides and back.

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4 hours ago, Green_man said:

I'm kinda curious.  Who was the first architect that said, "hmm, lets have a brick facade, but then do the top floor with stucco."  And the bigger question, how has almost every architect for these cheap mega-block apartments since then thought this was a good look?

It's not architects, really. These are basically developers posing as architects by taking the same cookie cutter design attributes that can bring the most profit, molding them to the site, and then reproducing it. Honestly, architects are smarter than this, and are not factories for design regurgitation. 

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These types of projects are all owner driven.  They are not about to pay to completely brick up a facade.  The owner has their bottom line and you try to do your best with it.  The firms that design most of these projects have made it their niche.  They have set unit plans and they can spit out a building design very quickly.

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4 hours ago, Rufus said:

It's not architects, really. These are basically developers posing as architects by taking the same cookie cutter design attributes that can bring the most profit, molding them to the site, and then reproducing it. Honestly, architects are smarter than this, and are not factories for design regurgitation. 

I distinctly remember when Ryan homes (1980's) , in my folks subdivision that was being built out, went from a full brick foundation about 3 feet tall, to lowering the brick on the rear edge, down to grade.  It saved perhaps $2000 per house. This would fall under "value engineering". 

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8 hours ago, Green_man said:

I'm kinda curious.  Who was the first architect that said, "hmm, lets have a brick facade, but then do the top floor with stucco."  And the bigger question, how has almost every architect for these cheap mega-block apartments since then thought this was a good look?

I think the decider was trying to figure out how far up an average pedestrian notices or 'feels' this difference. Stanhope, next door, has 4 of 5 floors brick. Why not just do the 5th too? Stupid Theory, has brick up like 4 floors on one corner, and 1 or 2 and another corner. Naturally all the marketing pictures zoom in on that mostly brick corner. 

Not long ago, Founders Row had to re-stucco their entire complex. Ripped off all the old stuff to the studs and redid it. The assessment that went with that correlated with a good dozen units that all went up for sale at the same time in late 90's or so (early 2000's maybe). Shorting material quality up front is a tried a true method of making that long term maintenance curve soar. Will the REITs that own these huge rentals actually pony up like the Founder's Row owners did? Do capitalists and investors give two sh&^s about the long game? Perhaps a few. But not the guys snorting blow on their yachts off Ibiza. 

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To further drive home the point of this being looks only, check out the rear of Stanhope on the before/after portion of the Hillsborough St project website (scroll down).

Also, I am sorry I have made you guys suffer through 4000 of my posts, but I just noticed that is the point where UP goes from calling you a 'Town' to a 'City'. Urban. Finally. (13 years)

Edited by Jones_
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  • 1 month later...

The obvious answer would be to develop it since they do have a real estate arm (their most famous project is American Tobacco in Durham) but I have no inside information to that effect.

It is my opinion that this area and mission valley would probably be approved for an upzoning if the owners were to petition the city for it.

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On 6/29/2018 at 8:40 AM, Green_man said:

I'm kinda curious.  Who was the first architect that said, "hmm, lets have a brick facade, but then do the top floor with stucco." 

Besides the higher cost of masonry, there's a bit of a "dematerialization" effect with using lighter materials closer to the sky. Supposedly, that makes the upper floors less visually imposing, and makes the building appear shorter than it is.

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I think this is pretty much an unambiguous improvement.  Keep it coming. Between smaller-scale stuff like 2811 and 2604, and larger stuff like this, the transformation on this corridor is really remarkable.

Notably this developer decided to forgo rezoning and build as-of-right which means three stories max and no council review. Parking will be underground. Personally I think that this would be fine as five or seven stories but  skipping the rezoning makes the process easier so I can understand why. 

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I think my only issue with all these apartments are where they expect to get these students from.  NC State isn’t growing that much so the demand has to end at some point.  I don’t want places like valentine commons or Stanhope eventually turning into low income housing but that’s what I fear will happen. 

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As a parent who put two sons through college, it's clear to me that expectations for living quarters are much higher than when I lived in dormitories that were little better than Army basic training barracks (perhaps worse). To some extent the parents brought this on themselves by buying condos for their kids with the intention of renting them out or selling them after the kids graduated. Who knows how many of those condo purchases were financed with zero-interest loans... hey, the price of real estate can never go down, right?  Anyway, now the universities are in a shooting war and good living quarters, whether on campus or off campus, is ammunition in that war. 

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I mean that's cool and all but I feel like this is murdering another NCSU staple which is East Village.  Pour one out for my college years.

Sadlacks is long gone and now East Village.  Guess that just leaves Mitchs and Players Retreat.

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1 hour ago, Isaac said:

I think my only issue with all these apartments are where they expect to get these students from.  NC State isn’t growing that much so the demand has to end at some point.  I don’t want places like valentine commons or Stanhope eventually turning into low income housing but that’s what I fear will happen. 

Actually enrollment has grown by 8-10% over the last two years as more students accept admittance. If that keeps up, that’s just one of these buildings after 2-3 years. 

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10 hours ago, Justin6882 said:

Actually enrollment has grown by 8-10% over the last two years as more students accept admittance. If that keeps up, that’s just one of these buildings after 2-3 years. 

Where do you see that enrollment has grown 8-10%?  According to this link, enrollment has gone down after peeking in the 2011-2012 school year.  I also found an article saying the enrollment in the 2017-2018 school year was 33,755.

https://oirp.ncsu.edu/enrollment-history-nc-state-1889-present/

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5 minutes ago, Isaac said:

Where do you see that enrollment has grown 8-10%?  According to this link, enrollment has gone down after peeking in the 2011-2012 school year.  I also found an article saying the enrollment in the 2017-2018 school year was 33,755.

https://oirp.ncsu.edu/enrollment-history-nc-state-1889-present/

I work at NC State and closely with housing and admissions. The past two freshmen classes have been much larger than their projections so it’ll take some time for that to show up these. Now I’m not sure how the graduate school is doing with enrollment, but they aren’t the students living in these types of developments, for the most part.

 

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11 minutes ago, Justin6882 said:

I work at NC State and closely with housing and admissions. The past two freshmen classes have been much larger than their projections so it’ll take some time for that to show up these. Now I’m not sure how the graduate school is doing with enrollment, but they aren’t the students living in these types of developments, for the most part.

 

Got it, thanks for the inside info!

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12 hours ago, Isaac said:

I think my only issue with all these apartments are where they expect to get these students from.  NC State isn’t growing that much so the demand has to end at some point.  I don’t want places like valentine commons or Stanhope eventually turning into low income housing but that’s what I fear will happen. 

I think these student apartment buildings in urban settings will be fine and stay high in demand.  But I could see the surplus in rooms (if there is one) effecting more of the student apartments out on Tryon and Avent Ferry.  Those would be better candidates for shifting prices downward to attract renters.

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Agreed, there's inventory that will be freed up . However, whether prices fall is a matter of supply and demand -- even for older apartments that have suffered from decades of student occupancy.  Or we may see demolition and rebuild of the older complexes for a target market with higher income, like we've seen along Lake Boone Trail.

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4 hours ago, Green_man said:

I think these student apartment buildings in urban settings will be fine and stay high in demand.  But I could see the surplus in rooms (if there is one) effecting more of the student apartments out on Tryon and Avent Ferry.  Those would be better candidates for shifting prices downward to attract renters.

This is what has already happened.  I lived at an all student apartment complex off Avent ferry and by the time I left there weren’t really any students left.  Cars started getting broken into every night.  Just don’t want the same to happen to hillsborough Street if this trend of 200-1000+ student only apartments keep popping up.

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