Archive for Asheville

Feb
27

How Much is Asheville’s Biltmore House Worth?

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biltmoreEven the rich and powerful George Vanderbilts of the world have to pay property taxes, but when their property is a national treasure like Biltmore House, figuring out how much it’s worth is complicated.

Buncombe County appraisers were tasked with putting a price tag on America’s largest private residence with its 250 rooms and approximately 135,000 square feet built in 1895 and styled after a French Renaissance chateau. The numbers released this week put the house’s value at about $37 million and the approximately 2,194 acres on which it sits at more than $64 million. Considering the hotels, restaurants, outbuildings and private residences, the total value of the public areas of Biltmore Estate is nearly $300 million, according to the tax department.

Biltmore Company and its related groups hold about 8,000 acres of property, but it’s divided up into multiple properties, some of which are not held by the Biltmore Company. George Vanderbilt’s heirs divided the assets into multiple companies, including the Biltmore Company and Biltmore Farms, in 1979. The largest portion of the estate, west of the French Broad River, is held by West Range LLC and valued at about $78 million, which is not included in the $300 million. Most of that property is not open to the public on a regular basis.

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Jan
05

Two Senior Living Facilities in the Carolinas Sold

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elderly_peopleGreystone Real Estate Advisors announced it closed the $33,000,000 sale of Brookdale Hendersonville in Hendersonville, NC and Brookdale Skylyn in Spartanburg, SC. A private equity group purchased the seniors housing properties from Brookdale Senior Living, Inc., on December 15. Mike Garbers and Cody Tremper of Greystone represented the seller in the transaction.

Brookdale Hendersonville, located in a southern suburb of Asheville, North Carolina, is an independent living and memory care community that consists of independent living cottages, an independent living clubhouse, an administrative office building, and a separate memory care building. Built in 1985 and 1993, the community sits on a total of 21.36 acres of land.

Brookdale Skylyn, located between Greenville, South Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina, is an independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing community. The property consists of two senior living buildings and one skilled nursing building. Built in 1986, the community sits on 17.61 acres of land.

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Aug
19

Indianapolis Developer Eyes South Carolina

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milhaus carolinasMilhaus, an award-winning developer that specializes in Class A urban infill, mixed-use and multifamily residential buildings, announces it is expanding its footprint to the Carolinas market. To lead the company’s new development efforts in the Southeast region, Milhaus hired Rachel Russell to serve as vice president of development for the Carolinas.

With the company’s goal to develop and acquire properties with a market value exceeding $4 billion by 2020, Milhaus identified the Carolinas as an extremely desirable market for expansion due to the region’s strong job growth and high demand for multifamily and mixed-use properties in urban neighborhoods. Milhaus currently has a site under contract in Asheville, North Carolina, and Russell will be actively looking for other sites within the Carolinas.

Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Russell will be responsible for managing the development lifecycle of each project in this new market, including land acquisition, financial analysis, market research, product visioning, construction management and transitioning to operations. She brings extensive multifamily and mixed-use property development experience in the Carolinas to her new role at Milhaus. Prior to joining the company, she served as vice president, real estate development at Charlotte, North Carolina-based multifamily and mixed-use developer Grubb Properties.

News of the company’s recent Asheville, North Carolina site under contract follows other recent site acquisitions in Nashville, Tennessee and Tampa, Florida. With 11,400 apartment units under management and in development this year, the company is pursuing strategic growth opportunities in new and existing markets to reach its goal of having 20,000 units in 10 markets by 2020.

 

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Aug
09

Is the Asheville CRE Market “Inflated”?

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Brisk, heated and inflated are some of the words brokers have used to describe the Asheville area’s commercial real estate market’s performance through this year’s first two quarters.

Demand and rental rates are increasing. Inventory and vacancy rates are dropping. Those trends are occurring across product types: industrial, office, retail, land and multifamily.

“It’s an indication of the market’s velocity,” said Austin Walker, a broker with Whitney Commercial Real Estate Services in Asheville.

“There’s an insatiable appetite for investment real estate,” Walker said, referring to developed property that tenants lease and produces income for owners. Whitney is receiving more investment real-estate inquiries now than a year ago at this time – and “five times as many as the year before that,” Walker said.

Though Jeremy Goldstein agreed the sector has been very active, the broker in charge and principal agent at Asheville’s G/M Property Group expressed that some caution might be in order.

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Jul
18

Asheville Apartment Rents Remain High

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money-1-1Tell Marie Kerwin the city’s apartment vacancy rate has dropped a few notches – meaning a lot more units should be available – and she may beg to differ.

“There’s not a lot of options,” said Kerwin, “It took me months to find an apartment. I actually was calling every complex, every day.”

Kerwin and her husband, Christian, relocated to Asheville a year ago from Jacksonville, Florida, both taking jobs with the Earth Fare supermarket. Kerwin said they “got lucky” in finding a place at The Palisades, a 224-unit complex off Mills Gap Road in Arden that opened last summer.

For renters like the Kerwins, it might not seem like it, but the city’s apartment vacancy rate — famously pegged at 1 percent in a consultant’s report published a year-and-a-half ago that looked at Buncombe and three other counties — is dropping, meaning more units are available. That also should mean, theoretically, rents will decline, but that hasn’t happened.

A tight apartment market has dominated local discussions about affordable housing and livability in the Asheville area for nearly two years. But while that vacancy rate is dropping to a more livable range of around 6 percent, rents likely won’t fall over the next couple of years, experts say.

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Jun
06

Diversified Development Builds Self-Storage Facility in Asheville

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ashevilleReal estate developer Diversified Development Inc. is building a three-story self-storage facility in Asheville, N.C. The property on Bleachery Boulevard will comprise a total of 93,000 square feet, 64,000 of which will be rentable space. Expected to open in 2017, the building will cover 2.25 acres of the 6-acre site, according to the source.

The multi-story project is a contrast to the sprawling self-storage facilities common in the area, the source reported. “It used to be you had a gravel lot and you weren’t doing anything else with the land, so you would throw a building up and rent out spaces,” said Will Batson, chief development officer. “What you’re finding with land and development costs getting more expensive, it makes more sense to go vertical rather than spreading out.”

Diversified paid $750,000 for the land and will invest approximately $6.5 million in the project, the source reported. The site is less than a mile from a Walmart Supercenter, near established and in-development apartment complexes.

Multi-family housing has attracted several storage developers to the area, the source reported. Asheville has a 1 percent apartment vacancy rate, creating what city officials have called a “housing crisis.”

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May
09

Study Finds Asheville Housing Market Unsustainable

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ashevilleMany residents already have experienced it. Perhaps more have feared it.

Now, a national report has added to worries the Asheville metro area’s housing market has reached unsustainable levels. Economists at Nationwide, the insurance and financial-planning company based in Ohio, have ranked the metro-area market as the nation’s sixth-unhealthiest.

“House-price gains relative to income have become increasingly unaffordable,” said David Berson, Nationwide senior vice president and chief economist who is the report’s primary author.

The study fits the Asheville region’s performance within a national context, though critics say it doesn’t take in all factors unique to the city specifically.

Average annual wages in the Asheville metro area – which comprises Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson and Madison counties – were $37,289 during the third quarter of last year, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Apr
13

Asheville Apartment Rents Most Expensive in NC

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home-prices-riseLiving with roommates to help pay the rent has become the new normal for many in Asheville – particularly for people depending on hourly wages in low-paying industries, area leasing agents say.

And that’s unlikely to change anytime soon as the average cost of renting a home or an apartment in Asheville climbed 7.6 percent from March 2015 through March 2016, the highest surge in North Carolina, according to the San Francisco-based company Apartment List. The median rent for a two-bedroom unit in Asheville has reached $1,180 a month, the highest in the state for that size among a set of 10 large North Carolina cities selected by Apartment List, said Andrew Woo, a company data scientist.

Asheville overtook Charlotte in January to top the state’s costliest rent list, Woo said. Charlotte and Durham are second and third with respective median rents of $1,140 and $1,100 for a two-bedroom unit.

The cost of renting in Asheville is something that can catch new residents by surprise.

“We tell them that they have to have a job or significant savings,” said Kimberly Evans, broker in charge at Alpha Real Estate in Asheville. “If they don’t, we recommend that they delay their plans” until they do one of the two.” Alpha Real Estate’s inventory consists of about 200 apartments and houses for rent, Evans said.

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Mar
25

Former Tiger Woods Golf Course Site at Cliffs For Sale

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golfA 795-acre parcel that was part of the now-defunct Cliffs at High Carolina development and Tiger Woods-designed golf course is for sale. The price is listed as $23,995,000, or $30,182 per acre.

In addition to its star-studded past, the land is significant because it’s a large, contiguous parcel in Buncombe County. It’s about 25 minutes’ drive from downtown Asheville in Fairview. Such parcels are becoming harder to find as Asheville grows, said Drew Reisinger, Buncombe Country register of deeds.

“We don’t see parcels of land that are that big that come through this office hardly ever anymore,” he said. “It would be a big deal, especially if there’s a price tag that’s substantial that comes with it, which brings in a lot of excise tax to the county as well.”

The Cliffs at High Carolina was eviscerated by the collapse of the real estate market and, perhaps, the decline of Woods’ star power on and off the golf course.

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Jan
04

Charleston Firm Completes Asheville Apartments

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retreat at hunt hillThe Kassinger Development Group (KDG) based in Charleston, SC has completed construction of the 180 total units for The Retreat at Hunt Hill located in Asheville, North Carolina. The highest and panoramic view units from the property are now available and look out to a picturesque mountain-scape and the downtown Asheville city skyline.

The property management group is leasing and future residents can schedule a tour and complete an application to live at The Retreat at Hunt Hill by visiting the community at 32 Ardmion Park or contacting them at 828-255-5255 or HuntHill@pegasusresidential.com.

The Retreat at Hunt Hill has an exceptional location adjacent to the Beaucatcher Hiking Trail and McCormick Field – home of the Asheville Tourists baseball team. It is conveniently located near Mission Hospital and within walking distance to great restaurants and businesses in the city of Asheville.

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Dec
01

Upstate Building Permits on the Rise

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building-permitThere were more residential than commercial building permits issued in the third quarter in the Upstate, according to a report by Knoxville, Tenn-based Market Edge. The majority of the permits were issued in Greenville and Spartanburg counties. The report classified the Upstate as the counties of Abbeville, Anderson, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens and Spartanburg.

Gary Splawn, permits administrator for Spartanburg County, said the number of permits issued depends on the time of the year.

“We usually see the numbers increase in the spring and continue strong through the summer,” he said. “And most of what we’re seeing in terms of residential permits are individual homeowners getting permits for additions to their homes.”

Eric Vinson, director of planning and code compliance for Greenville County, said the same process can be seen in Greenville County.

“The housing permits are definitely cyclical in nature, as we typically have higher levels of construction in the second and third quarters,” he said. “We have seen more residential renovation which explains the higher overall permit numbers.”

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Oct
14

Integra is Appraising in Asheville

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I wanted to make readers aware that Integra Realty Resources – SC has been working in the Asheville, North Carolina market on a regular basis. Four of our appraisers are certified general licensees in North Carolina, and we enjoy working that area. Please keep us in mind for your commercial appraisal needs in western North Carolina.

Michael Dodds, MAI, CCIM
Senior Managing Director
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Jan
16

Real Data: Asheville Apartment Vacancy at 7.2%

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Demand for apartments in the Asheville area has surged over the last year. According to the latest report by Real Data, an apartment research firm based in Charlotte, demand for apartments in this market reached the highest level ever recorded.

The average vacancy rate is now 7.2%, which is down from a high of 12.8% in 2009. The average rental rate has risen to $839 per month.

Despite strong demand, new construction has slowed recently with just over 300 units currently under construction. Most of these units are located at Ballantyne Commons in Hendersonville, which expects to begin move-ins in January 2013. While there are currently more than 1,200 additional units proposed throughout the Asheville area, most do not plan to start construction till mid/late-2013 and will take 12-24 months to complete.

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Jul
31

Western NC Home Sales Up

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Home sales are up 24 percent over last year around Western North Carolina, and building permits are up 20 percent as the critical real estate market keeps digging out of the collapse of the Great Recession.

“The news is good. Sales are up, inventory is down, prices are starting to rise,” observed Neal Hanks of Beverly-Hanks & Associates, the region’s largest real estate firm, which has compiled a market overview for the second quarter.

Some 605 homes are being sold monthly around the mountains, well up from the 371 homes sold monthly at the depths of the Great Recession in 2009, according to data from the WNC Regional Multiple Listing Service. That’s still well below the peak of 721 homes sold monthly in 2006 at the height of the housing boom.

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Jan
03

Asheville Apartment Vacancy Down to 7.2%

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Demand for apartments in the Asheville area has surged over the last year. According to the latest report by Real Data, an apartment research firm based in Charlotte, demand for apartments in this market reached the highest level ever recorded.

The average vacancy rate is now 7.2%, which is down from a high of 12.8% in 2009. The average rental rate has risen to $839 per month.

Despite strong demand, new construction has slowed recently with just over 300 units currently under construction. Most of these units are located at Ballantyne Commons in Hendersonville, which expects to begin move-ins in January 2013. While there are currently more than 1,200 additional units proposed throughout the Asheville area, most do not plan to start construction till mid/late-2013 and will take 12-24 months to complete.

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