Archive for Hilton Head Island
Select details are emerging as construction continues on the $76 million Shelter Cove Towne Centre, and folks involved in the mid-island redevelopment project envision a finished product worthy of lingering attention from visitors and islanders alike.
“Ultimately we’re trying to make this a place that truly lives up to it name,” said Roni Allbritton, general manager for Blanchard & Calhoun, the commercial developer partnering with Kroger Co. on the 42-acre site featuring fresh shopping, dining and leisure options. “We want this to be a place where people can spend all day playing and having a good time.”
A playground area and five acre park nestled along Broad Creek with a public pier will bolster that goal along with a bike path linking the Centre to the rest of the island. Final phase construction set for completion in 2015 will also include 210 creek side rental housing units, but initial offerings are only a matter of weeks away.
Some who recently purchased property are seeing their rates increase tenfold, while rates for second homes or rental units are climbing 25 percent a year, with more raises to come. Local real estate agents say they’ve lost some deals after prospective buyers realized the cost of insurance, which can run more than $10,000 a year.
“There is definitely a shakeup in the industry,” said John Alagna, who owns Hilton Head-based Carolina Heritage Insurance. “This will impact a lot of people in the area.”
The rate increase stems from the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. The measure was passed overwhelmingly by Congress to keep the National Flood Insurance Program solvent after a barrage of claims from catastrophes such as hurricanes Katrina and Irene.
Reassessment notices for the 2013 tax year were mailed last week by the Beaufort County Assessor’s Office. These will include properties in Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Daufuskie Island, Beaufort and all unincorporated areas of Beaufort County.
Appeals must be signed and either mailed or dropped off at any of the assessor’s three office’s in Beaufort, Bluffton, Hilton Head Island by Dec. 11. If the appeal isn’t received by the deadline, it will result in a waiver of the owner’s right of appeal for the current 2013 tax year.
My firm has successfully represented property owners in their property tax appeals, and we would gladly review your property reassessment situation at no charge. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if we can help. It will be interesting to see how much the assessor’s office feels that property values have rebounded.
Michael Dodds, MAI, CCIM
The Tax Equalization Board was expanded this spring — from seven members to 15 — to hear more appeals, but it has not heard a case in months. Over the summer, the board reorganized and trained its new members. It is now looking to send out hearing notices to property owners in September.
That means the board could start hearings in October, but not before more appeals are filed with the assessor after a countywide reassessment.
The backlog of cases choking the appeals system reached nearly 200 earlier this year, though the Assessor’s Office has since been able to chop the backlog to between 140 and 160 cases, according to county assessor Ed Hughes.
If you receive your reassessment notice and believe that the value is too high, be sure to explore the appeal process in Beaufort County. If you need assistance with an appeal on commercial property, or a high-end residential property, please let me know. You can also contact Dale Stigamier at Integrity Real Estate Advisors for assistance. You can reach Dale at (803) 772-9100.
Michael Dodds, MAI, CCIM
When the Great Recession slammed into Hilton Head Island in 2008, it zeroed in the island’s primary revenue sources: Real estate and tourism. The malaise sent the number of visitors plummeting and, more importantly, property values tumbling. Local business people scrambled to try to stop the free fall.
Throughout 2009, local business leaders arranged meetings to sound the alarm that Hilton Head wasn’t alone in battling the outgoing economic tide. Tony Fazzini, then president of Hilton Head Hospitality Association, was among the first to invite community leaders to open discussions about what they were experiencing. The talks also were intended to help the association, representing primarily food and beverage businesses, plan its direction, said Ann-Marie Adams, former executive director of the association.
A study the year before stated that the number of visitors — representing 70 percent of the island’s retail revenue — had fallen 20 percent in less than 10 years. People were bypassing Hilton Head for brighter, shinier resorts and developments elsewhere.
“Bluffton Gateway” would be built on 66 acres of mostly undeveloped land near the intersection of U.S. 278 and Bluffton Road, county planning director Tony Criscitello said.
But before it can be built, the land must be cleared of contaminants from a former printing business.
The developer, Jaz 278 LLC of Roswell, Ga., appears close to signing a voluntary “non-responsible party” cleanup contract with the state to remove chemical solvents left from the defunct business at 34 Bluffton Road, according to the draft contract.
State inspectors found “various hazardous waste storage violations” at the former print shop in the late 1980s. Groundwater samples collected in 2007 detected the presence of chlorinated solvents that were “in excess of federal and state drinking water standards,” the contract says.
Total sales for the month were up 6 percent compared to May 2012, and median sale prices rose 18 percent over the same period to $275,000, according to data from S.C. Realtors.
During the first six months of the year, median prices were up 11.1 percent for the region that includes Hilton Head and greater Bluffton, and total sales were up 9.3 percent, the S.C. Realtors data show.
James Wedgeworth, of James Wedgeworth and Associates realty firm, says the market has already hit bottom and the recovery has taken hold. The biggest surge has been in the lower end of the market, he said, while interest in resort-style properties selling for $1 million and up is still sluggish.
Construction has started on the Shelter Cove Towne Centre, a 42-acre mixed-use development on Hilton Head Island, including a massive new Kroger location. The $74 million project will be built in three phases.
The new Kroger will be the largest grocery store on Hilton Head Island at 87,588 square feet and will include an expanded selection of groceries, a Starbucks coffee kiosk, full-service Murray’s cheese shop, freshly prepared sushi, a walk-in beer cooler, a Growler station where customers can fill up jugs with draft beer, a wine expert, a drive-thru pharmacy, and an outdoor bicycle repair station.
The development is a joint venture between Kroger Real Estate and Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial, a development and real estate brokerage services company based in Augusta, Ga.
As an appraisal geek, it is my job to notice survey stakes everywhere I go. It drives my wife crazy, but I can’t help it. I noticed lots of new survey stakes on Hilton Head Island today, and apparently the oceanfront Holiday Inn sold three days ago (according to the bartender there.)
Michael Dodds, MAI, CCIM
A Hilton Head Island panel unanimously endorsed drawings Tuesday for a redesigned Mall at Shelter Cove that would include a “village” of small, single-story shops and cafes leading to Broad Creek.
Developer Blanchard & Calhoun provided the public with its first glimpse of drawings depicting the new mall, which will replace the existing enclosed mall. “The architectural character will have a Lowcountry village quality,” said Mark Baker of Wood + Partners Inc., an island landscape-architecture firm working with Blanchard & Calhoun on the project.
The town’s Design Review Board voted 5-0 to endorse the plans. Final approval is expected in January, pending a more detailed review of landscaping, lighting, floor and site-development plans, according to town urban designer Jennifer Ray.
From our friends at Foundation Realty -
Headline numbers can often mask important variations across different areas and property types, rendering segment-specific statistics that much more important. For the 12-month period spanning May 2011 through April 2012, Pending Sales in the Hilton Head region were up 15.4 percent overall. The price range with the largest gain in sales was the $100,001 to $225,000 range, where they increased 26.4 percent.
The overall Median Sales Price was down 2.0 percent to $229,200. The property type with the smallest price decline was the Condo segment, where prices decreased 2.4 percent to $145,000. The price range that tended to sell the quickest was the $100,000 and Below range at 98 days; the price range that tended to sell the slowest was the $650,001 and Above range at 220 days.
Market-wide, inventory levels were down 16.7 percent. The property type that lost the least inventory was the Single-Family segment, where it decreased 16.6 percent. That amounts to 10.3 months supply for Single-Family homes and 11.4 months supply for Condos.
Foreclosures statewide increased sharply in the first quarter of 2012, a trend especially apparent — but not yet worrisome, according to local real estate experts — in Beaufort County.
The number of lender-owned real estate properties rose nearly 40 percent statewide in the first quarter of 2012 over the final three months of 2011, according to California-based real estate research firm RealtyTrac.
Edward Dukes, broker-in-charge of Lowcountry Real Estate in Beaufort, agreed with some analysts who attributed the spike in part to the lingering robo-signing scandal.
Beginning in late 2010, banks had to halt thousands of foreclosure proceedings nationwide when it became known that related filings were being signed without being adequately reviewed, creating a backlog from which Dukes thinks the county has yet to fully emerge.
As spring break ushers in this year’s tourist season, local hospitality industry leaders are bracing for a busy summer, buoyed by encouraging recently released statistics.
People are not only staying in Hilton Head Island hotels more often, but they’re spending more money when they do, according to a report from the Smith Travel Research firm. The key statistic is the revenue per available room generated by area hotels in the past six months, says Susan Thomas, vice president of the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor and Convention Bureau.
That figure, which takes into account hotels’ occupancy rates and average daily room rates, was up 23.7 percent for the past six months compared to the same period the previous year
It might be the offseason for tourists on Hilton Head Island, but Bluewater Marine and Resort by Skull Creek is anything but quiet.
Despite the chilly temperatures, a team of laborers is rushing to complete a five-story, 28-unit structure in time to accommodate some of next summer’s visitors. The ongoing construction is emblematic, its developer says, of a local time-share industry making a slow but steady recovery from the recession.
“We’re seeing a bit of a comeback,” said Charlie Halterman, the construction manager at Bluewater. “Of course, we anticipated it happening last year, too.”
Halterman’s project is ambitious. The building is just the second of seven planned structures on 18 acres off of Squire Pope Road that will eventually offer 213 time share and rental units.
The Hilton Head Island area stretched its lead over all other regions in South Carolina in 2011 home sales compared to 2010, according to S.C. Realtors.
Local sales of homes, condos and villas in October rose 37 percent over the same period last year, to a total of 220. Year-to-date in 2011, sales are up 8.2 percent in the Hilton Head area, while the state, on average, saw a 3 percent decline.
The Beaufort area has sold exactly the same amount of homes year-to-date, 828, as it had through the first 10 months in 2010.