North High Point construction activity sees rebound

May. 20, 2013 @ 02:46 PM

With the fallout from the housing crisis still reverberating, more people continue to rent instead of trying to take out a home mortgage.
Greensboro developer Barry Siegel has seen this trend in recent years, and has a project underway he hopes will meet the demands of the housing market.
Siegel’s company, BSC Holdings, recently broke ground on construction of 33 single-family homes next to the Granite Ridge apartment complex, which it built several years ago at Piedmont Parkway and Platinum Drive.
The $4 million project is planned as a high-end rental development that will include recreational and amenity areas, along with a private, gated entrance.
“There have been a lot of folks that have just said, ‘I’d just rather rent right now and not necessarily own something,’” said Siegel. “It’s just something right now there’s a very, very strong demand for.”
Siegel’s project is one of several that are in various stages of development in north High Point.
Keystone Group of Greensboro plans to begin construction soon on a $33 million townhome project on Piedmont Crossing Drive near Barrow Road.
“The Trellises at Piedmont Crossing” will include 160 units on about 28 acres. Another developer started building townhomes on the site before the Great Recession but gave up the project in 2010.
Keystone Group President Scott Wallace said the company has had success with two other townhome communities in north High Point — Cottesmore and Whitestone.
“We feel like it’s really well located within the Triad,” Wallace said. “There’s a really nice nucleus in that area, with good schools and access to Greensboro and Winston-Salem.”
He said he expects the average sale price of townhomes in the Trellises to be about $200,000.
“Northern High Point continues to be in demand for industrial, office, retail and residential uses,” said Loren Hill, president of the High Point Economic Development Corp. “Since the effects of the national recession began to subside, we have seen that area becoming increasingly attractive.”
Elsewhere, Signature Property Group of Greensboro is planning a $20 million, 288-unit multifamily development in the Piedmont Centre industrial park. Developers have submitted a site plan for the project that is currently under review by the city, said Senior Planner Herb Shannon.
Construction lenders have started to look kindly on multifamily projects as the popularity of rental housing has shot up, experts said.
“Vacancy rates have come down and demand has increased,” Siegel said. “Now, there are institutional players out there with money, and they see that as a reasonable place to get a return. Basically, the banks are freeing up funds for multifamily product provided that the borrower will have the equity that the bank is requiring.”
This trend could change, however, as home sales pick up, Siegel said, which could lead to a glut of multifamily housing.
“At what point does that market get overbuilt?” he said.
He said he believes his project is insulated against this possibility because it will cater to a specific clientele that isn’t the typical renter who wants to buy a home once they can afford it after spending a couple years in an apartment.
His target is professionals as well as retirees looking to downsize who are willing to pay $1,000 to $1,500 a month to live in a home where all the maintenance is handled by the property owner.
The commercial side of things is also looking up in north High Point.
A 41,384-square-foot Walmart Neighborhood Market is under construction near Samet Drive and W. Wendover Avenue and Belk recently announced plans to relocate its High Point store from Oak Hollow Mall to the Palladium shopping center.
In addition, tech company LGS Innovations and graphic services business Southern Graphic Systems will move into locations in Piedmont Centre this summer.
Hill said the area’s location in proximity to three interstate highways and Piedmont Triad International Airport make it popular for business expansions.
“The area along the N.C. 68 corridor is in the center of the Piedmont Triad — perfect for companies recruiting employees from across the region,” he said.