Cameron Village / ADUs / DIX & Alleys

All are invited - Exciting Agenda - Hillsborough-Wade Citizens Advisory Council meets tonight, 7 pm at Jaycee Park Community Center

The Hillsborough-Wade Citizens Advisory Council meets tonight, 7 pm at Jaycee Park Community Center. All are invited. If you come, you won’t be disappointed.

On the agenda:

  1. The proposed development in Cameron Village, a teardown of the 55 existing condos along Bellwood Drive (located between Bellwood and the CV library; the site extends from Clark Avenue up to Cameron Street). The proposal is to rezone to allow construction of 349 apartment units — in buildings of 4-, 5- and in one place 7 stories — with a parking deck for some 500 parking vehicles. The actual rezoning application has yet to be filed, but the developer, the Worthing Corp. from Atlanta, intends to do so soon, and is coming tonight to present their plan. (No vote tonight. The CAC can’t vote until there’s an official application.)

  2. ADUs are all the rage. We’ll have a panel discussion. ADU stands for Accessory Dwelling Units. Also known as Backyard Cottages or Granny Flats, though if it’s really your granny are you gonna consign her to the back yard? Anyway, there are pros and cons, and a proposal to amend the zoning code to allow ADUs in some neighborhoods but not all. A wrinkle: State law seems to prohibit limiting ADUs to the yards of houses that are owner-occupied, as opposed to rental properties. It’s a big wrinkle, truly. Be nice to iron it out.

  3. Dix Park. The future of the park is coming into view via a draft master plan that is very close to being finalized. Finalized meaning it’s about to unveiled for the City Council to consider. Final adoption of the master plan is slated for February, but if you thoughts about it, now’s the time. We’ll have a presentation on what the park planners have come up with. There’s a big city meeting on it next week, October 4.

  4. Alleys. A zoning code change is in store for what’s allowed to be built next to an alley. Lots of alleys in our neighborhoods! Lots of existing ADUs too, for that matter… Y’all come! Bob Geary

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Wow… did a developer really get all the condo owners to sell to them to redevelop those old townhouses? This will really change the face of the eastern side of CV. Not exactly sure how I feel about that. I used to walk by there every day back in college. However, I will take density and vertical growth over sprawl any day IMO.

Looks like the deal to buy the Bellwood Condominiums (#1 on the agenda in @Olga’s post) fell through. All 51 owners were needed to agree to the deal for it to be finalized, but one owner held out.

https://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2018/12/03/sale-of-prime-condos-next-to-cameron-village-falls.html

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Interesting. How much were they offering per unit? I wonder if this last owner is holding out for more money, or holding out because they don’t want to move? It might be someone who can’t afford to go anywhere else.

I’m not sure; the article doesn’t note the price that was offered, only that “Initial estimates of what the property could sell for ranged between $14 million and $18 million, which would break down to between $250,000 and $330,000 per condo owner.”

It sounds as if the HOA still wants to pursue development opportunities in the future, so given the aging state of the buildings I’d expect something to happen eventually, maybe a few years from now.

Yeah, those are wood structures that have to be reaching the functional end of life. Not selling will mean huge assessments to maintain those buildings into the future. While I’m certain that such an argument was made to the association, I imagine that this last hold out will have to hurt a little bit before finally throwing in the towel.
That said, 250-300K for those units is a fair price, but it isn’t like some windfall for property in that location. I suspect that the hold-out was doing so for more money. I’d probably be the same way. Now, if it was 350-400K a unit, I’d sell in a NY minute.

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Eh, sure maybe major replacement costs are about to hit for roofs, HVAC systems, carpets etc, but really “end of functional life” is a made up term used to justify the tearing down of things especially historic, or smaller original neighborhood buildings. Five Points was full of developers saying that. The millions of rehabilitated houses in the country show clearly that its a financial decision and nothing more when it comes to reusing the smaller, vs tearing down and building bigger. Perhaps the tastes or narcissistic level or materialistic level of an owner could be in play too, and not just $$, but my point stands…‘end of useful life’ is ‘Fake News’.

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It’s not fake news. Maintenance costs associated with multifamily dwellings such as these affect their useful lifespan, because it’s often in direct conflict with keeping them marketable. For SFH’s that sit on their own land, that have neighbors like themselves with the ability to uplift property values substantially, the value proposition is different. With Bellwood being multifamily within an association, they are what they are. Significant investment in them will never pay off in the same way that the land they occupy will. This is especially true in hot locations in fast growing cities like Raleigh. If there was something architecturally compelling or significant (there isn’t) about these buildings, or if they occupied a prominent location that would create a niche market for well-off buyers willing to dump a ton of money on a 1000 sf aging condo conversion (they don’t), then maybe I’d be able to entertain the idea that it’s worth pouring tons of money into the properties.

FWIW, ITBInsider is reporting that the one hold-out was looking for a major payday to the tune of nearly a $1M (queue Austin Powers). If what is written is to believed, Bellwood homeowners are now on the hook for hundreds more dollars per month added to their HOA dues to pay the legal fees incurred with this negotiation. Who knows if that’s true or not. If it is true, then their property values will now plummet because nobody is going to want to pay top-of-the-market HOA dues for aging condos with no garages or amenities typically associated with high dues.

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  1. I am not advocating for keeping these condos, only am skeptical of what anything new would be like
  2. “end of useful” is not an objective term when it comes to housing unless its literally falling down. All other reasons are subjective. Even an objective financially losing situation is not objectively “end of useful life”. It’s still usable, useful housing and the price the neighbor paid for their land foisted an artificial price tag on adjacent properties. Money. Is. Not. Objective. Pick any stock ticker and see for yourself.
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Watch what happens to those condos now in the marketplace if those escalations in HOA dues is an accurate report.
I’ve exclusively lived in condos that I’ve owned since the late 80s, and I know how these things play out.

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Former HOA president here, with no doubt, the largest maintenance budget on a per unit basis in all of Raleigh. I am pretty familiar with the effects of high dues on sales and sales prices. You gotta really want to live somewhere, IMO, when buying a condo.

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What does the last sentence of your reply mean?

A condo comes with more complications and entanglements than a free standing house, such as setting dues. A good location for a condo complex helps overcome any hesitancy from buyers, that might result from those entanglements.

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Lots of construction happening over on Enterprise St. The condo project between Clark and Garden Pl. seems to be moving right along, as the existing buildings are coming down. And property where the stick-built apartments will be constructed across the street is being cleared now.

The apparent merging of Cameron Village and Hillsborough St. that seems to be happening is interesting. What with the two apartment developments on the north side of Clark, and the other developments currently ongoing, I wonder how much longer all the bank buildings on the south side will remain (interesting note — there’s six(!) banks in a row: Bank of America, Capital, SunTrust, First Citizens, Wells Fargo, and PNC. All with plenty of surface parking.)

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I know what you mean by saying by merging of Cameron Village and Hillsborough St with the densities evening out, but really, the City missed a huge opportunity to actually connect these areas much better. Over on UP we discussed the failure of punching through Maiden Lane…hell the City even gave part of the street to the crap apartment developer. Enterprise and Chamberlin are the best you got for now. Oberlin…well, in the same City master plan that involved the big State Government master plan, there was a road called the Ferndell Connector. It was to connect Oberlin to Pullen along Ferndell. That was derailed, like the highway through Oakwood, partly due to the potential loss of so many houses. You can see legacy improvements like 4 lanes at Cameron Village and the bridge over Wade that were supposed to be part of the whole 4 lane project. Anyway, now that all the houses are in fact gone, I think this project makes a lot of sense again. It would help traffic move around the tiny traffic circle much better without Oberlin swinging way out east for no reason. Just let the part in front of PR remain as a small road that ties into the bigger, realigned Oberlin. There is one old house on Ferndell that is not in the way Plus Councilor Stevenson’s house which had some stuff moved back in the day when the original plan was developed…its therefore still not in the way. *That would really connect Cameron Village to Hillsborough Street’s dense and commercial areas in a nice clean, well aligned way. I am very much in favor of proper street grids and this area really needs one.

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ITBInsider’s Development Beat reports that the Wells Fargo on Oberlin Road is closing. This is an obvious move because they have two other branches close by: on Hillsborough and on Clark.

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If I had to pick one to stay in CV, I too would pick the one on Clark.

Were there once two Wachovias near CV somehow? Or was it a First Union and Wachovia? I don’t quite remember how this came to be…