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Old 02-12-2013, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,662 times
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Investing near Blue Line Stops : News, views, opportunities

(This thread was started as a spinoff from the Carfree Living in CLT thread)

The focus here is upon an investment thesis:
Premiss: Property near Blue Line stops will appreciate faster than in the rest of CLT



And the idea is to track new developments along the Line, and especially near the stops. And also to discuss up-and-coming areas that may not yet have be under development.

To kick off the thread, I will duplicate some of the postings here from the Carfree thread, so people will not need to flip back and forth.

But first, here's the ROUTE of the Blue Line

(LYNX- Blue Line stations)
+ 7th
+ 3rd St/ Convention Center
+ Stonewall
+ Carson
+ Bland
+ East/West Blvd
+ New Bern
(Park and Ride stations)
+ Scaleybark
+ Woodlawn
+ Tyvola
+ Archdale
+ Arrowood
+ Sharon Rd West
+ I-485/ South Blvd
/see Route: LYNX Stations and Parking
/Uptown map: http://charmeck.org/city/charlotte/c...eUptownmap.pdf

Last edited by Geologic; 02-12-2013 at 06:36 PM..
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,662 times
Reputation: 217
There was some lively debate on the Carfree thread, and some of it revolved around the pace of development around the Transit stops, and also about the ultimate scale. Here's an example posting, which includes some great photos, showing what is there now

Quote:
Originally Posted by Feltdesigner View Post
No need to point them out again.. I'm not against public transportation or using a car less. I'm in favor of all rail projects this city proposes but I don't think the HK or Tokyo models are good examples when talking about Charlotte.

Charlotte is a a fraction of HK or NYC and bragging about transit or economic growth is misguided IMO.

Once you view Charlotte for what it is (a growing mid-size city) and look at the transportation model in place I can't see how anyone would feel it's light years behind HK.

Look at these:





This is Charlotte my friend, no need to build 80 story units with studio apartments for a city this size. Research the Vue (spelling) and you will see what happens when Charlotte tried to go all HK before the market crashed. We are thinking green, thinking mass transit and rail but you have to take off the HK goggles and look at Charlotte for what it is and what it can be given it's size.
As someone who does not yet know CLT well, I am curious to learn which stations these represent. (?)

My Hong Kong and London trained eyes wonder:
Where's the retail?
-And:
How representative are these of the developments around the stops?

The lower one looks nice, but would be much taller in other, denser cities.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Inactive Account
1,508 posts, read 2,481,138 times
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In my opinion the south line is not "all played out" and small investors willing to work house-by-house can find deals. We're still only just crawling out of the financial crisis, and all the financial regulation passed by Congress over the mortgage industry will slow down the creation of excess credit like we saw 7 years ago.

People investing in the path of the northeast line need to be VERY patient. A decade or more.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,662 times
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This posting also arose from the debate...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
"Another fallacy is the one that states that building of transit results in high density. It doesn't. Density is achieved either because local conditions (lack of land & over population) cause it, or choice is removed from the people that forces them to live in such conditions."

The Density doesn't happen magically. It requires flexible zoning laws and good design.

Many cities have made the same mistake as CLT and surrounded mass transit stations with parking instead of well designed mixed use developments

Architect Ian Rassmussen discusses this in this excellent podcast. Why not listen and comment (rather than not listening and commenting):

TRANSIT, a Strong Towns podcast

MP3 : http://www.strongtowns.org/storage/p...13_Transit.mp3

Ian Rasmussen joins Chuck Marohn to talk about transit systems and how they should be viewed as the Suburban Experiment continues to wind down
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,662 times
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Here are TWO MORE, and my response

(1)
Quote:
Originally Posted by NDL View Post
Originally Posted by Geologic
"Many cities have made the same mistake as CLT and surrounded mass transit stations with parking instead of well designed mixed use developments"


I gotta disagree with you on the above point. I think that Charlotte's stations are well planned: stations closest to Downtown CLT are built in such a way as to encourage dense residential projects, while stations far from Downtown CLT have parking facilities, which encourage people to use mass transit (as opposed to driving into) Downtown CLT.
(2)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean_CLT View Post
The stalled projects at Scaleybark, and the only-recently begun projects near New Bern station, are examples that you can't rush the market. There is also a large stalled development behind Arrowwood station called Hadley, that has been nothing but weeds for 3 years. I could also mention the "light rail townhomes" near Sharon Road west, that the builder finished a few of, before going bust and getting foreclosed upon.

The financial crisis was a factor in scuttling things. But if people were rushing to move close to the stations, I think the developers would have chased the demand and continued building.

Transit living in Charlotte is kind of like the electric vehicle market. It's small, it's there, some dedicated people want to support it. But it will take time to mature.
RESPONSE
========
Thanks, NDL and Sean

I don't think that development will proceed in a straight line - things like a financial crisis and a dip in oil prices may interrupt the trend. But I do think that over the long term it is inevitable to seem mid-rise and even highrise Condos near transit stops. And this should be an interesting investment theme.

I have decide to start a new thread on this idea

Investing near Blue Line Stops : News, views, opportunities
Link: (to follow)

... And I hope you will post there.

CLT may have planned well. We will see.

There are bound to be stages in the development, it cannot happen all at once along the line. I do think Park and Ride stations will someday be converted to stops with denser development someday. The parking has to be worth more dead (ie as land for Condos) than alive. And what is there can be moved into multi-level parking buildings to make way for the new mid-rise and high-rise Condos. But that will require higher property prices.

Looking again at Dilworth prices (Below) I can understand why developments have stalled

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Old 02-12-2013, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,662 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean_CLT View Post
In my opinion the south line is not "all played out" and small investors willing to work house-by-house can find deals. We're still only just crawling out of the financial crisis, and all the financial regulation passed by Congress over the mortgage industry will slow down the creation of excess credit like we saw 7 years ago.

People investing in the path of the northeast line need to be VERY patient. A decade or more.
I agree.
The pace of development may be slow today, but two things would be likely to increase it:

+ A rise in property prices, and
+ A continuing rise in gasoline prices.

Some real estate prices may get knocked down by a rise in Oil prices, but I would expect property near transit stops to be resilient, and even rise if oil prices soar (as the dollar slides?.)

Here are WTI Crude prices:


And DXY, the trade-weighted US Dollar ... update


Notice how rising Crude prices tend to be associated with a weaker US Dollar. In other words, Oil priced in a currency basket tends to be more stable. This suggests that Americans could get hit with higher Dollar oil prices, while the rest of the world migt notice little or not at all.

Last edited by Geologic; 02-12-2013 at 06:29 PM..
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Inactive Account
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I'm done speculating in Charlotte, but if I was to go scouting, I'd probably try to find properties in Collins Park or Madison Park that have not been renovated yet. That's near the middle of the line, accessible to whatever other things pop up over future years. But also close enough to uptown to appeal to people now, and prices won't have inflated as high as in Dilworth and Sedgefield.

Wilmore could still be worth gambling on, I've been hearing "it's the next big thing" for years but investors got tased there during the meltdown as the market readjusted. Stick with the east side of Mint street. The west side leading over to I-77 won't appeal to affluent people due to the noise of the interstate.

Montclaire and Starmount are nice neighborhoods, but the school district holds the area back and the homes are a bit small by today's standards.

Sharon Road west will be a difficult area to improve, a quick look at the Charlotte police crime mapper will demonstrate why.

If someone has "real money" to work with, scoop up some of the properties aligning Tyvola or Woodlawn, then tear down and rebuild. Most of these are already owned by investors looking to make a profit, flipping to a developer. But sometimes I see them go for sale at reasonable prices, as the current investors get tired of handling tenants and repairing old properties.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,662 times
Reputation: 217
Great comment. Thanks.
I am curious what has led you to stop "speculating on Charlotte",
but that may be a more suitable question for a Private Message, than a Public forum.

It does seem that you are very well informed, and have though deeply about real estate investing.

Do you think Charlotte Real Estate is now off the lows, or do you see a renewed drop, when interest rates rise, or whatever?

(One of the reasons that I am looking to invest in US property, is that it tends to be counter-cyclical with HK.)
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Inactive Account
1,508 posts, read 2,481,138 times
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Yes, Charlotte is improving. I think the market bottomed in 2010 or 2011. If you visit the area you'll observe construction has resumed, the rental market is tight.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,662 times
Reputation: 217
I found a great Blog posting about CLT's Light Rail:
NON-Indy Huston Street Racing

EXCERPT:
(Charlotte's CC) have developed a robust land use strategy intandem with their long term transportation plan. Reading through some of the notes reminds one of the modern urban advocate's best advice. Modern zoning codes. Lower parking accommodations. Promotion of pedestrian principals. The thing's that urban thinkers laud and talk about daily on sites like streetsblog. In fact, they have many light rail, commuter rail and modern streetcar improvements planned over the next 30 years.

The current recession has put a damper on the progress, but the plan is in place. To help fund the construction of this network, Mecklenburg County voters approved a 1/2 cent sales tax increase in 1998. These funds were used to help construct the first line and through a hypothesized increase in financial activity, would be able to attract more as the years go by.


3030 South in Charlotte
My initial research uncovered a number of projects that have located next to the light rail line...

+Continues: http://hustonstreetracing.com/blog/?cat=19
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