Investor looking for deals in Raleigh-Durham, other cities with his $39 million fund

It has been a busy couple of years for Maurice Malfatti and the team that he and partner Ron Strom have been assembling at Blue Heron Asset Management, a real estate management group that flipped its focus in 2011 to investing capital through pooled investment funds.

In addition to moving their corporate office from Chapel Hill to a hip new space at Pilot Mill in downtown Raleigh, they’ve cashed out of nearly all the investments made with their first fund initiated in 2011, the $26 million Blue Heron Real Estate Opportunity Fund I.

Malfatti now confirms that the firm has closed out fundraising efforts for its second fund, Blue Heron Real Estate Opportunity Fund II, with a total commitment of $39 million from 35 institutional investor groups and high-net worth individuals and families.

“We’re taking an opportunistic strategy,” Malfatti says.

In Fund I, Blue Heron had five real estate investments – all in the Triangle – highlighted by the $30 million mixed-use Village at Marquee Station in Fuquay-Varina that Blue Heron helped finance and develop. The fund in March 2016 exited that project with the $41.5 million sale of the 265-unit apartment community.

For Fund II, Blue Heron is spreading its wings with acquisitions so far already in Charlotte; Nashville, Tennessee; and Frederick, Maryland; as well as Raleigh and Durham. “Our big focus in 2016 was achieving our goals for Fund I and identifying good investments for Fund II,” he says.

In Raleigh, Fund II’s portfolio includes the 55-unit Historic Boylan Apartments near downtown, having paid $6.3 million for the property in 2015. The plan is to renovate the apartments.

Blue Heron is also reworking development plans for its property at 539 Foster St. in downtown Durham, its last remaining investment from Fund I. Malfatti says the group plans to deploy some of the capital from Fund II toward future development of the site. Blue Heron had earlier envisioned building a five-story residential condominium building, but it pulled the plug on those plans in September. Malfatti says they are working on a new idea to redevelop the site for a multifamily building with street-level retail.

Malfatti says he and Strom have also promoted Michael Eubanks, who has been with the firm that has grown to eight employees since 2012, as a third partner. “Ron and I couldn’t be more thrilled for Michael to be taking an ownership stake alongside us in Blue Heron,” Malfatti says.

Full Article HERE

Source: Triangle Business Journal

Rewriting The Narrative On Apartment Demand And Oversupply

WASHINGTON, DC--The US will need to build more than 4.6 million new apartment homes across a range of price points by 2030.

We can scrap the talk of the apartment market becoming over-saturated — at least in the long term. A new report has determined that the US will need to build more than 4.6 million new apartment homes across a range of price points by 2030. This is according to research from Hoyt Advisory Services, which was commissioned by the National Multifamily Housing Council and the National Apartment Association.

As for the market becoming over-saturated in the immediate term, we can nix talk about that as well, per the report. It has found that currently nearly 39 million people live in apartments, and the apartment industry is quickly exceeding capacity.

In fact we can rewrite the entire narrative that the multifamily sector is in danger of being overbuilt. The research has found that it will take building an average of at least 325,000 new apartment homes every year to meet demand; yet, on average, just 244,000 apartments were delivered from 2012 through 2016.

Economic Impact

This is important on many levels. One, it is welcome news to the CRE industry, which has been listening to and wondering about the steady drumbeat of warnings about the apartment sector. Two, apartment growth has wider implications for the whole US economy.

The strong demand for apartments along with the need to renovate the 11.7 million units of aging apartment stock across the country will affect the US economy in a positive way for years, Caitlin Walter, director of Research for the NMHC tells

In general, apartments and their 39 million residents contribute $1.3 trillion to the US economy and generates about 12.3 million jobs annually, according to a NMHC stat.

This includes new construction, operations maintenance and spending by residents at local stores or coffee shops, she said.

“Apartments and their residents make a difference and help support the local economy.”

At this point it would be fair for one to wonder about the many reports that the fundamentals in multifamily sector are slowing. Rent growth, vacancy — all have shown signs of a market that is nearing the point of where supply has exceeded demand.

This is certainly true but as the report makes clear it is mainly the case for class A and luxury buildings. These categories have been overbuilt, in part because they bring in more income but also in part because it can be difficult to pencil in new development for workforce housing.

Diving Into the Demand Drivers

There are a number of reasons for this log jam on the apartment sector’s supply-demand continuum — some of which have been identified before.

Changing lifestyles. People are delaying marriage and starting a family — the two main drivers for home purchases in the past. In 1960, 44% of all households in the US were married couples with children. Today, it’s less than one in five (19%), and this trend is expected to continue, according to the report.

The upshot: More than 75 million people between 18 and 34 years old are entering the housing market, primarily as renters, according to Norm Miller, principal at Hoyt Advisory Services and professor of Real Estate at the University of San Diego.

Demographics. People are growing older and as they do they are opting to live in apartments. This is particularly true in the northeast, where renters ages 55-plus will account for more than 30% of rental households.

“Increasingly, Baby Boomers and other empty nesters are trading single-family houses for the convenience of rental apartments. In fact, more than half of the net increase in renter households over the past decade came from the 45-plus demographic,” Miller said.

Immigration growth. International immigration is expected to account for half (51%) of all new population growth in the US, especially along the border states.

This population increase will contribute to the rising demand for apartments. Research has shown that immigrants have a higher propensity to rent and typically rent for longer periods of time.

Regional Breakdown

Of course, real estate, as always, is a market by market story and this report is no exception. It is telling, however, that there is no city or region that was identified as having enough supply to meet the expected demand.

Some markets are worse than others, though. For example, Raleigh, NC, is projected to need 69% more supply over what it currently has over a 13-year periodPaula Munger, NAA’s director of Industry Research & Analysis, tells

“Charlotte, Austin, Vegas and Orlando — they will need 40% or more [new supply] over what they currently have.”

Full article HERE



HFF Closes Recap of NC Community, Arranges New JV Equity

THE DICKSON FAMILY WILL CO-OWN SOLIS NINTH STREET WITH BLUE HERON ASSET MANAGEMENT LLC.Terwilliger Pappas Multifamily Partners sold its stake in the 229-unit property.

HFF closed the recapitalization of Solis Ninth Street, a 229-unit, Class A multifamily asset in Durham, N.C. The firm assisted the Dickson family, which has been involved in property since its rezoning. The family’s joint venture developer and co-owner, Terwilliger Pappas Multifamily Partners, sold its stake in the asset. HFF also arranged a new joint venture equity partnership with Raleigh, N.C.-based Blue Heron Asset Management LLC. This is the sixth acquisition for Blue Heron’s Real Estate Opportunity Fund II.

Located at 810 9th St., the multifamily asset is in the heart of Durham County, just minutes from Duke University, Duke Medical Center, Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, as well as various restaurants, shops, gyms, bars and entertainment venues. Completed in 2016, the property has 229 units spread across 187,961 square feet, with an average unit size of 821 square feet. Amenities include a saltwater swimming pool, outdoor lounge with grilling area and fire pit, fitness center, an 8,000-square-foot clubhouse, business center, coffee bar, pet spa and garage parking. The property also has 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. The asset is in the process of being rebranded as 810|Ninth.

“810|Ninth—our largest single investment to date—is a solid addition to our fund, which targets investments in southeastern U.S. markets, such as Durham, that exhibit strong job and population growth and diverse economic drivers,” said Blue Heron Managing Partner Maurice Malfatti, in a prepared statement.

The HFF team involved in this deal was led by Managing Directors Justin Good and Jeff Glenn and Directors Cory Fowler and Allan Lynch.

Full article HERE

Source: Multi-Housing News

Triangle places No. 5 in top 25 'Tech Cities' report

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — The Research Triangle metro region places No. 5 in a new study of "Tech Cities" from international corporate real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, which specializes on the high-tech sector.

The firm, which has an office in the Triangle, ranks the cities based on what it calls a "tech stew" of factors, including:

  • Work force talent
  • Capital
  • Growth opportunities

Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill are often broken up in other reports due to federal government Metropolitan Statistical Area statistics, which split Raleigh from the other two.

However, the Cushman & Wakefield analysis groups the three along with Cary and other towns and communities, thus creating a grid of data that captures the region as a whole.

And a powerful region it is, given that the only cities/regions to beat the Triangle include:

1. Silicon Valley

2. San Francisco

3. Washington, D.C.

4. Boston metro

Thus, the Triangle outranks rivals such as Austin, Texas (No. 7), Atlanta (No. 17) and Nashville. (No. 25).

So why did the Triangle rate so highly?

“Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, often referred to as the ‘Triangle’ by locals because of the shape these three proximate cities form on a map, has developed into a major market for technology companies given the area’s deep pool of skilled labor, the presence of three prominent universities, and its reputation as a medical and technology research hub,” said Rich Harris, Managing Principal for Cushman & Wakefield, who focuses on the Triangle.

The report is the first from the firm and is titled "Tech Cities 1.0"

Cushman & Wakefield created the “Tech Cities 1.0” report to provide greater insight for its clients and industry stakeholders into existing and emerging tech centers that are driving much of today’s U.S. economy.

Harris also pointed out the Triangle's booming startup community with hundreds of new and emerging ventures alone packing The American Underground and HQ Raleigh startup hubs. Various other startup and co-location hubs also boast a growing clientele.

Triangle perspective

Here's what Harris had to say about the Triangle:

“It’s not uncommon to see a doctor leave a career at a hospital to start a company based on decades of research, or a technology executive at one of the major R&D companies in the Park leaving a position to pursue a specialized line of technology that’s too specific for a larger company to pursue; and they often separate amicably and with the backing of their previous employers. Once they start their companies, the feeder of local graduates – coupled with the talent migrating to the Triangle – serve as a potent workforce.”

“One of the more interesting transformations has been the impact of the ‘live-work-play’ phenomenon, which has rapidly built up our city centers across the Triangle, particularly in downtown Durham where there was an abundance of historic tobacco warehouses that were converted to sleek tech workspaces with hardwood floors, big bay windows, large timbers, and high ceilings.

“Most of these buildouts were aided by historic tax credits, which enabled companies to create one-of-a-kind destination spaces for tech companies. In both Raleigh and Durham, we have seen a proliferation of co-working and entrepreneurial support organizations such as the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, American Underground, Raleigh HQ, and others.”

“Other factors contributing to tech growth are more basic,” Mr. Harris elaborated, “such as the Triangle’s quality of life, which boasts direct access to the beach to the east and the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west. The Triangle is also very competitive from a cost-of-living standpoint, especially when compared to first-tier city tech hotbeds that are often triple the price to do business.”

Cushman & Wakefield employs some 45,000 people across more than 70 countries.

The rest of the top 25

From No. 6 through No. 25:

No. 6: Seattle

No. 7: Austin

No. 8: Denver

No. 9: San Diego

No. 10: Madison, Wis.

No. 11: Minneapolis/St. Paul

No. 12: Baltimore

No. 13: Oakland

No. 14: Portalnd

No. 15: New York

No. 16: Chicago

No. 17: Atlanta

No. 18: Los Angeles

No. 19: Columbus, Ohio

No. 20: Orange County, Calif.

No. 21: Dallas/Ft. Worth

No. 22: Kansas City

No. 23: Indianapolis

No. 24: Salt Lake City

No. 25: Nashville

Full Article HERE

Source: WRAL Techwire

The South’s Funkiest Town Gets Even Cooler

Nashvillians like to joke that the crane is the city’s unofficial bird.

After all, nearly 30 of the huge, steel species soar in the sky right now.

Music City is in the midst of a building boom, with 22 hotels under construction and more than 125 restaurants slated to open by the year’s end, according to the tourism bureau.

At the same time, there’s a creative renaissance underway, as the city’s thriving music, fashion and food scenes gain national attention. Tennessee’s capital is so happening that both Frommer’s and Travel & Leisure included it on their lists of the best places to go in 2017 and Thrillist recently named Guitar Town America’s best weekend destination.

“Nashville has always been cool, but today people seem to be more proud of the city than ever before,” says Libby Callaway, founder of The Callaway, a branding and public relations company (and former fashion editor of The Post) based there. “We’re an alternative to the coasts.”

Over the past decade, the home of country music evolved into a hipster hub with a strong “maker” culture of craft and creativity. Visitors can explore funky neighborhoods like East Nashville, 12South, Germantown and the Gulch, lined with specialty coffee shops, brew pubs, craft cocktail bars and critically acclaimed farm-to-fork restaurants.

Or scour the quirky lifestyle and clothing boutiques for local labels such as Ceri Hoover (leather bags and shoes) and Imogene + Willie (heritage denim).

Cowboy boots are always in style — Boot Country on major thoroughfare Broadway has a crazy buy-one-get-two-pairs-free deal — rocked the Coachella way.

Speaking of all-star concert extravaganzas, the world’s biggest country music celebration takes place downtown from June 8-11.

This year’s CMA Music Festival will feature more than 100 acts, including legends like Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley.

The best part: Seven of the 11 stages are free and a number of them are outdoors.

Later this summer, produce and creativity will make beautiful music together at the 14th Annual Tomato Art Festival the weekend of Aug. 11-12.

Of course, Nashville doesn’t need festivals to be fun as hell: Cold beer and live music are on tap seven days a week. Country, blues and rock acts perform nightly at the boozy, neon-lit Lower Broadway honky tonks — don’t miss Robert’s Western World with its $2.50 Pabst Blue Ribbon and no-cover policy — and nearby Printer’s Alley, the historic nightlife corridor. Meanwhile, The Station Inn in the trendy Gulch is the premier club for bluegrass and roots performers.

Even if you’re not a country music fan, a visit to the Ryman Auditorium, the former home of the Grand Ole Opry for 31 years, is obligatory. It’s worth paying extra for the guided tour, just to walk backstage where icons Johnny Cash met June Carter in 1956.

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is another must-see, with Elvis’ gold Cadillac, Gram Parsons’ “high”-fashion pot leaf-embroidered “Nudie suit” and Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” cheerleader outfit on display. Hatch Show Print is the historic letterpress company in the same building that has cranked out iconic show posters since 1879.

Feeling hungry? Savor a meal at one of the restaurants opened by James Beard Award-winning chefs like Donald Link (Cochon Butcher), Sean Brock (Husk) and Maneet Chauhan (Chauhan Ale & Masala House, Tànsuo and The Mockingbird, opening any day).

As Callaway says, “Nashville has gone way beyond barbecue.”


Full Article HERE

Source: New York Post

Start Date Eyed for Germantown-area Project by Blue Heron Asset Management

AUTHORS Staff Reports

The development team eyeing apartment project Gateway 808 in North Nashville anticipates breaking ground no later than early 2018.

Raleigh-based Blue Heron Asset Management and Imagine1 Co. of Nashville announced in May 2016 plans for the 330-unit building — to be located 1703 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. in Buena Vista north of Germantown and straddling the inner-interstate loop. At that time, it was called Gateway Germantown.

Recently, the team released an updated image (pictured) and the new name.

Michael Eubanks, a Blue Heron partner, said the hope is to have construction of the building completed by early 2020.

“There have been a lot of new apartments delivered downtown over the last couple of years, and Germantown has seen a number of those new developments,” Eubanks said. “We have been closely monitoring new supply, absorption, and concessions, and we've been happy with what we've seen lately. Leasing has been strong in the Germantown submarket, properties are getting close to stabilization, concessions have been dropping, and we expect to see that pattern continue as we're just now getting into the busiest time of the year for leasing.”

The lead architect is Charlotte-based DAS Architecture, with Gresham Smith & Partners of Nashville handling interior design and landscape architecture. Civil Site Design Group, also based in Nashville, is the civil engineer. 

Eubanks said the team (Matt Gardner and Brian Heuser lead Imagine1 Co.) recently submitted for building permits and is “far along in the process of selecting a general contractor.” He said a portion of the equity for the project is being provided by one of the real estate funds that Blue Heron manages, and a joint-venture equity partner is expected.

“We also anticipate using bank or life company financing for the construction loan, and will be advancing those discussions after making a final decision about a general contractor for the project,” he added.

Full article HERE

Source: Nashville Post

South, West Metros Lead for Population Growth in 2016

Spring is in the air, and that can mean only one thing: new Census population estimates, of course. The Census Bureau just released their eagerly anticipated (among a certain set) population estimates for 2016. Of particular interest is the year-over-year population change among U.S. metros, which helps shed some light on a few apartment market trends over the last year.

Among the 50 largest U.S. apartment markets as defined by RealPage’s Axiometrics, Austin had the largest population growth rate in 2016, at 2.9%. In fact, Austin has ranked #1 in terms of annual population growth since 2011. Raleigh and Orlando both grew about 2.5% between 2015 and 2016, followed by Charleston and Las Vegas (2.2%). One thing stands out quite clearly in the rankings above: the fastest-growing large apartment markets are southern or western metros.

Full article HERE

Source: Realpage

Blue Heron is Pleased to Announce its Newest Acquisition in Durham, NC

Blue Heron is Pleased to Announce its Newest Acquisition in Durham, NC

DURHAM, NC – April 10, 2017 – Blue Heron Asset Management is pleased to announce it has successfully acquired an ownership interest in a 229-unit Class-A multi-family and 10,000 sq.ft. retail property on Ninth Street in Durham, formerly known as Solis Ninth Street. This is the sixth acquisition for Blue Heron’s Real Estate Opportunity Fund II.

The property, in the process of being rebranded as 810|Ninth, is located within walking distance of Duke University, Duke Medical Center, Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, numerous restaurants, shops, and other urban amenities including local gyms, bars, and entertainment venues. Maurice Malfatti, managing partner of Blue Heron, commented, “We are bullish on Durham and believe in its growth and innovation story. 810|Ninth – our largest single investment to date - is a solid addition to our fund, which targets investments in Southeastern US markets, like Durham, that exhibit strong job and population growth and diverse economic drivers. We love the walkability and neighborhood feel of Ninth Street and are excited to be part of the local ownership group that will own and operate the property for years to come.”


BlackRock: Make Room For Real Estate?!?!

March 20, 2017

U.S. commercial real estate has recovered, but the asset class could offer more growth amid reflation. This week on BlackRock‘s (BLK) global weekly commentary, Richard Turnill, global chief investment strategist, makes the case.

Property prices have returned to 2008 highs, but there are differences between then and now, says Turnill. For one, real estate development activity is lower and access to credit tighter. Valuations based on ratios of operating income to property values relative to the 10-year U.S. Treasuries are in the vicinity of the 20-year average.

In past rising rate cycles, strong rental income supported U.S. real estate returns, especially during gradual rate-hike environments. Turnill says: 

We see U.S. commercial real estate delivering attractive total returns over the next few years in a low-return world. We expect capital appreciation to slow but see operating income growth due to the reflationary backdrop and the potential for property managers to add value by upgrading buildings. Average yields of 3.5% are competitive with 3.4% for U.S. investment grade and an S&P 500 dividend yield of 2%. Demand is strong: Nearly half of institutions in our most recent Global Institutional Rebalancing Survey intended to raise allocations to real estate this year.

Full Article HERE

Source: Barron's

Why Innovation Districts Matter

Metropolitan areas in the United States and other mature economies face out-sized challenges in the aftermath of the Great Recession. At the most basic level, U.S. cities and metropolitan areas need more and better jobs. According to the March 2014 Brookings Metro Monitor, the number of jobs in 61 of the 100 largest U.S. metro areas are still lower than their pre-recession peak; incredibly, job levels in 23 metros are more than 5 percent below their pre-recession peak. At the same time, the number of people living in poverty and near poverty has grown precipitously in the largest 100 U.S. metros—from 48 million in 2000 to 66 million in 2012— due not only to the recession but broader trends around wage stagnation and economic restructuring.10 Beyond these economic and social demands, cities are on the front lines of addressing enormous scale and environmental challenges given federal gridlock and the absence of leadership in many states.

In the face of these challenges, cities and metropolitan areas are experimenting with new approaches to economic development and sustainable development that focus on growing jobs in productive, innovative, and traded sectors of the economy while concurrently equipping residents with the skills—particularly STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills —they need to compete for and succeed in these jobs.11 These new approaches try to build on the distinctive assets and advantages of disparate places rather than merely pursuing heavily subsidized consumption-oriented strategies (e.g., building the next sports stadium, convention center, or performing arts facility) that yield low quality jobs or aspiring to unrealistic economic goals (“becoming the next Silicon Valley”).

Innovation districts are a key part of the new wave of local economic development and advance several critical objectives...

Full Research Report HERE

Source: Brookings Institute


Durham's Innovation District Finally Breaks Ground

In a crowded outdoor tent on a chilly Thursday morning, about 150 people gathered with circus performers and stakeholders from Longfellow Real Estate Partners and Duke University to launch the first phase of new construction on the Durham Innovation District in downtown.

The event marked the start of close to $100 million in new construction at the corner of Morris and Hunt streets for two seven-story office buildings – one of which has been fully preleased to Duke Clinical Research Institute – and a 1,200-vehicle, eight-story parking deck.

“To the people of Durham, this is your innovation district, and these will be your buildings," said Adam Sichol, co-founder and managing partner of Boston-based Longfellow, adding that he now considers Durham a “second home” with business trips to the Bull City almost weekly. "Today we’re betting on the future of Durham and its people.”

“Some other cities are constrained by ceilings and roofs, but in Durham, we know that the sky is the limit,” Sichol said, with a chuckle from the crowd at the expense of basketball great Michael Jordan’s “ceiling is the roof” blunder during a halftime speech at the recent UNC-Duke basketball game in Chapel Hill.

The Durham.ID office buildings, known as 200 Morris and 300 Morris, will together total nearly 350,000 square feet of office, research, retail and restaurant space on land that was previously a parking lot. Delays in the launch of construction have moved the completion timeline from spring 2018 to summer 2018.

Full Article HERE

Source: Triangle Business Journal

Five Trends in Commercial Real Estate to Watch in 2017

The U.S. property market landscape in 2017 will be characterized by continued strong fundamentals, increased investment flows, and high transaction volume. The broader U.S. economy should continue to grow moderately and add jobs. U.S. employment gains continue to be strong, with unemployment dropping below 5 percent in 2016, adding to demand for commercial real estate in a variety of sectors.

Many are surprised that the economy has not reached the end of the current growth cycle, but the fact that the recovery was so protracted and growth relatively anemic over the past seven years leads us to believe that the economy may have another two years left in the current growth cycle.

The U.S. Federal Reserve made it clear in December that it sees U.S. growth as relatively stable, notching the federal funds rate higher by a quarter point early that month—only the second time since 2006 it has raised rates (the last time was in December 2015). “Economic growth has picked up since the middle of the year,” said Fed chair Janet Yellen. “We expect the economy will continue to perform well.”

Nevertheless, underlying inflation is extremely tame in the United States and major emerging markets (some sectors and countries are worried about deflation), providing no impetus for significantly higher rates. Lending rates and fixed-income rates of return will still be very low by historical standards, inducing continued leveraged purchases of real estate assets.

Regarding the elephant in the room: what are potential impacts of the new administration? Though President Trump has pledged to make massive changes in the U.S. economy, regulatory environment, and government, it remains to be seen—even with a Republican majority in both houses—how much change can really take place.

The following five trends can be expected to play a significant role in commercial real estate in 2017.:
Global Economic and Political Uncertainties

Continued Strong Foreign Capital Flows

Low-Interest-Rate Environment

Volatile Energy Markets

Slowing New Supply for Commercial Real Estate

Read more specifics on each topic HERE

Source: Urban Land Institute

Nashville: One of the top 10 markets in the US for office Rent growth in 2016


Q4 2015 Rent: $19.78/SF

Q4 2016 Rent: $22.99/SF

Growth: 16.2%

Nashville’s office market remained extremely tight last year, with its suburban vacancy rate — 4.7% — ranking second-lowest among the markets CBRE tracks. Cross said though there is roughly 3.7M SF of new construction underway within the metro, most of the space is pre-leased, meaning vacancies will likely remain within the single digits over the next couple of years, while rents continue to rise.  “The lifestyle [in Nashville] kind of has the cool factor similar to a market like Austin or Portland. And from a company perspective it has lower costs [compared] to a lot of the markets in the Northeast so there’s been migration of tenants into Nashville, along with other markets in the South and the West.”

Read Full Article HERE

Source: Bisnow

Will new supply outpace demand in Triangle apartment markets in 2017?

Even while adding nearly 2,800 new apartment units over the past six months, the Triangle’s vacancy rate for apartments in the region remained a steady 6.1 percent in the second half of 2016, according to the most recent AptIndex report by Charlotte-based Real Data.

And, as for now, its looking like increasing demand for apartment units in the Triangle is expected to keep up and even exceed all the new construction across the region.

“The overall market is doing great and is expected to continue with average vacancies around 6 percent,” says Engle Addington, a multifamily analyst for Real Data’s AptIndex surveys in North Carolina and Virginia.

At this point, the Triangle is tracking below the Southeast U.S. Index average of close to 7 percent, and could drop below 6 percent vacancy over the next 18 months. The Triangle had 5,894 units under construction, as of late January when Real Data’s survey was conducted. The market has another 4,381 units proposed for future development.

Addington points out that even the submarkets with higher-than-average construction levels, like downtown Raleigh, are keeping pace. Downtown Raleigh had an average vacancy rate of 7.5 percent in January with 1,700 units under construction. “So, vacancy rates could approach 10 percent in Downtown Raleigh in the next year, but that’s still not too shabby for that much new construction in one area.”

Full article HERE

Source: Triangle Business Journal

Raleigh, Durham region lands on top 10 list of ‘Best Places to Live’ by US News & World Report


The Triangle has accrued another accolade – this time from U.S. News & World Report.

Listed as “Raleigh & Durham,” the Triangle ranked seventh on the list of “ Best Places to Live” in the country. Raleigh and Durham are recognized by the federal government as two separate metropolitan areas, though it is not uncommon to see the area referred to as “Raleigh-Durham.”

U.S. News ranked 100 cities using surveys from local residents, and data from the U.S. Census Bureau, FBI and the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. It also considered its past rankings for “Best High Schools” and “Best Hospitals.”

The report recognized the region for its unemployment rate of 4.4 percent, average annual salary of $51,150, median home price of $219,466 and an average commute time of 24.6 minutes. “Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill are known for their research/technology roots and collegiate rivalries,” says the report. “[It] is luring nearly 80 new residents a day with strong job growth and a high quality of life.”

Full Article HERE

Source: Triangle Business Journal


Raleigh makes Forbes Travel Guide "Top 12 Destinations Of 2017"

We’ve screamed of the charms of North Carolina’s capital city before, but now that eight restaurants (including James Beard-nominated chef Scott Crawford’s Crawford & Son and the 22,000-square-foot Morgan Street Food Hall and Market) have decided to open their doors by spring, we can back up our fawning with a bit of flavor.

But just as new places around town start to find their culinary groove, Raleigh-area standards are keeping their kitchens cooking with a commitment to fresh ingredients and a calendar stuffed with epicurean fun (Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Herons’ four-course Valentine’s Day dinners, February 10 to 14).

Full List

Source: Forbes

This Nashville restaurant was the nation's most-visited eatery by Lyft riders

One Nashville restaurant was visited by more Lyft passengers than any other restaurant in the country in 2016, the San Francisco-based ride-sharing service announced Wednesday.

Acme Feed & Seed, which reported selling $14.8 million worth of food and drink in 2015, bested the rest of the nation's restaurants in drop-offs by the ride-sharing company.

In October, restaurant industry magazine Restaurant Business reported that the restaurant served the ninth-most meals of any independent restaurant in the country. The Lyft announcement notes that Acme is particularly popular with tourists and millennials, which should come as little surprise due to its Lower Broadway location.

The restaurant and bar, which doubles as a popular honky-tonk, was placed by Lyft in the restaurant category. Los Angeles' The Abbey was the country's most-visited bar, the company said in a news release.

Nashville's most-visited bar, according to the release, was the Tin Roof on Demonbreun Hill near Music Row.

The announcements came as part of the ride-sharing service's second-annual "Lyftie Awards." For last year's awards, Acme was categorized as an event venue and topped that category locally. With its shift to the restaurant category, it replaced Five Points Pizza as the city's most-visited eatery and allowed Bridgestone Arena to become the city's most-visited event space.

Germantown received a "Lyftie" for being the city's "trending" destination.

Full article HERE

Source: Nashville Business Journal

Nashville named a top travel destination for 2017 by Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure, the travel publication with a global audience of more than 10.5 million, has named Nashville one of its 50 Best Places to Travel in 2017. Music City was one of seven U.S. cities included on the list, which included destinations on every continent on the globe sans Antarctica.

Writing for the magazine, Nashville-based Kristin Luna wrote that 2017 would be a "banner year" for the city, because the Ryman Auditorium, Country Music Hall of Fame and Bluebird Café are all set to celebrate anniversaries and multiple prominent restaurants are set to open.

The city hasn't made the prominent list since 2014, when its inclusion was part of a string of international media mentions that gave a noticeable boost to the city's recent boom. 

Read full article HERE

Source: Travel and Leisure Magazine and Nashville Business Journal

Nashville, Durham, Raleigh Top List of Best Cities for Job Seekers in 2017

To identify the best places for job seekers in 2017, NerdWallet analyzed federal data for the 100 largest U.S. cities to determine where Americans will find opportunities and also where their paychecks will go further.

We factored in each place’s October 2016 unemployment rate from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as the increase in the working-age population from 2010 to 2015 with U.S. Census Bureau data. These two metrics, which represent the health of a city’s job market, were given the most weight in our analysis. Our methodology also includes census data for median earnings and median monthly rent in each city to provide a gauge of cost of living.

The top 10 cities for job seekers

Austin, Texas, claimed the No. 1 spot in our analysis, followed by Denver; Nashville, Tennessee; Seattle; and Durham, North Carolina. Atlanta; Minneapolis; Lincoln, Nebraska; Irving, Texas; and Raleigh, North Carolina, round out the top 10.

Source: Nerdwallet

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