According to Axiometrics the Winston-Salem apartment market had the second lowest average rent in the country- $649 – in the month of March. The only market with lower average rent was Tucson, AZ ($633). Greensboro was the eighth lowest at $708 per month in March.
How do these rents compare to the top 10? Well at the very top you have New York at $3,251 and San Francisco at $2,659.
In today’s (4/16/14) Wall Street Journal, Winston-Salem’s very own Wake Forest Innovation Quarter plays a starring role in the paper’s Deal of the Week segment about the role of historic preservation tax credits in redeveloping mills and factories in North Carolina:
The old plants are worth preserving because they represent North Carolina’s “industrialization at the turn of the 20th century,” said Myrick Howard, president of Preservation North Carolina. “The textile and tobacco industries provided the capital for the rise of our modern banking and energy industries.”
A big user of the tax-credit program is Wexford Science & Technology, a unit of San Diego-based BioMed Realty Trust Inc., BMR +0.66% which has renovated three former R.J. Reynolds tobacco factories in Winston-Salem. The old tobacco factories are part of the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter biomedical-science and information-technology hub, where researchers are working on treatments for smoking-related ailments.
This redevelopment is leading to new apartment communities being developed as well, including one of PTAA’s newest members, Plant 64.
The latest issue of Triad Business Journal has an interview with Hawthorne Residential Partners’ chief investment officer, and PTAA board member, Phil Payonk about how Hawthorne has grown to manage 17,555 units in 76 properties since its founding in 2009. From the interview:
What is the appeal of apartments?
The short-term and long-term fundamentals for apartments look good — there’s some construction coming online, and demographic trends in the U.S. show a tendency to rent for longer as you come out of school. You even see an older generation beginning to downsize and look to renting rather than owning a home…
What is Hawthorne’s core business?
Finding stabilized apartment properties that aren’t performing to their fullest potential. We handle the overall development of a site and the property, but we utilize a general contractor to handle the construction. We’ve partnered with several different builders; we like to utilize the small, local guys to kind of help keep costs down. Now, of our 17,555 units, Hawthorne and its partners have an ownership stake in about 45 percent of those. The balance is owned by a third party but managed by Hawthorne…
The Triad has seen a lot of apartments come online very quickly. Do you think it’s approaching over-built status?
We’re seeing in North Carolina markets in particular that a lot of the supply is being absorbed. As long as we see that at a measured pace, we’re going to hopefully not see too many problems. Even though there’s been a lot of product coming online, it’s been pretty hard to get a loan. The banks have the appetite, but there’s just a lot that has to go into it, from documentation and planning and identifying the site and getting everything together to getting a commitment and a building.
Have you signed up for the PTAA dinner meeting tomorrow night, April 15, 2014? You really should, because we have renowned apartment industry speaker and educator Lisa Trosien as our keynote, and she’ll be talking about emerging trends in the industry. Below you’ll find a YouTube video of a webinar Lisa did a couple of years ago, and while it’s a different topic it should give you a great feel for the kind of speaker she is. We hope you’ll join us tomorrow evening for a nice dinner and some great education.
Next week – April 16 to be exact – PTAA will be hosting nationally-renowned apartment management expert Lisa Trosien for a 1/2 day seminar called “More Cowbell” that’s a must-see for anyone looking to improve their community’s performance. Here’s a little more about it:
The phrase “more cowbell” (in case you’re not familiar with it) is from a Saturday Night Live sketch about how a song can be improved by adding more cowbell because there aren’t a lot of songs that feature the cowbell. Just like the songs that don’t have cowbell, there are a lot of properties out there that don’t offer the best possible service to their residents. This seminar takes a look at how to improve the delivery of customer service at both commonplace (such as a service request) and uncommon places (such as when walking the property, turning a unit, etc.) The uudience for this fun (and loud!) program is all ranges of property management professionals. Cowbells are distributed to several individuals in the audience to add “More Cowbell!!” to the program. Highly interactive and lots of fun!
Attendees earn 3 CECs and will come away with some great tools for improving their property’s performance. Space is limited so don’t hesitate and sign up today!