WilmingtonBiz Magazine - 2023 Residential Real Estate

Page 1

Wilmin G ton B iz

ARCHIVESBuilding ARCHIVESBuilding

Reviving downtown Wilmington’s historic homes and gathering spaces

Will Boiling Spring Lakes get a refill?

Apartments on the rise

Real estate market snapshot

Greater WilminGton BUSINESS JOURNAL Published by 2023 residential real estate issue
MAGAZINE SPRING 2023
2023 R eal e state I ssue 5 wilmington bizmagazine.com 6 LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 9 BIZ BITES 10 SOUND OFF 13 BEHIND THE NUMBERS 15 THE DIGEST 16 C-SUITE CONVO 38 TRENDS 47 THE TAKEAWAY 18 COVER STORY: BUILDING HISTORY 24 REFILLING BOILING SPRING LAKES 31 APARTMENTS ON THE RISE 34 IN PROFILE: MEAGHAN DENNISON 40 IN PROFILE: ROBERT CAMPBELL 43 MARKET SNAPSHOT DEPARTMENTS FEATURES 40 18 CONTENTS W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE | 2023 REAL ESTATE ISSUE | VOLUME VI | ISSUE 1
ON THE COVER 24
Photographer Madeline Gray took pictures of Giblem Lodge Masons at the lodge, the second-oldest Black Masonic Temple in the state. The historical building on North Eighth Street is undergoing renovation.

divided MEDIAN

Forget what can $1 million buy you. How about what can $432,000 buy you?

That’s how much a (median) single-family house will cost you here, as of February, the latest figures available from Cape Fear Realtors.

Median means the midpoint. So some of you have scooped up homes above the $432,000 price tag, and others have found more affordable houses in the region. But that’s the middle of the bell curve for New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties.

Like much of the rest of the country in recent years, local homeowners have played the Zestimate game –wistfully watching their estimated home values climb while bemoaning where would you move to anyway. (Yes, the Zestimate is controversial, but if you’re not in the market to sell and your only goal is to torture yourself with the all-cash, sight unseen, no need to repaint the walls urban legend offers that you just know would pour in, it’s a fairly quick search.)

The recent cool-off seen in other metro markets hasn’t yet hit locally. The median sales price in February was still 9% higher for the region than at the same time last year.

But what will happen to that midpoint mark in 2023?

Will homeowners park themselves on the historical low interest rates they scored in 2020? How will the banking industry turmoil play into the Federal Reserve’s plan for interest rate hikes this year? (We send this issue to press the day of the Fed’s March meeting, so at least one of those questions will be answered soon).

By the way, the homeowners of 1981 scoff, seeing your current 6.97% mortgage rate and raising you the 16.63% they paid each month.

Your 30-year rate is a snapshot in time – and possibly credit score – reflecting what’s going on in the larger economy and forces that seem far, far removed.

Meanwhile, your median sales price can be a snapshot in geography. Where you live and how the local market supplies those choices can push that median point up or down.

Will Wilmington’s ongoing concerns with available inventory drive people farther away from the metro center? Will more options – either from government, endowment or private funding – for workforce and affordable housing materialize?

And on a personal level, where do you want to live and where can you afford to live?

For example, while the median price for a singlefamily home in the region is $432,000, it’s higher at $450,250 in New Hanover County and lower at $401,290 in Brunswick County.

Or broaden the map and take your median wallet of $432,000 – unattainable for some, chump change for others, but again our region’s collective midpoint – and shop it around the country.

$432,000 can get you a 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom, 667-square-foot condo in the middle of D.C. It’ll get you a five-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom, 2,415-square-foot house in Hickory, North Carolina, which U.S. News dubbed the most affordable place to live in the country.

Or, spend $165,000 on a tricked-out Sprinter van and become a digital nomad. You’ll need the rest for gas money.

6 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
JANOWSKI,

Wilmington B iz

MAGAZINE

2023 REAL ESTATE ISSUE – $4.95

P ublisher

Rob Kaiser rkaiser@wilmingtonbiz.com

P resident

Robert Preville rpreville@wilmingtonbiz.com

e ditor

Vicky Janowski vjanowski@wilmingtonbiz.com

A ssist A nt e ditor

Cece Nunn cnunn@wilmingtonbiz.com

r e P orters

Johanna Cano jcano@wilmingtonbiz.com

Miriah Hamrick mhamrick@wilmingtonbiz.com

Johanna F. Still jstill@wilmingtonbiz.com

V ice P resident of s A les & M A rketing

Carolyn Carver ccarver@wilmingtonbiz.com

s enior M A rketing c onsult A nts

Maggi Apel

Lucy Pittman

Craig Snow

Stacey Stewart

M A rketing c onsult A nt

Alexis Alphin

d igit A l M A rketing s P eci A list

Braden Smith bsmith@wilmingtonbiz.com

d igit A l s A les c oordin A tor

Jillian Hon jhon@wilmingtonbiz.com

o ffice & A udience d e V elo PM ent M A nAger

Sandy Johnson sjohnson@wilmingtonbiz.com

e V ents d irector

Elizabeth Stelzenmuller events@wilmingtonbiz.com

e V ents & d igit A l c oordin A tor

Jamie Kleinman jkleinman@wilmingtonbiz.com

c ontributing d esigner

Suzi Drake art@wilmingtonbiz.com

d esigner

Tara Weymouth tweymouth@wilmingtonbiz.com

M edi A c oordin A tor

Julia Jones jjones@wilmingtonbiz.com

c ontributing P hotogr AP hers

Logan Burke, T.J. Drechsel, Madeline Gray, Aris Harding, Terah Hoobler, Allison Joyce

s ubscribe

To subscribe to WilmingtonBiz Magazine,visit wilmingtonbiz.com/subscribe or call 343-8600 x201.

© 2023 SAJ Media LLC

T.J. DRECHSEL

T.J. DRECHSEL , of Drechsel Photography, is a Wilmington-based photographer whose work has been featured in magazines including WILMA, Wrightsville Beach Magazine and North Brunswick Magazine. Drechsel photographed the landscape and homeowners around Boiling Spring Lakes as the city tries to get its waterfront area going again ( PAGE 24 ). tjdrechselphotography.com

MADELINE GRAY

MADELINE GRAY is a freelance documentary photographer based in Wilmington. With a master’s degree in photojournalism, her work is regularly featured in local and national publications. Gray photographed the residential real estate issue’s cover with Giblem Lodge Mason Earl Armstrong and the lodge itself as part of a story on historic preservation on PAGE 18 madelinegrayphoto.com and @ madelinepgray on Instagram

CECE NUNN

CECE NUNN has been writing and editing for more than 20 years, currently working as the assistant editor and real estate reporter for the Greater Wilmington Business Journal. For WilmingtonBiz Magazine’s annual Real Estate issue’s residential section, Nunn wrote about the historic preservation of homes and buildings in Wilmington ( PAGE 18 ), industry trends ( PAGE 38 ) and market snapshots ( PAGE 43 ). Nunn also edited coverage in the issue and wrote articles for the commercial real estate section.

JENNY CALLISON

JENNY CALLISON is a former Greater Wilmington Business Journal reporter who continues as a freelancer with the Business Journal and WILMA. Before moving to Wilmington in 2011, she was a university communications director and a freelance reporter covering a variety of beats. Callison checks in on current apartment demand and upcoming projects on PAGE 31 .

2023 R eal e state I ssue 7 wilmington bizmagazine.com CONTRIBUTORS

B iz B I tes

PLACE TO CALL HOME

In early March, the 31 tiny homes (about 405 square feet each) in Eden Village off Kornegay Avenue in Wilmington were expected to be ready for occupants potentially in a matter of weeks.

Organizers of the village, built to help the homeless and disabled find shelter, were awaiting certificates of occupancy to allow tenants to move in. Those sign-off documents were expected to come after a road needed for

emergency vehicles was complete.

Each tiny home has a bedroom, bathroom and combination kitchen/living room, as well as a front porch.

The current Eden Village is limited to 31 homes, but the concept is expected to grow in the area.

“We wanted it small so everyone can know everyone in the community,” said Julia Manuel, the village’s community coordinator. “But we are looking for land to build two more Eden Villages and build an overnight campground.” – photo by ARIS HARDING

2023 R eal e state I ssue 9 wilmington bizmagazine.com
SOUND OFF
BEHIND THE
DIGEST
C-SUITE
|
NUMBERS | THE
|
CONVO

SOUND OFF

TOO MANY DEVELOPMENT BARRIERS

OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS, ENTITIES AROUND THE STATE HAVE DONE A LOT OF HARD WORK TO MAKE NORTH CAROLINA THE NO. 1 STATE FOR BUSINESS. Combining this robust business growth and the overall desirability of our coastal location, we are now facing an immediate challenge: Where are people going to live? More specifically, where are the workers for all the new jobs going to live?

Like Florida and California, North Carolina is not building enough housing to deal with the influx of new residents – and that problem is especially acute in Southeastern North Carolina.

This is a supply-side issue. We need more housing, of all types, across income levels, around the region. With our limited land resources, this means embracing more density, increased heights and mixing uses.

One reason that nobody can seem to fix the housing problem is that we continue to make it more difficult to actually build housing. The headwinds inhibiting our ability to meet demand and provide housing are local zoning laws, expanding regulation and hostility toward new development.

Our local zoning laws were initially intended to separate industrial and residential uses. Over time, these zoning areas have

NEWMAN TYLER

also take land that could be used for housing and force it into another purpose.

Zoning has an important purpose, but housing availability is more critical in our growing region. Our regional infrastructure assets are linked, and our growth strategy needs to be as well. The future land use plan describes the desired use of the land throughout the city or the county. Public investment in infrastructure should match those desired uses. Lack of density options or infrastructure in one area of the region pushes investment elsewhere. The farther out we push investment, the longer people have to drive to work, school and services.

gotten increasingly strict, specific and exclusionary. At this point, the outcome is really that they separate different income levels and communities – and they push new investment away.

We desire more housing, yet we saddle it with a spectacular regulatory burden with local controls, unlike any other commodity, service or industry. Individual site enhancements such as tree standards, stormwater controls, traffic improvements, open space and parking collectively add cost, complexity and burden to projects. These provisions and requirements

Some pragmatic local officials try to move the community forward but face neighborhood groups in colorcoordinated shirts to oppose new investment and more housing. This rampant nimbyism repeats the same talking points at every hearing: traffic, stormwater, school capacity. The new term I heard recently is “visual property rights” – if you see it every day, you believe you own it.

But somewhere there has to be a local government doing it well, right? A group of elected officials that have set up a system encouraging growth while blending regulations balancing health, safety and well-being? Think of New Hanover County and the water/sewer investment county officials have made in the Sidbury Road area, or their $15 million affordable housing investment, which are both really important pieces to the puzzle.

10 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE
Biz B I tes
” ”
LACK OF DENSITY OPTIONS OR INFRASTRUCTURE IN ONE AREA OF THE REGION PUSHES INVESTMENT ELSEWHERE. THE FARTHER OUT WE PUSH INVESTMENT, THE LONGER PEOPLE HAVE TO DRIVE TO WORK, SCHOOL AND SERVICES.

What other options are there?

If you increased density, removed some of the regulatory burden and drastically streamlined local zoning requirements, could you add more housing? Are more public-private partnerships an answer? What if local impact-minded partners (developer, contractor, capital provider, government) created a model focused on multifamily investment to get costs down to meet the needs of a teacher or firefighter?

From my perspective, government’s best actions to address the housing crisis are to: (1) develop and improve infrastructure and (2) to accommodate density in the zoning code. I think that, if government prioritizes those roles, and leaves the landowners and the market to do their thing, the housing crisis will be resolved.

People will come. We can either choose to: (1) compel suburban sprawl to accommodate those who live here already and object to change or (2) plan effective ways to use and improve infrastructure and locate more homes closer to more businesses.

North Carolina is the leader in business. Now we need to be the leader in housing.

Tyler Newman is the president and CEO of Wilmington-based business advocacy organization Business Alliance for a Sound Economy.

2023

SP ARK

CROWD SOURCING

REACTIONS, OPINIONS AND QUOTABLES FROM OUR ONLINE SOUNDING BOARDS

ON FACEBOOK.COM/WILMINGTONBIZ

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL IS AGAIN INTERESTED IN BRINGING A MINOR LEAGUE TEAM TO THE REGION. PUTTING ASIDE ALL THE FINANCIAL, POLITICAL AND LOGICAL DETAILS, LET’S GET TO THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION – WHAT SHOULD WE NAME THE TEAM?

“THE BRUNSWICK Stew…” – MIKE CHRISTENBURY

“PIRATES IS the only fitting name.” – JIM ROBERTS

“SHOWBOATS” – BRADLEY COXE

“LONGSHOREMEN” – MARK ARTESSA

“CAPE FEAR Flytraps” – STEVE KLEM

“BASED ON THIS CITY? Either the Wilmington Carwashes or the Wilmington Storage Units.” – JOSH KNEELAND

“THE PORT CITY Roosters” – JOHN ANAGNOST

TWITTER POLL: @WILMINGTONBIZ

HOW LONG DO YOU PLAN TO LIVE IN THE WILMINGTON AREA?*

*RESPONSES AS OF MARCH 8

SPARK IDEAS

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Greater Wilmington Business Journal and WilmingtonBiz Magazine publishes op-eds about ideas for sparking economic growth in the region. If you have a column topic to be considered, email editor@ wilmingtonbiz.com.

WILMINGTONBIZ TALK FROM THE PODCAST

90.9%

sye 9.1%

FOR LIFE

UNTIL INTEREST RATES FALL

“SOME OF THOSE WERE HERE ON THE COAST, but those impacted the entire organization across the entire state. … We do not anticipate any further impact. Those decisions were really at the leadership level. Changes have to start with leadership. And we wanted to keep th e impact as far away from our frontline caregiving staff as possible.” –

JOHN GIZDIC, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT OFFICER FOR NOVANT HEALTH, ON THE NOVANT SYSTEM LAYOFFS THAT INCLUDED AT LEAST ONE EXECUTIVE BASED IN WILMINGTON. GIZDIC APPEARED ON WILMINGTONBIZ TALK ON FEB. 1, WHICH MARKED THE TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF NOVANT’S PURCHASE OF NHRMC.

BUSINESS JOURNAL AT WILMINGTONBIZ.COM

2023 R eal e state I ssue 11 wilmington bizmagazine.com Biz B I tes
SIGN UP FOR DAILY NEWS UPDATES AND SUBSCRIBE TO THE GREATER WILMINGTON

% U.S. PRIME RATE AS OF MARCH 8

A growing number of nonstop destinations and easy connections. More great airline options. Better deals and roomier planes. No wonder ILM stands for I Love My airport. What’s not to love?

12 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE
at f lyilm.com
3.25 Book

BEHIND THE NUMBERS

55%

MEDIAN TAX VALUE INCREASE FOR PROPERTY OWNERS

BRUNSWICK COUNTY PROPERTY OWNERS RECEIVE NEW TAX VALUES

BRUNSWICK COUNTY PROPERTY OWNERS HAVE received their new tax values as a result of this year’s required revaluation process.

Looking at the county as a whole, the median tax value increased 55%, but there were areas that increased less or more than that, said Meagan Kascsak, Brunswick County’s communications director, in an email.

“Property values did not change uniformly throughout the county or even within each city or town,” Kascsak said. “A lot depended on market conditions and recent sales in a property’s neighborhood.”

She said not all properties in Brunswick County increased in value.

“There are properties that actually saw their values decrease or remain about the same,” Kascsak said.

“What is very important for property owners to understand is that the percentage your property value increased or changed does not equate to your next tax bill increasing or changing by that percentage,” she added. “It is actually impossible for any property owner in Brunswick County to determine how their new assessed value affects their property taxes right now because the County, their municipal governments, and/or other public entities that serve properties have not adopted their FY 2024 operating budgets nor have they set tax rates yet (this typically happens in late spring/ early summer).”

The current county tax rate is 0.4850, or 48-and-a-half cents per $100 value, meaning the property tax bill for a $200,000 house would be $970 at the current rate.

Revaluations are required by state law, with each county needing to conduct a revaluation at least once every eight years to reflect current market value, according to a frequently asked questions list on the revaluation website, brunswickcountync.gov/tax-office/revaluation.

“Many counties including Brunswick County conduct their revaluations every four years. The last revaluation was effective January 1, 2019,” the site states.

All property owners have the right to appeal the values beginning Jan. 1 each year.

Kascsak said the tax office had received around 700 appeals as of March 13. “With approximately 156,000 parcels,” she said, “that is about 0.5% of parcels that have sent in an appeal.”

SOUTHEASTERN NC

NUMBER OF LUXURY HOME SALES OF $1M OR MORE

FEB. 2022 39 30

FEB. 2023

NEW HANOVER COUNTY

(Feb. 2022 to Feb. 2023)

+13.3%

INCREASE IN MEDIAN SALE PRICE FOR SINGLEFAMILY HOME -21.3%

DROP IN NUMBER OF CLOSED SALES

NORTH CAROLINA

ESTIMATED SHORTAGE OF REGISTERED NURSES BY 2033 STATEWIDE

12,500

WILMINGTON

30

NUMBER OF SHOWS PLANNED FOR LIVE OAK BANK PAVILION UP FROM 20 LAST YEAR

Sources: Just For Buyers Realty/N.C. Regional Multiple Listing Service, Cape Fear Realtors, UNC, city of Wilmington

2023 R eal e state I ssue 13 wilmington bizmagazine.com
Biz B I tes

DIGEST

A ROUNDUP OF RECENT WILMINGTON NEWS

BLAKE FARM COMMUNITY TO ADD APARTMENTS

A Wilmington-based commercial real estate and development firm has broken ground on an active adult apartment community in Scotts Hill.

Oak Grove at Blake Farm, located in the Blake Farm community, is expected to hold 186 apartments targeted toward residents ages 55 and older, “allowing them to maintain and promote a life of healthy and active living,” according to a news release from Blake Farm development company Trask Land Co.

The release said Oak Grove is expected to welcome tenants by spring 2024.

Amenities will include a rooftop terrace with a kitchen and grilling station, walking trails and community gathering areas.

The general contractor for the

apartment project is C. Herman Construction. The full Oak Grove project has an estimated cost of about $40 million, according to the release, while overall, Blake Farm has $120 million worth of projects designed and permitted within the community.

“As the master developer of the Blake Farm master-planned community, Trask Land Company has completed $700,000 of offsite improvements, including a northbound left turn lane with signal, a right turn lane and deceleration lane,” the release stated.

According to the release, additional plans for Blake Farm call for about 100,000 square feet of commercial space that could include office/medical office, retail, restaurants and a grocery store.

NEW FORT FISHER FACILITIES ON THE RISE

At Fort Fisher State Historic Site, a new foundation is being laid that will allow the facility to tell a richer story of the area’s role in history.

Bordeaux Construction crews in March were at work on a concrete foundation for the site’s new visitor center, the first step in a multi-phase project that will also erect new facilities for the Underwater Archaeology Branch of the N.C. Office of State Archaeology, and pending funding from the N.C. General Assembly, reconstruct Civil Warera fortifications on the property.

By May, the foundation is expected to be complete, followed by the new two-story building. Slated for completion in April 2024, the new 24,000-square-foot visitor center will replace the current facility, which will remain open and operational until the new building is online. Built in 1965, the old visitor center is equipped to handle about 25,000 annual visitors; in 2021, the site saw more than 1 million. Larger premises will enable Fort Fisher to serve crowds with more exhibit space, storage for artifacts and offices plus a new auditorium and multipurpose room for events.

29,900

NUMBER OF SURF REPORTS TONY BUTLER POSTED SINCE 2003 TO WBLIVESURF.COM BEFORE SELLING THE SITE THIS YEAR

2023 R eal e state I ssue 15 wilmington bizmagazine.com
THE
TO STAY IN THE LOOP ON THE LATEST AREA BUSINESS HAPPENINGS, CHECK OUT OUR DAILY AFTERNOON NEWSLETTER. SIGN UP AT WILMINGTONBIZ.COM.
Biz B I tes

C - SUITE CONVO REAL ESTATE OUTLOOK

DENISE KINNEY BECAME PRESIDENT OF COLDWELL BANKER SEA COAST ADVANTAGE, ONE OF THE LARGEST RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE FIRMS IN THE REGION, IN 2021, AND THE FIRM HAS CONTINUED TO GROW UNDER HER LEADERSHIP.

A couple of the firm’s most recent growth announcements have included the opening of an office near Charlotte and a merger with longtime area Realtor Buddy Blake and Waypost Realty.

The company has 24 offices throughout Southeastern North Carolina and seven offices in the Myrtle Beach/Grand Strand area in South Carolina.

Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage also has an ownership interest in Coldwell Banker Advantage, which serves major markets including Raleigh and the Triangle, Fayetteville, Southern Pines, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and the Triad.

Below is a recent Q&A with Kinney about the company’s growth and the area’s real estate market. To read more, go to WilmingtonBizMagazine.com.

IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE ONE, WHAT WOULD BE THE NO. 1 CHALLENGE WILMINGTON’S RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE MARKET IS FACING THIS YEAR? “Interest rates are the No. 1 challenge we are facing this year. With predictions of rates continuing to rise before lowering, it will be important to educate buyers and sellers on how this affects them.”

HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE SALES IN 2022, AND HOW ARE SALES GOING IN 2023 FOR YOUR COMPANY SO FAR? “2022 was a great sales year for residential real estate in our area but not necessarily what I would characterize as a normal year. In 2023 we are seeing fewer contracts and closings but do feel it will pick back up throughout the year as the market continues to normalize.”

HOW ARE AGENTS IN 2023 COPING WITH THE ONGOING LACK OF INVENTORY? “Agents

understand this is a relationship business and are focusing on working closely with their sphere of influence and past clients to generate more leads. Many agents are seeking out advanced training to sharpen their skills to stay competitive in this market so they can offer the very best service to their clients.”

OTHER THAN HIRING A REALTOR, WHAT CAN BUYERS DO TO NAVIGATE THE MARKET THIS YEAR? “Buyers need to stay focused on their real motivation for moving and not let the interest rate be the deciding factor. We like to say, ‘date the rate’ and ‘marry the home.’ In time, buyers will be able to refinance their purchase and reduce their rate.”

WHAT DO YOU TELL YOUR SELLERS WHO ARE LOOKING TO SELL IN THIS MARKET?

“It’s important for sellers to know this is not the same market as we experienced last year. Most homes are not selling as quickly with multiple offers over the asking price. Of course, there are some. Sellers also need to understand that buyers have lost some of their buying power with the increased interest rates.”

WHAT ARE YOUR PREDICTIONS FOR HOW PRICES WILL RISE OR FALL THIS YEAR AND NEXT? “We are so fortunate to live in an area that is desired by so many. With our area having so much to offer homeowners, I believe our prices will remain relatively stable and still could see some appreciation.”

16 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE
DENISE KINNEY PRESIDENT, COLDWELL BANKER SEA COAST ADVANTAGE
Biz B I tes

C - SUITE CONVO

HOW HAS YOUR COMPANY EMERGED FROM THE WORST PARTS OF THE PANDEMIC? “I believe we all have learned how to work a little differently. The pandemic forced us to think outside the box resulting in more innovative ways to serve our clients.”

WHAT TRENDS DO YOU SEE WHEN IT COMES TO THE POPULARITY OF HOUSING TYPES AND/OR SIZES? “We are seeing many more buyers requesting smaller homes under 3,000 square feet with more outdoor living spaces, higherend upgrades and smaller lots. As people are aging, they in many cases realize ‘less is more’ with the exception of quality. Energy efficiency is also in more demand, and our local builders are doing a great job in building with this in mind.”

HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHERE TO EXPAND AND WHO TO PARTNER WITH? “CB Sea Coast Advantage are willing to expand when there is a real estate need where the market is in a growth mode or already large. We have expanded over the past 30-plus years in areas where the growth is coming and/or where a well ran company is looking to sell. Most importantly, finding the right partners to do business with is of the utmost importance.”

IN WHICH OF YOUR COVERAGE AREAS DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE THE MOST GROWTH IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS AND WHY? “We expect Brunswick County to be one of the largest growth areas over the next five years here on the coast. Pender County too will experience growth as they bring on the infrastructure. In addition, we expanded to Charlotte, and that area has exploded over the past few years and we expect that to continue.”

2023 R eal e state I ssue 17 wilmington bizmagazine.com Biz B I tes
RESIDENTIAL | NEW DEVELOPMENT SALES & MARKETING | COMMERCIAL braddock-group.com Give us a call today! 910.386.0330 226 N. Front St., Ste. 128, Wilmington, NC 28401 Real estate done differently.

HISTORY FUTURE

OF WILMINGTON'S

TERRY JACKSON SPEAKS OF THE GIBLEM LODGE NO. 2 AS IF THE BRICK, WOOD AND STUCCO BUILDING IS ALIVE.

The lodge, a Black Masonic temple built around 1871 on North Eighth Street, was a Wilmington cultural hub for decades, at one time holding the only library Black residents were allowed to use. The lodge’s current members are working to restore the three-story building to its former glory.

“It’s like breathing,” said Jackson, a Giblem Lodge member who was born in Wilmington. “It has been the oxygen to a lot of African American growth from the 1800s to today. And so if it isn’t restored, it’d be like cutting off the oxygen to a lot of the past, the present and plans for the future.”

Pieces of Wilmington’s history have disappeared over the centuries, replaced by parking lots and modern structures. But others are hanging on with the help of people who want to preserve the past, including Giblem Lodge, historic homes and other threads in the fabric of Wilmington’s many historic districts.

Giblem Lodge Masons still hold their twice-monthly meetings at the

lodge at 19 N. EighthSt., where Earl Armstrong, another member, works each day to take care of the landmark.. The Italianate-style building is located in the Wilmington Historic District, which includes large portions of downtown’s core and is designated by the National Register of Historic Places. It’s the city’s oldest district, created in 1974 and expanded in 2004, and it “is witnessing an alarming number of contributing structures being destroyed,” explains Historic Wilmington Foundation’s website. “A study of the district’s northside highlights this trend, with an estimated reduction of over one-third of all contributing structures since 2004. Of the contributing structures that remain in these study areas, six have preservation easements by the HWF, including the Brooklyn Arts Center and Edward Teach Brewery.”

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization,

LEFT: Remenants of the past, such as vintage typewriters and top hats, are abundant in the upper floors of Giblem Lodge.

OPPOSITE PAGE: Giblem Lodge Masons include Jimmy Lightfoot (from left), Earl Armstrong and Terry Jackson, who all recently expressed how important restoring the lodge is for the area.

18 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE
PRESERVING THE
2023 R eal e state I ssue 19 wilmington bizmagazine.com
photo by MADELINE GRAY

Let’s build elegant together.

Since 1985, Markraft has delivered award-winning kitchens and baths that are crafted from top-notch cabinetry and countertops.

Our design and install team is the best in the business.

20 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE
WILMINGTON, NC • APEX, NC • POOLER, GA • NASHVILLE, TN Partnering with builders and contractors to deliver stunning kitchens & baths since 1985. Schedule an appointment today! www.markraft.com

HWF has been working to save historic properties since 1966, according to its members, by using tools that include a revolving fund, preservation easements and education.

With funding from multiple sources including HWF, the Masons were able to replace the roof of Giblem Lodge last year. The money also came from the Marion Stedman Covington Foundation, N. C. Community Foundation and Residents of Old Wilmington, in addition to an in-kind donation from Patriot Roofing Co.

In May 2021, HWF announced a partnership with Giblem Lodge to rehabilitate the structure, which was built by freed slaves. A communitybased task force has been applying for grant funding and organizing fundraising efforts.

Keeping a monument like the Giblem Lodge is important to Jackson not only as a Mason but as a man who

grew up in the Port City. Born in 1963, Jackson lived in Wilmington’s Hillcrest community as a child and teenager.

“I would walk from my home during the summertime to my grandmother’s house (on Fifth Avenue and Queen Street),” Jackson said. “That was the place to go because my grandmother cooked every day.”

After leaving to find more opportunities, Jackson, who is currently COO of Jackson Consulting Group and has a doctorate in leadership and management, returned to Wilmington for good in 2013. He said he had to get used to how many of the places he once knew in Wilmington had changed. Giblem Lodge, with its history of fostering and hosting Black leaders, is something Jackson wants to see remain intact for a long time to come.

“When you look at what makes up a community, and what makes up

neighborhoods, you’re talking about not only housing; you’re talking about businesses, and you're talking about cultural centers. This is a cultural center,” Jackson said.

Giblem Lodge isn’t the only structure undergoing a transformation in Wilmington’s historical areas, where crews can be seen working on various buildings and houses on any given day.

In a house on Third Street, gleaming modern appliances occupy space under nearly 200-year-old wooden beams.

The ceiling beams form part of a rectangular building that was likely home to slaves or servants before the Civil War. That was long before Third Street was a paved, prominent Wilmington thoroughfare.

“None of this was here,” said Chris Yermal, owner of Wilmington-based Old School Rebuilders, as he stood in the kitchen of 312 S. Third St., one

2023 R eal e state I ssue 21 wilmington bizmagazine.com
Old School Rebuilders owner Chris Yermal sits outside the general contrator's headquarters, a restored Delgado Mills house. photo by LOGAN BURKE

IT'S LIKE BREATHING. (Giblem Lodge) has been the oxygen to a lot of African American growth from the 1800s to today. And so if it isn't restored, it'd be like cutting off the oxygen to a lot of the past, the present and plans for the future.

22 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE
“ “
TERRY JACKSON Giblem Lodge member and COO of Jackson Consulting Group photo by MADELINE GRAY

of the homes he’s been renovating in recent months. He pointed to the space adjacent to the kitchen counter. “The only part of this home that was here was just this rectangle.”

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, property owners built additions to the structure, and the house eventually held apartments.

The current owners, Kurt and Christine Schaubach, bought the property for $745,000 in May 2021, according to property tax records, before embarking with Yermal on a project to restore it.

The Schaubachs have found the restoration at 312 S. Third St. to be a rewarding experience, Kurt Schaubach said.

“We assumed that part of the adventure would be to learn more of the home’s history and find creative ways to showcase its history,” he said. “These homes have so much character and while our interior design tastes run more contemporary, the team we worked with on the home found a way to blend the old and the new in a tasteful way.”

According to a plaque the Schaubachs are working to have revised to include earlier components, the bulk of the Italianate-style house was built around 1879, with an 1891 addition featuring Queen Anne characteristics, for William Henry Green (1843-1914), native of New Bern, Civil War veteran and co-owner of Green & Flanner druggists, and his wife, Frances Iredell Meares, a native of Brunswick County.

The Schaubachs said saving the timber-framed structure from the pre-Civil War era within the house was a priority. “It was vitally important to us that we preserve and honor this in some way through the renovation process,” Kurt Schaubach said. “Today, in this part of the home, the roughhewn ceiling beams are exposed; we retained the original beadboard ceiling and marked the location of the structure’s original entry door with patterning in the hardwood flooring. When you step into what is now our family room, you feel like you are entering a unique space inside the

larger home.”

It can be expensive and complicated to renovate, repair and maintain an historical home, no matter where it is in the Port City. An extra layer protects parts that have an historic designation: Wilmington’s Historic Preservation Commission is made up of seven members appointed by the Wilmington City Council to “promote, enhance and preserve the character of the Wilmington historic districts,” according to the city’s website

The HPC hears and decides requests for certificates of appropriateness (COAs) in accordance with the Wilmington Design Standards for Historic Districts and Landmarks. Design review is required for exterior alterations to properties located within the city’s local historic districts and historic overlays to ensure compatibility with the historic character of the district. COAs are required for exterior changes to properties, the city website states.

The design standards do not impose a particular architectural style, but encourage compatible design and congruity, whether traditional or contemporary, according to the website.

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said he’s seen the damage losing history can do.

“A lot of people come to Wilmington for the historic fabric of the community. They like the fact that we preserved a lot of our own history,” Saffo said. “Growing up, I saw a lot of history destroyed. I saw the wharfs along Water Street totally taken out for the parking deck. I saw a lot of beautiful homes along Market Street that were taken down in the name of parking.”

He later added, “If you tear down everything and put brand new stuff in there, I don’t think it would have the same appeal.”

Saffo said those who work to save historic areas have to be up to the challenge.

“I have found that most people that get into the historic areas or buying in historic districts are doing it

for the love of it,” he said.

The Schaubachs have some advice for anyone considering the prospect.

“Honestly, we did not know how much time, money and work would be required to restore and renovate an historic home. Anyone endeavoring to restore a historic home needs to be prepared for a few surprises along the way. Seeing that as part of the overall process is important,” they wrote in an email.

Yermal has seen this advice play out firsthand. A former science teacher, Yermal started renovating historic homes in Wilmington more than 20 years ago. Both his office and his home are historical structures, and Yeral serves as vice chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission. In his view, the HPC helps preserve the character of Wilmington’s historic neighborhoods, including the nationally recognized Wilmington Historic District.

“First of all, it’s a vibrant district, and people want to live in and invest in a vibrant district,” Yermal said. “Second of all, that designation, having a property in a district, allows for the pursuit of tax credits.”

The city of Wilmington is working toward an updated survey of the National Register historic district, which could affect a property’s eligibility in some cases for those tax credits.

“I think when all is said and done, the Wilmington District will be smaller, unfortunately, but at least our data will be up to date and current so that it will be a true reflection of the landscape,” said Travis Gilbert, executive director of the Historic Wilmington Foundation. “We’re just working as hard as we can at the Historic Wilmington Foundation to educate folks on the importance of historic resources and then making sure that we’re a resource for folks when they are rehabilitating these homes.”

Wilmington’s historic areas make the city unique, Gilbert said.

“That sense of place is extremely important,” he said,”and our historic buildings are a leading contributor to creating that sense of place.”

2023 R eal e state I ssue 23 wilmington bizmagazine.com

FLOOD A AWAITS

FLOOD A AWAITS

Water has been gone from the lakes long enough to give way to nature, but the new views – while not unsightly – aren’t quite as picturesque.

Spring Lakes’ identity more than four years ago. Floodwater from the storm overpowered the dams, causing them to breach and prompting an exodus of water that hasn’t since returned.

Complicated layers of bureaucracy and a need to secure as much outside capital as possible caused the muchanticipated repair process to slug along.

But now, with the support of what

amounts to a $20 million credit line to the small city in Brunswick County because of the passage of a bond referendum in November, and millions more in pledged grant dollars from public sources, Boiling Spring Lakes residents have something tangible to look forward to.

That anticipated flow of water could bring with it buoyed residential real estate values and renewed

24 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE
As Boiling Spring Lakes prepares to regain its identity, refilling the lakes could offer the community a flood of opportunities

economic opportunities for the city and its roughly 6,200 residents.

Construction bids for the $52 million project were solicited in February, but the city had to readvertise the project in March after receiving just two proposals instead of the minimum of three needed to move forward. City officials tentatively hope work will begin in April and are pushing for an aggressive schedule with the goal of refilling the lakes by

spring 2026.

“It’s taken longer than anybody anticipated. But not for lack of effort,” said Boiling Spring Lakes Commissioner Tom Guzulaitis, who was first elected in 2019. “It felt as if you were playing a game of whacka-mole … as you cleared one hurdle, suddenly you’d have another hurdle to get through.”

The board’s goal is to not ask residents to shoulder a tax increase to

help pay for the project, but whether one will be necessary is still yet to be determined.

‘CROWN JEWEL OF THE CITY’

What has become of the community without its eponymous lakes? Residents say the area still elicits charm in its quiet, familyoriented feel, ripe with nature and the absence of congested streets.

But its missing heart is

2023 R eal e state I ssue 25 wilmington bizmagazine.com
Shellie Teubner stands on the dock of the “lakefront” she and her husband Scott purchased in August. The family moved to Boiling Spring Lakes from the Charlotte area.
26 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE Three Generations, One Mission SERVING THE CAROLINA COAST SINCE 1954 JamesEMoore.com • 910.256.5333 1508 Military Cutoff Road, Ste. 104 • Wilmington, NC 28403 WELLBEING | keeping your technology running smoothly behind the scenes. MANAGED IT SERVICES | NETWORK SECURITY | DATA BACKUP & RECOVERY 700 Military Cutoff Rd #200 | Wilmington, NC 28405 | (910) 398-6250 Book A Consult

inescapable. The most well-traveled roadway, N.C. 87, offered a glimpse of a narrow stream, bordered by thick layers of vegetation. That stream was once Patricia Lake, known to locals as “the big lake.”

“This is the crown jewel of the city,” said Hank Troscianiec, a Keller Williams real estate agent. “Without the big lake, you’re no longer Boiling Spring Lakes.”

Selling “waterfront” property initially presented complications, Troscianiec said.

“After the hurricane, there was a lot of discussions surrounding, ‘OK, how do we market this?’” he said. “You really market it as lakefront if there’s no lake?”

Disclosures in listings settled that debate, he said, as did agents being transparent with buyers about the city’s attempt to rebuild the dams. In the interim, buyers made purchasing decisions based on the belief the lakes would return.

“The values I think were largely driven by the fact that people went, ‘We think it’s coming back.’” Troscianiec

said. “And the real estate community believed it’s coming back.”

Real estate professionals disagree on whether the community’s home values were dampened by its newfound lakeless reality. But there’s consensus that the lakes’ reprisal should rise all tides.

After Florence hit the area in September 2018, and it became clear the onerous repair process wouldn’t begin anytime soon, Keller Williams real estate agent Todd Derksen said many lakefront property owners cut their ties. “They thought, ‘Oh, shoot, I’m going to lose my equity in my home,’” he recalled. “So there was a little bit of an exodus.”

Since the bond passed, “That has changed,” he said.

Derksen believes the dried lakes lowered the potential purchase price sellers would have otherwise been able to capture in the years since the storm. “Absolutely, of course it did,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it.”

By how much, exactly? “I think that’s very difficult to put a number

2023 R eal e state I ssue 27 wilmington bizmagazine.com
ph o ot c o/ .C.NsdnalsIkciwsnurBs’ BRUNSWICK
$100K $200K $300K HOME SALES MEDIAN SALE PRICE, SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL 2019 2020 2021 2022 $274,900 $245,000 $225,000 $177,250 $202,000 $289,450
Now & then: Boiling Springs Lakes’ big lake in 2023 and in 2012 (below). CO. BOLIVIA SOUTHPORT LELAND BOILING SPRING LAKES
$500K $400K $389,000 $430,500 $310,500 $315,979 $367,837 $400,000
SOURCE: BRUNSWICK COUNTY ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS

on,” he said. “I would be hesitant, but I’m very comfortable saying that it has an impact.”

Mirroring national and regional trends, real estate values in Boiling Spring Lakes and Brunswick County ballooned in recent years.

Though home values are markedly lower in Boiling Spring Lakes compared to its municipal neighbors and the county, the city’s single-family home median sale price soared at a more dramatic rate between 2019 and 2022, with a 63% boost.

Sales prices for the entire county rose 50% during that same period.

Last year, the median sale price for single-family homes in Boiling Spring Lakes was about $289,000, far steeper than the $177,000 during the year following the hurricane. Meanwhile, the singlefamily home median sale price last year in Brunswick County was about $368,000; in Leland was roughly $352,000; in Bolivia was nearly $328,000; and in Southport was $430,500.

But there’s almost no way to tie Boiling Spring Lakes sales data, or lack thereof, to the lakes being gone, said Cynthia Walsh, CEO of the Brunswick County Association of Realtors. “Also, it would be unfair to impossible to guess how much more a home would have sold for,” she said.

BANKING ON THE FUTURE

A factor that has played in the city’s favor from a demand perspective, real estate professionals say, is

homeowners being priced out of nearby markets.

Guzulaitis, who is also a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, said about half of his clients fit in this category. The other half is discovering the region from out-of-state.

Shellie and Scott Teubner purchased their “lakefront” home in August. Both working in remotefriendly roles, the Teubners jumped on the option to escape bottlenecks in Cornelius, a Charlotte suburb.

“The traffic is terrible. We were just wanting to get out of it,” Shellie Teubner said. “It’s just a dream that I’ve had of moving coastal for a while. And with our jobs, we just had the opportunity. So we just decided to go for it.”

The Teubners said they voted in favor of the lakes bond referendum, which passed with about 1,700 votes in favor and 920 against. Though the dam rebuilding wasn’t guaranteed at the time of their purchase, Shellie Teubner said they felt confident in their chances.

“I don’t think we would have purchased the house without knowing that the lake was going to come back,” she said. “To have a lake in our backyard eventually, I’m going to be

beside myself.”

Since moving in, she picked up coaching the local basketball and soccer team, which helped her 9-year-old daughter make new friends. “It seems to be really family oriented. The community has welcomed us,” she said. “It's a very home-like feel.”

Her husband recently put in an offer to purchase the empty lot next door on South Shore Drive, with plans to keep it vacant. “There’s hardly any traffic,” Scott Teubner said. “There’s a breeze blowing every day.”

When the lake fills in, he hopes to buy jet skis and a pontoon boat, fix up the gazebo and dock and install a fire pit by the water. Crews have begun clearing flora on the next lake over, he said, and will soon make their way to his backyard. “It won’t be long before it’s gone,” he said of the vegetation.

While Scott Teubner said he believes the lakes’ return will increase his property value, it doesn’t really matter – they want to retire there.

“I think in the next five years, it’s really going to bloom,” Shellie Teubner said of the city’s growth opportunities. “Maybe 10.”

Before the lakes fill in, Guzulaitis said the case could be made from a buyer and value standpoint to act

sooner rather than later.

“We’re such a net importer of people to this county to begin with, and when the lakes are restored, certainly Boiling Spring Lakes at that point in time will become, I think, a pretty highly sought-after destination,” he said.

In the first couple of years post-Florence, Guzulaitis said the driedout conditions likely precluded some would-be buyers from considering the area and prompted a handful of homeowners to leave. “Certainly, there was some turnover, but I wouldn't say it was huge,” he said.

A work opportunity in Wilmington drove Tyler Crenshaw to relocate his family from Fayetteville to the area in January 2022.

They happened upon a private “waterfront” fixer-upper on North Shore Drive but weren’t dissuaded by the dry backyard. Experience with a twice-washed-out Hope Mills Lake outside of Fayetteville meant Crenshaw was familiar with the government-led dam rebuilding process.

“I bought it knowing it was going to take a while for that to come back,” he said. “I looked at it as a buffer in case the market went down, I would still have the fact that it has the potential to be lakefront.”

Crenshaw also voted in favor of the bond referendum – “for obvious reasons,” he said. Now, he said he looks forward to building a small dock where he can keep his johnboat. “It’s sitting in the backyard,” he said, “waiting to go into the water.”

28 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE
AFTER THE HURRICANE, THERE WAS A LOT OF DISCUSSIONS SURROUNDING, ‘OK, HOW DO WE MARKET THIS?’ YOU REALLY MARKET IT AS LAKEFRONT IF THERE’S NO LAKE?”
HANK TROSCIANIEC KELLER WILLIAMS REAL ESTATE AGENT
2023 R eal e state I ssue 29 wilmington bizmagazine.com
30 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE Purchase or Refinance your home with Excite and save money. Take advantage of Excite’s $500 credit towards your closing costs! Earn an additional $250 towards your home purchase or refinance with our Fast Track Rewards Program.* Visit excitecu.org or 800.232.8669 for details. EARN REWARDS WITH MONAKA JACKSON I SENIOR MORTGAGE LOAN ORIGINATOR Whether you are buying or refinancing a home, Monaka will provide you with the support and attention you deserve, knowing that time is of the essence when it comes to real estate. *$250 Fast Track Rewards for 5-day mortgage application completion. All credits will be applied at the time of closing if requirements are met. Insured by NCUA. © 20 2 b Explore two of our fabulous Liberty Senior Living communities. CarolinaBayatAutumnHall com BrightmoreofWilmington com 910 541 8538 9 1 0 5 0 7 7 3 8 4 A L e P an Commun ty of e ed by L berty Sen or Liv ng Ret rement L v ng Cho ces o fered by L berty Sen or L v ng Sometimes, happiness is finding the key to the right home 910.541.8538 CarolinaBayatAutumnHall.com 910.507-7384 BrightmoreofWimington.com "Try everything! Everbody is welcoming, there is no judgement and the classes give you confidence!" "Brightmore provides a lifestyle of variety If you can't find something you like, you're not looking hard enough." Carolina Bay resident Brightmore resident

Hundreds of units are in the pipeline, but why is there so much demand?

Apartmentcomplexity

IT’S A FAMILIAR PATTERN: FOLLOWING THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF ANY NEW APARTMENT DEVELOPMENT, AREA RESIDENTS SCRATCH THEIR HEADS AND ASK WHY MORE APARTMENTS ARE RISING. THERE ARE COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF MORE NOISE AND SNARLED TRAFFIC.

But the demand for apartment living seems to be ceaseless as the region’s population continues to grow.

In early March, plans were unveiled for a 72-unit complex on Carolina Beach Road in Wilmington, and more than 500 multifamily units are planned along Blue Clay Road in northern New Hanover County. New apartments are rising in the Leland area, as well as farther south in Brunswick County, and crews are working on apartment buildings in Pender County’s Hampstead community and beyond.

“There has been a lot (of apartment construction) in

the last 10 to 11 years,” said Bill Schoettelkotte, head of multifamily development for Wilmington-based Cape Fear Commercial. “Before that, there was very little new apartment development since The Reserve at Mayfaire in 2005. The recession hit, and nothing was being built. In late 2011, we started The Headwaters at Autumn Hall: There was a boom with low interest rates and, at the time, low construction costs. We and other developers kept building, rents kept increasing and – in the last three to four years –construction costs went through the roof.”

Schoettelkotte noted that, even with relatively higher interest rates and construction costs, the building boom, and in-migration, continue.

“The pandemic brought people who could work from anywhere,” he said. “If you worked for a company in New York and were living up there, all of a sudden you could work from here and get a ‘pay raise’ because of the lower cost of living. The pandemic, combined with cheap money, accelerated (migration to Wilmington.)”

2023 R eal e state I ssue 31 wilmington bizmagazine.com
Poolside at 17 Social apartments in midtown Wilmington

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

As developers and local officials tackle the issue of affordable housing, some apartments are being added to the area's small stock.

STARWAY VILLAGE

2346 Carolina Beach Road

Size : 278 units

Est. cost of project: $70 million

Income requirements: 60% of the area median income

Status : Construction is expected to start this summer.

RESIDENCE AT CANOPY POINTE

205 Middle Sound Loop Road

Size: 72 units on 5 acres

Est. cost of project: $15 million

Income requirements: Up to 80% of area median income

Status: Under construction; expected to open in Jan. 2024

ESTRELLA LANDING

4615 Gordon Road

Size: 84 units on 5.7 acres

Est. cost of project: $20 million

Income requirements: 25% of units are targeted to 30% area median income; the rest to 60%

Status: Construction underway, expected to be complete by Jan./Feb. 2024

Porter Jones, of DPJ Residential, who was involved in the development of multiple apartment communities in Wilmington, including 17 Social on South 17th Street, continues to look for potential apartment projects in Wilmington.

In a 2021 Greater Wilmington Business Journal article, Jones said, “If Wilmington continues to be an attractive place for people to move to, I believe demand for apartments, both urban and suburban, will continue to be strong.”

A 2022 study published by RentCafe, a nationwide apartment search website, quantified demand for apartments in various North Carolina metros. Wilmington was fourth highest, with 12 renters competing for each vacant apartment in the area. Asheville ranked first, followed by Fayetteville and Greenville.

Some people who want to live in a single-family home have ended up as apartment dwellers, as increasing demand from newcomers for single-family homes slammed into the reality of labor and materials shortages. Some prospective homebuyers have been priced out of the market as home prices and mortgage interest rates have risen. Renting an apartment becomes a short- or even long-term solution.

“We’ve seen a lot of that. People are building a house and need a place to live. Or they’re not sure where they want to be. Or they can’t find a house in their price range. They rent in the meantime,” Schoettelkotte said.

Brunswick County’s planning director agrees and points to a demographic group that might seek out a multifamily development.

“People are relocating here by the masses, and a lot of them are seniors,” said Kirstie Dixon. “They need somewhere to go, at least in the short term. Multifamily housing has more services and no yard to maintain. The majority of (these developments) have amenities.”

There’s a segment of the market looking for just that type of living: amenity-rich, with few maintenance

tasks. These are people who are ready to downsize and give up the responsibilities of home and yard maintenance, said McKay Siegel, partner with East West Partners. This demographic may rent an apartment or purchase a condominium.

“Condo residents are often older, single people,” he said. “They make friends with their neighbors and have a de facto social club.”

East West Partners, which has partnered with the city of Wilmington to build apartments, condos and commercial space downtown, is building a 346-unit apartment complex on a former golf driving range along Oleander Drive. The development, dubbed The Range, will be a mixed-use complex with 13,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

“We don’t create the market for multifamily,” Siegel said. “We’re not going to build if there’s no market. Nationally, the homeownership rate is 65%; in Wilmington, it’s 45%.”

A few years ago, multifamily developments in Brunswick County were the exception, but they are on the rise now. While residential development in Leland continues to be primarily single-family detached homes, the town is seeing more growth in townhomes and duplexes, and several large apartment complexes have joined the housing mix, said Benjamin Andrea, Leland’s director of planning and inspections.

Andrea said that while apartment development slowed during 2021 and 2022, Leland has several projects in the approval process totaling just under 1,400 units.

Brunswick County’s Dixon ticks off several other apartment projects going in along Southport-Supply Road and in the N.C. 211 corridor. She cautions that “multifamily” should not be confused with “affordable.”

“The majority of these new multifamily developments have amenities; a lot of them are amenity based, which makes them not quite as affordable,” she said. “There are a lot of luxury apartments. It’s probably no longer true that home prices and

32 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE

rent costs are lower in Leland than in Wilmington.”

This reality means that many firefighters, police officers, preschool teachers, health care workers and hospitality industry employees, among others, will still find it difficult to find housing near where they work in New Hanover County. Nick Pylypiw, chief data officer for Cape Fear Collective, said his organization’s definition of affordable is housing costs that total no more than 30% of a household’s income.

“An income of $42,000 is required for a household to afford a (typical) two-bedroom apartment in New Hanover County,” he added.

But there’s another way of looking at new apartment stock, even if it’s not affordable by many segments of service industry workers, Pylypiw added. Those new renters won’t be taking older, less-expensive housing stock away from people who have few other options.

“They won’t be knocking down a house on the Southside, taking that house that’s affordable to somebody,” he said. “In the Greenfield Lake area, developers are paying cash, and sometimes the owners don’t know what their house is worth. Then those places are being knocked down.”

The replacement homes are often more expensive than the previous owners can afford, meaning that the former owners must move farther away from their communities and workplaces to find affordable housing.

The city of Wilmington offers incentives in the form of density waivers and occasionally zoning adjustments to multifamily developers who earmark a percentage of their units for lower-income tenants. Such is the case at The Range. East West Partners will set aside 10% of its apartments as affordable housing, Siegel said.

“I can put 350 people on 15 acres near where they want to be, versus on 120 acres farther away,” Siegel said. “What is best for traffic?”

2023 R eal e state I ssue 33 wilmington bizmagazine.com
$16 MILLION The combined tax value of affordable homes WARM NC saved last year. Volunteer or donate and join our mission! warmnc.org WILMINGTON APARTMENTS
NUMBERS WILMINGTON APARTMENT RENT RANGES $701 - $1,100 $1,001 - $1,500 $1,501 - $2,000 > $2,000 %1 %36 %46 %16 WILMINGTON OCCUPIED HOUSING UNITS RENTER-OCCUPIED OWNER-OCCUPIED %54 %46 14 WILMINGTON'S RANKING AMONG TOP 50 U.S. CITIES TO FIND NEW APARTMENTS # AVERAGE RENT IN WILMINGTON
$ 961 AVEARGE APARTMENT SIZE
PERCENTAGE OF OCCUPIED APARTMENTS
BY THE
1,654
sq ft 92.8 %
RENTCAFE
SOURCE:

NUMBERS CRUNCHING THE

PROFILE
34 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE

MEAGHAN DENNISON ON DATA AND DOLLARS FOR SOCIAL IMPACT

Data and capital. Those are key areas Cape Fear Collective identified from conversations with nonprofits as two niches it could fill, driving towards the collective’s mission of enacting social change.

At the wheel is Meaghan Dennison, the organization’s CEO.

Dennison has served as CEO since May of 2022; she was the fourth person hired by the young organization when she first joined in 2019 as director of programs. She took over the head role after Patrick Brien, Cape Fear Collective’s founder and former CEO, moved on to another position.

At the root of Dennison’s education and career is an interest in advocacy and lobbying.

She graduated from Appalachian State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science, and, after a few stints in politics, she joined the North Carolina Chamber where she had various roles including as government affairs manager. Before joining Cape Fear Collective (CFC), Dennison worked at the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce as its director of leadership development.

“My six years spent with the North Carolina Chamber following graduation ultimately landed me in a government affairs role, and I really enjoyed the connection

to policy and advocacy and implementing change in that way,” Dennison said. “I knew I wanted to get back into the nonprofit space. I think the relationship-orientedness of nonprofits and the advocacy role we’re able to play, not direct lobbying, but in connecting the data to impact measurement has been real exciting for me.”

Since 2019, Dennison has seen the organization come into its own. When CFC got started it held many meetings with the community to understand what the organization could provide to serve as a useful partner.

“We hosted about 1,500 … community partners in an effort to not reinvent the wheel or step on anyone’s toes, but to understand where and how we can add value in driving impact in the social sector,” she said. “With that, we heard the need for data and capital. And so fast forward into 2023, I feel like we’re fully seated in that mission with our social impact investing platform and our team of data scientists who are working to drive both tools and data science expertise to the social impact sectors.”

On the data side, CFC has provided $1.8 million in probono data science support. CFC launched the Community Data Platform, a cloud-based database with “analysis ready” community health data that nonprofits and other organizations can use to scour and download data for free.

CFC also launched the Healthy Communities NC Dashboard, which took goals from the Healthy North Carolina 2030 project from the state’s Division of Public Health and coupled it with community data and analysis to help organizations build hypotheses, goals and measurements.

Perhaps the most integral endeavor for CFC has been its goal to tackle affordable housing in the

region by directly investing in the purchase of properties.

This includes the creation of Collective Ventures, an arm of the organization that provides social impact investments. The venture formed in January 2021 with the goal of attracting $10 million in investment. As of March of last year, the organization exceeded its goal with $16.1 million under investment.

In partnership with Live Oak Bank, First Bank, First National Bank, First Citizens Bank and Dogwood State Bank, the venture has deployed funding into affordable housing. First, the organization purchased Driftwood, a 15-unit apartment complex in Wilmington, for $1.2 million. Driftwood initially was developed more than a decade ago as a tax credit project to provide housing for homeless residents. The goal for CFC’s purchase was to renovate and keep the units affordable at 30% to 40% of the area median income, or AMI. CFC worked with Good Shepherd Center to have support systems in place.

“We were able to purchase naturally occurring affordable housing in large-scale rental portfolios, preserve the housing, renovate the properties and then our goal, which we’re still working towards, is to offload to nonprofit partners or individuals at 80% of AMI or below or first-time homebuyers,” Dennison said.

In 2022, CFC purchased 71 residential units in Wilmington for $10.6 million with the goal of maintaining affordable rates. At the time, Dennison said the venture allows the organization to be a competitive buyer in the market and preserve units as affordable housing.

One important aspect of CFC is its collaboration with local partners, from banks that can provide investments to

2023 R eal e state I ssue 35 wilmington bizmagazine.com
PROFILE

nonprofits that can help disseminate resources through their own, alreadyestablished outreach.

“When we purchased Driftwood to preserve as permanent supportive housing, we could not do that work without Good Shepherd Center to provide the case management and ongoing support for residents both on-site and in helping lease up that property,” Dennison said. “We try our best to play the role and stay in our lane as capital and inventory and then get out of the way for organizations on the front lines to continue to do the work that they’re doing.”

A project currently in the works for Dennison and the CFC team includes adding a transportation vertical called Mission Driven Motors in partnership with the Cairo Center and Kingdom Cars with the financing of those vehicles by On The Road Lending, a Texas-based auto financing company that helps people with low credit scores or no credit.

Dennison also focuses on workforce development and is exploring career impact bonds and pay-it-forward funds to invest in a person’s short-term but high-impact training and education that can lead to high-wage careers.

“I’m really excited,” Dennison said, “to come to work every day and see this organization grow and have a ‘Yes, and’ or ‘No, but’ attitude when we’re presented with various challenges or problems to solve.”

36 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE
PROFILE
$6.2 M Donna Waller 919.369.2407 Donna@IJCoastal.com Ready to Sell in 2023? Jeff Waller 508.353.7282 Jeff@IJCoastal.com LOCAL EXPERTISE, TRUSTED ADVISORS, PROVEN RESULTS Local Experts in Wrightsville Beach, Landfall, & Wilmington Presented by Donna & Jeff Waller 919.369.2407 | 508.353.7282 Donna@IJCoastal.com | Jeff@IJCoastal.com PUT THE WORLD’S MOST TRUSTED LUXURY BRAND TO WORK FOR YOU Meaghan Dennison was part of last year’s WilmingtonBiz 100 as an Influencer. This year’s group will be announced in late September and highlighted in the December issue of WilmingtonBiz Magazine.
6207 Fox Run Road
2023 R eal e state I ssue 37 wilmington bizmagazine.com Your trusted parter in digital marketing. From the team that brings you Greater Wilmington Business Journal. w b360marketing.com Turning Clicks Into Clients. 7200SQFT OF EVENT SPACE | MUSICAL PERFORMANCES | WEDDINGS | GALAS | SPEAKING EVENTS 910.352.1822 theArtWorks.co 200 Willard St, Wilmington, NC 28401 Destination AN ARTS + CULTURE

TRENDS TO WATCH

The Wilmingtonarea housing market experienced a slowdown in the number of homes sold as the Fed raised interest rates this year, but that doesn’t mean growth has stopped. Even with some market challenges, developers continue to plan and build singlefamily homes, apartments and townhomes in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties as Realtors monitor the ups and downs.

PRICE TAGS

Home prices remained on the rise in the Wilmington area as of February, even though the number of sales fell.

In February, the median price for a home in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties increased by about 15%, to more than $385,000, compared to the median amount during the same month in 2022 ($334,000).

In a Feb. 9 report, the National Association of Realtors found that among the major U.S. regions, the South saw the largest share of single-family existing-home sales (45%) in the third quarter, with a year-overyear price appreciation of nearly 5%.

But NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said of the numbers, “Even with a projected reduction in home sales this year, prices are expected to remain stable in the vast majority of the markets due to extremely limited supply.”

MORE INVENTORY?

Cameron Moore, executive officer of the Wilmington-Cape Fear Home Builders Association, said in a February interest rate discussion, “The good news is that we are starting to see some more inventory hit the market, especially on the resale side of things. Our overall pipeline of homes, particularly as builders start to move back to building specs, has and will continue to increase as well.”

The increase might not be coming fast enough. The market is staying strong, said Steve Mitchell, president of the Cape Fear Realtors, in a February news release, but the biggest challenge continues to be the lack of inventory.

He said 2023 will be a mixed market that will depend “on what happens with inventory, interest rates, the Federal Reserve and the bond market’s strength.”

38 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE TRENDS
$$$
1
2 HOUSE FOR SALE

3

MADE OF MONEY

Moore said interest rates are not the only thing affecting the construction industry.

Some materials and items are still harder to get than they used to be, and their prices have increased.

“Many of our builders continue to experience supply chain disruptions for electrical transformers, concrete, appliances, doors, windows and other building materials,” he said. “The one bright spot is lumber. During the postpandemic boom, a surge in demand and insufficient lumber supply, combined with tariffs on Canadian lumber shipments into the United States, caused prices to soar as high as $1,500 per thousand board feet. As a result of the housing downturn, supply is no longer an issue for most builders, and the price of framing lumber has fallen below $400 per thousand board feet –back to pre-pandemic levels.”

4

LABOR LEARNING

Local homebuilders are pushing to get more people into the construction field and skilled trades.

In one example, firms participated in a construction trades career fair at Cape Fear Community College’s North Campus in March.

The effort is critical, builders say, to retain the ability to complete new homes.

“On the labor front, the number of open construction positions nationally was 388,000 in November 2022, and a focus on resolving this problem will be a key issue for the industry in the coming decade,” Moore said.

He said the National Association of Home Builders “estimates that we will need 740,000 construction workers annually to account for industry expansion and industry retirements over the next three to five years.”

5

UTILITY UPGRADES

Access to reliable water and sewer is necessary for residential real estate to grow and thrive, officials say.

While hundreds of homes are planned in parts of unincorporated New Hanover County, infrastructure will be key.

“We are still in the process of utility upgrades,” said Rebekah Roth, the county’s planning and land use director. “You won’t necessarily see something on the ground (for certain projects) right away because some of those utility upgrades will need to be made before projects are actually able to be completed.”

Neighboring counties also have their infrastructure projects in the works.

Brunswick County deputy county manager Haynes

Brigman said, “A lot of utility infrastructure work we’re planning for water and sewer replacement or expansion will open up further opportunity,” during a March discussion about growth in the county’s southern portion.

2023 R eal e state I ssue 39 wilmington bizmagazine.com TRENDS

housing hop E fo R

PROFILE

PASTOR ROB CAMPBELL WORKS TO PROVIDE MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING

A

68-unit housing project for seniors adjacent to New Beginning Christian Church in Castle Hayne has been a gleam in Pastor Rob Campbell’s eye for years.

First proposed before the coronavirus pandemic and delayed in part due to rising costs, the recent approval of $1.5 million for the project by the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners was the financial shot in the arm it needed.

“The money that the county gave us pushed us over the mark,” said Campbell, a former Marine at Camp Lejeune who grew up poor in Missouri and later earned two business degrees.

In recent years, he has emerged as a key leader among faith-based nonprofits in Southeastern North Carolina.

While a groundbreaking for the project was at first expected to occur this June, it is now expected in April. The complex will be built on nearly 10 acres off Alex Trask Drive and will be open to individuals ages 55 and older whose earnings stand at no more than 60% of the area median income.

The first wave of tenants are expected to start queueing up in late 2024, with rents for one-, twoand three-bedroom units scaled to individual incomes.

Campbell notes that while New Beginning Christian Church is the primary sponsor of the project, called The Covenant, tenants do not have to be church members. “You can be a Muslim or atheist. It doesn’t matter,” Campbell said.

Wraparound services such as training on budgeting and home maintenance will be offered on-site, and some medical services will also be available.

In addition to serving as pastor at New Beginning, Campbell is also chairman of East Carolina Community Development, a nonprofit that has completed nearly 30 public-interest

projects to date. The agency leverages Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that help make projects more attractive to prospective financial partners, as the credits did with The Covenant.

THREE YEARS TO END HOMELESSNESS?

Along with his leadership on The Covenant and an earlier 200unit apartment project called Cypress Cove, Campbell is continuing to think big in his capacity as president of the Wilmington Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.

In early March, Campbell stepped up talks with Cape Fear Homeless Continuum of Care, at least two other churches and a growing group of pastors to present New Hanover County, the city of Wilmington and the New Hanover Community Endowment with a three-year vision for eliminating area homelessness.

“My last total was about 350 people in New Hanover County were unhoused,” Campbell said, suggesting that an end to the current level of homelessness could be within striking distance with the proper funding.

As part of his vision, Campbell includes 80 beds for the homeless that could become available by creating night shelters at Hope Baptist Church for All Nations and DiVine Faith & Restoration Church. Wave Transit has been asked if it could allow the homeless free rides to the shelters once they open.

This latest plan will complement the existing work of other nonprofits such as Good Shepherd Center, which is conducting a $20 million Home for Good campaign for more permanent supportive housing over the next three to five years. Funds raised would create 24 permanent supportive apartments for the chronically homeless and a dedicated family shelter, both on Martin Street; 32 permanent supportive units on Carolina Beach Road; and preserve 15 existing units.

Permanent supportive housing is tailored to serve chronically homeless single adults, many of whom are disabled, seniors, veterans or persons

2023 R eal e state I ssue 41 wilmington bizmagazine.com PROFILE

OPENINGABrandNewlocationSOON! Detailscomingsoon!

with mental health challenges.

NEWER SOURCES OF FUNDING

The shortage of affordable housing in and around the county has been a thorn in the side of housing advocates and end-users for some time. With an influx of families arriving from outside Wilmington and driving up housing prices, and with the supply of land growing scarcer and inflation biting pocketbooks, the cost of housing has put a squeeze on many renters.

Pre-pandemic, more than 50% of all renters in New Hanover County considered themselves cost-burdened, with housing-related costs standing at more than 30% of income, according to an American Community Survey study

When commissioners chose not to put a $50 million housing bond before the voters and instead committed to a five-year, $15 million general fund plan, the disappointment of housing advocates was palpable. But with Campbell’s 68-unit project and an 84-unit development on Gordon Road each receiving $1.5 million from the general fund, public opposition may

Hopes for new affordable housing also got a boost when the New Hanover Community Endowment awarded its first grants in December. The private foundation awarded a total of $974,800 for six affordable projects, including Campbell’s senior housing.

“We know that more access to affordable housing reduces intergenerational poverty, improves overall health and safety and increases economic growth, both individually and collectively,” said a statement from William Buster, CEO and president of the endowment, who noted that affordable housing reaches across all four of the foundation’s strategic areas

In New Hanover County, Campbell said, “I think the attitude toward affordable housing has shifted in a more positive way.”

42 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE
PROFILE
OFF OR FREE PICKUP! CapeFearHabitat.com/ReStore
DROP

FLOOD A AWAITS

FLOOD A AWAITS

Water has been gone from the lakes long enough to give way to nature, but the new views – while not unsightly – aren’t quite as picturesque.

Spring Lakes’ identity more than four years ago. Floodwater from the storm overpowered the dams, causing them to breach and prompting an exodus of water that hasn’t since returned.

Complicated layers of bureaucracy and a need to secure as much outside capital as possible caused the muchanticipated repair process to slug along.

But now, with the support of what

amounts to a $20 million credit line to the small city in Brunswick County because of the passage of a bond referendum in November, and millions more in pledged grant dollars from public sources, Boiling Spring Lakes residents have something tangible to look forward to.

That anticipated flow of water could bring with it buoyed residential real estate values and renewed

24 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE
As Boiling Spring Lakes prepares to regain its identity, refilling the lakes could offer the community a flood of opportunities

economic opportunities for the city and its roughly 6,200 residents.

Construction bids for the $52 million project were solicited in February, but the city had to readvertise the project in March after receiving just two proposals instead of the minimum of three needed to move forward. City officials tentatively hope work will begin in April and are pushing for an aggressive schedule with the goal of refilling the lakes by

spring 2026.

“It’s taken longer than anybody anticipated. But not for lack of effort,” said Boiling Spring Lakes Commissioner Tom Guzulaitis, who was first elected in 2019. “It felt as if you were playing a game of whacka-mole … as you cleared one hurdle, suddenly you’d have another hurdle to get through.”

The board’s goal is to not ask residents to shoulder a tax increase to

help pay for the project, but whether one will be necessary is still yet to be determined.

‘CROWN JEWEL OF THE CITY’

What has become of the community without its eponymous lakes? Residents say the area still elicits charm in its quiet, familyoriented feel, ripe with nature and the absence of congested streets.

But its missing heart is

2023 R eal e state I ssue 25 wilmington bizmagazine.com
Shellie Teubner stands on the dock of the “lakefront” she and her husband Scott purchased in August. The family moved to Boiling Spring Lakes from the Charlotte area.
26 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE Three Generations, One Mission SERVING THE CAROLINA COAST SINCE 1954 JamesEMoore.com • 910.256.5333 1508 Military Cutoff Road, Ste. 104 • Wilmington, NC 28403 WELLBEING | keeping your technology running smoothly behind the scenes. MANAGED IT SERVICES | NETWORK SECURITY | DATA BACKUP & RECOVERY 700 Military Cutoff Rd #200 | Wilmington, NC 28405 | (910) 398-6250 Book A Consult

inescapable. The most well-traveled roadway, N.C. 87, offered a glimpse of a narrow stream, bordered by thick layers of vegetation. That stream was once Patricia Lake, known to locals as “the big lake.”

“This is the crown jewel of the city,” said Hank Troscianiec, a Keller Williams real estate agent. “Without the big lake, you’re no longer Boiling Spring Lakes.”

Selling “waterfront” property initially presented complications, Troscianiec said.

“After the hurricane, there was a lot of discussions surrounding, ‘OK, how do we market this?’” he said. “You really market it as lakefront if there’s no lake?”

Disclosures in listings settled that debate, he said, as did agents being transparent with buyers about the city’s attempt to rebuild the dams. In the interim, buyers made purchasing decisions based on the belief the lakes would return.

“The values I think were largely driven by the fact that people went, ‘We think it’s coming back.’” Troscianiec

said. “And the real estate community believed it’s coming back.”

Real estate professionals disagree on whether the community’s home values were dampened by its newfound lakeless reality. But there’s consensus that the lakes’ reprisal should rise all tides.

After Florence hit the area in September 2018, and it became clear the onerous repair process wouldn’t begin anytime soon, Keller Williams real estate agent Todd Derksen said many lakefront property owners cut their ties. “They thought, ‘Oh, shoot, I’m going to lose my equity in my home,’” he recalled. “So there was a little bit of an exodus.”

Since the bond passed, “That has changed,” he said.

Derksen believes the dried lakes lowered the potential purchase price sellers would have otherwise been able to capture in the years since the storm. “Absolutely, of course it did,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it.”

By how much, exactly? “I think that’s very difficult to put a number

2023 R eal e state I ssue 27 wilmington bizmagazine.com
ph o ot c o/ .C.NsdnalsIkciwsnurBs’ BRUNSWICK
$100K $200K $300K HOME SALES MEDIAN SALE PRICE, SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL 2019 2020 2021 2022 $274,900 $245,000 $225,000 $177,250 $202,000 $289,450
Now & then: Boiling Springs Lakes’ big lake in 2023 and in 2012 (below). CO. BOLIVIA SOUTHPORT LELAND BOILING SPRING LAKES
$500K $400K $389,000 $430,500 $310,500 $315,979 $367,837 $400,000
SOURCE: BRUNSWICK COUNTY ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS

on,” he said. “I would be hesitant, but I’m very comfortable saying that it has an impact.”

Mirroring national and regional trends, real estate values in Boiling Spring Lakes and Brunswick County ballooned in recent years.

Though home values are markedly lower in Boiling Spring Lakes compared to its municipal neighbors and the county, the city’s single-family home median sale price soared at a more dramatic rate between 2019 and 2022, with a 63% boost.

Sales prices for the entire county rose 50% during that same period.

Last year, the median sale price for single-family homes in Boiling Spring Lakes was about $289,000, far steeper than the $177,000 during the year following the hurricane. Meanwhile, the singlefamily home median sale price last year in Brunswick County was about $368,000; in Leland was roughly $352,000; in Bolivia was nearly $328,000; and in Southport was $430,500.

But there’s almost no way to tie Boiling Spring Lakes sales data, or lack thereof, to the lakes being gone, said Cynthia Walsh, CEO of the Brunswick County Association of Realtors. “Also, it would be unfair to impossible to guess how much more a home would have sold for,” she said.

BANKING ON THE FUTURE

A factor that has played in the city’s favor from a demand perspective, real estate professionals say, is

homeowners being priced out of nearby markets.

Guzulaitis, who is also a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, said about half of his clients fit in this category. The other half is discovering the region from out-of-state.

Shellie and Scott Teubner purchased their “lakefront” home in August. Both working in remotefriendly roles, the Teubners jumped on the option to escape bottlenecks in Cornelius, a Charlotte suburb.

“The traffic is terrible. We were just wanting to get out of it,” Shellie Teubner said. “It’s just a dream that I’ve had of moving coastal for a while. And with our jobs, we just had the opportunity. So we just decided to go for it.”

The Teubners said they voted in favor of the lakes bond referendum, which passed with about 1,700 votes in favor and 920 against. Though the dam rebuilding wasn’t guaranteed at the time of their purchase, Shellie Teubner said they felt confident in their chances.

“I don’t think we would have purchased the house without knowing that the lake was going to come back,” she said. “To have a lake in our backyard eventually, I’m going to be

beside myself.”

Since moving in, she picked up coaching the local basketball and soccer team, which helped her 9-year-old daughter make new friends. “It seems to be really family oriented. The community has welcomed us,” she said. “It's a very home-like feel.”

Her husband recently put in an offer to purchase the empty lot next door on South Shore Drive, with plans to keep it vacant. “There’s hardly any traffic,” Scott Teubner said. “There’s a breeze blowing every day.”

When the lake fills in, he hopes to buy jet skis and a pontoon boat, fix up the gazebo and dock and install a fire pit by the water. Crews have begun clearing flora on the next lake over, he said, and will soon make their way to his backyard. “It won’t be long before it’s gone,” he said of the vegetation.

While Scott Teubner said he believes the lakes’ return will increase his property value, it doesn’t really matter – they want to retire there.

“I think in the next five years, it’s really going to bloom,” Shellie Teubner said of the city’s growth opportunities. “Maybe 10.”

Before the lakes fill in, Guzulaitis said the case could be made from a buyer and value standpoint to act

sooner rather than later.

“We’re such a net importer of people to this county to begin with, and when the lakes are restored, certainly Boiling Spring Lakes at that point in time will become, I think, a pretty highly sought-after destination,” he said.

In the first couple of years post-Florence, Guzulaitis said the driedout conditions likely precluded some would-be buyers from considering the area and prompted a handful of homeowners to leave. “Certainly, there was some turnover, but I wouldn't say it was huge,” he said.

A work opportunity in Wilmington drove Tyler Crenshaw to relocate his family from Fayetteville to the area in January 2022.

They happened upon a private “waterfront” fixer-upper on North Shore Drive but weren’t dissuaded by the dry backyard. Experience with a twice-washed-out Hope Mills Lake outside of Fayetteville meant Crenshaw was familiar with the government-led dam rebuilding process.

“I bought it knowing it was going to take a while for that to come back,” he said. “I looked at it as a buffer in case the market went down, I would still have the fact that it has the potential to be lakefront.”

Crenshaw also voted in favor of the bond referendum – “for obvious reasons,” he said. Now, he said he looks forward to building a small dock where he can keep his johnboat. “It’s sitting in the backyard,” he said, “waiting to go into the water.”

28 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE
AFTER THE HURRICANE, THERE WAS A LOT OF DISCUSSIONS SURROUNDING, ‘OK, HOW DO WE MARKET THIS?’ YOU REALLY MARKET IT AS LAKEFRONT IF THERE’S NO LAKE?”
HANK TROSCIANIEC KELLER WILLIAMS REAL ESTATE AGENT
2023 R eal e state I ssue 29 wilmington bizmagazine.com
30 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE Purchase or Refinance your home with Excite and save money. Take advantage of Excite’s $500 credit towards your closing costs! Earn an additional $250 towards your home purchase or refinance with our Fast Track Rewards Program.* Visit excitecu.org or 800.232.8669 for details. EARN REWARDS WITH MONAKA JACKSON I SENIOR MORTGAGE LOAN ORIGINATOR Whether you are buying or refinancing a home, Monaka will provide you with the support and attention you deserve, knowing that time is of the essence when it comes to real estate. *$250 Fast Track Rewards for 5-day mortgage application completion. All credits will be applied at the time of closing if requirements are met. Insured by NCUA. © 20 2 b Explore two of our fabulous Liberty Senior Living communities. CarolinaBayatAutumnHall com BrightmoreofWilmington com 910 541 8538 9 1 0 5 0 7 7 3 8 4 A L e P an Commun ty of e ed by L berty Sen or Liv ng Ret rement L v ng Cho ces o fered by L berty Sen or L v ng Sometimes, happiness is finding the key to the right home 910.541.8538 CarolinaBayatAutumnHall.com 910.507-7384 BrightmoreofWimington.com "Try everything! Everbody is welcoming, there is no judgement and the classes give you confidence!" "Brightmore provides a lifestyle of variety If you can't find something you like, you're not looking hard enough." Carolina Bay resident Brightmore resident

Hundreds of units are in the pipeline, but why is there so much demand?

Apartmentcomplexity

IT’S A FAMILIAR PATTERN: FOLLOWING THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF ANY NEW APARTMENT DEVELOPMENT, AREA RESIDENTS SCRATCH THEIR HEADS AND ASK WHY MORE APARTMENTS ARE RISING. THERE ARE COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF MORE NOISE AND SNARLED TRAFFIC.

But the demand for apartment living seems to be ceaseless as the region’s population continues to grow.

In early March, plans were unveiled for a 72-unit complex on Carolina Beach Road in Wilmington, and more than 500 multifamily units are planned along Blue Clay Road in northern New Hanover County. New apartments are rising in the Leland area, as well as farther south in Brunswick County, and crews are working on apartment buildings in Pender County’s Hampstead community and beyond.

“There has been a lot (of apartment construction) in

the last 10 to 11 years,” said Bill Schoettelkotte, head of multifamily development for Wilmington-based Cape Fear Commercial. “Before that, there was very little new apartment development since The Reserve at Mayfaire in 2005. The recession hit, and nothing was being built. In late 2011, we started The Headwaters at Autumn Hall: There was a boom with low interest rates and, at the time, low construction costs. We and other developers kept building, rents kept increasing and – in the last three to four years –construction costs went through the roof.”

Schoettelkotte noted that, even with relatively higher interest rates and construction costs, the building boom, and in-migration, continue.

“The pandemic brought people who could work from anywhere,” he said. “If you worked for a company in New York and were living up there, all of a sudden you could work from here and get a ‘pay raise’ because of the lower cost of living. The pandemic, combined with cheap money, accelerated (migration to Wilmington.)”

2023 R eal e state I ssue 31 wilmington bizmagazine.com
Poolside at 17 Social apartments in midtown Wilmington

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

As developers and local officials tackle the issue of affordable housing, some apartments are being added to the area's small stock.

STARWAY VILLAGE

2346 Carolina Beach Road

Size : 278 units

Est. cost of project: $70 million

Income requirements: 60% of the area median income

Status : Construction is expected to start this summer.

RESIDENCE AT CANOPY POINTE

205 Middle Sound Loop Road

Size: 72 units on 5 acres

Est. cost of project: $15 million

Income requirements: Up to 80% of area median income

Status: Under construction; expected to open in Jan. 2024

ESTRELLA LANDING

4615 Gordon Road

Size: 84 units on 5.7 acres

Est. cost of project: $20 million

Income requirements: 25% of units are targeted to 30% area median income; the rest to 60%

Status: Construction underway, expected to be complete by Jan./Feb. 2024

Porter Jones, of DPJ Residential, who was involved in the development of multiple apartment communities in Wilmington, including 17 Social on South 17th Street, continues to look for potential apartment projects in Wilmington.

In a 2021 Greater Wilmington Business Journal article, Jones said, “If Wilmington continues to be an attractive place for people to move to, I believe demand for apartments, both urban and suburban, will continue to be strong.”

A 2022 study published by RentCafe, a nationwide apartment search website, quantified demand for apartments in various North Carolina metros. Wilmington was fourth highest, with 12 renters competing for each vacant apartment in the area. Asheville ranked first, followed by Fayetteville and Greenville.

Some people who want to live in a single-family home have ended up as apartment dwellers, as increasing demand from newcomers for single-family homes slammed into the reality of labor and materials shortages. Some prospective homebuyers have been priced out of the market as home prices and mortgage interest rates have risen. Renting an apartment becomes a short- or even long-term solution.

“We’ve seen a lot of that. People are building a house and need a place to live. Or they’re not sure where they want to be. Or they can’t find a house in their price range. They rent in the meantime,” Schoettelkotte said.

Brunswick County’s planning director agrees and points to a demographic group that might seek out a multifamily development.

“People are relocating here by the masses, and a lot of them are seniors,” said Kirstie Dixon. “They need somewhere to go, at least in the short term. Multifamily housing has more services and no yard to maintain. The majority of (these developments) have amenities.”

There’s a segment of the market looking for just that type of living: amenity-rich, with few maintenance

tasks. These are people who are ready to downsize and give up the responsibilities of home and yard maintenance, said McKay Siegel, partner with East West Partners. This demographic may rent an apartment or purchase a condominium.

“Condo residents are often older, single people,” he said. “They make friends with their neighbors and have a de facto social club.”

East West Partners, which has partnered with the city of Wilmington to build apartments, condos and commercial space downtown, is building a 346-unit apartment complex on a former golf driving range along Oleander Drive. The development, dubbed The Range, will be a mixed-use complex with 13,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

“We don’t create the market for multifamily,” Siegel said. “We’re not going to build if there’s no market. Nationally, the homeownership rate is 65%; in Wilmington, it’s 45%.”

A few years ago, multifamily developments in Brunswick County were the exception, but they are on the rise now. While residential development in Leland continues to be primarily single-family detached homes, the town is seeing more growth in townhomes and duplexes, and several large apartment complexes have joined the housing mix, said Benjamin Andrea, Leland’s director of planning and inspections.

Andrea said that while apartment development slowed during 2021 and 2022, Leland has several projects in the approval process totaling just under 1,400 units.

Brunswick County’s Dixon ticks off several other apartment projects going in along Southport-Supply Road and in the N.C. 211 corridor. She cautions that “multifamily” should not be confused with “affordable.”

“The majority of these new multifamily developments have amenities; a lot of them are amenity based, which makes them not quite as affordable,” she said. “There are a lot of luxury apartments. It’s probably no longer true that home prices and

32 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE

rent costs are lower in Leland than in Wilmington.”

This reality means that many firefighters, police officers, preschool teachers, health care workers and hospitality industry employees, among others, will still find it difficult to find housing near where they work in New Hanover County. Nick Pylypiw, chief data officer for Cape Fear Collective, said his organization’s definition of affordable is housing costs that total no more than 30% of a household’s income.

“An income of $42,000 is required for a household to afford a (typical) two-bedroom apartment in New Hanover County,” he added.

But there’s another way of looking at new apartment stock, even if it’s not affordable by many segments of service industry workers, Pylypiw added. Those new renters won’t be taking older, less-expensive housing stock away from people who have few other options.

“They won’t be knocking down a house on the Southside, taking that house that’s affordable to somebody,” he said. “In the Greenfield Lake area, developers are paying cash, and sometimes the owners don’t know what their house is worth. Then those places are being knocked down.”

The replacement homes are often more expensive than the previous owners can afford, meaning that the former owners must move farther away from their communities and workplaces to find affordable housing.

The city of Wilmington offers incentives in the form of density waivers and occasionally zoning adjustments to multifamily developers who earmark a percentage of their units for lower-income tenants. Such is the case at The Range. East West Partners will set aside 10% of its apartments as affordable housing, Siegel said.

“I can put 350 people on 15 acres near where they want to be, versus on 120 acres farther away,” Siegel said. “What is best for traffic?”

2023 R eal e state I ssue 33 wilmington bizmagazine.com
$16 MILLION The combined tax value of affordable homes WARM NC saved last year. Volunteer or donate and join our mission! warmnc.org WILMINGTON APARTMENTS
NUMBERS WILMINGTON APARTMENT RENT RANGES $701 - $1,100 $1,001 - $1,500 $1,501 - $2,000 > $2,000 %1 %36 %46 %16 WILMINGTON OCCUPIED HOUSING UNITS RENTER-OCCUPIED OWNER-OCCUPIED %54 %46 14 WILMINGTON'S RANKING AMONG TOP 50 U.S. CITIES TO FIND NEW APARTMENTS # AVERAGE RENT IN WILMINGTON
$ 961 AVEARGE APARTMENT SIZE
PERCENTAGE OF OCCUPIED APARTMENTS
BY THE
1,654
sq ft 92.8 %
RENTCAFE
SOURCE:
2023 R eal e state I ssue 43 wilmington bizmagazine.com MARKET
WILMINGTON AREA RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE HIGHLIGHTS
1 5 3 2 $10,000,000 260 BEACH ROAD N., FIGURE EIGHT ISLAND 5,579 $9,500,000 6 BEACH ROAD S., FIGURE EIGHT ISLAND 4,933 $7,395,000 56 PELICAN DRIVE, WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH 4,989 $6,750,000 258 BEACH ROAD N., FIGURE EIGHT ISLAND 3,536 $5,900,000 7319 CAROLINA BEACH ROAD, WILMINGTON 10,690 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 SQ FT SQ FT PRICE PRICE ADDRESS ADDRESS $5,900,000 15 AUGUST ST., WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH 3,942 $5,647,000 19 RALEIGH ST., WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH 3,722 $5,500,000 62 BEACH ROAD S., FIGURE EIGHT ISLAND 3,093 $5,400,000 765 S. LUMINA AVE., WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH 2,856 $5,350,000 3 AUDITORIUM CIRCLE, WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH 4,340 SOURCE: N.C. REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE AND PUBLIC RECORDS
SNAPSHOT
TOP 10 HOME SALES 0F 2022
44 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE SIDES* VOLUME $ AVERAGE $ COLDWELL BANKER SEA COAST ADVANTAGE 5,336 $2,094,134,733 $392,454 INTRACOASTAL REALTY CORP. 3,059 $1,582,028,120 $517,172 KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY 2,550.5 $1,013,673,322 $397,441 BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES CAROLINA PREMIER PROPERTIES 1,289.5 $466,448,202 $361,728 EXP REALTY 1,024 $405,966,354 $396,452 NEST REALTY 642 $329,890,232 $513,848 LANDMARK SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY 319 $326,176,324 $1,022,496 RE/MAX ESSENTIAL 537.5 $237,928,755 $442,658 BLUECOAST REALTY CORP. 519.5 $236,420,430 $455,092 RE/MAX AT THE BEACH 592.5 $193,851,235 $327,175 RE/MAX EXECUTIVE 412.5 $179,634,954 $435,479 COASTAL REALTY ASSOCIATES 353 $157,539,255 $446,287 MARGARET RUDD & ASSOCIATES 402.5 $148,688,597 $369,413 PROACTIVE REAL ESTATE 456 $148,543,156 $325,753 ST. JAMES PROPERTIES LLC 300.5 $138,523,588 $460,977 SOURCE: N.C. REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE FOR NEW HANOVER, BRUNSWICK AND PENDER COUNTIES FOR 2022 AS OF JAN. 23, 2023. DOES NOT INCLUDE SALES OUTSIDE THE MLS. 1 2 4 6 8 10 12 3 5 7 14 13 11 9 15 TOP 15 RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE FIRMS BY VOLUME IN 2022 *SIDES COUNT THE BUYING OR SELLING SIDE OF A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION MARKET SNAPSHOT www.RIVERLANDING.com | 888.285.4171 T O P R A T E D R E S I D E N T I A L , G O L F , A N D E V E N T C O M M U N I T Y Eastern North Carolina’s

TOP 15 AGENTS in 2022 BY VOLUME for NEW HANOVER, BRUNSWICK & PENDER COUNTIES

2023 R eal e state I ssue 45 wilmington bizmagazine.com MARKET SNAPSHOT
SOURCE: N.C. REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE THE JENNIFER BULLOCK TEAM, RE/MAX EXECUTIVE 185 $78,382,447 KBT REALTY GROUP, KELLER WILLIAMS 191.5 $67,229,749 JERRY HELMS, BRUNSWICK FOREST REALTY 204.5 $67,062,692 WENDY WILMOT, WENDY WILMOT PROPERTIES 51.5 $64,011,709 KIM ANDERSON, ART SKIPPER REALTY 235 $63,380,684 HARDEE HUNT & WILLIAMS REAL ESTATE 38.5 $55,723,500 THE SHANE REGISTER TEAM, COLDWELL BANKER SEA COAST ADVANTAGE 136.5 $55,664,042 LANIER PROPERTY GROUP, INTRACOASTAL REALTY CORP. 112 $54,855,261 DOMIN & SCHWARTZ REAL ESTATE GROUP, RE/MAX EXECUTIVE 125 $54,636,552 NICK PHILLIPS GROUP, LANDMARK SOTHEBY'S INTERNATIONAL REALTY 40.5 $53,027,000 VANCE YOUNG, INTRACOASTAL REALTY CORP. 179 $156,742,105 KEITH BEATTY, INTRACOASTAL REALTY CORP. 253 $137,447,347 THE RISING TIDE TEAM, INTRACOASTAL REALTY CORP. 231 $105,323,894 THE CHEEK TEAM, KELLER WILLIAMS 183 $102,989,264 HANK TROSCIANIEC & ASSOCIATES, KELLER WILLIAMS 228 $92,474,421 1 2 4 6 8 10 12 3 5 7 14 13 11 9 15 SIDES* SIDES VOLUME $ VOLUME $ * SIDES COUNT THE BUYING OR SELLING SIDE OF A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION

* THIS LIST DOES NOT INCLUDE SOME CLOSINGS, SUCH AS LOT CLOSINGS OR THOSE UNDER ASSUMED NAMES, SPECIAL ENTITIES OR LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANIES WITH DIFFERENT NAMES.

46 W ilmington B iz MAGAZINE MARKET SNAPSHOT A Leading Wilmington Investment Boutique (910) 763-4113 | SouthAtlanticCap.com 1900 Eastwood Rd #14, Wilmington, NC 28403 Don’t let a rocky market scare you. You deserve an “all weather” investment strategy Verified 30-year record of market outperformance* *South Atlantic Capital claims compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®). GIPS is a registered trademark of the CFA Institute, which does not endorse or promote South Atlantic, nor does it warrant the accuracy or quality of the content contained herein. To receive a GIPS Report for our Core Equity Composite, please call us or visit our website. Market performance is the total annualized return of the S&P 500 Index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. TOP RESIDENTIAL BUILDERS BY CLOSINGS 18 D.R. HORTON 693 $359,767 PULTE HOMES 236 $465,364 H & H HOMES 217 $311,426 BILL CLARK HOMES 202 $424,433 LOGAN HOMES 143 $487,122 CLAYTON PROPERTIES GROUP 124 $462,456 STEVEN FINE HOMES 122 $320,361 MCKEE HOMES 117 $364,115 LENNAR HOMES 89 $378,472 HARDISON BUILDING COMPANY 63 $565,810 AMERICAN HOMESMITH 52 $495,981 CAVINESS & CATES 39 $422,808 KIRK PIGFORD CONSTRUCTION 36 $334,375 WINDSOR HOMES 31 $375,887 RIPTIDE BUILDERS 30 $497,367 CENTURY COMPLETE 29 $270,483 TRUSST BUILDERS 21 $309,429 A. SYDES CONSTRUCTION 21 $373,381 HERRINGTON HOMES 18 $355,711 2022 CLOSINGS AVERAGE PRICE 17 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 1 2022 CLOSINGS AVERAGE PRICE 2022 CLOSINGS AVERAGE PRICE SOURCE: ZONDA 17 18 NEW HANOVER, BRUNSWICK & PENDER COUNTIES 2022 *

PLUGGED in

HIGH-TECH TOUCHES WEREN’T THE ONLY THING DECKED OUT in the HGTV Smart Home last year. The 3,000-square-foot house with three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms also featured a state-of-the-art kitchen, wet bar, wrap-around porch, pool, pergola and more. And the modern cottage – built by Charter Building Group – showcased looks by interior designer and HGTV host Tiffany Brooks. The national channel picked Wilmington, or more specifically Castle Hayne’s River Bluffs neighborhood, last year as the site of its annual sweepstakes. (This year’s house is in Santa Fe, New Mexico.) A teacher from Columbia, South Carolina, won the giveaway, which also included a Mercedes-Benz and $100,000. The house later went on the market and sold in October.

THE TAKEAWAY
wilmington bizmagazine.com 2023 R eal e state I ssue 47
photo c/o HGTV
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.