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Tennessean: First look: $120M first phase of Northside McEwen in Cool Springs starts

April 25, 2017

by Getahn Ward - Click to view original article

April 25, 2017

Site work is underway for construction of the $120 million first phase of Northside McEwen, which overall will bring offices, apartments, a hotel, restaurant/retail spaces and greenspace to 45 acres in Cool Springs.

On Tuesday developers Boyle Investment Co. and Northwood Ravin provided the first glimpse of the mixed-use development. The first phase, which is targeted for completion next year, will include 200,000 square feet of offices, 26,000 square feet of retail space, three restaurant pads and 330 upscale apartment units.

"With an under 3 percent retail vacancy in the Brentwood/Cool Springs submarket, there's still demand in that market for good quality development," said David Baker, a principal in Nashville-based retail-focused real estate firm Baker Storey McDonald Properties, who isn't involved with the Northside McEwen project.

Road improvements at the Northside McEwen site, which is west of the McEwen Drive and Interstate 65 interchange, will include extending Aspen Grove Drive from Jordan Road to McEwen Drive. Also, Northside McEwen will be connected to Cool Springs Boulevard. And a traffic signal planned at McEwen and Aspen Grove will connect the Whole Foods-anchored shopping center across the street to Northside McEwen.

Phil Fawcett, a partner with Boyle Investment, said Northside McEwen blends together an active lifestyle with work, rest and play by delivering a walkable, intimate and vibrant urban experience in the suburbs.

David Ravin, CEO of North Carolina-based multifamily developer, builder and property manager Northwood Ravin, said the apartment units planned at Northside McEwen will include 10-foot ceilings, designer kitchens and bathrooms, elevator access, a large health and fitness center, spa, resort pool and resident club. "Everything an active lifestyle commands is at the doorstep of the luxury residences," he added.

Overall, Northside McEwen will be a multi-phased, $270 million development with roughly 750,000 square feet of office, more than 100,000 square feet of restaurants and specialty retail, a 150-room hotel, 580 upscale apartment units and greenspaces.


Northwood Ravin Starting Construction on their latest Triangle Project

February 21, 2017

Site work has started on Van Alen Apartments & 555 Mangum

Durham, N.C. / February 21, 2017

Northwood Ravin LLC (Northwood Ravin), one of the premier multifamily companies in the Southeast, has started construction on the first phase of their latest Durham project, Van Alen an exciting mixed-use project with high-rise residential, office and retail. The project is located at the corner of Mangum Street and Dillard Street immediately adjacent to the American Tobacco District and the Durham Bulls stadium in Downtown Durham. Site work has also started on the second phase of the project, 555 Mangum, which will be a 245,000 SF trophy-class office and retail tower at the corner of Mangum Street and Jackie Robinson Drive. Van Alen will be a 418-unit luxury apartment community consisting of studio, one, two, and three bedroom floor plans. The community will be developed along a pedestrian-focused internal drive and is designed around two central courtyard plazas and will include 74 units in a 12-story high-rise tower, a first floor club and amenity center, and a 12th floor rooftop indoor-outdoor sky lounge. The remaining 344 units will be in a 5-story building surrounding an elevated pool courtyard and a second outdoor amenity deck atop a 2-story podium parking garage.

Adam Golden, Vice President of Northwood Ravin, believes this project will help redefine Durham’s skyline. “The energy created by the American Tobacco campus, the Durham Bulls, the Durham Performing Arts Center, and the exploding downtown food and art scene have made Durham one of the most exciting places in the Triangle. We view Van Alen, and the second phase 555 Mangum, as the next step in downtown Durham’s evolution. We have worked hard with our team to design a project that expands on the excitement and energy that is Downtown Durham, but also stays true to its unique character and culture while, literally, pushing to new heights of experience. Van Alen will offer unique floor plans, indoor and outdoor amenities, and provide spectacular views of downtown and the neighboring baseball stadium…all within a 3-minute walk to numerous restaurants and entertainment venues, and with immediate access to the Durham Freeway.”

Van Alen Apartments
The new luxury apartments, the first of which are anticipated to be ready for occupancy in mid-2018, will feature two distinct living options. The exclusive tower units will feature floor to ceiling glass windows, upgraded tile and plank floors, tray ceilings, and extra-large balconies in select floor plans. The mid-rise units will feature a variety of upgraded details including spa-inspired bathrooms, 10’ ceilings, upgraded kitchens with double upper cabinets, and glass barn doors.

The community will be complemented by a resident gym and wellness center, complete with men’s and women’s saunas and steam rooms, cardio, free weight and cross fit areas, and a private fitness studio. Van Alen will also feature a large first floor amenity lounge with game room, cyber café, resident conference rooms, and an indoor sky lounge on the 12th floor. Private garages within the parking deck, and extra storage will be available. Van Alen features an outdoor sky deck on the 12th floor overlooking the Durham skyline, daily sunsets and home plate. Other outdoor features include an elevated pool courtyard with two outdoor kitchens, an elevated amenity lawn with water feature, outdoor kitchen and relaxed seating areas, and a private outdoor dog park.

Northwood Ravin will act as general contractor for Van Alen. Van Alen will be Northwood Ravin’s 7th apartment community in Raleigh-Durham. Northwood Ravin currently owns and manages the Bradford Apartments in Cary and the Apartments at Palladian Place in south Durham. Northwood Ravin is also under construction with Carolina Square, a mixed-use project in the heart of Franklin Street, and Carraway Village a mixed-use project at the intersection of I-40 and NC86 both in Chapel Hill. Northwood Ravin developed and constructed St. Mary’s Square in Downtown Raleigh and Lofts at Weston Lakeside in Cary. Northwood Ravin third party manages Trinity Commons in Durham as well as Cosgrove Hill, Chapel Hill North and Chapel Watch Village in Chapel Hill.


Northwood Ravin Starting Construction on their 6th Charlotte Project

January 11, 2017

Site work has started on 550 Stonewall

Charlotte, N.C. / January 11, 2017

Northwood Ravin LLC (Northwood Ravin), one of the premier multifamily companies in the Southeast, has started construction on their sixth Charlotte community, 550 Stonewall, located at the corner of Caldwell Street and East Stonewall Street in Uptown Charlotte. 550 Stonewall will be a 421-unit community consisting of luxury studio, one, two, and three bedroom apartments. The community will be developed around a central courtyard plaza and will consist of 143 units in a 20-story tower that will also include first floor retail space, a 3rd floor exercise deck, a 4th floor dog park, and a 20th floor rooftop bar. The remaining 278 units will be in a separate 4-story building surrounding an elevated pool and lounge deck atop a 3-story podium parking deck.

Mike Wilson, Vice President of Northwood Ravin, is anticipating this project will help define the entry into Uptown from South Boulevard. “The Stonewall corridor will see unprecedented growth over the next several years. Our team has worked hard to design a community that compliments this high profile gateway location. In addition to offering unique floor plans and amenities, we have focused a great deal on the pedestrian experience around and through our site. People walking up and down Stonewall will have the alternate option of walking through our community and experiencing central urban gardens with integral seating areas and a feature fountain overlooked by a monumental stair. Integrated with the urban gardens is a formal vehicular drop off and pick up plaza, creating a true sense of arrival for residents and visitors.”

550 Stonewall
The new luxury apartments, the first of which are anticipated to be ready for occupancy in mid-2018, will feature two distinct living options. The tower units will feature floor to ceiling glass windows, tile floors, coffered ceilings, and gas cooking and heating. The low rise units will feature a variety of upgraded details including rain shower heads in spa-inspired bathrooms, 10’ ceilings, upgraded kitchens with double upper cabinets, and glass barn doors.

The community will be complimented by an 8,000 SF resident gym and wellness center, complete with an indoor pool, men’s and women’s sauna and steam rooms, and private fitness studios. 550 Stonewall will also offer a full sized golf simulator experience and lounge, two private dog parks, a central 24-hour concierge, and select private garages within the parking deck.

550 Stonewall will offer 6,400 SF of ground floor retail, 11,000 SF of second floor office, and a 1,850 SF roof top private bar and kitchen located on the 20th floor with a 1,950 SF outdoor deck overlooking Uptown Charlotte.

Northwood Ravin will act as general contractor for 550 Stonewall. 550 Stonewall will be Northwood Ravin’s sixth apartment community in Charlotte. Northwood Ravin currently owns and manages the Vue Charlotte in Uptown, the Village at Commonwealth in Plaza-Midwood, Pinehurst on Providence in Southpark, and the Apartments at Holly Crest in Huntersville, NC. Northwood Ravin is also under construction with Providence Row apartments immediately adjacent to Pinehurst on Providence. Northwood Ravin third party manages Catalyst in Uptown, Birkdale Village Apartments in Huntersville, and Crosland Greens along South Boulevard.


Tennessean: North Gulch's Capitol View surges ahead, after securing $73 million loan

December 7, 2016

by Getahn Ward - Click to view original article

December 7, 2016

Work is set to start Wednesday on the next phase of the Capitol View mixed-use development in the North Gulch, for which the lending arm of site owner Northwestern Mutual provided a $73 million construction loan.

That $115 million phase is planned for 4.5 acres, including the former Hansen Chrysler Plymouth Jeep-Eagle dealership site across 11th Avenue North from hospital chain HCA's new office building at 1100 Charlotte Ave.

Plans call for 378 apartments, 60,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, 40,000 feet of second-floor loft-style offices and a 1,000-space parking garage, all starting without tenants in hand. Capitol View's multifamily residential partner Northwood Ravin will develop the apartments, which will include a 21,000-square-foot amenity deck with a view of the state Capitol building as well as a music room, a wine room and a golf simulator.

"We're taking the definition of multifamily apartment development in downtown to a new level," said Jeff Haynes, a partner with Boyle Nashville, overseer of the Capitol View project for Northwestern Mutual. "We'd love to have a combination of LifeWay workers and HCA workers who want to live on-site and walk to work."

The 32-acre Capitol View mixed-use development will represent a capital investment of $750 million, of which 70 percent is now committed with the start to construction on what's known as "Block D." The overall $750 million includes the $200 million HCA spent on the recently dedicated new headquarters for its HealthTrust, Sarah Cannon and Parallon subsidiaries and the cost of LifeWay Christian Resources' $90 million new corporate offices under construction at the northwest corner of 11th Avenue North and Jo Johnston Avenue.

Hoar Construction is general contractor for the upcoming $115 million, 4.5-acre phase of Capitol View, which is expected to be completed in fall 2018. That project at the northeast corner of Charlotte and 11th will include a 29,000-square-foot retail box that could be added later to accommodate a grocery store or other large uses.

The rest of the commercial space in the upcoming phase will be for restaurants and specialty and service retail to support Capitol View and the surrounding community, including places for downtown workers to have lunch or dinner. All eight to nine restaurants expected to occupy a portion of that space will have outdoor patios.

In the spring, construction is expected to start on 24,000 square feet of ground-floor retail with 300,000 square feet of office space above it on what's called "Block E" of Capitol View at the northeast corner of Nelson Merry Street and 11th Avenue North. Plans also call for an urban activity park, with a dog park among the amenities.


Northwood Ravin Announces Newest Project in Charlotte, NC

October 24, 2016

Oct 24, 2016

Northwood Ravin LLC (Northwood Ravin), one of the premier multifamily developers in the Southeast, has started site work for their newest project, Providence Row, located along Providence Road in Charlotte, NC. Providence Row will be a 326-unit community consisting of luxury one, two, and three bedroom apartments located near the corner of Providence Road and Fairview Road, and beside Pinehurst on Providence (also a Northwood Ravin property). The location nestled among Myers Park, SouthPark, and Cotswold is ideal for this mid-rise community. Despite having zoning approval to build a taller project, Northwood Ravin has instead elected to design a four-story project situated around a large central courtyard.

Michael Gribble, Senior Development Manager of Northwood Ravin, is anticipating this project to be quite a draw for the neighborhood- especially along this section of Providence Road, which is poised for a lot of growth over the next few years. “Our team worked really hard to design a community that combined the residential architecture you see in Charlotte’s most established neighborhoods along Providence Road with well thought-out floor plans, stylish finishes, and a host of amenities, particularly the central courtyard, that are unlike anything else in Charlotte. Add in the Fresh Market retail expansion that is coming across the street and also the proposed mixed use development adjacent to Providence Row, and there is a lot to be excited about with this project.”

Pinehurst on Providence
Providence Row has started construction on a portion of land already owned by Northwood Ravin. This land was formerly part of the 407 unit Pinehurst on Providence apartment community. Purchased by Northwood Ravin in 2014, Northwood Ravin is demolishing 152 units for the new Providence Row project. The remaining 255 units at Pinehurst on Providence have been undergoing a major interior and exterior renovation. The upgraded units now feature stainless steel appliances, granite-inspired countertops, hardwood style flooring and brand new paint schemes. In addition the Pinehurst on Providence community offers one of largest apartment swimming pools in Charlotte in addition to a large pet park and multi-purpose playing field. The leasing office for Pinehurst on Providence is located at 3904 Providence Road.

Providence Row
The new luxury apartments, the first of which are anticipated to be ready for occupancy in mid-2018, will feature interiors with a variety of upgraded details including tray ceilings in the bedrooms, large private balconies, optional sunrooms, rain shower heads in spa-inspired bathrooms, pendant lighting, white Carrera marble countertops, tile backsplashes, Stainless Steel Energy Star appliances and electronic entry locks.

The residences will be complimented by a 20,000 square foot resort-style club that includes a wine room with a tasting area and wine lockers for residents, a fitness and spa area complete with a sauna, a steam room, and a private massage room, a social room with billiards, shuffle board, and a golf simulator, and a large outdoor patio overlooking the football field-sized central courtyard. The courtyard features a natural stream, a saltwater pool and a tanning shelf with covered cabanas nearby, outdoor kitchen and lounge area, full activity yard with lawn games and a fire pit.

The latest in apartment design combined with the amenities is intended to deliver a new era of upscale living to the residents of Providence Row. And, similar to other Northwood Ravin developments, the project will seek a sustainability certification by including green features such as iPhone compatible programmable thermostats, low-E windows, energy-efficient lighting and water conserving landscaping. With the location and the features that are being included, the team expects that monthly rents will range between $1,300 for a one bedroom up to $3,000 for a premium three bedroom unit.


Nashville Business Journal: Boyle reveals first glimpse of major Cool Springs development

October 21, 2016

by Adam Sichko - Click to view original article

Oct 21, 2016, 2:21pm CDT

The developers tag-teaming a $270 million development on one of the largest undeveloped properties in Cool Springs are embarking on the first quarter of that project.

New filings with the city of Franklin show that Northwood Ravin, of Charlotte, and Boyle Investment Co. plan to create 338 residential units and a seven-story office building on a back corner of the Northside at McEwen property, at 1130 W. McEwen Dr., across from the Whole Foods in Franklin.

Their plans include 180,000 square feet of office space, 28,000 square feet of retail and a pair of parking garages totaling a combined 1,124 parking spaces. The project is on the Oct. 27 agenda of the Franklin Municipal Planning Commission.

Northwood Ravin paid $27 million for the land in January, a year-and-a-half after the previous owner sought to offload it. Two other suitors dropped their purchase contracts before Northwood Ravin completed its deal, and then brought in Boyle Investment Co. The two have teamed on other projects, including Boyle's Capitol View development downtown. They announced their partnership on this project in August.

The Northside at McEwen site represents one of the biggest projects on our Williamson Watch development map. Overall, the city has already approved the property for a total of 750,000 square feet of office space, 100,000 square feet of restaurants and retail, a 150-room hotel and 580 residential units.


Daily TarHeel: Construction on three projects in downtown Chapel Hill continues into school year

August 22, 2016

by Shanatan Krovvidi - Click to view original article

August 22, 2016 10:48 PM

Major construction projects in downtown Chapel Hill are still underway as school starts. Traffic delays will ease when a Rosemary Street project ends in a few months, but Carolina Square and the AC Hotel won't be ready until summer 2017.

Carolina Square
Carolina Square is a $120 million mixed-used development project that includes three buildings, a public square and more than 200,000 square feet of ofÖce, retail and residential space.

“We have made great progress this summer,” said Jeff Furman, vice president of development at Northwood Ravin, the construction company working on the project. “We are just about to pour the completion of the ofÖce building.”

The two other buildings, which will house the residential units, are in the process of being framed, he said.

Chapel Hill Town Council member Michael Parker said the project will enhance Chapel Hill’s atmosphere with more retail options and increased public space.

“I think having the stores, particularly Target, will provide some really useful options for folks who would like to do more shopping downtown,” he said. “There will be about an acre of open space in Carolina Square interior, so we’ll have sort of that town square we’ve been looking for.”

One of the more significant retail options coming to Carolina Square is Target, which will contain downtown's only true grocery store.

Council member Nancy Oates said a grocery store in the heart of downtown will be very beneficial for the town.

“I have pushed for a long time for a downtown grocery store as we’ve been adding more apartments and residential units downtown,” she said. “It’s not going to be a full service grocery, but it certainly will help.”

With a tax value estimated to be $106 million, the new development is expected to bring in more than $1.78 million in gross tax revenue. Carolina Square will be open for business as soon as summer 2017, Oates said.

Rosemary Street Improvement Project
The Rosemary Street Improvement Project will renovate Rosemary Street between Henderson Street and Merritt Mill Road. The project includes widening sidewalks, installing new light fixtures with LED lights and repaving the street. Improvements also include more trees, bike racks and trash and recycling containers.

Oates said the project moves closer to the town council’s goal of making the town more walkable.

“The sidewalks on Rosemary will help because council members seem to value a walkable community,” she said. “Anything that makes it a more walkable community, that’s a benefit.”

Despite normal traffic patterns on Rosemary Street being disrupted by the construction, Parker said he feels the town has done a good job in communicating these changes to residents.

“I think that we’ve done a pretty good job of indicating ... what’s going on and what people can expect,” he said. “We try to get most of the work, clearly not all of it, done when students are away, when there’s less trafÖc but folks will have to put up with it for just a couple more months.”

Some residents have found the construction to be confusing and hard to navigate. “I would definitely say the construction been a hassle for me,” said Kristopher Brown, a UNC senior who has been in Chapel Hill for the summer. “(It) definitely made trying to find a parking space on Rosemary more stressful.”

The project is funded with $1.6 million in voter-approved bonds.

AC Hotel
Over the summer, construction crews began work on the new Marriot AC Hotel, which is on the site of the former restaurant Los Potrillos, or Los Pos.

The AC Hotel will be the third hotel in downtown Chapel Hill, joining the Franklin Hotel and the Carolina Inn.

The hotel, which is being built by OTO Development, will have 123 rooms and 112 below-grade parking spaces making it the second-largest hotel in downtown.

An influx of guests and visitors could prove to be beneficial for Chapel Hill businesses, said Darwin Carter, general manager at Old Chicago.

“The hotel being right in our backyard will definitely benefit our business and our brand — not just here locally,” Carter said. “People coming here for games and conferences at UNC will get the word out.”

The hotel is expected to bring $192,000 in general tax revenue for the town. Construction is expected to be completed by June 2017.


News & Observer: 10-story office tower planned for downtown Durham

July 5, 2016

by Virginia Bridges - Click to view original article

JULY 5, 2016 6:00 AM

DURHAM -- Demolition is set to begin this week on the corner of South Mangum Street and Jackie Robinson Drive to make way for an office building that will continue to shape downtown Durham’s skyline.

Charlotte-based Northwood Ravin and Washington, D.C.-based Akridge plan to build a 10-story, 240,000 square-foot office tower on the former Elkins Chrysler dealership property.

The tower, dubbed 555 Mangum, will include retail space on the ground floor, a penthouse conference room, a rooftop lounge and terrace overlooking the American Tobacco Campus and the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

“We will be offering a trophy-quality office building which hasn’t yet been offered in Durham,” said Joseph G. Svatos, Akridge’s senior vice president of acquisitions and development.

The state-of-the-art office building will also include column-free space (to maximize available floor space), floor-to-ceiling glass and an athletic facility, he said.

“What corporate users and tech companies are looking for to fulfill their office needs right now,” said Jeff Furman, director of Raleigh operations for Northwood Ravin, which has an office in the Triangle.

In May 2015, Northwood Ravin acquired the 6-acre site for $11.7 million, according to county documents. The office building and a parking deck with about 800 spaces will be built on three acres, Furman said. A residential building is planned on the other three acres, he said.

The project is moving forward as downtown Durham office space is mostly full and tech and other modern companies are looking to house their employees in areas where they can live, play and work.

The building is expected to be delivered in late 2018.

The project is in the Downtown Design district, which means it only requires administrative site plan approval. The only time a project requires a public hearing is if the developer is seeking a special use permit or a variance through the Durham Board of Adjustment for alternatives or relief from the district’s standards, said Durham City-County Planning Director Steve Medlin.

Meanwhile, construction began earlier this year on a 27-story office tower at Corcoran and Parrish streets.

When complete, the City Center will have ground-floor retail and 155,000 square feet of office space — 55,000 of it leased by Duke University. There will be 21 floors of residences and two levels of underground parking.


Charlotte Observer: Another 20-story high-rise, mixed-use project planned for uptown

June 24, 2016

by Ely Portillo - Click to view original article

JUNE 24, 2016 5:43 AM

Plans to reshape the next block of Stonewall Street uptown are moving forward, with a developer planning to bring hundreds of apartments, office space and retail.

Northwood Ravin’s project on the vacant site at Stonewall and South Caldwell streets will feature a mix of uses and a building reaching 20 stories.

“We’re positioning the product to offer something different,” said CEO David Ravin. “We’re always looking to see what’s not being offered.”

According to early plans filed with the city, Northwood Ravin is planning up to 421 apartments, 12,000 square feet of office space and 8,000 square feet of retail for the site, as well as 558 parking spaces. The development doesn’t yet have a name, but Ravin said construction could start in the fall.

Charlotte-based BB+M Architecture is designing the project.

Ravin said about one third of the site will be occupied by a 20-story high-rise. The other part of the site will be configured as a six-story building, with four stories built over two stories of parking.

Ravin said the plans call for a restaurant at the corner of Stonewall and Caldwell, and high-end touches such as gas cooking available in residential units in the high-rise.

Northwood Ravin acquired the 3.76-acre parcel – which was left over after completion of the I-277 loop – from the city of Charlotte in February for $14.2 million. It’s directly across South Boulevard from Crescent Stonewall Station, a mixed-use development under construction that will feature 450 apartments, two hotels and a Whole Foods.

The Stonewall corridor is undergoing a wholesale transformation. Down the street from Northwood Ravin’s site, at Stonewall and McDowell, Proffitt Dixon is completing work on The Pressley apartments and eying a new apartment building at the Actor’s Theatre site.

Lincoln Harris is starting demolition on the Observer’s former building at Stonewall and Tryon to make way for a new major mixed-use development. Across Tryon Street, Crescent Communities is planning to build a new office tower and retail complex called Tryon Place. And Mecklenburg County recently picked a master developer for Brooklyn Village, a new mixed-use development that will replace the Bob Walton Plaza government building on Stonewall Street.


ReBusiness Online: Akridge, Northwood Ravin to Develop 10-Story Office Tower in Downtown Durham

June 7, 2016

by John Nelson - Click to view original article

June 7, 2016

DURHAM, N.C. — Akridge and Northwood Ravin plan to develop 555 Mangum, a 10-story, 240,000-square-foot office tower in downtown Durham. The project will be situated on the site of the former Elkins Chrysler dealership on the corner of South Mangum Street and Jackie Robinson Drive. The property will include ground-floor retail space, a penthouse conference center, fitness center, rooftop lounge and terrace and a courtyard featuring artwork from local artists. Akridge and Northwood Ravin plan to deliver 555 Mangum in late 2018. The partnership has selected Mac Hammer and Doug Cook of Cushman & Wakefield to lease and market the project’s office component and Charlie Coyne of CBRE to lease and market the retail component.


Triangle Business Journal: First Look: Developers unveil plan for 10-story office, multifamily buildings in downtown Durham

June 3, 2016

by Amanda Hoyle - Click to view original article

Jun 3, 2016, 3:12pm EDT

On Friday, the development team from Charlotte and Triangle-based Northwood Ravin unveiled plans for its next big project in the region: A 10-story office and retail building, called 555 Mangum, which will be built in partnership with Akridge, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate development firm.

Designs for the new 10-story office building, along with a second, mid-rise building with about 400 high-end apartment units, are still being tweaked and must still pass muster with Durham planning officials, but the goal so far is to begin grading the site for construction in fall 2016, says Jeff Furman, director of Raleigh operations for Northwood Ravin.

The projected delivery date for both buildings would be in late 2018. The property is located at the site of the former Elkins Chrysler auto dealership lot at the corner of Mangum Street and Jackie Robinson Drive, one block east of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Locally it’s also referred to as the “Van Alen” site.

Plans for 555 Mangum will include about 225,000 square feet of total office space and up to 15,500 square feet of street-level retail space. Amenities planned for the building include a 2,500-square-foot athletic club for tenants and a rooftop lounge with terrace and conference facility that will have views into the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The Cushman & Wakefield real estate brokerage firm is marketing the office space and CBRE-Raleigh is marketing the retail space on behalf of Akridge and Northwood Ravin.

It was about a year ago that Northwood Ravin acquired for $11.7 million the 6.1-acre site where the 555 Mangum building and the Residences at Van Alen building are planned, and Furman says they’ve been working on finalizing the drawings and the details of the partnership with Akridge ever since.

The 555 Mangum building will be Akridge’s first commercial project in the Triangle.

“After spending the last four decades transforming downtown Washington, D.C., Akridge is eager to apply its expertise to continue the phenomenal momentum in downtown Durham pioneered by American Tobacco and CBC,” stated David Toney, vice president of development for Akridge in a statement about the partnership’s plan. “Akridge and Northwood Ravin believe this is a tremendous opportunity to deliver a new Class A office building, answering Durham’s increasing demand for high end office space.”

The 555 Mangum building will be the second proposed high-rise building expected to be underway in 2017 in downtown Durham. Construction is also underway for the 27-story One City Center tower at the corner of Corcoran and Main streets.

The property is also next to the proposed Gateway project on the former Hendrick automotive site where a 305-unit apartment community is under construction. More mixed-use development is also planned at that site.


Triangle Business Journal: Northwood Ravin pays $11M for Chapel Hill land for next big project

April 6, 2016

by Amanda Hoyle - Click to view original article

Apr 6, 2016, 2:59pm EDT

Northwood Ravin, a North Carolina real estate development firm with projects across the Triangle, has closed on the purchase of 55 acres on Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill where plans are being drawn for a new mixed-use project called Carraway Village.

Carraway Village, better known still by its old name, The Edge, had in 2015 been approved by Chapel Hill Town Council for a special-use permit to build up to 935,000 square feet of new multifamily, retail and commercial building space with as many as 23 vertically-integrated, low- and mid-rise buildings.

The project will be located near the intersection of Interstate 40 and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, across from the Harris Teeter-anchored Chapel Hill North retail and apartment complex on the northern edge of Chapel Hill’s town limits.

The more than $80 million Carraway Village project, though, still has some hills to climb before construction can begin, says Jeff Furman, director of Raleigh operations for Northwood Ravin. “We’re still working with the town to ensure we can bring in attractive retail,” he says. The firm has requested help from the town to pay for about $3.5 million in road, traffic signal and infrastructure improvements around the site.

Furman compares the plans for Carraway Village with his firm’s development of the Bradford community that opened in 2014 in Cary. The Bradford is an $80 million project at the corner of High House Road and Davis Drive with 390 high-end apartment units and a retail shopping center that's anchored by the Triangle’s first Publix grocery store.

For Carraway Village, Northwood Ravin in late March paid $11.25 million to four ownership groups for the land that will make up the future development site, according to Orange County documents.

In Chapel Hill, Northwood Ravin is also the multifamily development partner in the $123 million Carolina Square project that’s underway on Franklin Street. Carolina Square is expected to be open in mid-2017. It also built the Chapel Hill North high-end apartment community.


Triangle Business Journal: Publix in Cary attracts new co-tenants, new construction at Bradford

February 25, 2016

by Amanda Hoyle - Click to view original article

Feb 25, 2016, 11:15am EST

The developers of the first Publix-anchored center in the Triangle, at the Bradford in Cary, have filled up all their shop space and are moving forward with the second phase of retail buildings.

Northwood Ravin LLC, developer of the $80 million Bradford multi-use development property, has announced it will break ground on 12,600 square feet of new retail shop space at the northeast corner of Davis Drive and High House Road near Preston in Cary.

Among the newest retail tenants coming to Bradford include:

First Watch, a breakfast- and brunch-focused restaurant chain that’s already opened two other locations in the Triangle on Glenwood Avenue and on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh. First Watch will be opening a new 3,500-square-foot restaurant at Bradford.

ThinSculpting, a non-surgical, fat-reduction treatment program, that will be taking the final available shop space on the main street through Bradford. Night and Day Dental, a Raleigh-based dental practice that is expanding regionally.

The two new retail buildings will start construction in April and open to tenants in late fall 2016. The buildings were designed by Hiscutt & Associates Architecture and civil engineering by Withers Ravenel. Crosland Southeast represents Northwood Ravin in its lease negotiations with tenants.

Co-tenants at Bradford also include Brixx Pizza, Burger 21 and Tijuana Flats.

Officials with Northwood Ravin and its equity partners at Northwest Mutual Life also report that the 390-unit, high-end apartment community at Bradford has stabilized at 95 percent occupancy.


Rent Cafe: The Triangle’s 10 Biggest Rental Developments Completed in 2015 Add 3,209 Apartments to the Local Inventory

February 19, 2016

by Georgiana Mihaila - Click to view original article

Feb 19, 2016

North Carolina’s second largest metro area positions itself as one of the fastest-growing regions in the U.S., with its recent economic recovery said to have attracted billions of investment dollars to the local real estate market.

But how many new apartments have been delivered in 2015 to sustain the Triangle’s growth? We set out to find the answer and, with the help of Yardi Matrix, we pinpointed all rental developments of 50 or more units completed last year, and ranked the biggest ones (by number of units).

A total of 21 rental developments of 50+ units were completed throughout 2015; dispersed throughout the region – with 10 of the new rental communities being located in Raleigh, 6 in Durham, 4 in Cary, and one in Chapel Hill – the properties added a striking total of 4,998 new apartments to the Triangle’s rental inventory. The 4,998 new apartments added in 2015 are on par with 2014 numbers, when 18 major projects were completed, delivering 5,101 rental units.

64% of all new apartments added by this segment (3,209 units) were part of the 10 biggest rental developments completed last year – ranking led by the Bradford project, which alone brought 390 rental units to market, and Marshall Park Apartments, with 385 units. And with renowned universities like Duke, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State nearby, the ranking wouldn’t be complete without the presence of 2 student housing projects.

What other projects made the list of the Triangle’s 10 biggest rental developments completed in 2015? Here’s a breakdown:

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#8. Apartments at Palladian Place: 298 rental units

Completed: 09/15/2015
Address: 260 Leigh Farm Road, Durham, NC 27707
Rental types: 168 one-bedroom apartments, 118 two-bedroom apartments, 12 three-bedroom apartments
Property size: 308,994 sq.ft., 3 and 4 story building

Short description: Located at I-40 & NC-54 on Leigh Farm Road, close to great employers, shops, services, recreation and entertainment in both Durham and Chapel Hill. Easy commute to Research Triangle Park and Raleigh. Beautiful mature tree-lined wooded views, iPhone compatible programmable thermostats, electronic entry locks, premier strength and cardio facility, salt water pool with sun shelf, chat pool with built-in seating and integrated fountains.

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#1. Bradford: 390 rental units

Completed: 09/28/2015
Address: 21035 Bradford Green, Cary, NC 27519
Rental types: 188 one-bedroom apartments, 147 two-bedroom apartments, 55 three-bedroom apartments
Property size: 367,084 sq.ft., 2 and 4 story building

Short description: Located in Preston, near high-end boutiques, services & restaurants. Amenities include a golf simulator and indoor putting green, indoor pet salon and outdoor dog park, saltwater pool with sun shelf and built-in seating, outdoor pool cabana with TV, grills and kitchen.


Charlotte Observer: On Commonwealth, a different version of apartments is taking shape

January 19, 2016

by Ely Portillo - Click to view original article

Jan 19, 2016 1:00 AM

On Commonwealth Avenue in Plaza Midwood, developer David Ravin is counting on a range of different designs and a variety of styles to set his new apartment community apart as other projects open across town.

Charlotte is in the midst of a record apartment boom and Plaza Midwood is one of the hottest areas, with six major projects besides Ravin’s under construction or planned. Many follow a similar template: Four or five stories wrapped around a central parking deck.

Ravin, head of apartment company Northwood Ravin, said the Village at Commonwealth is purposefully aiming to be different. The first phase of the project, now open, features everything from studio apartments to townhouses with front stoops, private back yards and detached garages for rent. There are quadplexes and townhouses with parking under them, along with one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. They’re spread over multiple buildings of two, three and four stories, so none feels too big or dominating.

The community features all surface parking – no large deck – and amenities such as a pool, spa, gym, co-working space and game room in a central, detached building. The idea is for the development to feel like more of a neighborhood than an imposing new apartment building the size of a city block.

"It can’t all be the same product in the same places," said Ravin, referring to the waves of new apartment construction in popular areas. "This is the yin to that yang."

That boom has led to calls for higher design standards by some architects and urban planners, especially in rapidly growing areas such as South End that are seeing a major influx of new apartments.

Ravin said his firm is focused on finding similar projects to the Village at Commonwealth – the Holly Crest apartments in Huntersville are one such example – but land is getting more scarce and expensive. One reason Northwood Ravin was able to make the Village at Commonwealth work at lower densities was that they acquired the property out of foreclosure following the recession, for $7.5 million.

Phase one of the project totals 401 residential units, about 100 of which are finished. The rest of the first phase should be complete sometime this spring. So far, the project is about 25 percent leased, which Ravin said is strong, especially before the amenity center opens.

A 607-square-foot studio apartment starts at $975, with a screened-off bedroom, balcony and in-unit washer and dryer. On the other end of the size spectrum, a three-bedroom rowhouse with a garage and a backyard starts at $2,800.

The next phase could include up to 600 more residential units, though Ravin said he doesn’t plan to build that dense. He said there’s been interest in including retail space in the next phase, something Northwood Ravin is considering (Think corner coffee shop, for example).

The Village at Commonwealth isn’t the only project Northwood Ravin has going on in Charlotte. The company, which owns the Vue apartment tower uptown, is planning to redevelop the Pinehurst on Providence apartments. Northwood Ravin is also drawing up plans for a plot of vacant land uptown at Stonewall Street and South Boulevard, which the company is under contract to buy from the city of Charlotte for $14.2 million.

Ravin said plans for the uptown site are still in the works, but there’s one thing he’s not planning on building: Five stories of apartments wrapped around a parking deck.


Nashville Business Journal: Charlotte developer pays $27M for rare Cool Springs development site

January 7, 2016

by Adam Sichko - Click to view original article

Jan 7, 2016, 1:12pm CST

On the third try, one of the few remaining development sites in the Cool Springs commercial hub has gained a new owner.

For $27 million cash, an affiliate of Northwood Investors LLC purchased a 45-acre property named Northside at McEwen on Jan. 6. The land is located across from the Whole Foods on West McEwen Drive. The seller was Denver-based Amstar, which had been trying to sell the site since summer 2014. Two prior suitors dropped their purchase contracts.

The deal means a joint venture partnership named Northwood Ravin LLC now takes the reins of likely the largest of the dwindling number of development sites in Cool Springs— which itself is located in the fastest-growing county in the entire state and well-established as a favorite address for corporate and regional headquarters.

The vacant land is entitled for up to 840,000 square feet of commercial space (both office and retail), as well as up to 580 residential units and up to 150 hotel rooms. As it creates plans for the site, Northwood Ravin could seek to change those caps, a step the city of Franklin would need to approve.

David Ravin, president of Charlotte-based Northwood Ravin, said he expects construction to be underway later this year. Ravin said he's already receiving inquiries from prospective office and retail tenants.

"We aren't folks who land-bank, so we want to get underway fairly quickly," Ravin told me. "It will probably look very similar to what's been approved, but we'll probably look to modify those entitlements, based on the market."

It's too early to have a gauge on the potential project's overall price tag, Ravin said.

"We don't want to underdevelop right out of the gate and do it all at a low density that people may regret in the future. But we also don't want to be so ambitious that we're out there building ahead of market demand," Ravin added.

Northwood Ravin tends to specialize in multifamily development (think apartments and condos), but also has experience with the mixed-use format that Northside at McEwen presents.

One example: Northwood Ravin is developing apartments within Boyle Investment Co.'s Capitol View project planned in the North Gulch, on Charlotte Avenue. Northwood Ravin also has active mixed-use projects in Raleigh, N.C., and Durham, N.C., Ravin said.

I asked Ravin if Boyle, which is one of Middle Tennessee's largest real estate companies, is involved in this project. Ravin said he's in talks with several groups to join the project.

"You really need, at least initially, one group to move it forward. You need simplicity at the beginning, and then begin to work into the details," Ravin said.

Amstar previously had been under contract to sell the site to Cincinnati-based North American Properties Inc., and then Charlotte-based Crescent Communities. Both deals fell through, most recently in mid-2015.

The Northwood Ravin joint venture has existed for four years. Ravin said his company's joint venture with Northwood means he has development, construction and management capabilities all in-house, in a variety of types of real estate product.

"Others have had (this site) and couldn't figure out a way to do it. We have the ability and expertise to look at the whole project and not just individual components, and that may have been what tripped up other groups," Ravin said. "You really need to underwrite the entire opportunity.

"We remain very selective in the opportunities we pursue. Obviously, we like Cool Springs. We like everything that’s gone on in and around that site," Ravin added.


Charlotte Business Journal: Ravin: Market will reward thoughtful apartment design

December 22, 2015

by Will Boye - Click to view original article

Dec 22, 2015, 2:31pm EST

When it comes to apartment design, David Ravin believes the market will soon begin rewarding those projects that have made the extra effort.

Ravin is CEO of development firm Northwood Ravin, which is under contract to purchase a 3.76-acre city-owned site at the intersection of Caldwell and Stonewall streets. The city has said Northwood Ravin is planning a project up to eight-stories tall that will feature 400 apartment units and 50,000 square feet of office and retail space.

The sale is expected to close in February, and Ravin says that while the firm is still working through the design process, it won’t be a wood-framed apartment project wrapped around a parking deck.

"We’ve clearly approached that and said what we don’t want to do is another deck-wrapped deal," he says. "I think we’re getting plenty of that product in the marketplace. It would certainly look, feel and operate a little bit differently than everything else along South Boulevard. We think there’s plenty of opportunity to do more creative developments that might be more attractive and better thought out than a lot of the product that’s starting to be the same thing over and over again."

There are 12,334 apartments units under construction in the region, according to research firm Real Data, and as the development boom has rolled on, some projects have drawn criticism for their design. They’ve been called “isolated pods” that fail to generate street-level activity or enhance the pedestrian experience through ground-floor retail, for example.

On a panel earlier this year, developer Daniel Levine said that many of Charlotte’s new apartment projects were too "generic" and lacked distinguishing architectural features. Michael Smith, CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners, said the city needs to "raise the bar" on its design standards for developing neighborhoods such as the North Tryon area.

And this month, in an opinion column in The Charlotte Observer, developer and architect David Furman called for new regulations to force better design and prevent street-facing garage edges, for example, that "limit our future built environment from reaching its full potential."

Ravin believes part of the problem is the small universe of architects and general contractors that work with the Charlotte apartment industry. "Everyone is screaming that it all looks the same, but if you stand back and think about it, everyone is using the same architects and they’re all using the same contractors," he says. "So they inevitably end up looking the same. It’s no surprise that it’s going the way it’s going to me."

In a story about Charlotte’s apartment market that appeared in Friday’s print edition of the CBJ, Ravin said his company spent extra time to come up with more creative floorplans at The Village of Commonwealth, and those units have leased the quickest. The first phase at the project in Plaza Midwood totals 401 units and is 20% leased and 15% occupied.

Ravin says his firm tries to deliver apartment projects that can’t be easily mimicked, and he believes that generically designed properties may soon start to suffer as renters migrate toward quality.

"Those things that were just put up with speed and not necessarily thought all the way through, one starts to differentiate those from other projects," he says. "The renter starts to select projects on better corners that are designed and built better. I tend to want to see the competition for the product begin to materialize because I think we are positioned to do better just because of the history and the time we spend getting it done."


Triangle Business Journal: Carolina kickoff: $123M Carolina Square office, apartment project expected to transform downtown Chapel Hill

October 22, 2015

by Amanda Hoyle - Click to view original article

Oct 22, 2015, 3:10pm EDT

With a big ceremony in Chapel Hill on Thursday morning, university and town leaders joined with the presidents of Cousins Properties and Northwood Ravin to market the formal start of construction for the $123 million Carolina Square commercial and residential building project on Franklin Street.

The project is on the site of the former University Square buildings, which have already been demolished to make way for the three-building complex that will have 159,000 square feet of office space, 43,000 square feet of retail space and 246 market-rate apartments.

The whole project is slated to be finished by August 2017.

Atlanta-based Cousins Properties (NYSE: CUZ) had been working on the agreement with the property owner, UNC-Chapel Hill’s foundation, for nearly six years to devise the plan for Carolina Square, formerly known as 123 Franklin. Last fall, Charlotte-based Northwood Ravin was brought in as partner in the project to oversee the multifamilies pieces of the project.

To date, pre-lease assignments have already been made for 98,354 square feet of the project's total 156,000 square feet of office space, according to CBRE-Raleigh, with almost all of that committed to programs affiliated with UNC-Chapel Hill, including the Carolina Population Center and the Gillings School of Public Health.

The remaining office space at Carolina Square is currently being marketed at a rate of $35 per foot per year, which is among the highest multi-tenant office building rates in the whole Triangle commercial real estate market.


News & Observer: Chapel Hill moves forward with $123M Carolina Square groundbreaking

October 21, 2015

by Tammy Grubb - Click to view original article

October 21, 2015

CHAPEL HILL - University, town and development officials turned the dirt with Carolina blue shovels Thursday at the groundbreaking for the $123 million Carolina Square redevelopment project on West Franklin Street.

The retail, residential and office project, about a block from campus, replaces former University Square at 123 W. Franklin St. The demolished shopping and office complex was built roughly a half-century ago on the site of the original Chapel Hill High School.

The private Chapel Hill Foundation Real Estate Holdings Inc. bought the land in 2009 and is leasing it to developer, Cousins Properties.

Property manager Northwood Ravin is overseeing the construction of one 11-story and two five-story buildings with 246 luxury, market-rate apartments; 159,000 square feet of offices; and 42,000 square feet of retail. Crews could wrap up construction by summer 2017.

Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said Carolina Square represents the community “moving boldly forward.”

He said an artist’s conceptions show "the urban park that nearby residents said they wanted here in the heart of our downtown."

"I see, in those artist’s conceptions, homes for people to live in, built-in customers for a 12-month economy on Franklin Street," he said. "I see in those artist’s conceptions, and eagerly await, the office space that scientists and researchers on this campus have been telling me they need in order to capitalize on their research, to develop new businesses around their patents."

It’s not clear if any previous tenants could return once Carolina Square is built. Some have closed – Swenson’s Ice Cream, Ken’s Quickie Mart, The Whistle Stop – while others found new locations.

"I, too, enjoyed some the things that were here at the former University Square,"” said Kleinschmidt, referencing Time-Out Restaurant. "Of course, Time-Out."

"Let’s help remind folks that even as we change as a community, we still have a tradition of holding on to what’s great about Chapel Hill," he said. "We find new homes, we find new patrons, we find new places to play and eat and have fun. And there’s still a Time-Out. It’s just a block down the street."

Cousins Properties is negotiating with several local and national tenants, officials said.

It also will have public venues, including a 0.6-acre park for performances and local events and The Core @ Carolina Square. Carolina Performing Arts will operate The Core, an 8,500-square-foot, $5 million arts innovation lab with studio and theater space. The lab’s goal is to bring together students and community members with world-class artists, scientists and researchers.

UNC’s Carolina Population Center and School of Public Health, Biostatistics and Epidemiology also will lease 62,000 square feet of office space, where they can work together on research.

The fact that it’s a multi-use facility is "extremely exciting," UNC Chancellor Carol Folt said.

"Because when you bring different uses together, things happen that you could have never imagined possible," Folt said.

"It’s going to be a place that houses researchers, and it’s also going to have artists," she said. "It’s going to be a place where they have experiments, trying new ideas. It’s going to be a place where the community can experience that excitement that happens when you bring discovery and creativity together."


UNC-Chapel Hill, Town of Chapel Hill and Developers to break ground at Carolina Square on Oct. 22

October 19, 2015

(Chapel Hill, N.C. – Oct. 19, 2015) – Marking the next phase of progress at Franklin Street’s Carolina Square development, leaders from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, including Chancellor Carol L. Folt and Board of Trustees chair Dwight Stone, will join the presidents of development partner firms Cousins Properties and Northwood Ravin and Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt for the formal groundbreaking on Oct. 22 at 11 a.m.

Formerly University Square, the $123 million mixed-use space will be the first of its kind in downtown Chapel Hill, featuring retail, office and residential space, parking and a green space for performances and entertainment. Slated to open in August 2017, the complex is expected it to be a popular destination for the community and region that will advance the revitalization of Franklin Street.

Recognizing the collaborative potential of Carolina Square, UNC-Chapel Hill has committed to more than 50 percent of the complex’s office space, which will allow groups from the Carolina Population Center and the Gillings School of Public Health to work alongside each other on research efforts.

With the goal of increasing its integration of arts, academics and community, Carolina is also helping to fund The Core at Carolina Square, a nearly 8,500 square-foot innovation lab, studio and theater space. Run by Carolina Performing Arts, The Core will serve as the creative home for artists-in-residence to collaborate with students, faculty and the community and will feature an annual program of public performances.

"As construction starts here at Carolina Square, we know we are building more than rooms and hallways. We are creating a vibrant open door to creativity and the arts; a place where people will dance and sing, think and create," said Chancellor Folt. "I can’t wait to see the new ideas and spirit that will be born right here on Franklin Street."

An equal-partner joint venture between Cousins Properties and Northwood Ravin, the three-building complex will offer a total of 159,000 square feet of office space, 43,000 square feet of retail space and 246 apartments. Northwood Ravin will oversee the development, construction and property management of the entire development, while Cousins Properties will oversee commercial leasing. CBRE is leading the local commercial leasing efforts and is in negotiations with several local and national tenants.

"We’re excited to bring Northwood Ravin’s signature style that marries quality and convenience in an urban setting to Chapel Hill," said David Ravin, President of Northwood Ravin. "There’s no better way to make an impact on Chapel Hill than by developing something dynamic on Franklin Street, so we’re delighted to begin in earnest."

The modern complex will feature quality, upscale design in a setting that values indoor/outdoor living, including a 0.6 acre park that will offer an urban green space for local events.

"We are excited to break ground at Carolina Square and anticipate it will be a terrific complement to the already vibrant Franklin Street," said Larry Gellerstedt, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cousins Properties. "We know the quality of Northwood Ravin’s first class multi-family developments and our strong relationship with UNC-Chapel Hill will contribute to the overall project’s success."

Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and leaders from the Town of Chapel Hill also advocated for Carolina Square as a community plaza that will expand the lively offerings of downtown.

"When the Council approved Carolina Square, we sought to transform a crumbling strip mall full of cars but not people, into a thriving downtown landmark where people could live, work, and play," said Kleinschmidt. "Carolina Square will add quality entertainment, retail and public space for all of Chapel Hill to enjoy. I am excited to roll up my sleeves and grab a shovel as we celebrate the beginning of this work."


Charlotte Observer: City Council awards uptown land to Charlotte-based Northwood Ravin

June 22, 2015

by Ely Portillo - Click to view original article

June 22, 2015

We have a winner: Charlotte City Council voted Monday to award a 3.8-acre parcel of coveted uptown land to Charlotte-based apartment developer Northwood Ravin.

The vote caps a two-month auction in which four apartment or mixed-use developers put in bids for the land, demonstrating how heated the Stonewall Street corridor has become.

"First it was Pollack Shores. Then they were upset by Camden. Then they were upset by Northwood Ravin. Another company came in with an upset bid at the last minute," said Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble.

The contest for the land goes back to five surplus parcels Charlotte received when the state built Interstate 277. The city has been working to sell the parcels since. This particular parcel, at Stonewall and Caldwell streets, has received four bids, each higher than the next.

Northwood Ravin has developed apartment complexes in Charlotte and owns well-known apartments such as The Vue high-rise. The company had offered almost $14.2 million for the land, the highest bid at the time. Then, Morgan Bond LLC, a joint venture of Chicago-based Bond Companies and a California developer, offered an upset bid of $15.1 million.

But there was a catch: Morgan Bond’s bid did not come in with a fully funded escrow account before the deadline. So the highest bid didn’t technically qualify, while the qualifying bid was about $1 million less.

Each developer got a chance to argue their case Monday before council.

"The credibility of the process is dependent on fairness and consistency," said Mike Wilson, representing Northwood Ravin. "The last bid ... was late."

Morgan Bond executives pointed out that they have the higher bid, and the lateness funding their escrow account was because of a slow out-of-state wire transfer.

"Wires can become a logistical challenge," said Ryan Morgan. He said the company was planning to build a mixed-use development including multifamily housing, a possible hotel and retail. "We are moving rapidly to create an iconic project that is a gateway to uptown Charlotte."

Rob Bond, Bond Companies co-founder and president, said his company wants to invest more in Charlotte, and the deposit coming slightly after the 2 p.m. deadline shouldn’t disqualify them.

"Charlotte has been nothing but welcoming to us thus far," he said. "Through good intentions but not perfect timing, we submitted the highest bid ... the city does not suffer any irreparable harm by our deposit being slightly tardy."

In the end, council members said they felt they had to vote to follow the rules of the bidding process and award the land to Northwood Ravin. Staff had recommended that option.

"No one likes leaving $1 million on the table," said council member Kenny Smith, a Republican. "But if you have integrity, you need to adhere to the rules."

Stonewall Street is on the cusp of a major boom that’s set to transform the southern edge of uptown. Over the next several years, developers plan to build hundreds of new apartments and hotel rooms, two office towers and a Whole Foods grocery store along the mile-long stretch of road from Bank of America Stadium to I-277. And Lincoln Harris is under contract to buy and redevelop the Observer’s 9.4-acre site, which includes parcels adjacent to the stadium and Tryon Street.


Nashville Post: North Gulch project to begin by year's end

June 19, 2015

Click to view original article

June 19, 2015

Work is slated to start by year’s end on a $215 three-building project at Capitol View in the North Gulch.

Northwestern Mutual, Charlotte-based multi-family residential partner Northwood Ravin and Nashville-based commercial partner Boyle Investment Co., released today images and information regarding the project.

One building, to carry a price tag of about $90 million and rise six stories, will be located at the northeast corner of the intersection of 11th and Charlotte avenues, across 11th from the under-construction building to house HCA’s headquarters for Parallon and Sarah Cannon (Both HCA entities are expected to move into that building by the end of 2016.)

Cooper Carry, the project’s architect, along with Nashville-based civil engineer Barge Waggoner and Franklin-based landscape architect Kiser Vogrin, are completing construction drawings for up to 375 apartment units, up to 60,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, up to 50,000 square feet of second-floor office space, and an approximately 1,000-space parking garage. Once started in the fourth quarter, completion will require about 24 months. (See the building on the right in the middle image below.)

No future tenants were announced in the release, but a grocery is expected to be part of the retail component, according to numerous reports.

In addition, Cooper Carry is finalizing construction drawings for a 10-story, 300,000-square-foot Class A office building with 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and a 1,200-space garage (see the top image below), and a 150-room limited service hotel building. The projected construction cost is $125 million, with the two buildings sitting on five acres at 11th Avenue North and Nelson Merry Street.

"With HCA’s anticipated 2,000 employees, the partnership is excited to deliver the next block in the Capitol View mixed-use project," Jeff Haynes, Boyle partner, said in the release. "After careful study of many successful urban mixed-use projects across the country and 12 months of intense local study of the highest and best uses for the first two blocks, we are thrilled to get started."

Boyle and Northwestern Mutual have worked the last 24 months with CSX officials to complete three land acquisitions, which will allow Capitol View land to be dedicated to complete the city’s bikeway/greenway trail through the project. Relatedly, Boyle and Northwestern Mutual will complete a one-acre urban pocket park.

Upon completion, the entirety of Capitol View will offer up to 1 million square feet of office space, up to 300,000 square feet of retail space, up to 1,000 multi-family units, two hotels, and over 4,000 parking spaces.


The Tennessean: $215M next phase of North Gulch's Capitol View project to begin

June 19, 2015

by Getahn Ward - Click to view original article

7:01 a.m. CDT June 19, 2015

Three new buildings with an overall total construction cost of $215 million are coming to the North Gulch in the next phase of the mixed-use Capitol View development.

By year's end, construction should start on a $90 million, six-story, mixed-use building on the former car dealership site across 11th Avenue North from where headquarters for two subsidiaries of the HCA hospital chain is rising. It would include up to 60,000 square feet of ground-level retail space and up to 50,000 square feet of second-floor office space, up to 375 apartment units and a roughly 1,000-space parking garage, according to drawings the developers behind the project provided Wednesday.

Property owner Northwestern Mutual and its development partners Boyle Investment Co. and Northwood Ravin also disclosed the project's Atlanta-based architect Cooper Carry is finalizing separate drawings for the next office building at Capitol View.

That 10-story, 300,000-square-foot Class A office building is part of an overall $125 million project planned for five acres at 11th Avenue North and Nelson Merry Street, which is also expected to include 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and a 1,200-space garage and a 150-room limited-service hotel. That office building and the hotel, which will be a separate building, will wrap around the garage.

"We're thrilled to get started," said Jeff Haynes, a partner in real estate investment firm Boyle, adding the partnership settled on that mix after a year studying the best use for the first two blocks of Capitol View and many successful urban mixed-use projects nationwide.

Phil Fawcett, chief manager of Boyle's Nashville office, said the company is in serious discussions with a grocery store chain for retail space at the mixed-use building planned at the former Hansen Chrysler Plymouth Jeff-Eagle dealership, which also was at one time a temporary Greyhound bus station, at 11th Avenue and Charlotte.

Last fall, development kicked off at the 32-acre Capitol View site with the $200 million headquarters for HCA's cancer arm Sarah Cannon and health-care business solutions company Parallon under construction on part of the 10.5-acre tract the hospital chain purchased from Northwestern. Those subsidiaries are expected to occupy the building west of 11th Avenue and closer to Interstate 40 by the end of next year, bringing the first group of an anticipated 2,000 employees HCA plans at that location.

After the new buildings are built, Northwestern and Boyle will still have half of Capitol View's overall acreage to develop. Upon completion, Capitol View is expected to offer up to 1 million square feet of office space, up to 300,000 square feet of retail space, up to 1,000 multifamily units, two hotels and over 4,000 parking spaces.

Tom Frye, an independent real estate broker with Baker Storey McDonald Properties in Nashville, said the new office space would be a welcomed addition to the market, but he would be surprised if Northwestern and Boyle move forward with building without at least 50 percent preleasing.

"Until they controlled that piece of land, all of the activity was pushing south of Broadway," he added. "Capitol View pulls things back to the north again, which adds to vibrancy of the entire central business district."

Haynes said the mixed-use building with the apartments and retail space planned on the former car dealership site doesn't require any preleasing. However, Northwestern Mutual wants to have a certain number of office tenants in hand before kicking off construction on the office building planned at 11th Avenue and Nelson Merry.

"We're in the middle of talking to a number of office prospects who will allow us to satisfy that office preleasing hurdle," Haynes said, adding Northwestern Mutual will be the lender and equity partner for both of those buildings.

Northwood Ravin of Charlotte, N.C., is the multifamily residential partner for the next phase at Capitol View. Hoar Construction will be the general contractor with locally-based civil engineer Barge Waggoner and Franklin-based landscape architect Kiser Vogrin also part of the team.

In addition to Capitol View, Boyle's other mixed-used projects in the Nashville area include Berry Farms in Franklin, CityPark Brentwood and Meridian Cool Springs.

Urban park, bikeway/greenway trail extension part of Capitol View

Northwestern Mutual and Boyle Investment Co. have an agreement to purchase three small parcels totaling roughly four-tenths of an acre on the eastern edge of the overall 32-acre Capitol View site from railroad company CSX.

That land would allow the developer to fulfill a promise to Metro and HCA to create a 1.5-acre urban pocket park and also eventually connect the city's bikeway/greenway trail through Capitol View to Nashville's Bicentennial Mall.

Currently, Metro is extending the bikeway/greenway trail from the south Gulch to behind Eleven North apartments at 11th and Charlotte.

"We feel very blessed that as an urban, mixed-use project of this magnitude we can provide something different," said Jeff Haynes, a partner in real estate investment firm Boyle. "We're not a standalone, single-asset development. We're integrating all those uses into something that will be cool."


Triangle Business Journal: Six-acre site next to Durham Bulls ballpark slated for development after $11.7M land sale

May 28, 2015

by Amanda Hoyle - Click to view original article

May 28, 2015, 3:08pm EDT

A prominent 6.1-acre site next to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in downtown Durham has been sold to a private developer group planning for a dense, urban mixed-use building project for the future.

Charlotte-based Northwood Ravin has acquired for $11.7 million the so-called Van Alen property – formerly the Elkins Chrysler auto dealership lot – that overlooks the N.C. 147 Durham Freeway between Mangum and Roxboro streets on the east side of the Bulls ballpark.

Northwood Ravin bought the property from Durham-based Scientific Properties, according to Durham deed records. Scientific Properties had controlled any development plans for the site since putting it under a long-term contract in 2007 with the owners, James R. Lowe and James R. Elkins. Scientific Properties paid $6.5 million to E&L Realty LLC before flipping it to Northwood Ravin on the same day, according to county records.

"I think it's a gem of a site. It's a transformative site for that part of downtown Durham," says Gary Kueber, president of Scientific Properties. Northwood Ravin has not disclosed any renderings or site plans yet for the property.

David Ravin, president of Northwood Ravin, says the company purchased the site as a long-term land acquisition. "We are eager to continue exploring the potential of the property and evaluate what will work best there," he stated in a news release about the deal.

Ravin says they are evaluating multiple uses for the property, including hotels, residential, office and retail.

"Even though we are still exploring several site plans, all options are on the table as the potential is limitless," stated Adam Golden, vice president of development at Northwood Ravin. "We want to be intentional and create something special, since this will be the first thing you see as you drive into Durham from Raleigh or the airport."

In the Triangle, Northwood Ravin has been a partner or lead developer of multiple multifamily and mixed-use development projects over the last few years. It built the Trinity Commons at Erwin apartment community in 2011 near Duke University's campus in Durham, the Bradford apartment and retail project in Cary that opened in 2014, the St. Mary's Square apartment community in downtown Raleigh in 2013, among others.

Northwood Ravin is also a joint venture partner with Cousins Properties of Atlanta in the $120 million redevelopment of the former University Square property on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. The groups broke ground Wednesday for what will now be called Carolina Square, a project that will include luxury apartments, office space and the new Core@Carolina Square performing arts center.

Kueber says his firm originally had ambitious plans for the site's redevelopment when it was put under contract in 2007. "At that point, we were envisioning towers – multiple towers. But that became pretty unfeasible after the recession. Ultimately it became clear we were not going to be the developer of that site," he says. "It's exciting that Northwood Ravin has the capability to do something great at that site. I think it's a great spot for just about anything in downtown Durham."

The Van Alen property is named in reference almost tongue-in-cheek after William Van Alen, the architect of the Chrysler Building in New York City, since the Durham property served as a Chrysler auto dealership from the 1960s through the mid-2000s.

It is also across the street from the former Hendrick Auto Mall property that is also slated to be sold to another Charlotte real estate developer planning a major multifamily and mixed-use project.

Jim Allaire, Allan Lynch and Justin Good of Cushman & Wakefield/Thalhimer of Raleigh represented the sellers in the Van Alen land sale transaction.


Triangle Business Journal: UNC unveils new performing arts center

May 27, 2015

by Jason deBruyn - Click to view original article

May 27, 2015, 10:30am EDT

UNC-Chapel Hill unveiled plans Wednesday for The Core@Carolina Square in downtown Chapel Hill: A new performing arts center.

The nearly 8,500-square-foot, $5 million facility will be constructed at the Carolina Square development, and will become the physical and intellectual home for world-class artists-in-residence to collaborate with scientists, researchers, students and the community, according to the university.

The Carolina Square project is what is replacing the University Square retail and office complex on Franklin Street. Plans for the updated site include 246 apartment units, 158,000 square feet of office space and 42,000 square feet of retail space.

"The arts are such a strong creative force here at Carolina," said Chancellor Carol L. Folt in a prepared statement. "I believe every space on campus should support the artistic process. The Core@Carolina Square will create another vibrant place where our students and faculty innovate and connect with artists, each other and the broader community."

Emil J. Kang, UNC-Chapel Hill executive director for the Arts and head of Carolina Performing Arts, conceived Arts@TheCore. Kang worked closely with Cousins Properties and Chapel Hill town leaders to bring the new performance and lab space to life.

"We envision The Core@Carolina Square as an incubator for artists and audiences to share creative experiences and to serve as the home for our artists-in-residence," said Kang. "These shared experiences will be immersive, interactive, and intimate, all qualities that resonate with our desire to bring artists and audiences closer together."

The Core is funded with support from the University and will consist of two flexible spaces: an adaptable black box-style performance and creative space, and a separate rehearsal space. Cousins Properties and Northwood Ravin designed Carolina Square to include retail, office and residential space as well.


Chapel Hill Herald-Sun: Old University Square to host new performing arts facility

May 27, 2015

by Cliff Bellamy - Click to view original article

May. 27, 2015 @ 04:14 PM

CHAPEL HILL — The University of North Carolina and Chapel Hill officials on Wednesday announced plans for a performing arts and studio space as part of the redevelopment of the former University Square on West Franklin Street.

The 8,500-square-foot facility represents "an exciting new strategic commitment to the arts" for the university, said UNC Chancellor Carol Folt during a presentation of the plan at UNC’s Memorial Hall.

The facility will be called The Core@Carolina Square and will consist of a roughly 4,000-square-foot black box theater space that will seat about 200. A breezeway will connect a lobby area to a roughly 3,000-square-foot studio space in the same building.

The goal of the new space is not just to put on performances, said Emil Kang, executive director for the Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The facility "will serve as a permanent home for Arts@TheCore," Kang said. Arts@TheCore is Carolina Performing Arts program that integrates the arts into courses and research. The theater and studio space will promote collaborations between artists and scholars in different academic fields.

Kang offered one possible example, a collaboration between Chapel Hill-based RENCI, or the Renaissance Computing Institute, and a visiting choreographer to create a work that explores the issues related to data collection.

The theater will be geared toward performances of new works that result from such collaborations. The theater also will be available for use by the university and the community.

"We’ve known for a long time that our future does not exist only in this space," Kang said of Memorial Hall, where Carolina Performing Arts presents its annual season. "We believe the focus on academics is critical to our future."

The black box theater and studio space will be on the first floor of a seven-story building that will also include office space.

The Chapel Hill Town Council approved the rezoning of the former University Square, at 123 W. Franklin St., in December of 2013 to allow for a mix of retail, residential and office space. Demolition at the area has begun and a construction fence has been placed around the property. Leasing of commercial space already has begun, said Jeff Furman, director of Raleigh operations for the development firm Northwood Ravin. Northwood Ravin is overseeing the construction and property management. Atlanta-based Cousins Properties is overseeing commercial leasing.

Folt called the inclusion of an arts component "a very special partnership" of the university, town and developers. Planners envision Carolina Square as a place where people can live and work in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill, and where people can sit in the park area and perhaps enjoy an arts presentation.

Too often, people experience Chapel Hill from behind the wheel of a car, but this development will promote more foot traffic, said Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt. He called the project "a true investment in a landmark" where people can play, live and work. "It is emblematic of what we all talk about but often fail to do," Kleinschmidt said.

The Core@Carolina Square is expected to open in August 2017. Folt said the university has committed $4 million to The Core@Carolina Square. An additional $1 million must be raised to complete construction on the theater and studio, and funds also will be raised later to endow the academic programs, Kang said.

When completed, Carolina Square will have 159,000 square feet of office space, 42,000 square feet of retail, and 246 apartments, according to the Carolina Square website.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funds the Arts@The Core program. With the new theater and studio spaces, the program will include a distinguished scholar to oversee Arts@TheCore, a faculty advisory committee, fellowships for faculty members to create new performances, postdoctoral fellowships and faculty seminars.


Chapel Hill News: UNC, Carolina Performing Arts reveal plans for downtown Chapel Hill arts center

May 27, 2015

by Tammy Grubb - Click to view original article

May 27, 2015

CHAPEL HILL - UNC and its Carolina Performing Arts unveiled plans Wednesday for nearly 8,500 square feet of performing arts lab, studio and theater space at the heart of downtown Chapel Hill.

The Core@Carolina Square, to be built at 123 W. Franklin St., will bring world-class artists, scientists, researchers, students and community members together in a new economic and cultural magnet for the town, UNC Chancellor Carol Folt said.

The public will be able to join artists-in-residence and others as they explore new works and new ideas, said Carolina Performing Arts Executive Director Emil Kang. The center will build on the Arts@TheCore initiative, an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded project that integrates arts with the university’s teaching, research and public service missions.

Carolina Performing Arts brings arts, music, dance and theater to the campus and community with master classes, performances and conversations. The recently announced lineup for the 2015-16 season includes violinist Gil Shaham, visual artist David Michalek, Memphis jookin’ dancer Lil Buck and singer-songwriter Abigail Washburn.

"Our plan is to launch The Core with a focus on integrating the arts, the sciences, technology and health affairs," Kang said. "We are eager to experiment with ways that artists can provide a creative platform to interpret cutting-edge research for the public to experience."

Folt said UNC is providing $4 million toward the cost to design, build, furnish and operate The Core. The total cost is expected to be more than $5 million, she said. Carolina Performing Arts will fund the rest.

Designs show a large lobby flanked by two flexible spaces: a 4,900-square-foot black-box theater and creative space with dressing rooms; and a 3,400-square-foot rehearsal studio. The theater is expected to hold at least 200 people, officials said.

The Earl and Rhoda Wynn Theater at the Carrboro ArtsCenter, by comparison, is 6,000 square feet and seats 355 people.

Carolina Square is the town-approved redevelopment plan for the former University Square, a nearly 50-year-old shopping center and office complex at 123 W. Franklin St. at the entrance to the university campus.

The private Chapel Hill Foundation Real Estate Holdings Inc. owns the land and is leasing it to Cousins Properties for the $120 million residential, retail and office project. Carolina Square will have two five-story buildings and one 11-story building at its core and is expected bring up to 1,000 jobs and 400 new residents downtown.

The latest plan includes 246 apartments, 200,000 square feet of office and retail space and 880 parking spaces, company officials said. UNC will lease 62,000 square feet of office space for the Carolina Population Center and School of Public Health, Biostatistics and Epidemiology, they said.

Jeff Furman, vice president of development for construction and property management company Northwood Ravin, said they are leasing the retail space now. Demolition of the existing buildings started this year and the completed project could open by 2017, he said.

The community has been dreaming about a downtown performing arts center for some time, Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said. The is a collaborative investment with UNC in the town’s place-making and economic development goals, he said.

Both town and gown have "well-earned reputations for being inclusive, exciting, vibrant locations that serve as destinations for people around the world," he said.

"Unfortunately, it seems as if we’ve been part of the same place, but often serving off of different menus," Kleinschmidt said. "We need to start serving off the same menu, because we’re really good at creating and nourishing soul-inspiring dishes."

The arts center will be a "tremendous draw" and meet a lack of local entertainment options for adults, said Laurie Paolicelli, executive director of the Chapel Hill and Orange County Visitors Bureau. The average age of town visitors is 49, she said, and they are primarily couples from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia looking for arts and culture, food and walkability.

The project is not expected to compete with a future Cultural Arts and Innovation Center proposed for downtown Carrboro, Kleinschmidt said. Chapel Hill’s downtown, in many people’s minds, stretches from the Morehead Planetarium to Carrboro’s Town Hall, he said.

Carrboro’s Board of Aldermen could get an update in June about ongoing talks between town staff and the Kidzu Children’s Museum, ArtsCenter and Orange County Public Library. The working group is designing a public process to look at the potential for an arts center, officials said.


Charlotte Business Journal: Northwood Ravin planning six-story apartment complex uptown

May 15, 2015

by Will Boye - Click to view original article

May 15, 2015, 10:28am EDT

Charlotte apartment firm Northwood Ravin is planning a six-story apartment complex with ground-floor retail at 500 W. Trade St., the site of the vacant James K. Polk building, according to real estate records.

The building is at the intersection of Trade and Graham streets, and the remainder of the 2.7-acre block consists of surface parking. David Ravin, president and CEO of Northwood Ravin, targeted the property for a new apartment project in 2008 as president of Crosland’s residential division.

Back then, Crosland and Trinity Capital Advisors were preparing to build an eight-story, 400-unit luxury apartment building that would occupy the entire block. Plans included a private courtyard, a rooftop pool with views of the skyline and retail shops fronting Trade Street. Crosland and Trinity had previously planned two high-rise buildings at the site.

Development plans for 500 West Trade were scuttled by the recession. Crosland still owns the 500 West Trade property along with capital partner Northwestern Mutual, but Crosland exited the development business when it sold its operating units to Ravin and other former company executives in 2011.

Ravin could not be reached for comment, but in 2011, after forming Northwood Ravin, he told the Charlotte Business Journal he was still interested in the site.

"It’s certainly on our radar," he said then. "I think that will certainly be something that we’re focused on going forward. I liked the site when I was at Crosland and still like the site now."


Triangle Business Journal: Days are numbered for Chapel Hill’s University Square, $120M redevelopment on the way

May 6, 2015

by Amanda Hoyle - Click to view original article

May 6, 2015, 5:55pm EDT

Atlanta-based Cousins Properties (NYSE: CUZ) and Charlotte-based Northwood Ravin earlier this week formalized a 50-50 joint venture to develop Carolina Square, a $120 million mixed-use project that will replace the University Square retail and office complex on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill.

Cousins has been working on the agreement with the property owner, UNC-Chapel Hill’s foundation, for nearly six years to devise a plan that makes sense for the town and the university. Northwood Ravin, which specializes in multifamily properties, was brought in as a partner for the project last fall.

Demolition of the five University Square buildings at the corner of Franklin and Columbia streets is expected to begin in May with construction scheduled to begin in the fall. The whole project, previously called 123 West Franklin, is expected to be completed in the summer of 2017. The project will not impact the nearby Granville Towers student housing complex.

At completion, Carolina Square is expected to have:

  • 246 apartment units;
  • 158,000 square feet of office space; and
  • 42,000 square feet of retail space.

Northwood Ravin will oversee the development, construction and property management of the entire site, while Cousins Properties will oversee commercial leasing.

UNC-Chapel Hill has already committed to leasing 62,000 square feet of office space in the building for its Carolina Population Center and School of Public Health, Biostatistics and Epidemiology groups.

"We are excited to begin Carolina Square, which will help meet the high demand for retail and office space in the area and serve as the perfect complement to the already vibrant Franklin Street," stated Larry Gellerstedt, president and CEO of Cousins Properties in a news release about the agreement.

"We know the quality of Northwood Ravin's first-class multifamily developments, and our strong relationship with UNC will contribute to the overall project's success."


Charlotte Observer: The Vue, once a symbol of recession, now draws renters paying a premium

March 7, 2015

by Ely Portillo - Click to view original article

03/07/2015 1:00 AM

For years, The Vue’s darkened floors were a symbol of the recession’s shadow in Charlotte: The city’s tallest luxury condominium tower sat mostly empty as it struggled through foreclosure and lawsuits.

Now, the tower is both a reminder of how bad things were just a few years ago and how quickly the top end of the market has turned. Since new owners converted it to apartments and sunk millions of dollars into amenities, The Vue is now 95 percent leased, an all-time high.

"It came online, unfortunately, probably at the worst time, when folks were seeing valuations of for-sale products drop, banks were under heavy scrutiny, not lending," said David Ravin, CEO of the building’s owner Northwood Ravin. "It was market fundamentals, but also market fear that had people withdrawing all investments."

Now, renters are willing to pay a premium for the tower at Fifth and Pine streets. A 571-square-foot studio starts at $1,299 a month, while the 51st-story penthouses rent for $6,725 to $7,790 a month.

Only one of the six penthouses hasn’t been leased yet, and property managers were showing off the unit to prospective renters last week.

It wasn’t always this way. When The Vue was announced in 2005, it was the seventh high-rise residential tower planned in 10 months, the height of the pre-recession boom. Initial demand appeared strong, as The Vue presold more than half of its units.

But by 2009, uptown’s overheated condo market had gone ice cold. Work on the tower stopped for a month as the general contractor said it hadn’t been paid by the developer.

The Vue opened in 2010, but by April 2011 only 16 buyers had closed on their condos, out of 409 units total. The Vue was soon embroiled in legal battles as buyers tried to get out of their contracts.

The end came in 2012, when the lender foreclosed on the tower’s Chicago-based developer, MCL Cos.

Charlotte-based Northwood Ravin, an affiliate of Northwood Investors, based in New York, paid $103 million for the tower at auction.

Charlotte is in the midst of a major apartment-building boom, with more than 10,000 units under construction and the same number planned. RealData, which tracks apartment construction and vacancy rates in the Southeast, has said Charlotte’s vacancy rate could rise to 8 percent next year, up from 5.3 percent, and rent growth could slow. That’s below the double-digit vacancy rates that followed the latest recession, but high enough that experts say some complexes will have to offer concessions like a month’s free rent to lure renters.

Most of the apartments being built are high-end complexes uptown or in the surrounding neighborhoods. But Ravin said he’s not worried about increased competition, because The Vue will still be the only tower with its height and ultra-luxe amenities.

"It may be a while before a developer underwrites a project of that magnitude," said Ravin. And though he said The Vue isn’t completely insulated from the economy, he isn’t concerned that a downturn could torpedo the building again.

"No one is immune to market corrections," said Ravin. "I do think most of the people living here are renting by choice."

View from The Vue

From the upper floors, the view stretches west to the foothills and into the Carolina Panthers’ and Charlotte Knights’ stadiums.

Northwood Ravin spent $20 million on renovations at the property, expanding the gym and yoga room, adding a golf simulator and 50th-floor Sky Lounge room for residents (where former Charlotte Hornet Muggsy Bogues and his wife recently remarried), outdoor kitchens, a covered dog park and new electronic locks and finishes in the apartments.

The apartment building also has a billiards room, heated pool and classes for residents, such as sunrise yoga and boot camp fitness. And Northwood Ravin is still adding amenities, including a barista bar opening soon.

The tenant mix skews older for an apartment building, with 55 percent of residents older than 35 years old and 10 percent older than 58.

Property Manager Hali Eplin said she still occasionally hears from people who almost bought a condo at The Vue.

"I’ve gotten a handful of emails from people who say ‘I want to see the one I was going to buy,’" said Eplin.

But she can’t. Eplin almost invariably has to tell them that someone else is living there now.


Six New Tenants Added to Bradford Including Brixx Wood Fired Pizza and Tijuana Flats Burrito Company

September 16, 2014

Bradford anchor Publix Supermarket to open in mid fourth quarter.

Raleigh, N.C., September 16, 2014 – Northwood Ravin has announced six new service retailers and restaurants for Bradford, the multi-use development in the northeast corner of Davis and High House Roads adjacent to the desirable Preston neighborhood of Cary, N.C. Along with the new leases, Bradford will be the home of the first Publix location in the Triangle that is slated to open in late in mid fourth quarter 2014. Northwood Ravin is the master developer of Bradford, projected to cost approximately $80 million. Crosland Southeast represented the landlord in the transactions and is responsible for leasing the retail space and outparcels.

"We've been pleased with the amount of retail leasing interest we've had in Bradford, in part due to its proximity to Research Triangle Park, the Main Street atmosphere and desirable high profile intersection with affluent neighborhoods nearby." said Austin Williams, partner at Crosland Southeast. “We will continue to pursue upscale shops and restaurants with outdoor dining to add to the favorites we’re already attracted as tenants.”

Bradford welcomes the following retailers:

All the new tenants will be on the main street of shops across from the 370 apartments, except T.Mac Sports Grill and Union Bank and Trust which sit on outparcels. This will be the first full service Union Bank and Trust branch in the Raleigh metro area. Union Bank, based in Oxford, N.C., will expand their loan production business in Cary to be a full service branch at Bradford.

According to the Fla.-based grocer, Publix Super Markets, the 49,000-square-foot center anchor will open in mid fourth quarter.

“Tijuana Flats has been trying to find a location at this intersection for over 5 years,” said Matthew Livingston, real estate manager at Tijuana Flats. “When we heard about this project, we knew this is where we had to land and we are able to secure the prime position at the entrance to the center. We are thrilled to be part of such a great project like Bradford.”

Austin Williams and Brad McGinnis, senior vice president of Crosland Southeast’s Raleigh office jointly worked on the transactions.

“We’re hoping to create a community that is both memorable because of the focus on public art and highly walkable,” noted Jeff Furman, vice president of development and director of Raleigh operations at Northwood Ravin. “We planned the development to allow residents and shoppers alike the opportunity to park once and get everything they need in one place.”

The first phase of Bradford is almost complete, including 370 multifamily flats centered around several courtyards, 20 townhome apartments and corresponding luxury amenities such as a pet spa, resistance pool and golf simulator. The first tenants moved into the high-end community in March 2014 and is 50 percent leased. Careful attention has been paid to creating tree-lined streetscapes, water features, public art placements and a public plaza that will integrate with the adjacent commercial phase, which will include shops and restaurants.

The entire development will be seeking Green Globe certification through the Green Building Initiative.


Triangle Business Journal: Publix taking job applications for first Triangle store in Cary

August 15, 2014

by Amanda Jones Hoyle - Click to view original article

Aug 15, 2014, 1:56pm EDT

Publix Super Markets will start taking job applications for its first-ever grocery store in the Triangle region with a job fair running Aug. 18-27.

The new Publix store will employ about 125 people among both the full-time and part-time positions, says spokeswoman Kim Reynolds, and there will be employment opportunities in all departments ranging from front service clerks to meat cutters.

Reynolds says the company has not formally announced who the store manager for the new Cary store will be, but the manager will be from an internal hire or promotion.

Publix has also not formally announced the store opening date. Reynolds says the store will open by the end of the year.

The Cary store is located 1020 Bradford Plaza Way and will be part of the Bradford apartment and retail community at the intersection of Davis Drive and High House Road.

Applicants must apply in person during the Publix job fair running form 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each weekday at the Homewood Suites hotel at 100 Macalyson Court in Cary.


Triangle Business Journal: New partner joins Cousins for Chapel Hill's $100M project

August 15, 2014

by Amanda Jones Hoyle - Click to view original article

Aug 15, 2014, 10:11am EDT

Cousins Properties, the Atlanta real estate developer working with UNC-Chapel Hill to tear down and redevelopment the University Square property on Franklin Street, is bringing in a new partner for the project.

Cousins (NYSE: CUZ) has reached a joint venture agreement with Northwood Ravin on Charlotte to take charge of the multi-family portions of the nearly $100 million building project, now called 123 W. Franklin.

Demolition of the five University Square buildings and utility relocation is expected to begin by the end of 2014 with vertical contruction expected in begin early 2015.

The project will include two 5-story apartment buildings with ground-floor retail and an 11-story office building with a parking deck, a project that is valued between $80 million and $100 million when it opens in 2017.

David Ravin, president and CEO of Northwood Ravin, says this will be his company’s first time working with Cousins, but it will be Ravin’s fifth apartment project in Chapel Hill in the last 15 years.

“We’ve done quite a bit in Chapel Hill and a lot of mixed-use, and we all determined it’d be a good opportunity to combine forces,” he says. “It’s going to be very transformative for Franklin Street.”

Both groups are also still working in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Foundation, which owns the property.

The project will also be across the street from the 8-story tall 140 West Franklin mixed-use building that opened in 2013 that has both residential condominiums and high-end retail and restaurant space.

Ravin says the The 123 W. Franklin project has also taken a lot longer to plan than many other development projects because of the complications that come with a vertically integrated project.

Cousins has been working on development plans and approvals for the project for more than three years.

“You just don’t see a lot of that (vertical integration) anymore,” Ravin says. “It was popular before the recession, but it went on hiatus because of the cost and complications that come with it.”

Cooper Carry of Atlanta is the architect for the project.


Room with The Vue: A look at the uptown Charlotte penthouse designed for movie star Mickey Rourke

August 1, 2014

by Jen Wilson - Click to view original article

Click to view the photo gallery

Jul 30, 2014, 6:30am EDT

Have you ever wondered what Hollywood's A-listers would want in a home, if they were looking for the perfect uptown Charlotte abode? That's precisely what a local short-term housing provider tried to figure out for Mickey Rourke, who recently spent time here while filming a movie.

Stay Furnished Apartments, a Charlotte company with six employees, was contacted by Scott Putnam, producer of the upcoming independent film Ashby, to prepare accommodations for the movie star as well as for the production team while shooting took place in the area.

After scouting various neighborhoods to house the crew members, Putnam and Stay settled on a 50th-floor penthouse at The Vue luxury apartment tower uptown for Rourke, a retired boxer turned actor and screenwriter, says Scott Remmel, president of the local firm.

Remmel tapped into his longtime friendship with Alan Price of Hickory, a furniture designer for Crate & Barrel and others, and a host of other artisans to come up with one-of-a kind decor that would make Rourke feel at home while filming in Charlotte. Many of the design elements were chosen with his personality and history in mind — for example, leather pieces that symbolize the actor's rugged style, Remmel says, or a speed bag that serves as a nod to his previous career in boxing.

Others involved with the project include Casey Gunschel, a leather artist from Chicago; Moore & Giles, a luxury leather company based in Lynchburg, Va.; Silver Tears Campers of Roanoke, Va.; and MarsFab Off Road of Harrisburg. Rourke lived in the apartment for just over a month, Remmel says. He's now back in Hollywood, with Ashby due out in 2015.

The movie, which also stars Sarah Silverman, Emma Roberts and Nat Wolff, is directed by Tony McNamara. Rourke plays Ashby Holt, a retired CIA assassin who, with only months left to live, befriends the high-school kid next door, according to iMBD.

As for the apartment, it will be available on a limited basis through August, and many of the furniture pieces will be available at the High Point Furniture Market in October.

Stay manages more than 100 apartments throughout North Carolina where it provides upscale, temporary housing for corporate travelers, out-of-town visitors and individuals who are relocating. The firm recently received the Tower of Excellence Award for most creative marketing from the Corporate Housing Providers Association.


Northwood Ravin Begins Construction on Apartments at Holly Crest

June 24, 2014

$50 M Development Sets New Standard for Luxury Apartments in Huntersville, N.C.

Charlotte, N.C. / June 30, 2014

Northwood Ravin LLC (Northwood Ravin), one of the premier multifamily developers in North Carolina, has broken ground on the Apartments at Holly Crest in Huntersville, N.C. Site work has begun on the 24-acre parcel by the company’s in-house construction division to start the $50 million 400-unit project. The site is one of the last to be developed along Sam Furr Road across from Northcross Shopping Center between Statesville and Rich Hatchet Roads. David Ravin, president of Northwood Ravin, last built apartments on Sam Furr Road twelve years ago at Birkdale Village.

"We are excited to bring this community to Huntersville because it will include a new level of finishes and amenities for those who opt for a maintenance-free lifestyle," said Ravin. "We’ve carefully considered resident trends and integrated finishes, features and amenities that will appeal to everyone to create a really unique lifestyle."

The 400 multifamily units are configured in a variety of two-, three- and four-story buildings. This low-density solution allows for a master plan with 35,000 sq. ft. of central green space and 15,000 sq. ft. of amenity space, which is approximately 12,000 sq. ft. more than a typical project of this size. Holly Crest will have a 4,900 sq. ft. community club and a 4,600 sq. ft. spa and fitness center along with a resident business center with private offices. Careful attention has been paid to the abundant green space, including beautiful landscaping, event and gaming lawns and outdoor café seating. Several resident courtyards, grilling areas and private gardens, along with private dog parks for small and large dogs will be dispersed throughout the community.

Monthly rents are estimated to start at $900 for a 700 sq. ft. one-bedroom apartment up to $1,700 for a 1,600 sq. ft. three-bedroom apartment.

"We’re confident we can provide a new level of apartment living, but with tremendous value, situated in the middle of a great shopping corridor," said Michael Gribble, development manager at Northwood Ravin. "We are integrating resident preferences on past projects such as larger master suites in two-bedroom apartments and we’re using the latest finishes, features and amenities to create something very intentional."

The luxury apartments, the first of which are anticipated to be ready for occupancy in late spring 2015, will include amenities not already offered in the Huntersville area such as a state-of-the-art fitness center complete with a men’s and women’s spa with sauna and steam room, a full sized golf simulator and yoga room, fully equipped business center with private resident offices and conference room, a resident game room, resident internet café and resident bar and lounge area. The development will also have an outdoor resort-style saltwater pool with lap lanes, hot tub, tot lot and dog spa area, ensuring there is something for everyone. The community will offer surface parking for convenient building access and 44 garages and storage spaces.

The transitional and lake-inspired apartments will feature interiors with a variety of upgraded features including white shaker cabinetry with wine racks and glass upper doors, quartz countertops, premium appliances, plank flooring, energy-efficient can lighting through out and custom built-in closets that include extra shelving and drawer space. Each unit will feature the best in technology, including programmable thermostats and digital peepholes that take a photo when someone comes to the door.

Similar to other Northwood Ravin developments, the project will seek a sustainability certification including green features such as iPhone compatible programmable thermostats, low-E windows, energy-efficient lighting and stainless steel Energy Star appliances.

Northwood Ravin, headquartered in Charlotte, has continued to maintain an active position in the market through the purchase of the VUE high-rise apartment building and a pipeline of over $110 million in new Charlotte development. Northwood Ravin also has eight other projects under construction or in lease up in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina including Morningside Village in the Commonwealth Park neighborhood of Charlotte.


The Tennessean: With urban grocery planned, North Gulch shaping up as Nashville's new frontier

June 2, 2014

By Getahn Ward - Click to view original article

May 9, 2014

With new high-rise condos, the Music City Center and hotels, the areas south of Broadway and the Gulch have emerged as downtown Nashville's development hot spots.

But the city's north side is shaping up as the next frontier with Capitol View, the 32-acre urban, mixed-use project as the centerpiece of the area known as the North Gulch.

"We're really committed to changing the face of this part of the city," said Jeff Haynes, the managing partner of Boyle Nashville, a co-developer of the project. "We think geographically we become the central gathering or connecting point for the Gulch, Germantown, Salemtown, East Nashville, the central business district, Vanderbilt and Music Row. Our site is smack dab in the middle of it."

The vision of co-developers Northwestern Mutual and Boyle Nashville moved a step forward on two fronts Thursday.

Hospital chain HCA completed its purchase of the 10.5 acres where it is planning major construction for two of its subsidiaries. Meanwhile, Boyle released new details about its plans for the overall site, including naming Charlotte, N.C.-based Northwood Ravin its development partner for apartments in the first two phases of Capitol View.

In addition to Capitol View, downtown's north side could get another boost, with the UBS Tower replacing the former Regions Center office building and the potential redevelopment of properties such as the Gossett Building across from Nashville Electric Service.

The North Gulch became a viable redevelopment area after the former PolarCold Storage Building at the southeast corner of 11th and Charlotte was converted into the Eleven North apartments.

More broadly, the boundaries of downtown are being redefined with the new ballpark under construction at Sulphur Dell and apartments and other projects underway or planned in Germantown. "SoBro no longer has the edge — it's happening all over," said Tom Frye, Nashville office managing director with real estate firm CBRE. "It's going to be fun to watch."

CBRE is working to lease vacant space at UBS Tower and Bank of America Plaza. Frye sees renovations to those office buildings on the north side bringing energy and tenants to that area, which lost law firms and other tenants to buildings in SoBro.

Barry Smith, president of Nashville-based commercial real estate firm Eakin Partners, sees Capitol View further expanding the real estate mix on downtown's north side, including in the retail category. "Now you have the office component you didn't have and an increasing residential base. The only thing missing is the retail component," he added. "And with the additional residential and office tenants, that void should be filled with follow-up retail development."

The 10.5 acres of Capitol View west of 11th Avenue North, where HCA is expected to build new headquarters for its Parallon Business Solutions and Sarah Cannon Research Institute units, is just a third of the overall 32-acre site that Northwestern and Boyle plan to redevelop.

Atlanta-based architecture firm Cooper Carry continues to work on the master plan for Capitol View, but more details have started to emerge for the remaining 21 acres. Overall, the urban, mixed-use project will have up to 1 million square feet of office space; 300,000 square feet of retail, grocery and restaurant space; sites for two hotels; and 1,000 apartment units.

A mixed-use building at the northeast corner of 11th and Charlotte will include a five-story, 250-unit apartment community on top of 80,000 square feet of retail space, including a 49,000-square-foot urban grocery store. Haynes said he would like to see that building completed up to four months after the two HCA subsidiaries move into their new headquarters at the end of 2016.

Haynes said Boyle interviewed seven multifamily developers before picking Northwood Ravin as its partner for apartments in the first two phases of Capitol View. "Putting apartments on top of retail is complicated, and this firm understands the urban, stacked multifamily product, and is willing to think outside of the box," he said, adding that Boyle plans to develop the rest of Capitol View itself.

Haynes said Boyle is working to identify specific retailers for the grocery and other space.

Currently, Gresham Smith and Partners, an architecture design firm, is working on designs for a building or two on HCA's site. "We look forward to completing this project, which promotes growth and development in the North Gulch area," said Ed Fishbough, spokesman for HCA.

Meanwhile, Haynes said Boyle is working with Metro Parks to eventually connect a bikeway/greenway trail through Capitol View to Nashville's Bicentennial Mall and the new minor league ballpark. Other companies on Boyle's Capitol View team include traffic consultant RPM, land planner Kiser Vogrin, engineer Barge Waggoner and law firm Butler Snow.

Fred Kane, vice president for land services at real estate firm Cassidy Turley, says the $10 million price tag that HCA paid for the land is consistent with other recent deals, but that it may look like a bargain in a few years.

"The North Gulch is less expensive because it's an unproven market, but with HCA breaking ground this year, that will likely change in the near future," he said.


Charlotte Business Journal: Northwood Ravin breaks ground on Morningside Village

May 13, 2014

by Will Boye - Click to view original article

May 13, 2014, 4:51pm EDT

Northwood Ravin has broken ground on the first 401-unit phase of its Morningside Village development in Plaza-Midwood, which will feature 384 apartments in smaller buildings overlooking Veterans Park and 17 townhome apartment buildings.

The majority of the units will be in two-, three- and four-story buildings with surface parking. Late last year, Northwood Ravin CEO David Ravin told the Charlotte Business Journal that the project was designed to be less dense and provide an alternative to the influx of high-density apartment projects that are being constructed today.

Ravin says the complex will offer an urban location but with more living space within each unit and the overall development. Morningside Village will feature more green space than is typical for an infill project, for example, with resident courtyards, grilling areas, private gardens and dog parks.

In a recent study group Northwood Ravin conducted, more renters expressed a desire to live in smaller apartment buildings, Ravin says.

"They don’t want to walk into these long corridors of hundreds of units," he says.

The first units at Morningside Village are expected to deliver next spring, with estimated monthly rents ranging from $950 for one-bedroom units to $1,900 for three-bedroom townhomes with private garages and a fenced-in yard.

The first phase of development will take place on six blocks along the perimeter of the site that Northwood Ravin purchased last year from an affiliate of Wells Fargo & Co. for $7.5 million. The purchase included two smaller lots along Morningside Drive where Northwood Ravin plans to develop two single-family homes.

The firm is under contract to purchase an additional four blocks totaling 9.4 acres at Morningside Village for a second phase of development.

The property’s zoning allows for the development of up to 1,000 units, but Ravin says it’s unlikely his firm would develop that many apartments at Morningside Village. Ravin hasn’t determined what shape the second phase of development will take and says that for-sale residential or even commercial uses may be options to consider in the future.

Northwood Ravin adjusted its infrastructure plan to preserve four trees at the site, but one of the trees slated for preservation was later found to be dead. The firm plans to plant 44 new street trees at the property.

Although more apartment developers are looking at the Plaza-Midwood area, Ravin says he believes Morningside Village will be hard to replicate due to the size of the site.

"We don’t think there’s a lot of opportunity to develop this type of product because of the availability of land," he says.

Northwood Ravin is a multifamily development, construction and property-management firm that Ravin formed with real estate investment company Northwood Investors. Northwood Ravin develops, builds and manages apartment communities across the Southeast, including those it owns such as The Vue in uptown Charlotte.


News & Observer: Chapel Hill's University Square redevelopment could start later this year

April 25, 2014

By Tammy Grubb - Click to view original article

April 25, 2014

CHAPEL HILL — Five years and three university chancellors later, the University Square redevelopment on West Franklin Street is taking the final steps before demolition and construction.

The 123 West Franklin project, assuming the final reviews and building permits stay on track, could kick off in late 2014 or early 2015, said Gordon Merklein, executive director of the UNC Chapel Hill Real Estate Holdings Foundation Inc.

Five existing buildings would be razed to make way for two five-story buildings fronting West Franklin Street and one 11-story building at the center of the property. REH, a private foundation that owns, develops and manages real estate projects for the university and affiliated groups, is leasing the land to the developer.

"We’re looking forward to it," Merklein said.

REH bought the shopping center for $45.75 million in 2009. The redevelopment project has been valued at $80 million to $100 million and includes a payment of $250,000 over five years into the town’s affordable-housing fund.

Merklein and development representatives from Atlanta-based Cousins Properties and Northwood Ravin of Raleigh updated dozens of interested residents Thursday at the monthly Friends of the Downtown meeting in The Franklin Hotel.

The project, approved last year, could include 300 market-rate apartments, 45,000 square feet of retail and 125,000 square feet of office space in three buildings. Roughly 915 spaces are planned for above- and below-ground parking decks.

Project officials and the Town Council talked last year about the possibility of public parking at night and on weekends, but Merklein said it’s not clear yet what might be available to people who aren’t visiting the complex.

The centerpiece of the redevelopment is a roughly one-acre public courtyard, he said.

Situated at the end of a planned Church Street extension and directly across from the 140 West Franklin Plaza, the courtyard could tie together the new buildings with the existing Granville Towers student housing complex and with other downtown buildings and events, he said.

Students could rent one of the studio, one- or two-bedroom apartments, but they are being marketed to young professionals and families, said Jeff Furman, vice president of development at Northwood Ravin. Future residents will see granite counters, nine- to 10-foot ceilings, tile bathrooms and large windows typical of a market-rate condo, he said.

"Our apartments are going to look like probably a $400,000 or $500,000 house," Furman said.

The apartments also will include environmentally sustainable fixtures, such as Energy Star appliances and water-conservation tools, officials said. Existing building materials and fixtures could be recycled, but eco-friendly building design elements are not in the plans, they said.

The UNC Population Center is the only confirmed tenant that could return after construction, Merklein said. Most of University Square’s former and remaining businesses are likely to stay where they they have relocated, move or close, he said.

Project officials declined to name potential tenants.

"We have talked to a lot of retailers. I have talked to some grocers," said Bill Bassett, senior vice president for Cousins Properties. "It will be difficult to get a grocery in this complex" because of how trucks would have to negotiate the property.


The Chronicle: Best of Duke

April 3, 2014

Click to view original article

April 3, 2014

Best Place to Live Off Campus
Winner: Trinity Commons at Erwin

Trinity Commons at Erwin is luxury living in the heart of Durham. Featuring efficiencies, studios, one and two bedroom floorplans, Trinity Commons is in an excellent location, directly across from Duke Medical Center on Erwin Road. You can walk directly to campus, Hock Plaza or adjacent retail and restaurants at Lakeview. Life at Trinity Commons Apartments is rich in amenities, including a state-of-the-art clubhouse with a 3,000 square foot fitness area, indoor resistance pool and indoor steam room and sauna. The community was developed using sustainable building techniques and is LEED Silver Certified through the U.S. Green Building Council.


Triangle Business Journal: First look at the Triangle’s first Publix and Cary’s $80M Bradford project

March 7, 2014

Triangle Business Journal by Amanda Jones Hoyle - Click to download original article

Mar 7, 2014, 2:06pm EST

It’s official. Construction of the Triangle’s first Publix grocery store has begun as workers this week started pouring the concrete footings for the foundation of the store at Bradford in Cary.

Publix will be anchoring the retail side of Bradford, an $80 million mixed-use development project of Charlotte-based Northwood Ravin, located at the crossroads of Davis Drive and High House Road.

I was guided on a windy tour of the Bradford site on Thursday by Northwood Ravin’s development director of Raleigh operations, Jeff Furman, who has been working on the plans for Bradford for more than six years.

Work is already wrapping on most of the major street improvements to widen Davis Drive and High House Road leading into the apartment and retail complex, as well as a loop road around the property.

And the other crown jewel of Bradford, its 390-unit high-end apartment community, will begin welcoming its first tenants on March 22. It is currently the largest apartment community under construction in the region.

I also don’t use the phrase "high-end" lightly. Bradford will not be the typical garden-style apartment community with exterior entrance-ways, surface parking, tiny exercise gym and outdoor pool.

Bradford, Furman says, has been designed to specifications of a condominium building with elevator access, enclosed hallways, electronic key lock entry and lots of detailed extras in the units, including marble countertops, designer backsplashes, detailed crown moulding, plank flooring and stainless steel appliances. It will also have a parking deck and surface parking availability. Pre-leasing for the apartments is under way with about 6 percent of its units already committed.

The entire project will be finished in late fall, Furman says.

"The units that are in the highest demand are actually the big units," he says. "We’ve seen growth happening across all demographics. You used to assume it was the young professionals who were your customers, but there are a lot of folks who are moving here from other places who maybe haven’t sold their house yet, or they had to sell their house at a loss."

"High-end rental allows someone who lived in a nice house to not sacrifice what they had before," Furman says.

In addition to the Publix, Bradford will have an additional 16,600 square feet of small shop space and six retail outparcels.

The Hand & Stone massage and facial spa has signed a lease for one of the shop spaces, and a T.Mac Sports Grill (same owners and operators as Taco Mac Sports Grill) will be opening one of the corner outparcels. The T.Mac building will break ground on April 15.

Furman says they are actively negotiating with other retailers and hope to announcement more commitments soon.

For more about the Publix and the Bradford apartments, check out our slideshow of photos from the tour with lots of extra details about the Bradford buildings and development.


Triangle Business Journal: 2014 Real Estate Award Winners: Commercial

January 31, 2014

Triangle Business Journal by Amanda Jones Hoyle - Click to download original article

Jan 31, 2014, 3:28pm EST

Top Apartment/Condominium Development:
St. Mary’s Square

The St. Mary’s Square apartment community was developed by Charlotte-based Northwood Ravin on an infill and redevelopment site just two blocks from Glenwood Avenue and the vibrant Glenwood South entertainment district.

With a design of brick, block and large balconies, it offers 134 living units, a two-level fitness center, a resort-style courtyard with a heated and cooled saltwater plunge pool, an outdoor kitchen and a dog park.

The building at 600 St. Mary’s Street opened in June 2013 and was 90 percent leased by mid-November, when Northwood Ravin sold the property to Associated Estates Realty Corp. for $27.3 million.

Designers of the project included The Housing Studio and J Davis Architects.


Charlotte Business Journal: Northwood Ravin changes course with new apartments

December 5, 2013

Charlotte Business Journal by Will Boye - Click to download original article

Dec 5, 2013, 10:15am EST

Northwood Ravin, a multifamily development firm based in Charlotte, recently agreed to sell three of its local properties as its shifts away from high-density, luxury apartment projects and toward building communities with a more suburban feel.

The firm is preparing to break ground in the first quarter on a 403-unit first phase at the Morningside Village site in east Charlotte, which it recently purchased. And Northwood Ravin also is planning a 400-unit apartment development on 24 acres in Huntersville called Holly Crest.

Those projects will be less dense, consisting largely of two-story buildings with surface parking, CEO David Ravin says. Morningside will offer rental townhouses and carriage homes, while only a couple of buildings will be four stories in height. And because the cost to build the new projects will be less than what’s required for an urban complex with structured parking, the rents will be lower as well.

"We thought the top end of the market here in Charlotte was getting very heavy," Ravin says. "The urban dweller is definitely going to be satisfied, but what about the ones that are needing a little bit more space and price sensitivity? We think there’s a market that’s not being met for the folks that don’t want to live in the high-density stuff. They want a little more suburban. It’s definitely not a product that’s being developed around here."

Northwood Ravin recently agreed to sell three Charlotte apartment properties to Associated Estates Realty Corp. for $98.5 million, part of a larger $324 million sale of seven properties. The Apartments at Blakeney sold last month for $53.2 million, and Northwood Ravin has agreed to sell the first and second phases of Alpha Mill, just north of uptown, for $27.2 million and $18.1 million in the first quarter, after construction of the second phase is complete. Last month, the firm bought 24 acres for its Huntersville project between Statesville Road and Rich Hatchet Road for $5.4 million. And in October, it purchased six blocks at Morningside Village for $7.5 million.

Northwood Ravin owns The Vue residential tower in uptown, and Ravin believes there will continue to be a market for luxury rentals, calling The Vue a standout property in that price rage. But he’s concerned that job growth and wage increases aren’t keeping pace with rental rates, which may ultimately limit absorption of high-end rental units.

According to a September report by research firm Real Data, the highest rents in the Charlotte market are in the center city and a submarket that includes South End and SouthPark. In uptown, the average apartment rents for $1,447 per month, according to the firm, and the average rent is $1,141 per month in that submarket south of uptown.

"We continue to adjust our strategy based on what we think is happening in each of the markets," Ravin says. "We’re going to go into good locations and go for product that still offers a great package but is priced lower. We think the multifamily market may be exceeding what the employment base is doing here locally."


News & Observer: Real Deals: Northwood Ravin apartment sale sets Triangle record

November 20, 2013

News & Observer by David Bracken - Click to download original article

Nov 20, 2013, 2:52pm EST

In a record-setting deal that has apartment investors in the Triangle and across the country raising their eyebrows, local developer Northwood Ravin has agreed to sell a portfolio of seven properties to Associated Estates Realty Corp. for $323.9 million.

The portfolio includes two Triangle properties – St. Mary’s Square in downtown Raleigh and the Lofts at Weston in Cary – as well as three in Charlotte, one in Atlanta and one in Tampa.

The seven properties contain 1,606 units, with Associated Estates paying on average just over $200,000 per unit.

The purchase price for St. Mary’s Square, a 134-unit project near Glenwood South that opened this fall, sets a record for the most paid for a Triangle apartment complex on a per unit basis. Associated Estates paid $27.325 million, or nearly $204,000 a unit.

The previous high was last year’s sale of the Park & Market apartments at North Hills, which sold for $200,489 per unit.

Associated Estates paid $38.3 million, or $178,000 a unit, for the Lofts at Weston, a 214-unit project that is a joint venture between Northwood Ravin and Highwoods Properties. Four of the remaining five projects included in the deal are now under construction and are expected to open in the coming months.

Shift in strategy

The transaction represents a change in strategy for Northwood Ravin, which typically develops projects with the idea of owning them for an extended period. Northwood Ravin is a joint effort of Ravin Partners and New York-based Northwood Investors. The company’s president and CEO, David Ravin, led Crosland’s multifamily group until it spun out on its own in 2011.

"You can’t always stay with one strategy because the marketplace is always changing, and multifamily in particular has been changing rapidly," Ravin said Wednesday. "We saw an opportunity to recycle some capital, to return investments to our investors at a good rate and thought it was an opportune time to reposition ourselves."

He said Northwood Ravin isn’t exiting the Triangle or the Carolinas, noting that the company has three active projects here: The Bradford in Cary, The Apartments at Palladian Place in Durham and The Edge in Chapel Hill.

Associated Estates, a publicly traded real estate investment trust based in Ohio, has been one of the most active apartment investors in the Triangle over the past 18 months. The company paid nearly $110 million for three Triangle complexes last year, including buying The Apartments at the Arboretum in Cary from Northwood Ravin for $39.25 million.

An Associated Estates executive didn’t return a call seeking comment on Wednesday.

The high valuations for Northwood Ravin’s projects reflect both their urban locations and the strong track record that Crosland and now Northwood Ravin have in those markets. The company also has been able to beat many of its competitors to market with new projects.

"The reason our portfolio had a lot of market appeal was it was further along than a lot of other people," Ravin said. "We got out in front in a lot of these markets with what we think is very good product."

St. Mary’s Square, which began pre-leasing in June, is already 90 percent occupied.

Peak of the market?

The question now is whether this sale will end up being the peak of the market or just another notable high for an asset class that has had a remarkable run over the past few years.

Northwood Ravin’s timing could end up looking prescient given all the new projects slated to open in the Triangle.

The inventory of apartment units in the region is expected to expand by 6.8 percent over the next 12 months, the fastest rate of expansion of any market in the country, according to MPF Research, which analyzes apartment data in 100 U.S. metro markets.

Ravin said he expects the pace of apartment sales to slow in the near-term as investors wait to see how all the new inventory performs.

"I don’t think a lot of people are going to buy them without seeing some sort of historical data," he said.

If there’s a danger, it’s that a lot of that new inventory looks awfully similar.

"We’ve put a lot of product in the exact same market going after the exact same potential renter," Ravin said. "...There hasn’t been, I believe, enough diversity of development. We all sort of thought ‘Well, urban is working,’ so everyone went and did the same urban project for the same end user. That may complicate the data in the short term. I think long-term it will be fine. It’s just a lot of projects in the same location."


Triangle Business Journal: Northwood Ravin sells two Triangle apartment communities as part of $324M sale

November 20, 2013

Triangle Business Journal by Amanda Jones Hoyle - Click to download original article

Nov 20, 2013, 2:52pm EST

It didn’t take long for the Charlotte owner and developer of the new Lofts at Weston Lakeside apartment community in Cary and the St. Mary’s Square apartment community in downtown Raleigh to find a buyer for each.

The 215-unit Lofts at Weston opened on Weston Parkway in March and is already 80 percent leased.

St. Mary’s Square opened its 134 apartment units on St. Mary’s Street in Raleigh in June, and it’s already 90 percent leased.

And on Wednesday, Ohio real estate investment trust Associated Estates Realty Corp. (NYSE: AEC) paid a combined $65.6 million for the two properties, or a average $187,679 per unit, according to Wake County records.

The Lofts at Weston Lakeside was also a 50 percent joint venture partnership with Highwoods Properties of Raleigh. Highwoods spokeswoman Tabitha Zane would not disclose Highwoods' portion of the proceeds from the sale.

Both acquisitions were part of a total $324 million portfolio sale that Charlotte-based Northwood Ravin agreed to in September. Northwood Ravin also sold this month its stake in the 295-unit Apartments at Blakeney to Associated Estates for $53.2 million.

As part of the same deal, Associated will buy from Northwood Ravin two other properties in Charlotte, one property in Atlanta and another in Tampa, Fla., before the end of 2014.

"There’s a lot of eyes on the performance of apartments right now," says David Ravin, president and CEO of Northwood Ravin. "These all have opened with results behind them."

Associated Estates also bought The Apartments at the Arboreum on Weston Parkway in Cary in May from Northwood Ravin for $39.2 million and also owns the Park at Crossroads apartment community in Cary and Southpoint Village in Durham.


Charlotte Business Journal: Northwood Ravin plans redevelopment of Morningside Village

September 24, 2013

Charlotte Business Journal by Will Boye - Click to download original article

Sep 24, 2013, 10:36am EDT

Apartment firm Northwood Ravin is planning a redevelopment of the Morningside Village site in east Charlotte and will meet with neighbors this week to discuss its plans.

Northwood Ravin is under contract to purchase the Morningside Village land, located along McClintock Road, next to Veterans Park, and will host a community meeting Thursday evening to share its plans and answer neighborhood questions, according to an email sent to neighbors by the Commonwealth Park Neighborhood Association.

The company, headed by David Ravin, is a multifamily development, construction and property-management firm that Ravin formed with real estate investment company Northwood Investors. Northwood Ravin develops, builds and manages apartment communities across the Southeast.The firm has about 125 employees and manages 16 projects in the Southeast, including those it owns, such as The Vue in uptown Charlotte.

Ravin was unavailable for comment.

The 21 acres at Morningside Village is currently owned by an affiliate of Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC), which foreclosed on the property in 2011. Atlanta-based Graham Development won a rezoning for the site in 2006 and originally planned 1,000 homes and 30,000 square feet of retail and office space there.

The site was divided into 10 blocks, and according to real estate records, Northwood Ravin’s development plans are for six blocks located largely along McClintock Road and Morningside Drive.

Northwood Ravin broke ground last year on a second phase of 100 units at the Alpha Mill complex just north of uptown. David Ravin spoke to the Charlotte Business Journal early this year about his take on the wave of new apartment development in the Carolinas.


Triangle Business Journal: Publix entering Triangle with first store in Cary

August 2, 2013

Triangle Business Journal by Amanda Jones Hoyle - Click to download original article

Published: August 2, 2013

The Publix supermarket chain has formally announced that it will open its first store in the Triangle at the new Bradford shopping center in Cary, with a tentative opening date of late 2014.

Publix will be the 49,000-square-foot retail anchor for the $60 million Bradford apartment and retail project underway at the northeast corner of High House Road and Davis Drive in Cary. Construction of the site began in late 2012.

Triangle Business Journal reported in December that the Bradford development was the favored site for Publix’s first store in the region.

Publix spokeswoman Maria Brous says the company is "aggressively" looking for additional locations throughout North Carolina.

The Cary location’s opening date, she says, will be contingent on approvals for all of its required permitting and construction schedules.

Publix also announced on Friday that it will also be opening its first store in Asheville in 2015. The Asheville location will be at the southeast corner of Hendersonville and Overlook Roads.

The Lakeland, Fla.-based company confirmed last week that it had signed a lease for its third store location in Charlotte, all of which are expected to open in 2014.

Publix, a privately owned company, has 1,072 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee and reported sales of $27.5 billion in 2012.


News & Observer: Publix enters crowded Triangle grocery market with Cary store

August 2, 2013

News & Observer by David Bracken and Andrew Kenney - Click to download original article

Published: August 2, 2013

The Triangle’s already hypercompetitive grocery market will add a formidable new player next year.

Publix Super Markets, the Florida chain that has been scouting locations in the region for months, announced Friday that it will open a store in Cary in late 2014.

The company plans to build a store in the Bradford shopping center, a retail and residential development under construction at the corner of Davis and High House roads.

Publix had previously announced three stores in Charlotte, but the company has made clear its intentions to aggressively move across the state. The company also announced plans for an Asheville store Friday.

Publix competes at the upper-end of the grocery market, and word of its first Triangle store comes less than a month after Kroger disclosed plans to acquire Matthews-based Harris Teeter for $2.4 billion. Publix and Harris Teeter, which has 36 stores in the Triangle, are likely to go head-to-head for many of the same customers in the coming years.

Publix’s arrival in west Cary will make that area of the Triangle the front lines of the supermarket wars. There are already six stores selling groceries within a two-mile radius of Bradford, including a Harris Teeter and a Lowes Foods that are within a half-mile of the center.

And Publix will offer the region’s consumers one more brand to choose from at a time when the competitive landscape for the grocery business is shifting. Higher-end grocers are being challenged by discount stores such as Walmart, Aldi and Food Lion, while many retail chains that traditionally just sold merchandise are getting into the grocery business.

"The lines between traditional channels of food, drug and mass merchandise are really starting to get fuzzy," said Roger Beahm, a professor of marketing at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business in Winston-Salem.

Beahm said many grocers have realized that simply competing with the likes of Walmart on price isn’t sustainable. They need to differentiate themselves in other ways if they’re to remain profitable and competitive.

"I think you’re going to see a strong emphasis to try to build customer loyalty. To put a little more margin into the bottom line for retailers," Beahm said. "And they’ll do that through unique products, special service, quality environment and rewards for customer loyalty."

No loyalty program

Customer loyalty programs offered by the likes of Harris Teeter, Kroger and Lowes Foods have become popular with Triangle shoppers.

Publix doesn’t offer such a program. When it first entered the Georgia market, the company ran a marketing campaign with the tagline: "No forms. No cards. No hassles."

"I think that’s going to be the interesting thing to look at to see how Publix is able to build consumer loyalty in the face of some of these programs that other competitors have," Beahm said.

Maria Brous, Publix’s media and communications director, said the company’s philosophy is simple.

"We believe that every customer deserves the same service and the same pricing," she said.

Brous added that Publix evaluates all of its business decisions when it moves into a new market.

"I can tell you what we do today. I can’t tell you what we’ll do tomorrow," she said.

Emotional connections

Although Publix may be new to North Carolina, plenty of the state’s residents are familiar with the brand given its large presence throughout the Southeast. Publix operates more than a thousand stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.

Mary McCabe, a Cary mother of three, is intrigued by the newcomer. She visited a Publix in Orlando – it was clean, she said, with good prices.

But it will take something special for the new store to get her full attention.

"I shop everywhere," she said, leaning on a cartload of Cokes outside the Lowes Foods in west Cary.

She has to juggle a family’s worth of preferences, from the kids’ sodas to her husband’s taste for high-end nuts. "There isn’t one place that does everything for me."

The new arrival won’t entice Aaron Alen to change allegiances.

"We’ve been going to this Harris Teeter for eight years. We’ll keep coming," the Cary local said while loading craft beer into his BMW Kompressor at the Harris Teeter nearest to the just-announced Publix.

Beahm, the marketing professor, said establishing that emotional attachment with the customer has become the Holy Grail for grocers.

"You’re going to see continued attempts to develop an emotional connection with consumers on the basis of the brand, and go beyond the bottom line and the price," he said.


Shopping Center Business: The Perfect Blend (Bradford review)

June 20, 2013

Shopping Center Business by Brittany Biddy - Click to view original article

Published: May 2013

Northwood Ravin is developing Bradford, a mixed-use project at the demographic center of Cary, N.C., which will allow the project to capitalize on its proximity to the Research Triangle, as well as the surrounding dense residential community. Upon full build-out, the approximately $80 million development will include a 50,000-square-foot specialty grocery store, six retail pads, 16,000 square feet of additional retail, 370 apartments and 20 townhomes.

While the specialty grocery store lease has yet to be announced, Northwood Ravin will target a combination of services and restaurants to occupy the additional retail space and outparcels.

Jeff Furman, vice president of Charlotte, N.C.-based Northwood Ravin, says, “We’re looking for upscale tenants that will be amenities for the center itself and also blend with the very strong demographics of the surrounding neighborhoods.”

The Preston submarket of Cary boasts a population of 69,826 within three miles of Bradford, with an average household income of $109,011, according to the development company. The area’s population grew at a rate of 4.77 percent from 2000 to 2011, and the daytime employment includes 38,444 workers within three miles.

Furman also says that the proximity of the high-end residential component of the project with the grocery store and retail space will energize the main street on which Bradford is located. Located at the northeast corner of Davis Drive and High House Road, the project will witness upwards of 27,000 cars in traffic on a daily basis. Bradford is also strategically located close to the Prestonwood Country Club, taking advantage of a high-end golf clientele. The company originally zoned the site approximately six years ago, but didn’t give up when the economy faltered and plans stalled.

“We have not seen many large multifamily projects going forward right now,” explains Furman. "So, it really speaks to the strength of the site and especially the submarket that we’re able to advance with such a large multifamily project and virtually bring on the retail component at the same time.”

The first phase of the project, which includes the $55 million residential component, broke ground in the summer of 2011. Units will be delivered at the end of 2013 and the company is striving for rents at the top of the submarket due to the high quality of the residential component.

The retail portion of Bradford is currently undergoing the town’s site plan approval process, but Northwood Ravin expects to break ground later this fall. Crosland Southeast will be in charge of leasing the retail space.

Northwood Ravin is concentrating on energizing the space at Bradford by encouraging restaurants to take advantage of the patio space the project offers. The company hopes to secure a blend of fast/casual chains, as well as upscale restaurants for the mixed-use project.

“We’ll definitely encourage outdoor seating to energize the main street and all of the public amenities we’re bringing on board with the project,” says Furman.

Additional features at Bradford will not only cater to the residents living on the property, but also retail customers. Bradford expects to create a place where shoppers will stroll and neighbors will gather. Northwood Ravin has incorporated a public plaza and a multitude of pedestrian-friendly walkways in the site plan in order to provide an experience for the neighborhoods and the residents. - SCB


Northwood Ravin Opens Two Triangle Apartment Communities

May 29, 2013

Click to download press release

Charlotte, N.C. / May 29, 2013 - Northwood Ravin LLC (Northwood Ravin), one of the largest multifamily companies in the Carolinas, announces the opening of Lofts at Weston Lakeside and St. Mary’s Square in the Triangle. The Lofts at Weston Lakeside is adjacent to another Northwood Ravin community in Cary, N.C., and is already 34% preleased and 11% occupied. St. Mary’s Square, which is located in bustling Glenwood South district of Raleigh, N.C. will welcome their first residents next week and are already 30% pre-leased.

"We have had overwhelming interest from people wanting to be in luxury residences in Class A locations," remarked David Ravin, president and chief executive officer of Northwood Ravin.

Having had experience in the immediate area in both cases, the development team was able to design a product that fits the niche perfectly and integrate features usually found in boutique hotels. "We pay attention to feedback our renters provide, and make adjustments to continue to exceed expectations," added Ravin.

Both developments are being designed to meet National Green Building Standard certification.

LOFTS AT WESTON LAKESIDE

The Lofts at Weston Lakeside, offers unsurpassed luxury and conveniences found in Cary, fueling the interest of renters who want to have the flexibility of a lease but luxury of a condominium and amenities of a high-end hotel. As a result, the community is already 34% pre-leased. The project is a joint venture by Northwood Ravin and Highwoods properties, two of the leading developers in the Southeastern United States.

The 215 one-, two-, and three-bedroom flats feature soaring ten foot ceilings and expansive windows which maximizes natural light and airiness. Designer kitchens include extraordinary finishes like 5" plank flooring, wine racks, ceramic tile backsplashes, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops, as well as community amenities such as demonstration kitchens and a 3,500 square foot state-of-the-art strength/cardio facility with private training room, TRX and punching bag.

New to the Triangle is a true resort-style saltwater pool with a "tanning shelf" where sunbathers can sit a few inches below the pool’s surface, and a pool chiller to provide refreshing water even in the hot late summer. It is surrounded by outdoor living room areas and outdoor TVs where you can grill and watch the game. Another new amenity to the Triangle is a dog spa adjacent to the bark park where people can pamper their pets or set up grooming.

"We pay attention to feedback our renters provide, and make adjustments to continue to exceed expectations," said David Ravin, president of Northwood Ravin. "We added plank flooring through the units, have increased the size of the exercise facility, added outdoor kitchens and a rooftop terrace to offer unparalleled views of a lake, just to name a few."

The Lofts at Weston Lakeside sits within the prestigious Weston Business Park with numerous corporate headquarters and recent expansion activity. The project also enjoys a location near SAS which employs over 4,000 associates, has connectivity to RTP and Raleigh via I-40.

ST. MARYS SQUARE

St. Mary’s Square, adjacent to 712 Tucker, another rapidly leased Glenwood South apartment community has opened its leasing office and will be welcoming the first residents in next week. Despite not being open yet, the property is already 30% pre-leased.

"We saw how much energy was in the area but because of a closed funeral home and a few vacant houses, this block on St. Mary’s lacked that energy felt throughout Glenwood South and had great untapped potential," said Ravin. "It was our vision to reinvigorate the block and provide something different for renters."

The community consists of 134 units with a mixture of studios, 1 bedrooms, and 2 bedrooms. The development will also offer 4 first floor live/work units along St. Mary’s Street. St. Mary’s Square offers the design and feel of a boutique hotel. The common area is similar to many hotel lobbies with several stylish "vignettes" of soft seating so people can use that for socializing, meeting or working in small groups utilizing the free WiFi.

The apartments ranging from 505 sq. ft to 1,301 sq. ft. all feature soaring ten and fourteen foot ceilings and oversized windows which draw in natural light to minimize artificial lighting and provides a more natural feel. Designer kitchens include extraordinary finishes like 5" plank flooring, wine racks, modern mosaic tile backsplashes and granite countertops.

New to the Raleigh rental market is an elevated saltwater plunge pool on top of the parking deck to maximize sun exposure and provide downtown skyline views. Renters enjoy the walkability to hundreds of businesses, shops and restaurants. Select amenities include:

  • Gourmet Kitchens with wine racks and luxurious crown on cabinetry
  • Club and amenity spaces, gaming stations & demonstration kitchen
  • Elevated heated and cooled saltwater pool
  • Outdoor elevated courtyard lounge with TV, fireplace, water feature, kitchen and grilling
  • Pet grooming room
  • Two story State-of-the-art fitness center

NATIONAL GREEN BUILDING STANDARD

Northwood Ravin has been a leading developer of sustainable practices long before certifications. Prior projects received recognition from LEED, Energy Star and Earthcraft Homes. These projects were submitted the project to Home Innovation Research Labs, who certifies all types of residential projects to the National Green Building Standard (NGBS), the only residential green building standard approved by the American National Standards Institute. To achieve NGBS Certification, a builder, developer, or remodeler must incorporate a minimum number of features in these categories: energy, water, and resource efficiency; lot and site development; indoor environmental quality; and resident education.

Select sustainable features that the development have included are:

  • The lot was designed to minimize environmental impact – access to mass transportation, community resources within walking distance.
  • Landscape plan limits water & energy use and preserves/enhances the environment - enhanced natural vegetation, native & regionally appropriate landscaping used, soil improved with organic local compost.
  • Individual utility metering - each unit has individual water and power meters so residents can monitor monthly usage.
  • Energy & Water Efficiency – Energy Star appliances and lighting, programmable thermostats, superior insulation, Low-E Windows, sealed duct systems, irrigation system utilizing greywater, and -water efficient fixtures.
  • Products & Methods – Recycle construction waste. Using products that require fewer materials to achieve the same end-use requirements as conventional materials, and that have less maintenance on an ongoing basis due to installation methods.


News & Observer: For Triangle apartment developers, timing could be everything

May 21, 2013

News & Observer by David Bracken - Click to view original article

Published: May 15, 2013

CARY — With developers proposing new apartment projects in the Triangle on a seemingly weekly basis, the one thing we can be certain about is that not all these projects will get built and not all the ones that do get built will be a success.

The timing of when a project opens, in addition to its location and the quality of its units, will go a long way toward determining how well it does.

In the case of Northwood Ravin, which is now opening new communities in Cary and downtown Raleigh, the company’s timing couldn’t be much better.

In Cary, Northwood Ravin has partnered with Highwoods Properties on the 215-unit The Lofts at Weston Lakeside. Weston is where the insurance giant MetLife is considering locating a new campus that eventually will employ about 1,300 people.

In Raleigh, Northwood Ravin’s 134-unit St. Mary’s Square project near Glenwood South will be among the first of many to open in downtown over the next 18 months. It will also be one of the smallest in terms of the number of units.

David Ravin, Northwood Ravin’s president, says opening ahead of the competition is crucial. So is building in locations where additional projects are less likely to be proposed, such as Weston where Highwoods has been strategic about how it builds out the land it owns.

The Lofts are the second multifamily joint venture that Highwoods has done at Weston – it earlier developed the 332-unit Weston Lakeside apartments with Crosland – and its location on the edge of Lake Crabtree near Umstead Park is likely to be a major draw for tenants.

To stroll through The Lofts common areas and units is to be reminded of just how much of an arms race the apartment market has become. The complex is loaded with amenities that you would find in a high-end hotel: an expansive gym, club space suitable for hosting corporate functions, a rooftop deck and a saltwater pool.

The units feature 10-foot ceilings, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances – all the finishings that tenants today have come to expect.

A 'hospitality influence'

Jeff Furman, development director for Northwood Ravin’s Raleigh operations, says the hotel resemblance is intentional. “Everything now has more of a hospitality influence,” he said.

Northwood Ravin has preleased 28 percent of the units at The Lofts and 17 percent at St. Mary’s Square.

Still, Ravin, who ran Crosland’s apartment group for 14 years before it spun out and became Ravin Partners, is not nearly as sanguine about the Triangle apartment markets as some other developers.

“It’s a good market. I’m nervous it’s not a great market,” he said. “I think we’re going to test that pretty quickly.”

At Crosland, Ravin developed some of the Triangle properties – 712 Tucker and Oberlin Court, to name two – that helped fuel the apartment boom by selling for eye-popping sums. Since leaving Crosland, he has partnered with Northwood Investors to create Northwood Ravin, which now manages more than 3,000 units in North Carolina and is developing projects in the Triangle, Atlanta, Tampa, Fla., and Richmond, Va.

Nervous about demand

Ravin agrees that demographic shifts now occurring in the country ultimately will benefit the apartment market. The percentage of the population that is age 25 to 34 is growing, and young people are waiting longer to get married and have children.

Rents also are still rising in the Triangle. The average monthly rent was $890 in the first quarter, up 2 percent from the same period last year, according to MPF Research, which analyzes apartment data in 100 U.S. metro markets.

But in markets such as downtown Raleigh, Ravin wonders whether developers are overestimating the demand among young renters for such units. The ability of owners to push rents also will be tied to job and wage growth.

Ravin said the rapidly recovering housing market is perhaps the clearest sign that the apartment market is headed for a correction, one likely to be more severe than previous downturns.

He predicts that over the next 12 to 18 months the market will bifurcate into the haves and have-nots, with some of the new projects prospering while others struggle. As some communities founder, investors’ willingness to finance new projects will cool.

“It will stop as fast as it started,” Ravin said.


Charlotte Business Journal: Strong leasing activity at Charlotte's Vue tower

October 4, 2012

Charlotte Business Journal by Will Boye - Click to view original article

Thursday, October 4, 2012, 2:23pm EDT

Since converting the 392 unsold condo units at The Vue to luxury apartments, the new owner of the 51-story building has signed 70 leases with renters, and 57 residents have moved in.

David Ravin, chief executive of Northwood Ravin, the multifamily firm that leases and manages the property, says interest in the building has been "overwhelming." And it has increased as the market has learned that the building, rebranded as The Vue Charlotte on 5th, has been converted, he says.

Northwood Ravin also is turning a space that was left for future penthouse expansion into a 3,800-square-foot private "sky lounge" on the 50th floor. That space, to be completed by New Year’s Eve, will include a bar, lounge seating, a demonstration kitchen and dining room, an entertainment room with piano bar and a private game room. In addition, it will feature meeting and conference rooms and a wireless business center with private seating areas overlooking uptown.

The firm is remodeling the sales center at West Fifth and North Pine streets and will begin outdoor additions on the eighth-floor pool deck this winter.

Northwood Investors, a New York investment firm, won The Vue at a foreclosure auction in June. Ravin, former head of Crosland’s residential division, formed Northwood Ravin as a joint venture with Northwood in 2011.

Frank Warren, a senior economist with Kimley-Horn, says 23 leases per month is a good pace for an apartment lease-up, and it looks even better at The Vue’s price range. Units measure 650 to 3,584 square feet and are priced between $1,100 and $5,800 per month.

"Given that they’re top of the market with their rents, I would say that’s a very strong performance," Warren says.

Apartment developers are closely watching the leasing progress at The Vue because of its outsized impact on the uptown submarket. According to real estate research firm Real Data, the number of vacant units uptown jumped to 443 in August from 75 in February, and the uptown vacancy rate rose to 17.6% from 3.5%. The average rent increased as well, rising to $1.57 per square foot from $1.38.

Warren says strong leasing activity at The Vue demonstrates how tight the uptown market had become before the conversion of the building’s empty condo units. "The (uptown) market doesn’t have a whole lot of options," he says.


Charlotte Observer: Uptown’s Vue finding its niche in luxury rental market

October 4, 2012

Charlotte Observer by Kerry Singe - Click to view original article

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Vue has leased 70 apartments since this summer, when the uptown high-rise's new owner converted 392 condominium units into rentals.

"We have had overwhelming interest from people wanting to be uptown and to live in the one-of-a-kind Vue high-rise," said David Ravin, president and chief executive officer of Northwood Ravin, which manages the property. Northwood Ravin also is an affiliate of Northwood Investors, which purchased the Vue at foreclosure auction in June.

"We are seeing interest actually accelerate into the fall as people become aware the building now has luxury rental options," Ravin said.

Nearly 60 residents currently live in the building, alongside 16 condo owners. The Vue was built as for-sale luxury condominiums but struggled to close sales after construction finished in fall 2010. The former owner later defaulted on the loan.

Northwood Ravin is also building out several spaces that had been left for future penthouse expansion. The firm is remodeling the sales center in the building and plans to begin outdoor additions on the eighth floor pool deck this winter.

The company is also building the Sky Lounge on the 50th floor. Work has been permitted and is expected to be finished by New Year's Eve, Northwood Ravin says.

The Sky Lounge will be 3,800 square feet on the Vue's top floor and include a bar and lounge seating overlooking Bank of America Stadium and the new Knight's ballpark. The lounge, which will be available to residents and guests, will also have a demonstration kitchen and dining room, entertainment room with piano bar, private game room, meeting and conference rooms and a wireless business center with private seating areas overlooking uptown.

These amenities join features already available including 24-hour concierge and security, heated junior Olympic-sized pool and sundeck, and health club with yoga room.

"We really wanted to provide top notch amenities to match the top of the line finishes of the units themselves," Ravin said. "The private Sky Lounge on the 50th floor is really something no one else can offer in Charlotte."

Rent for the units, which range from 650 square feet to 3,586 square feet, is between $1,100 and $5,800 a month.

The conversion to rentals marked the end of two years of uncertainty and legal squabbles for the building. In 2010, the Vue was lauded as one of the few proposed uptown high-rises that made it up out of the ground despite a crippling recession and weak housing market.

The former developer said he would never lower the luxury-level prices nor convert the building to rentals. Condos started selling in the mid-2000s from just under $200,000 to more than $2 million.

Many would-be buyers lost deposits when they either decided to walk away or couldn't secure financing to complete a sale.

Charlotte's apartment market, meanwhile, has been booming and developers have announced scores of new multifamily projects for the area. Northwood Ravin is actively involved in other local apartment complexes.


News & Observer: Northwood Ravin begins work on $55 million Cary apartment project

July 20, 2012

News & Observer by dbracken - Click to view original article

Friday, July 202, 2012, 12:20pm EDT

Northwood Ravin announced Friday that it has begun site work on the $55 million first phase of Bradford, a luxury apartment complex planned for Davis and High House roads in Cary.

The phase includes 370 apartments plus an additional 20 townhouse apartments. The apartments are expected to be completed by the fall of 2013.

Bradford is being built on a 42-acre parcel. Leasing of the commercial phase of the project is underway in and is being handled by Crosland Southeast.

Northwood Ravin is a joint effort of Ravin Partners and Northwood Investors. Ravin Partners is the multifamily group that spun out of Crosland last year.

Northwood Ravin now has 750 units under construction in the Triangle, including the St. Mary's Square project in Raleigh's Glenwood South district and The Lofts at Weston Lakeside in Cary adjacent to Lake Crabtree.


Triangle Business Journal: Construction begins on Bradford development

July 20, 2012

Triangle Business Journal by Dale Gibson - Click to view original article - version 2

Friday, July 20, 2012, 6:00am EDT

Construction has begun on the long-delayed Bradford development at the intersection of Davis and High House roads near Prestonwood in Cary, starting with a $55 million upscale apartment community.

Charlotte-based Crosland paid $11 million for 42 acres at the northeast corner of the busy Cary intersection in 2009 after getting site plan approval in 2008, but the real estate company in 2011 was forced by its financial partners to sell its operating units to executives of the firm.

Based on that plan, Northwood Ravin LLC plans to open the first phase of Bradford by fall 2013, which will include all site work, construction of 370 apartment units centered around several courtyards, 20 townhouse apartments and corresponding amenities. The firm is also installing three new traffic signals, widening both Davis and High House roads and constructing a new loop connector through the property to improve traffic flow.

Crosland Southeast is in charge of Bradford’s commercial phase.


Triangle Business Journal: The Vue converting to apartments

June 29, 2012

Triangle Business Journal by Will Boye - Click to view original article

Friday, June 29, 2012, 12:10pm EDT

It's official: Northwood Investors, the New York investment firm that won The Vue Charlotte at a foreclosure auction earlier this month, is converting the 391 unsold condo units to luxury apartments.

David Ravin, president and chief executive of Northwood Ravin, says his firm began setting up a sales center at the property this morning and will be able to write leases shortly. The units will lease for $1,300 to $5,000 per month, he says.

"We're anticipating good demand," says Ravin, who formed a joint venture with Northwood after he left Crosland. "There are certainly other things coming, but not really comparable in terms of location or type of product."

According to research firm Real Data, the apartment vacancy rate uptown is the lowest in the market at 3.5%, and the average rent is the highest at $1,216 per month.

The units at The Vue range from studios and small, one-bedroom units to three-bedroom penthouse units. Ravin says his firm already had been receiving calls from potential tenants who speculated that the 51-story building would be converted to rentals.

"There are a lot of people that just want to get into it and see it," he says. "We're focused on the people who want to live here."


Charlotte Observer: Mostly-empty Vue uptown condos turning into luxury apartments

June 29, 2012

Charlotte Observer by Kerry Singe - Click to view original article

Friday, June 29, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Vue high-rise in uptown is converting to luxury apartments, ending years of speculation about the fate of a skyscraper filled with condos the developer couldn’t sell.

New York-based Northwood Investors, which bought the tower at auction this month, hopes to attract the same type of customer the original developer had in mind: well-heeled empty nesters, young professionals and people looking for a second, urban home.

And while the new occupants will be renting, not buying, Northwood hopes the change marks a turnaround for a tower that came to symbolize dashed hopes for an uptown condo boom.

"You’re not used to seeing these things outside major metro areas," said David Ravin, president of Charlotte-based Northwood Ravin, which is acting as property manager and is an affiliate of Northwood Investors. "I think this is going to set a different niche for rental living."

The units, ranging from 600 square feet to 3,800 square feet, will be priced between $1,250 and $5,000 per month.

The 51-story tower at Fifth and Pine streets has remained mostly empty since construction finished in fall 2010, with buyers closing on fewer than two dozen of the building’s 408 units. Northwood acquired the project’s debt this spring after the Chicago-based developer, Dan McLean of MCL Cos., defaulted on the loan.

Northwood paid $102.75 million June 12 at a foreclosure auction for 389 units and parking and storage space.

In a statement, the company said the existing condominiums will continue as before, but did not elaborate.

Real estate analyst Bill Miley with Metrostudy said it makes sense to rent the unsold units instead of trying to sell them.

"The owner has to do something," he said. "The condo sales side of things are slow. And there’s pretty high demand for rental units in uptown."

History of a recession

Two years ago, the Vue was lauded as one of the few proposed uptown high-rises that made it up out of the ground despite a crippling recession and weak housing market.

Since then, the project has become a highly visible sore spot for uptown boosters as it experienced a work stoppage, struggled to close sales and became entangled in lawsuits.

When sales started in the mid-2000s, the project was touted as one of uptown’s most luxurious residences, with its 35,000-square-foot pool deck, fitness center, and tennis and basketball courts.

But the poor housing market flatlined condo sales, especially for luxury units in the center city.

Although the developer said he’d presold half the building, most sales never closed. Still, McLean professed confidence despite the weakening residential market, pledging repeatedly to never lower sales prices or turn the units into rentals. Condos at the Vue started selling from just under $200,000 to more than $2 million.

Miley said Thursday the overall uptown condo market likely won’t be affected by the change to rentals.

If anything, he said, the market may now be better off because the owner isn’t slashing prices, as some investors did in Florida after buying distressed condo properties.

"I think it would be pretty hard on everybody that owns uptown if (the new owner) tried to sell them," Miley said. "Getting the units occupied and getting monthly cash flow will help (the building) get through until the market improves."

One existing owner said he heard of the change Thursday when he received an email from Northwood.

The news, he said, wasn’t a surprise, but "I am disappointed that as homeowners there weren’t any options laid out in the letter. Obviously the value of our properties takes an immediate hit as our resale options are extremely limited. Again, not a surprise, but now a reality."

The owner didn’t want to be named because he has not yet spoken to Northwood.

Charlotte-based Northwood Ravin has experience converting condominium projects to rentals, having assisted developers with conversions on at least seven local properties, including the Catalyst and Quarterside in uptown and Fat City Lofts in NoDa.

The apartment market has been popular among investors and developers both nationally and locally. More Americans are expected to turn to renting as the housing market remains soft.

While the apartment market traditionally has been a cyclical one with large booms and busts, supply in Charlotte has been restricted in recent years while demand has grown, leading rents and occupancy rates to increase.

David Ravin said he’s not worried about the market becoming overheated because the Vue, with its commanding views of the city’s skyline, serves a narrow niche.

"If you want to be in downtown and you want to live in a high-rise and expect the higher end of things, this is that product," he said.

Ravin said he won’t do anything special to promote the Vue as a rental option for the Democratic National Convention, which is expected to draw 35,000 people to uptown in September.

"We’re certainly aware it’s a high-profile building in Charlotte," Ravin said. "Like all residents, we want to be good hosts. But we’re probably more focused on residents who will be there for the longer term."

Eventually, the company would be open to converting the property back to for-sale condos if the market were right, Ravin said.

"On projects like this at the higher end, they are so unique, I think you could go either way successfully," he said.

Across the street from the Vue, the manager of Versa Salon said she is excited at the prospect of the building being filled with people.

The sleek building, while empty, has been "beautiful to look at," said Kisha Wright.

"We’re excited about meeting new people and seeing the community growing," she said.


Triangle Business Journal: Construction begins on two new Raleigh apartment complexes

February 17, 2012

Triangle Business Journal by Amanda Jones Hoyle - Click to view original article

Friday, February 17, 2012, 2:17pm EST

It’s full speed ahead for two major apartment development projects only two blocks apart on Boylan Avenue and St. Mary’s Street in downtown Raleigh’s Glenwood South district.

Southern Land Co. of Franklin, Tenn., has completed demolition of the office buildings on its 1.7-acre site for the 425 North Boylan multifamily development on the southwest corner of the intersection of North Boylan Avenue and Tucker Street.

Likewise, Northwood Ravin of Charlotte has completed demolition of the buildings on its 1.2-acre site at the northwest corner of the intersection of St. Mary’s Street and West Johnson Street for its St. Mary’s Square apartment community. The $21 million St. Mary’s Square project is slated to have 195 apartment units.

Sitework and shoring at the St. Mary’s project will commence next week, says Jeff Furman, the director of Raleigh operations at Northwood Ravin. He adds that the next activity will be building the two-level concrete parking podium. Leasing will start in the fall.

The $42 million 425 North Boylan project will be Southern Land Co.’s first development project in the Triangle region.

The project will consist of an 8-story concrete building with a 7-story parking deck. Inside, it will have 261 one- and two-bedroom units, plus 13,300 square feet of retail and office space. The development team is also targeting LEED Silver certification.


Triangle Business Journal: Apartments rule the real estate roost among investors

January 6, 2012

Triangle Business Journal by Amanda Jones Hoyle - Click to view original article

Friday, January 6, 2012, 6:00am EST

RALEIGH – Investors’ appetites for top-tier apartment properties in the greater Triangle region translated to more than $963 million in investment property sales in 2011, but it was the sale of a shopping center and two office properties that topped the list for best-in-show.

Inland American Real Estate Trust’s $95 million purchase of the White Oak Crossing shopping center in Garner in August outranked all other commercial real estate deals in 2011 to take the top honors for highest price paid for a commercial property in the Triangle.

The $88.8 million sale of 11 office buildings at Keystone Technology Park in Durham came in at a close second, and the $75.8 million sale of the Quintiles headquarters office building on Emperor Boulevard in Durham was the third largest deal of the year.

But after that, the honors belong to "mighty multifamily."

More than 30 apartment communities in Wake, Durham and Orange counties were traded in 2011 among 50 different investor groups from across the country, according to a Triangle Business Journal survey of commercial deals valued at more than $10 million.

The volume of deals at height-of-the market dollar figures was enough to push the Triangle investor market back to near-peak levels for apartments, says Jeff Glenn, an investment broker with CBRE in Raleigh who specializes in multifamily housing sales.

With the single-family housing market in the doldrums, more people are renting rather than buying, giving more value to apartment complexes as investment choices than in the past.

Glenn notes that investors participated in only $250 million worth of apartment transactions in 2009. The total for apartment deals in 2010 was $528 million. He credits the return of institutional investors to the real estate market for much of the 82 percent bump in transaction volume in 2011.

Entities of Prudential Insurance Co., for example, paid $53 million in October for the Woodland Terrace senior housing complex in Cary and also paid $72 million for the Oberlin Court apartment complex in Raleigh in a November deal.

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. helped prop up several apartment properties in the Triangle after Charlotte-based Crosland splintered its real estate divisions, including its multifamily development arm. Former Crosland executive David Ravin has since formed his own multifamily company and is managing many of the Triangle area apartment assets owned by Northwestern Mutual, including Chapel Watch and Cosgrave Hill in Chapel Hill and The Arboretum in Cary.

While apartment sales are expected to remain a hot commodity in 2012, other sectors of the commercial real estate market will likely face many of the same challenges as in 2011.

The commercial mortgage-backed securities, or CMBS, market continues to remain a challenge for investors who may have a balloon loan payment coming due or whose building income is underperforming.

"With apartments, everyone is climbing all over each other to get to them, but there’s a niche of properties in the $5 million to $30 million range where the glut of the market is, and there are so few transactions," says Greg Trainor with Fairfield Asset Advisors of Denver, Colo. Fairfield assisted in the Dec. 29 sale of the 112,000-square-foot Trinity Place office building on Edwards Mill Road to The Brookdale Group of Atlanta.

Robert Bach, chief economist for Grubb & Ellis Co., is predicting continued sluggish recovery in 2012, and much of the recovery can be attributed to limited new supply of all types of commercial properties. "The lack of new deliveries funneled demand to existing properties, giving the market time to heal," Bach stated in a recent report.


News & Observer: Northwood Ravin buys Arboretum apartments in Cary

January 2, 2012

News & Observer Blog by David Bracken - Click to view original article

January 2, 2012

Northwood Ravin, the joint venture between Crosland's former multifamily development arm and Northwood Investors, has bought The Apartments at the Arboretum in Cary for $32 million, according to Wake County property records.

Crosland developed the 205-unit complex, which opened in 2008.

Last summer, Crosland, the Charlotte developer that has been among the most active in the Triangle during the past decade, announced that it would divest its retail, multifamily and residential development arms to focus exclusively on managing existing assets.

Crosland's multifamily team became Ravin Partners, led by David Ravin. Ravin Partners and Northwood announced their joint venture in October. The company will both develop and manage apartment projects.

Northwood Investors was founded in 2006 by John Kukral, the former head of Blackstone Real Estate Advisors.

Northwood Ravin is developing the 134-unit St. Mary's Square project in Raleigh's Glenwood South area and has also taken over three other Crosland projects in the Triangle: Trinity Commons at Erwin in Durham and Chapel Hill North and Chapel Watch Village.

Northwood Ravin expects to provide property management services for a portfolio that includes 16 properties with a total of 3,100 units.

The Arboretum deal capped a busy year in apartment sales, with nearly $900 million worth of transactions being completed.

Apartments have been far and away the best performing commercial real estate sector in recent years. The turmoil in the residential housing market has increased demand for apartments as more and more people lose their homes to foreclosure or find that they can no longer qualify for a mortgage.


Charlotte Business Journal: Behind the Scenes in Charlotte 2011

December 30, 2011

Charlotte Business Journal by Will Boye - Click to view original article

Friday, December 30, 2011, 6:00am EST

In just about any business, there are individuals in the background who are shaping strategy and executing the changes that make the difference between profit and loss. And such players seem to be playing an increasing role as the economy continues to struggle in its recovery from the Great Recession. Here are some key behind-the-scenes leaders who’ve made a significant difference in the Charlotte region in 2011 — and whose impact will continue to be felt in 2012 and beyond...

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David Ravin
David Ravin is one of the few real estate developers in Charlotte who’s making plans to go vertical anytime soon.

Ravin is the former president of the residential division at Crosland, the venerable real estate firm that sold its operating units earlier this year. Now he’s chief executive of Northwood Ravin, an apartment development, construction and management firm focused on six Southeastern states. Ravin teamed with New York-based Northwood Investors and bought a chunk of Crosland’s property-management department after earlier buying its development and construction divisions.

While many developers have been sidelined by the prolonged economic slump, the apartment sector is a bright spot in Charlotte, with demand outstripping supply. Inventories remain at low levels, and multifamily developers are busy working to get new units out of the ground.

"The real estate world has stopped, and the only thing that seems to have a heartbeat is multifamily," Ravin said in October. And because apartments are hot, the sector is attracting some inexperienced players — and that could cause problems later, he noted.

"Everyone has decided they’re going to be a multifamily developer," he says. "And everyone seems to be competing for the same sites to put up the same things. Not every vacant site makes sense for multifamily, and not all apartments should be built to the exact same end user, which is the temptation."

Northwood Ravin has taken over property management for about 15 apartment complexes, with half of those developments in Charlotte. And the firm is looking at two sites in town for development.

"We’re going to be selective," Ravin says. "Northwood has access to a lot of capital, and I think our strategy is to say if a project makes sense, we can do it."


Triangle Business Journal: Developers reignite 14-story apartment building in Durham

December 23, 2011

Triangle Business Journal by Amanda Jones Hoyle - Click to view original article

Friday, December 23, 2011, 6:00am EST

DURHAM – The developers of the Lakeview buildings on Erwin Road in Durham are gearing up for their next big undertaking: A $54 million, 14-story tall apartment tower planned to start as early as next summer.

If built, the Tower at Lakeview building will be the tallest apartment building constructed in the Triangle in more than 30 years.

Aacre Properties, led by Raleigh veteran real estate executive Jim Anthony, originally had planned to build residential condo units on the sliver of land left undeveloped in 2007 at the intersection of Erwin Road and Downing Street.

"But that was during the drink-the-condo-Kool-Aid days," says Marcus Jackson, a partner in the project.

If construction starts in summer 2012, the apartment building would be delivered in 2013 around the same time that Duke University Medical Center, which is located about three blocks from Lakeview, wraps up construction of more than $900 million in expansion projects, including a $600 million, eight-story patient tower and the $235 million Duke Cancer Center facility.

"We have two competitive advantages," Jackson says. "Most people don’t think of the Duke area as having the best economic prospects, but the hospital and the university will be adding thousands of new workers and students with these expansion projects. Plus, we already have the parking deck."

A structured parking deck was built in 2007 to accommodate the Lakeview Pavilion East mixed-use building, and it included 300 extra parking spaces to accommodate the future condo building. Most of the excess parking spaces are being leased to the nearby Durham VA Medical Center, but the parking deck could easily be converted back to use for the residential tower once it is completed.

Regarding financing for the project, Jackson says they are still in the capital raising mode and would not disclose details of who will be financing the apartment tower project.

Lake View Partners LLC, an entity of Aacre Properties and owner of the tower property, succeeded in refinancing a $24 million mortgage loan secured by the Pavilion East building in October with U.S. Bank National Association, according to Durham County deed records.

Cline Design Associates of Raleigh is collaborating with the Cooper Carry architecture firm of Atlanta to design The Tower at Lakeview. The Brasfield & Gorrie construction firm will be the general contractor, and the Kettler property management firm of McLean, Va., will serve as property managers when it opens, Jackson confirms.

Apartment buildings that are higher than five or six stories tall are an anomaly in the Triangle region due to the higher construction cost associated with the price for concrete construction that is needed to build a more stable, taller building.

Northwood Ravin of Charlotte recently completed construction of the 239-unit, five-story tall Trinity Commons at Erwin apartment complex that is near the Tower at Lakeview site.

Jeff Furman, vice president of development for Northwood Ravin, says Trinity Commons is already exceeding expectations in attracting tenants. "It delivered when everything else stopped," he says, "It came on board when there was just a trickle of other units opening. It was a unique sort of window."

The rental prices for The Tower at Lakeview could also set a record for Triangle-area rental properties. Jackson estimates The Tower unit’s rental rates will start in the range of $1.65 per square foot a month, or about $1,238 a month for a 750-square-foot apartment unit.

The Triangle apartment market’s average rental rate in September was 88 cents a square foot per month, according to a report by Karnes Research on behalf of the Triangle Apartment Association.

Units at Trinity Commons are leasing for between $794 and $2,117 a month, and units at another nearby apartment complex, Lofts at Lakeview, are leasing for between $1,040 and $2,410 a month.

The Tower at Lakeview has to be tall in order to boost the number of leasable units, Jackson says.

The building will also feature a clubhouse and swimming pool on the roof.

The next tallest building in the Erwin Road area is the 12-story Hock Plaza I office building built in 2005, but Jackson says the Hock building will still appear taller because it was built on higher ground.

Anthony’s Durham project is also one of multiple apartment projects that have been proposed by both local and out-of-state developers in the region over the past few months.

"The bottom line is who’s going to come out of the gate first and who is going to get financing," Reece says. "2013 is going to be a very interesting year for deliveries and how many units will be absorbed going into 2014."

Reece did note, however, that most of the apartment projects on the drawing board are in the Wake County area, not in Durham like the Tower project. "There’s not a lot of pressure in that area, which is good for them," he says.


Triangle Business Journal Another apartment building planned for Glenwood South

December 9, 2011

Triangle Business Journal by Amanda Jones Hoyle - Click to view original article

Friday, December 9, 2011, 6:00am EST

RALEIGH – Blue Ridge Realty is joining the multifamily march into downtown Raleigh’s Glenwood South district with plans to build a 209-unit apartment complex called The Gramercy at the corner of Glenwood Avenue and West North Street.

It is the fourth multi-story rental property proposed within a three block radius in downtown Raleigh in the past nine months.

Joe Meir, president of Blue Ridge Realty in Raleigh, cautions that his group has multiple hurdles to overcome before it can decide whether construction of The Gramercy is viable. “All I can tell is this is what we are contemplating,” he says.

Since March, four separate development companies have submitted plans to build four apartment complexes in the Glenwood South district. Combined, they would add 745 rental units to downtown Raleigh’s inventory of apartments. That would more than double the number of apartment units in all of downtown Raleigh built since 2007.

The market’s newest existing apartment communities, 712 Tucker and Hue, added 387 units in 2009 and are mostly full, says Ann-Cabel Baum Andersen, broker in charge of The Glenwood Agency, which specializes in the sale and rental of downtown Raleigh residential properties.

"I think downtown Raleigh is grossly underserved for rental and has been for a long time," Andersen says. "But timing is everything. As long as all the projects are not all developed in the same quarter, we’ll be in great shape."

The site plan for The Gramercy, which would be located in a half block bound by North Boylan Avenue, West North Street and Glenwood Avenue, shows a seven-story building with a structured parking deck, 209 residential units and at least one retail space that would front Glenwood Avenue.

Blue Ridge Realty already owns and manages an office building at 401 Glenwood Ave. that occupies half of the proposed apartment site. Blue Ridge was a partner with Trammell Crow Residential in the construction of the 222 Glenwood residential condo and retail building that opened in 2008.

Pointe Development Co. of Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., owns a church that sits on property occupying the other half of the Gramercy site. Pointe, along with a group of Raleigh developers, had in 2007 proposed to build an 84,000-square-foot office and residential building on the site, but that project never broke ground.

The JDavis Architects firm in Raleigh is working on either landscape planning or building design plans for three of the four proposed Glenwood South apartment projects, including The Gramercy. JDavis founder Jeff Davis says multifamily projects in the Triangle, as well as in Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina and the Washington, D.C., area make up about 60 percent of the firm’s current work.

"We’ve hired a considerable number of people since last spring," Davis says, estimating the firm has added 15 employees in 2011, upping its staff to 40 people in Raleigh and to seven people at a Philadelphia office. The firm is still smaller than it was at its peak in 2008, he says, but demand for multifamily development in particular is driving growth in commercial real estate.

"There’s just a lot of energy being put in the design of all these projects," Davis says. "We are really being challenged to do our best work. Design sells more than it ever has."

Construction of the $21 million St. Mary’s Square apartment community will likely be the first to break ground. Northwood Ravin of Charlotte has already secured approval from the city and financing, sources says.

Southern Land Co. of Franklin, Tenn., with the financial backing of J.P. Morgan Investment Management, has also secured city approval for its apartment project at 425 N. Boylan Ave., which is slated to have 250 units.

Harrington Street Partners LLC of Raleigh, which is led by Cary developer Gregg Sandreuter, is seeking permission from the city to build up to 153 apartment units for a project at 413 N. Harrington St. that is adjacent to the West condominium development that Sandreuter also developed.


Northwood Ravin Attracts New Top Talent and Expands Office

December 6, 2011

Raleigh, N.C. / December 6, 2011

Northwood Ravin LLC (Northwood Ravin) is excited to announce that Don M. Ward, Jr. has now joined Northwood Ravin as chief financial officer, Adam Golden is a new vice president of development in Raleigh, and they are expanding their headquarters by 2,000 square feet to accommodate growth. As part of the strategic plan, the company is capitalizing on the growth and strength of the multifamily industry and recruiting top talent to support the level of activity.

"I am thrilled to recruit industry veterans of their caliber to the team," commented David Ravin, president and chief executive officer of Northwood Ravin. "Don’s intrinsic knowledge of the real estate market and Adam’s experience in all aspects of the development process are invaluable assets as we seek out new opportunities for growth.”

As chief financial officer, Don Ward will oversee operations, financial, accounting and informational technology functions and drive strategy. He was previously the senior vice president in the Commercial Real Estate Bank at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and had been with the bank since 1996. During his 15 years in the commercial real estate industry, he served in a variety of roles and closed over $2 billion of commercial real estate loan transactions. But Don’s roots were always in multifamily; his father owned a multifamily development firm where he interned and worked in every capacity from leasing to maintenance. He said the fact that Northwood Ravin was fully-integrated and offered everything from construction and development services to property management is what attracted him to the role.

"I am very comfortable joining Northwood Ravin; not only is multifamily the least volatile (though occasionally overbuilt) market because it is a necessity, but also because everyone unequivocally says Ravin is a brilliant developer," said Don Ward, chief financial officer. "I am excited for this new opportunity for an expanded leadership role."

Adam Golden has also recently joined the firm as vice president of development, based in Raleigh overseeing Triangle and Virginia area apartment developments. Prior to joining Northwood Ravin, Adam was director of development at Wood Partners. He joined Wood Partners in 1998 and was involved in the successful development of more than 2,300 units in 9 projects in North Carolina and Virginia. Adam led all of Wood Partners’ development activity in southern Virginia and successfully developed 5 projects totaling more than 1,200 units in high-barrier Virginia markets. Before joining Wood Partners, Adam was a Development Analyst at Trammell Crow Residential where he worked on the development of more than 1,600 units in 6 projects in North Carolina and Virginia.

To fuel this growth, it was necessary to expand the Charlotte office by an additional 2,000 square feet.


Multifamily Executive: With Lessons Learned, Northwood Ravin Rises From Crosland's Ashes

November 30, 2011

Multifamily Executive Magazine by Jerry Ascierto - Click to view original article

November 30, 2011

It’s been a busy year for David Ravin, to say the least.

In April, Ravin purchased the development and construction division of Charlotte, N.C.–based Crosland LLC, where he had worked for 13 years, most recently as head of its multifamily division. In June, he recapitalized the entity through a 50/50 joint venture with Northwood Investors. Two months later, the company purchased Crosland’s property management division, consisting of 3,000 units.

The new firm, Northwood Ravin, has about 1,500 units under development, including six developments in the Raleigh-Durham area alone. The company has seen its headcount grow from 25 to 120—many of them former Crosland talent—and it continues to climb.

Crosland, a diversified company with a focus on retail and residential, had fallen on some hard times, as many of its lenders moved to foreclose. Its diversity had been a strength in the past, but when all asset classes sunk and the credit crisis hit, the company found itself under increasing pressure from financiers.

But Ravin is starting with a clean slate. He’s taken a sizable pipeline and management portfolio, not to mention much intellectual capital, from Crosland. And having lived through Crosland’s meltdown, he’s also taking a few lessons learned, including the following.

Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid
One of the mistakes Crosland made was buying into an overheated multifamily market. Like many developers, the firm was driven by its competitive nature to take on some marginal deals, and it began to lose its discipline. Even if a deal didn’t fit all the company’s investment criteria, it figured that a rising tide would lift all boats.

"The sites that we had talked ourselves into were the ones that really dragged us down, more so than they would’ve propped us up in good times," Ravin says. "When things get really heated, and you feel like you need to grab up seven sites because it’s getting so competitive, the truth is, when things go south, that’s an immediate recipe for sinking you."

Design Outside the Box
Many of the areas that Northwood Ravin is active in—including Raleigh-Durham; Charlotte; Richmond, Va.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Tampa and Orlando, Fla.—are starting to grow overheated again in terms of new-development proposals. What’s more, those proposals all look alike. Everyone’s basically building the same product—urban infill, deck-wrapped deals that target the same renters in the same submarket a few blocks away.

"The thing I think the industry is missing is that we should be developing different product—it’s a certain recipe for disaster to go after just one population and oversupply it,” Ravin says. "There’s a whole spectrum of the way people want to live, and you’ve got to look at where the demand curves are heading."

While the company focuses on high-barrier urban Southern markets, Northwood Ravin is also developing some suburban projects—and they aren’t garden walk-ups. Instead of building units that are stacked over one another, the company is focusing on attached and detached townhouses with private garages and yards, in good school districts, to take advantage of the wave of former homeowners entering the rental pool. Pet stations, pools, and child-friendly areas have become important elements.

Underwrite Cash Flow, Not Exit Caps
When Ravin joined Crosland, the company’s average hold period was 10 years. But as the multifamily market grew hotter, and the company achieved better returns through dispositions, it became a net seller.

Many developers close some really great sales and get lulled into reinvesting the proceeds into increasingly iffy deals, to try to do it again. Once a company’s plan becomes so confined that the stars have to align a certain way for it to make any profit, it’s made a mistake.

"Northwood Ravin is building to hold, and anyone who says otherwise right now might be potentially making a mistake," Ravin says. "The market may be very heated right now, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to exit at a 4 cap in four years. You want to be underwriting cash flow, rather than underwriting exit price."

Diversify Your Financing From Deal to Deal
This was something Crosland always did—and it saved the company from a much worse fate.

Like Crosland, Northwood Ravin doesn’t have a set financing scheme for every deal. Some new developments are financed with institutional partners, and some are financed through joint ventures with other developers and landowners. The bottom line is, financing shouldn’t always have to be internal or external, or tied to a specific institution or investor.

"We never had a set box at Crosland—some projects had institutional partners, and they didn’t hiccup nearly as much as the small private guys," Ravin says. "We did whatever made sense to move the project along, and that really helped us when the world went south."

Stop Building When the Rookies Come
Ravin opened Crosland’s Raleigh-Durham office 12 years ago, when everyone wondered what the company saw in the markets. Today, bolstered by the tech-heavy Research Triangle area, it’s among the nation’s hottest markets for apartment investment.

Since multifamily has become the darling asset class of investors, many commercial real estate developers have decided to try their hand at apartment development for the first time, hoping to catch some of that lightning in a bottle. And many equity investors, too, are targeting the asset class for the first time.

"They’re the worst people to compete against; they can really drive a marketplace down by making pricing mistakes that affect everybody," Ravin says. "But that’s the good thing about multifamily—you can see the construction coming from a long way away. And if we feel like a market is getting oversupplied, then we’ll sit back and wait to take advantage of the other end of the bubble."