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Mar. 5, 2014

Novare, Batson-Cook and Grubb Proceed on Charlotte’s SkyHouse Uptown

By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer

Sky House_CharlotteCharlotte, N.C.—Notice to proceed has been issued for SkyHouse Uptown in Charlotte, N.C. The 24-story, 336-unit luxury apartment tower in Charlotte’s Fourth Ward neighborhood will be developed by a partnership of Novare Group, Batson-Cook Development Company and Grubb Properties.  The development will be environmentally sustainable and Energy Star certified.

SkyHouse will offer one- through three-bedroom apartments that feature upscale finishes and floor-to-ceiling windows with dramatic views.  The top floor will be home to an amenity area called “SkyHouse,” offering a club room and fitness area. Also provided will be outdoor plazas that will feature a swimming pool, fireplaces, outdoor covered lounges and city views.

“While there continues to be significant development activity in Charlotte, the area is adding jobs,” Jim Borders, Novare Group president and CEO, tells MHN. “The market has shown that it can absorb the new inventory as the job growth matches up with deliveries.  SkyHouse is a unique community that will fit well within the existing and delivering communities in Uptown.”

About the only challenge arising thus far has been an increase in hard costs, particularly a marked upswing in concrete pricing in the Charlotte market, according to Borders.  But, he adds, “rents also moved in an amount that allowed us to compensate for that increase.”

SkyHouse Uptown will be the 11th from that brand of luxury high-rise towers to rise in Southern U.S. cities.  SkyHouse developments have already come to Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Orlando, Tampa and Raleigh.  The target demographic group for SkyHouse Uptown is comprised of Gen Y professionals who seek lifestyles they can only find in urban infill areas, where they are within walking distance of employment hubs, nightlife, culture and public transportation.

Says Mark Stewart, director of investments, Batson-Cook Development Company: “This is a demographically-driven program targeting younger residents who desire a high-rise urban lifestyle with entertainment and leisure options close by. Between the years 2012 and 2017, 4.2 million people will turn 22 every year. Many in this demographic will find SkyHouse an ideal place to call home.”

Construction financing for the project is being provided by BBVA/Compass Bank. NGI Investments LLC, led by Borders, and Batson-Cook Development Company are providing equity. Advising on financing were Robert LaChappelle, Jonathan Rice and Paul Berry of CBRE’s Atlanta office. Ryan Clutter of CBRE represented the seller in the land transaction.

“This project will spark a transformation of the North Tryon area, and underscores our commitment to provide upscale, close-in housing to a growing generation [of people] who prefer to rent rather than buy their residences,” says Clay Grubb, president of Grubb Properties. “We are proud to partner with premier developers such as Novare Group and Batson-Cook, both leaders in providing homes to young professionals across the Southeast to Texas.”

Adds Borders: “SkyHouse will be a place where Millennials as well as young-at-heart Gen X-ers who appreciate the value will want to live. Our experience in other markets has been that our residents appreciate the thought that’s gone into the product and the quality of life that both the building and location bring them. We really like delivering that to our residents, and it drives everything we do.”

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