|Volume 5, Issue 4
The Real Estate Report
Local Government News Impacting the Real Estate Industry
Vote in the Upcoming Primary!
The Association encourages you to get out and vote in the upcoming election on May 4. In Orange County, there is an important County Commissioner race that will be decided on the 4th. If you live in Orange County, please do your part and vote. For more information about the candidates, please contact Desiree Goldman, the Association’s Legislative Liaison at 919-696-5848. For information about where to vote, click here. To view a sample ballot, click here.
Changes Coming to University Mall
123 West Franklin Possible by 2014
New UNC Dorm Proposed
CHCCS Ask for Bigger Budget
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Board approved a budget of just north of $128 million last week. The budget is actually an increase in funding for students, raising the average amount to $3,158 per student. Overall, it is a two percent increase in funding. Nevertheless, indications from the County and State are that the district will be receiving less money this year. It is looking likely that state funds will decline this year by about $1.6 million for the district. County Commissioners are also saying that they will not be able to increase funding to the district this year. The Commissioners must adopt a budget by June. For the full story from the Chapel Hill News, click here.
CHCCS Middle Schools Among Best in the State
A consultant to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School District reported that the districts middle schools are the premier schools in North Carolina. Mark L’Esperance, an associate professor at East Carolina University, presented a report about the middle schools at a recent school board meeting and concluded that the strength of the schools is in identifying the needs of each individual student. Speaking about McDougle Middle School, L’Esperance remarked, “I’ve been in 600 to 700 classrooms in the past year. It was incredible what was taking place.” The final report concludes that more needs to be done to develop a clear counseling plan. For the full story from the Herald Sun, click here.
Orange Schools Tap New Principals
New Student Study Approved
Crime Rates in Carrboro Outpace Chapel Hill
The property crime rate in Carrboro continues to outpace the rate in Chapel Hill. Carrboro’s rate per 100,000 people in 2008 was 4,226.5 compared to Chapel Hill’s 3,616. Likewise, the violent crime rate in Carrboro outpaced that of Chapel Hill’s in 2008. Carrbor recorded 400 violent crimes per 100,000 people compared to 292 in Chapel Hill. For more information from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, click here.
Meadowmont Apartments Sold
The apartment complex at Meadowmont has been sold to Bell Partners, a Greensboro real estate company. Bell paid $37 million for the complex. The apartments boast a ninety-one percent occupancy rate and include over 250 apartments. According to Bell, the buy, “represents an improving acquisition environment.” For the full story from 1360AM WCHL, click here.
Town Suspends Visioning Panel
Town Wants New Members for Boards and Commissions
State DOT Yields to Carrboro
Grant Given to Protect Farmland in Rural Orange
A state grant in the amount of $150,000 was given to Orange County by the Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund to protect 153 acres of farmland. Orange County is working with Colonel William Breeze Sr. to conserve part of his farm under a conservation easement program that will prevent the land from being for anything other than agricultural purposes. For the full story from the Daily Tar Heel, click here.
Orange County Census Return Rates Rising
Census workers and volunteers seeking to increase number of Orange County residents returning their Census forms have reason to celebrate. The response rate in Orange County is at 77 percent, up from 70 percent in the 2000 Census. Orange County’s response rate outpaces the rate at the state level, which is at 71 percent as of last week. Starting next month, Census workers will begin going door-to-door to get responses from those who have not yet mailed their forms. For the full story from the Daily Tar Heel, click here.
Orange County Personal Income Up
Personal income in Orange County rose by 1.2 percent in 2008. This brings the average income to $47,063. It also puts Orange County ahead of both Wake and Durham county, which had $41,691 and $38,795 respectively. Wake and Durham Counties both experienced a decline in personal income in 2008. Personal income for 2009 is estimated to decline in all triangle counties, including Orange. Those numbers will be released in 2011. For the full story from the Triangle Business Journal, click here.
New Data Show Drop in Commercial Tax Base
Data from the Orange County Economic Development Office show a decline in the county’s commercial tax base as a percent of the overall tax base. From 2008 to 2010, the commercial tax base declined from 3 percent to 2.5 percent of the overall tax base, largely due to increases in the residential portion which incresed from 83.1 percent to 84.6 percent over the same period. In terms of value, the commercial tax base rose from $1.58 billion in 2008 to $1.83 billion in 2010. The residential base rose from $9.4 billion to $12 billion from ’08 to ’10.
From Staff Notes
Association Signs Onto Economic Development Letter
The GCHAR recently co-signed a column, along with four other partner organizations, stating that economic development is one of the most important, if not the most important, issue facing Orange County and the Board of County Commissioners. The column lays out concrete ways the Commissioners can begin to improve the situation, including providing water and sewer in the long-standing economic development districts, replenishing the existing small business loan fund, approving a streamlined Uniform Development Ordinance, and creating a fund to leverage and match State incentive dollars. To view the column, click here.
Chatham County Commissioners are seeking volunteers for a task force to consider how to use the renovated courthouse in Pittsboro. The task force will include 19 voting members and one non-voting county commissioner. Commissioners will make the appointments on May 17 and the task force will meet from May through August of 2010. Applications for the task force are due by May 7, click here to apply or find more information.
Commission Says “No” to Durham Development
Durham Schools Face Cuts
Durham and Raleigh Residents Big Spenders
According to a News and Observer blog, Durham and Raleigh are home to some of the biggest spenders in the country on things like food, shopping, and travel. A survey done by Bundle.com ranks Raleigh as number 6 and Durham as number 10 on the list of highest-spending cities. The report shows that Durhamites spend just over $10,000 per year on food and drinks, about $700 ahead of San Francisco. Austin, Texas is number one on the list. Observers think the reason Raleigh and Durham spend so much more than major markets like New York and L.A. is that the cost of housing is far less. For the full story from the News and Observer, click here.
Home Prices in Triangle Expected to Bottom Out in 2010
State Budget Cuts Could Affect Universities
Governor Bev Perdue’s proposed budget for this year calls for a four percent cut to the North Carolina University System. Erskine Bowles, University system president, has said that the cuts will result in larger class sizes and less class offerings. He also said it would force the system to eliminate 1,200 positions. Bowles has asked for the cut to be reduced to two percent. This may prove difficult for Perdue, as she faces a budget gap of over one billion dollars. A final decision about the state budget and University system funding will be made in July by the state legislature. For the full story from The Herald-Sun, click here.
Cuts to K-12 Education Looming
Federal stimulus money for North Carolina public schools is set to expire in July of 2011, something that is creating concern among school board officials throughout the state. Legislators have cut about $790 million in public school funds and 3,700 jobs. The cuts would have been much deeper without the stimulus funds. But with those funds expiring and local government budgets drying up, school board officials are now looking at alternative measures to keep costs down. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools recently asked the state if there is flexibility to alter the minimum number of days that schools need to be open. The Charlotte School Board also voted to cut 600 teacher positions in the 2010-2011 school year. Most districts are in a “wait-and-see” position and likely won’t make a move for a few more months. For the full story from the Daily Tar Heel, click here.