Friday, May 30, 2008

New Raleigh Condos at Palladium Plaza

Progress Energy's newest tower shot up from Davie Street with all the hoopla one might expect for a city that was starving for new life back in 2004. You couldn't miss it.

But its prominence obscures a building that quietly slipped in behind it: Palladium Plaza. The condominium project's little-noticed arrival at the southwest corner of Davie and Blount streets reflects how comfortably its design fits into the city's landscape.

Even six months after construction finished, Progress employees -- who work in the tower next door -- ask how long Palladium has been there, according to project managers working onsite. Other observers ask what the building was before it was condos, only to be surprised by the answer: a few small buildings, which were demolished. If you are considering a new home, condo, or townhome in the greater Raleigh market; it pays to work with an expert buyers agent and Raleigh realtor.

But behind the new building's quiet presence are several distinguishing characteristics that speak volumes about the direction of downtown.

WHAT IT IS: Palladium Plaza stands five stories on a narrow acre. It includes 66 loft-style condominiums, three street-level retail spaces and outdoor common areas. It has a small parking deck and shares additional parking with Progress Energy in another deck. Units range from 690 to 2,100 square feet in several layouts. Prices have ranged from $150,000 to the high $400,000s.

WHO LIVES THERE: There are many first-time homeowners. Single men and women and young couples make up the majority.

HOW IT FITS: White Oak President Roland Gammon calls the project "edgy," which is an apt description on a couple of levels: Palladium is on the southeastern edge of the center-city's renewal, and its interior -- with exposed pipes and concrete walls, high ceilings, big windows and stainless steel fixtures -- offers a fresh, urban feel.

The narrow tract upon which Palladium was built didn't allow for much definition in the face of the building. But hunter-green trim, concrete-and-iron balconies, exterior light fixtures and shadows cast from trees that line the walkway add visual depth.

The project is among several recent changes on a six-block cluster southeast of the intersection of Fayetteville and Martin streets. Other great real estate markets include Williamsburg Real Estate, Williamsburg Realtor, Realtor Williamsburg, Realtor in Williamsburg, Realtor Williamsburg VA, and buyers agent in Williamsburg.

Palladium is on the lot east of the new Progress Energy tower.

On the block across Davie Street, Cary developer Hamilton Merritt and Cherokee Investment Partners of Raleigh want to build a pair of towers including an eco-friendly mix of shops, offices, hotel rooms and residences. The project, called Edison, would surround a 1,250-space parking deck being built on the block.

To the northwest, Highwoods Properties is finishing RBC Plaza, the Triangle's tallest tower.

To the northeast, 96-year-old City Market is poised for upgrades.

WHAT IT ADDS: Palladium includes several live-work spaces on the street level. The building's homeowner agreement allows for such units that can double as public business space and residences.

HOW IT IS DOING: Despite slowing home sales across the region, Palladium has fared well. At least 16 units have yet to sell. And prices are holding up. The last 10 Raleigh Condo units sold went for $224 per square foot, up 2.3 percent from the first 10 units sold. Three townhome and condo units have been re-sold at an average increase of 9.5 percent. In other North Carolina markets, such as Charlotte, Willimington, and Wake Forest Condominiums have been moving at above market prices. Glenmore Garden Villas has Charlotte condos and new townhomes that are priced from the low 400's.

Palladium's closest new-condo rival, The Hudson at 319 Fayetteville St., started closing sales in early 2006. The last 10 units to sell there sold for an average of $223 per square foot, which is 7.9 percent less than the first 10 units. There are still at least 10 unsold Hudson units.

Palladium has benefited from timing: It was finished long enough after competitors such as the Dawson on Morgan were mostly sold out, but long before competitors such as 222 Glenwood, Hue and West on North are scheduled to be complete.

But sales have slowed since closings began a year ago. Only three Palladium condo units have sold this year, property records show. Condos in Raleigh typically move slower than homes. Home sales in the Triangle are hotter than nearly any other market in America. Raleigh is not being hit with foreclosures and home walk-aways as much as markets like Phoenix, Las Vegas, Orange County, Calif., Detroit, and most of America. Real estate and home sales across the state of North Carolina including Winston Salem homes and Cary homes, Apex homes, Clayton homes, and Durham homes are all pacing ahead of last year.

No comments: