An upscale residential community under construction around Kannapolis Lake is opening sales of home sites – $3.96 million worth – to the public for the first time.
This is not what you would expect when loan money is tight, savings are being eroded and buyers are skittish.
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But at Irish Creek, billionaire David Murdock's Castle & Cooke is looking beyond economic woes and focusing on the potential of its North Carolina Research Campus.
The privately owned company has deep financial resources, “so we're not nearly as impacted by the credit crunch as other developers,” said Greg Inggs, vice president of residential at Irish Creek.
In addition, he said, Castle & Cooke's $1.5 billion investment in the research campus will generate jobs and an ongoing demand for housing.
Irish Creek's strategy: target upscale buyers in the region but make sure officers and executives employed at the downtown research campus can find a home within two miles of their workplace.
Castle & Cooke plans to open the first three buildings in the 350-acre biotech hub with a dedication ceremony Oct. 20.
“We've gotten numerous inquiries from prospects who expect to relocate here, but who don't need a home quite yet,” Inggs said.
Releasing lots for sale to individuals Oct. 25 allows them reserve a spot and finalize plans later, he said.
Buyers will have up to two years to start building and will be able to work with any of the community's seven featured builders.
The 28 home sites on the market include golf, lake and wooded views. They range in size from .53 to 1.45 acres and sell for $105,000 to $240,000.
Builders purchased 29 sites earlier and started eight houses priced from $875,000 to $1.4 million. The first three are to be finished in January.
The 650-acre community is being developed around 400-acre Kannapolis Lake and The Club at Irish Creek, Castle & Cooke's redevelopment of the former Kannapolis Country Club golf course.
Inggs said the developers took the unusual approach of finishing the course, clubhouse and pool complex before the starting the first home.
A grand opening ceremony for the golf course is scheduled for today.
The estimated $500 million community is expected to eventually have 580 homes.