Advertising signs have sprouted at a new townhome community at Carmel and Colony roads in south Charlotte, the first stirrings of development there years after a previous project’s bankruptcy left the site dormant.
Copper Builders launched its pre-sales and marketing campaign Wednesday for the new project, a 34-unit townhome community called Easton Park. Construction is to start Oct. 21 with the demolition of an old condo unit, according to Copper Builders President Wade Miller, with homes selling from the high $600,000s to the $800,000s.
Land development is slated to start in December, with the first homeowners moving in next summer.
“There’s a very strong demand for this product in this area,” he said. “It’s got that high-end finish these folks are used to but the benefits of a smaller piece of property.”
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About a decade ago, developer Ray “Rip” Farris III and his Tuscan Development company announced they were building a luxury townhome and condo community called Hagood Reserve at the 9-acre site, which also includes a pond.
Construction began in 2008 but halted after Farris said his lender, First Horizon Home Loans, stopped paying advances in order to escape a loan extended before the bottom fell out of the local real estate market and clouded prospects for condominium projects.
Hagood Reserve filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2010. Miller said the note on the project was sold to another investment group, which unwound the condominium association and other aspects of the deal.
Real estate records list Colony Carmel Investors, an affiliate of Marsh Realty Co., as current owners of the property. Colony Carmel bought it for $1.2 million at public auction in 2012, according to the records.
Miller said Cambridge Properties is developing the new project. The townhomes will average about 3,400 square feet. They will have two-car garages, master bedrooms downstairs, tumbled brick exteriors, upscale appliances and covered porches.
An existing home will remain on the property but won’t be a part of the development.
Sales of townhomes and condominiums dropped steeply during the recession and real estate meltdown. Developers have been focused on building apartment complexes, which proved easier to finance and build after the recession decimated many potential homebuyers’ credit profiles.
But as the recovery stretches on, developers have begun building more infill for-sale townhomes, particularly in high-income areas such as Myers Park and Dilworth. Miller said he expects to see more townhome and condo projects.
“I think it’s needed all around Charlotte, but in particular in this area,” he said. “There’s a lot of old-money-type folks here who want to stay in this area but don’t want the big house.”