Charlotte-based Crescent Communities announced plans Tuesday for a new apartment community in University City, adding to a growing wave of construction in the area.
Called Novel Research Park, the "resort-style" development will be at West Mallard Creek Church Road and Senator Royall Place, about 2.5 miles from the Blue Line light rail extension. Novel Research Park will include 280 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, along with amenities such as a pool, walking trails, dog park, a 2,500 square-foot coworking space, outdoor grills, shuffleboard, bocce, corn hole, table tennis and hammocks in a garden.
For Crescent, the deal represents the company's ongoing bet on Charlotte's booming apartment market: It's Crescent's sixth new apartment community underway locally, for a total of 2,200 new units.
That's almost a tenth of the new inventory planned or underway in Charlotte's apartment market. Crescent is also building luxury apartments at sites like Atherton Mills, Park Road, the 36th Street Station in NoDa and Stonewall Street uptown.
“University City is a dynamic place that is increasingly becoming one of the most sought-after locations to live in Charlotte,” said Michael Tubridy, managing director with Crescent Communities, in a statement. “We believe the area is primed for additional growth as more employment opportunities and newly established access to mass transit bring in more talented people."
Japanese building and wood products company Sumitomo Forestry is in the process of acquiring Crescent, one of the biggest developers in Charlotte. A major driver behind the deal, announced last month, is Sumitomo's desire to get into the Southeast's rapidly growing apartment market by acquiring Crescent's projects.
The Charlotte apartment market remains robust, with about 27,000 new units planned or under construction. Despite the flood of new inventory, the average vacancy rate is just under 7 percent, with rents rising 6 percent from a year ago, to an average of $1,142.
Crescent is planning to complete Novel Research Park in the second quarter of 2019.
Phoenix Capital is a partner in the deal, with construction financing provided by Santander Bank, Cline Design Associates as the project architect and Crescent Multifamily Construction serving as the general contractor.