Developers turn to townhouses in Charlotte, as demand for housing stays high

Mattamy townhomes in Berewick.
Mattamy townhomes in Berewick.

With developers looking to build as much housing as they can on a given piece of land to meet Charlotte’s ravenous appetite for growth, many are turning to townhouses as a way to construct for-sale houses more densely.

In the past couple months, developers have filed rezoning petitions to build more than 400 new townhouses throughout the city, from urban areas in South End to more suburban areas in University City. The plans, if approved, would allow the developers to build many more housing units on a given site than they would otherwise.

For example, at Garrison and Galloway roads, off Interstate 85, Mattamy Homes is looking to build 150 townhouses on 20.6 acres. The land is currently zoned for three single-family houses per acre, so the maximum allowed now would be about 60, barely a third of the number of townhouses.

There’s high demand and low inventory for houses in Charlotte. Last month, the number of houses sold fell about 4 percent, to 3,960, from September 2016. Despite the drop, however, the average sales price jumped 6.1 percent from last year, hitting $271,606.

Overall, there’s an estimated 2.5 months of supply on the market, far less than the four to six months that’s typical of a more balanced market. The number of houses for sell fell almost 18 percent in September.

Here’s a quick look at the new townhouses developers are proposing. Charlotte City Council will vote on them in the coming months. These are just the newest proposals – others are already in the pipeline. City Council is set to hold a hearing Monday on a plan filed last year to build 305 townhouses on Brown-Grier Road in Steele Creek, for example.

▪ On Research Drive, off W.T. Harris Boulevard, Mattamy Homes is seeking to build up to 132 townhouses on about 23 acres. The land is currently vacant.

▪ On Old Ardrey Kell Road, off Providence Road West, North State Development wants to build up to 35 townhouses. The 4.4-acre site is currently zoned for single-family houses.

▪ Mattamy Homes is also seeking to build 150 townhouses at Galloway and Garrison roads, in University City.

▪ On West Tremont Avenue, near South Tryon Street, Icon Residential is planning to build up to 100 townhouses on a 5.6-acre industrial site adjacent to the Brookhill Village low-income development. That’s in addition to 74 townhouses already underway on the other side of West Tremont, where Tremont Music Hall once stood.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo