Caught up in booming places like South End? Don’t forget about Steele Creek and Berewick

Mattamy townhomes in Berewick.
Mattamy townhomes in Berewick.

If you spend most of your time in uptown or the surrounding neighborhoods, it’s easy to miss the boom that’s happening further south in Steele Creek.

But off Steele Creek Road, in the Berewick master-planned community, excavators are pushing piles of red dirt and buyers are snapping up new houses as fast as construction workers can build them. Retail and other commercial buildings are following, filling in what had been blank spots. Nearby, the 28273 zip code is one of the hottest in the nation for home sales, emphasizing that while in-town developments attract more attention, the death of the suburbs has been greatly exaggerated.

“It’s mushrooming quickly,” said Brian Roth, vice president of marketing at Pappas Properties, Berewick’s developer, on a recent tour of the site. Although the current boom feels frenzied, Pappas has been working on the site since 1999, and the first residents moved in more than a decade ago to those houses in the mid-2000s.

The commercial and multifamily development is newer. In addition to the houses and townhouses, Solis Berewick, a 275-unit apartment development, is now open, and just moved in its first residents. A 125-room Hampton Inn & Suites is planning to open next summer, and a Courtyard by Marriott is in rezoning. New restaurants, including Mod Pizza, McAlister’s Deli, an Italian concept called Enrico’s and Fuzzy’s Taco Shop are coming to the town center. An age-restricted project for residents 55 and older is also under contract, Roth said, and more apartments are planned.

Berewick, with five national homebuilders at work, is set to see its 2,000th home sale later this summer. The community will likely sell 500 houses this year, and is closing in on its full build-out, which will total about 3,000 houses, townhouses and apartments. Roth said they expect to hit that mark by the end of 2018.

The average sales price: $297,000, with one home pushing past the $400,000 mark.

One trend Roth expects to keep growing is strong townhouse sales. While townhouses took a while to break the $200,000-mark, Roth said they’re averaging between $210,000 and $240,000 now. Mattamy Homes is starting another phase with 107 townhouses, in addition to the 142 in its first phase. Roth said Berewick is starting to see buyers who are used to living in settings like South End and don’t want large yards, but want to move from renting to owning.

“That’s going to be a significant trend,” he said.

There’s even more explosive growth coming to the area: Just north of Berewick, Lincoln Harris and Crescent Communities are developing the River District, which will add thousands of new houses and apartments along with office and retail space to a mostly vacant and wooded area. That project, totaling 1,400 acres, is expected to develop over the next 30 years.

“We really see this being sort of the early amenity for what’s happening there,” said Roth.

Harris Teeter and Pappas Properties partnered to develop the town center, anchored by the 53,000 square-foot grocery store that opened last year.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo