North Carolina real-estate tales, per Citigroup

David Mildenberg - Jun 20, 2015 - 6:00:00 pm

Research analysts at Citigroup Inc. issued a June 16 report after recently meeting with executives at real-estate investment trusts with big holdings of North Carolina commercial real estate, including Highwoods Properties Inc., Duke Realty Corp. and Parkway Properties Inc. Their report provided some interesting nuggets:

Highwoods Properties wishes they had built a bigger PNC Plaza building in downtown Raleigh because of greater demand for space than expected. The 33-floor building, formerly known as RBC Plaza, is the tallest building in Raleigh and has about 730,000 square feet.

MetLife is paying rent in the upper-$20 per square foot range at its new campus in Cary, which fronts Lake Crabtree and is near Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Charlotte’s 525 North Tryon Building, though only four blocks from Hearst Tower, has been a challenge to lease by Parkway Properties, which bought the office building for $47.4 million in 2012.

Technology tenants are seeking space in downtown Charlotte, particularly in “edgier” buildings. It isn’t just bankers and lawyers anymore.

Liberty Property Trust bought five office buildings in Durham, totaling 705,000 square feet, for $44 million on June 12. The buildings are fully leased.

Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh industrial real-estate markets are “in the earlier innings of the cycle” with less vacancy and higher rents. Opening of an inland port in Greer, S.C., and Norfolk Southern Corp.’s new intermodal site next to Charlotte-Douglas International Airport are driving demand for warehouse space in the Carolinas.

Apartment developers are willing to pay more for land than office developers in the major North Carolina cities, mirroring a national trend.


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