Development Beat: New Building Report

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Monday, August 8, 2016

♫ Way way back many centuries ago, not long after the pilgrims arrived, Pocahontas lived in the land of Jamestown, a fine example of a Powhatan girl, well one day, she’s said to have asked,  “How high does the sycamore grow?/If you cut it down, then you’ll never know!” ♫

American Sycamore trees are distinguishable by their "mottled exfoliating bark which flakes off in great irregular masses."

Wikimedia Commons

American Sycamore trees are distinguishable by their “mottled exfoliating bark which flakes off in great irregular masses.”

Although we’ve never had the pleasure of felling a Platanus occidentalis ourselves, it turns out the answer to Poc’s question is “about 167 feet.” OK then.

The new Sycamore Run Apartments in Southeast Raleigh, which received a little over $2 million worth of permits last week, will rise to a notably less majestic height: 42 feet.

In a mildly interesting twist, 42 is also the number of units this two building, three-story affordable housing complex will have once completed.

Funded in part by state tax credits, Sycamore Run will be geared toward families, and will offer “accessible” units for the disabled. While it would stand to reason that the 42 units would be split evenly across the two three-story buildings, one of them will be larger than the other.

Site plan drawings for Sycamore Run

City of Raleigh

Site plan drawings for Sycamore Run

Building One, as it’s referred to on the permits, is set to house 24 units, four of them accessible. The 24,776 structure will be built at a cost of $1.054 million by WB Properties and Construction out of Ocean Isle Beach.

Building Two will contain 18 units, two of them accessible. At 22,889 square feet, it’s not that much smaller than Building One, although it will be built by WBPC for a good deal less: $846,221.

These two buildings will be complimented by a clubhouse/three-person leasing office, a gazebo and of course, a space for trash and recycling.

The site plans, which we covered last summer, propose as well a new road that would run behind the complex, Holly View Drive.

Sycamore Run will not be the first affordable housing project for either the developer, Southern Properties & Development or contractor WB Properties, as both have extensive experience in the field.

The Smokey Meadows Apartments from WB Construction

The Smokey Meadows Apartments from WB Construction

When SP&D filed a request for an affordable housing tax credit for Sycamore Run in 2014, it was one of 10 projects the developer was applying for that year. Among their completed projects in North Carolina are Barringer’s Trace in Mount Pleasant and the High Ridge Apartments in Sylva.

WB on their website lists a range of project types from commercial to multifamily and affordable. Their affordable housing projects include the Smokey Meadows in Canton, NC and the Renassaiance at Antiquity senior housing development in Canton, NC.

In order to live in a development such as Sycamore Run, residents’ incomes are restricted depending on the number of people living in a unit. As this property will nor be run by the City or the County, we aren’t sure what the exact restrictions will be for this new development.

However, a listing for the Cedar Moor affordable housing development three miles to the west of Sycamore Run includes the following limits: One Person: $33,120 Two People: $37,860 Three People: $42,600 Four People: $47,280 Five People: $51,120 Six People: $54,900. Built in 1968, Cedar Moor offers everything from 850 square-foot one-bedroom units for $800/month to 1,438 square-foot four-bedrooms units for $1,172/month.

Cedar Moor Apartments

Cedar Moor Apartments

To be honest: $800/month when you’re making $32k/year (before taxes, presumably) is not exactly what I’d call affordable. Hopefully Sycamore Run will offer at least some of their units at a more affordable rate.

One final fun fact: according to the original tree conservation plans for this project from May 2015, there will be four types of trees on this property. We promise you these are the names of trees and not old jazz musicians: Elms, Loblolly, Tulip Poplars, Red Maples and Sweet Gums. Noticeably absent is the American Sycamore tree, more formally known as Platanus occidentalis. Oh well.

Editor’s note: the Pocahontas quote in the beginning is from the song “Colors of the Wind,” which was featured in the 1995 Disney film. The lines previous to that are a rewrite of the opening lyrics to “Jacob and Sons” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  For more Sycamore-related musical fun, check out this wonderful rendition of ‘Dream a Little Dream of Me’ from Mama Cass Elliot.