Local News

Downtown High-Rise Condos Pricey But Popular

Posted October 23, 2006

— High-priced, high-rise condos seem to be sprouting up on every corner of downtown Raleigh, where investors are pumping $1.8 billion into development.

Urban professional Brett Hayes lives in the Paramount Condominium building, just a block from the Glenwood South entertainment district.

"Location, location, location. That's the main reason I'm here," Hayes said.

On prime real estate, with a pool, workout room and other amenities, the high-end condos go for about $300 a square foot.

"That's come up pretty significantly, pretty quickly," said David Leslie, an agent for York Simpson Underwood.

Another condominium complex is in the works right across the street from the Paramount. It's one of at least 10 new projects planned for downtown.

Nearby, construction at Bloomsbury Estates is under way, with two-thirds of the units sold. The RBC Plaza just broke ground, and all of its units are already reserved.

Not all projects are going so smoothly, though. The Soleil Center is trying to sell condos for as much as $600 a square foot. So far, the developers haven't sold a single one.

Leslie said the Soleil Center is slow to get going because it isn't downtown and because the condos are so high-priced.

"However, that's an amazing project, and once it starts building up steam, that's going to do very well, also," Leslie said.

To put Raleigh's real-estate market into perspective, Asheville has the highest going rate per square foot in the state, at nearly $385 a foot. And in Manhattan, experts said a buyer can spend more than $1,000 for each square foot.

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