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Digs in Downtown Raleigh Appealing to Variety of Incomes

Downtown developers in Raleigh are slashing prices to appeal to the masses. The average price of a downtown condo is about $370,000.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Downtown developers are slashing prices to appeal to a variety of incomes.

The average price of a condominiums in downtown Raleigh is about $370,000, but a new alternative is offering units starting at around $160,000.

If all goes as planned, people will be living in more than 200 condos at The Hue, at 400 S. Dawson St., by spring of 2009. Developers said these condos will help make downtown more affordable. Prices at The Hue are about 57 percent less than the average downtown condo price.

"We wanted to bring that average down and try to appeal to a wider audience," said Tom Barker, senior managing director of Trammell Crow Residential.

"This project is targeting that younger demographic," said Mitchell Silver, Raleigh planning director. "It adds a lot of vitality that a lot of young people have, as well as different demographics in your downtown."

"Initially, in most downtowns, you see the higher end stuff being developed first because the developers are uncertain whether the market is there," said David Diaz, director of Downtown Raleigh Alliance.

So far, people have been willing to pay the high cost to live downtown.

"Right now, there are 445 condos downtown. Only 29 are still on the market," said real estate agent Ann-Cabell Baum Andersen. "Buyers are out there looking for everything – one bedroom, two bedroom."

David Salmon bought a condo Wednesday at West, one of Raleigh's newest condo buildings. It is at the intersection of West and North streets.

"I just want a low-maintenance, no-grass, no-lawn-mower lifestyle," Salmon said. "I think this is ideal opportunity for me."

According to the Alliance, 326 condos have gone up downtown since 2005; 1,594 condos are either under construction or in the planning stages. Those condos should be finished by the beginning of 2011.

The ongoing development projects are priced either at The Hue level or higher. Realtors said developers are always adjusting to demand, so prices in some of those units could go down.

"Our goal is to make the downtown a 24-hour downtown, and in order to do that you need a lot of people living downtown," Diaz said.


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