DENVER – The Denver area has been inundated with new development – residential, commercial and industrial – in recent years, but those trends may begin to slow in 2019, according to Lincoln County Planning and Inspections director Andrew Bryant.
“I will say this: As far as new developments that people really haven’t seen yet; if they haven’t seen them at this point, then we haven’t seen them at this point,” Bryant said. “Things since about the early fall have really started to slow down. I think people are starting to take that pause and look at the longview with the markets and how things are slowing down from a construction standpoint and a real estate standpoint, and they just see the prevailing trends. As far as prospective developments coming through, I think 2019 will be a quieter year for Lincoln County, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not plenty out there already.”
Among the developments that have already been approved and are likely to begin impacting the Denver area in 2019 is Ingleside Farms, a new residential development approved for up to 422 single-family detached homes in December 2017. The development is planned for 208 acres on the south side of N.C. 73 adjacent to Trilogy Lake Norman, and will be dissected by Ingleside Farm Road.
Like Trilogy, plans for Ingleside Farms include 132 age-restricted homes available only to residents who are at least 55 years old. The neighborhood is being developed by D.R. Horton, a Texas-based company that was recognized as the nation’s leading home builder by Builder Magazine with nearly 50,000 closings in the United States in 2017.
“The developers of Ingleside Farms really seem to be chomping at the bit to get going,” Bryant said. “They’re really working hard out there everyday, as are the other developers, but the biggest thing right now is that we’ve had some of the wettest three months on record so site work isn’t progressing well for anyone right now. There are probably three or four developments right now that wanted to be selling houses by January 2019 and they still don’t have road infrastructure, so they’ve kind of had to hit pause until it dries up, but I think you’ll really start to see some of those developments along that North Little Egypt/Saint James Church Road corridor start to see some vertical construction in the spring. That’s going to be the area we’re going to see the most impact from.”
In addition to the traditional single-family housing developments, a pair of apartment complexes will likely be built in 2019, according to Bryant.
“The apartments at Triangle Circle and the apartments behind Publix in the Cambridge development; I think we’ll see both of those coming out of the ground in 2019,” Bryant said. “Apartment projects tend to fly up pretty quick. They move from building to building and they get it done, so they’ll bring in renters and have those places filled up in 3-6 months. Whereas a housing development takes years to build out, an apartment complex can start construction and have pretty good occupancy rates within 12 months, so we’ll certainly see some impact from that standpoint in 2019.”
The projects referenced by Bryant include 228 apartment units already approved as part of the mixed-use Rivercross development near N.C. 16 and Triangle Circle, and 260 apartment units approved as part of the Cambridge Village development near the intersection of N.C. 16 and N.C. 73.
“The Riverwalk apartments are really the only large multi-family option out there in Denver right now,” Bryant said. “We’ve certainly seen a need for multi-family housing as a component of the overall housing options in Denver and we’ve had those two other projects approved at Rivercross and Cambridge Village in recent years. I think those will provide a good supply for that portion of the housing sector for years to come.”
“The way that we approach these multi-family developments is that they certainly have a place in the community,” he continued. “But we feel they need to be located more toward commercial developments because a lot of times those households are single-car households and being accessible to grocery stores and other shops is an important feature so that maybe some of those trips to the store become walkable trips and less stress is placed on the roads.”