Durham Development Watchlist - April 2020

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Durham Development Watchlist - April 2020

Dave @ Building Bull City
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mjp
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Re: Durham Development Watchlist - April 2020

mjp
Honestly can't believe it took Popeye's this long to build another location. The Guess Road location seems extremely profitable. They also don't seem to shy away from locating near competition (Guess Road across from Bojangles, Westgage across from Chick-fil-A.)

I know that was probably a fringe addition for you to add to the list (and might not have made the cut in more normal economic times) but I tend to look at these kinds of franchise moves and expansions as a barometer of what market researchers think of Durham. Wouldn't be surprised to see more of this after the 2020 Census results are released and there is hard data on Durham's changes in the last decade.
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Re: Durham Development Watchlist - April 2020

Mitch
In reply to this post by Dave @ Building Bull City
Is it just me, or has the modern architectural style become a lot more popular in the past few years? I don't recall seeing very much being built in that style until recently.

I'm hopeful that Durham's development scene will retain some momentum through COVID-19, or at the very least get back up to speed soon once things have reopened for good. I haven't really examined the methodology, but if you believe this SmartAssets study, Durham and Raleigh (and Cary) are in the top 20 most recession-resistant cities in the US. I'm really surprised at how the development in/near downtown Raleigh have continued through all this. Everything seems to be humming right along, at least for now. Of course, it's quite possible that we won't see the real effects for months though, when we know exactly how many businesses won't be opening back up.
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Re: Durham Development Watchlist - April 2020

Dave @ Building Bull City
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@MJP - good point. It is interesting to see these franchises with sophisticated market analysis capabilities and where/when they choose to locate.

@Mitch - I have definitely seen more modern houses recently. I have no data on this, but anecdotally, I have heard this is the same phenomenon that happened in Austin, especially as East Austin started to boom/thrive. I wonder if modern SFH styles are having a sneaky resurgence across the country - again, no real data to support that, just musings.

In terms of the effects of COVID-19, I feel as though there are a million possibilities. As a country, we could be hurting for years to come and the Triangle would probably hurt less than a lot of other places, but still. OR the economy could bounce back and the migration out of large, major northeastern cities could accelerate and the Triangle could be a popular destination. Those are just two competing thoughts - I feel as though the future is really tough to see right now in the thick of all of this.
mjp
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Re: Durham Development Watchlist - April 2020

mjp
Dave @ Building Bull City wrote
As a country, we could be hurting for years to come and the Triangle would probably hurt less than a lot of other places, but still. OR the economy could bounce back and the migration out of large, major northeastern cities could accelerate and the Triangle could be a popular destination.
I think both are true, skewed a bit to the latter. The recovery will be slow and plodding, much like the period from mid-2009 to about 2013 or so. But I think our recovery in the Triangle will be a little less slow and plodding, aided by some of the tailwinds we already had at our back coming into this thing and should theoretically still be there for some time to come.

I can't remember where I read it but I think there's tremendous truth to the idea that progress happens too slowly to notice, while setbacks happen too quickly to ignore. We're all confronted with a profound setback right now but one day a few years from now, we'll all look around and things will be better than we thought possible just a few years earlier.

And maybe, just maybe, we'll finally find out what the plan is for ATC2.
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Re: Durham Development Watchlist - April 2020

elevatoroperator
In reply to this post by Dave @ Building Bull City
@Mitch and David.

Re: resurgence of modern homes, I think it's a few things.

1. Yes, mid-century modern (and minimalism) is on-trend.

2. As we know, development patterns have been shifting to urban areas, which tend to attract trendier residents. These residents are also more likely to have an interest in art and design, and to hire an architect. The house that seems to have started this trend locally is the Chasen residence by In Situ Studio in 2012. It showed that one could have a cool, affordable house in a gentrifying neighborhood, and it set off a string of similar houses in East Raleigh. (It's worth noting that for architects, "modern" never went out of style. Architects have been designing modern houses since the mid 20th century, and the resurgence of modern homes in urban areas is at least in part because architects are being commissioned to design more homes in urban areas, lending them more visibility than when they were in private suburban enclaves. 98% of housing in the US is not designed by architects, which is why we associate neo-traditional styles with housing). After Chasen Residence, Raleigh Architecture co. started buying up lots in the neighborhood and self-developing. All the houses sold quickly, further proving the demand. Raleigh Architecture co. is also behind Pleiades Modern in Durham, although they worked with a developer on that project.

3. Developers started to catch on, and have attempted to produce cheap copies of architect-designed modern homes and sell them on spec. Bull City Mod, the subject of Dave's post, is one of these. I've gotta be honest, I think some of these houses are absolutely terrible.
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Re: Durham Development Watchlist - April 2020

Dave @ Building Bull City
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Great primer - thanks!

The biggest thing that strikes me is how GIGANTIC the Bull City Mod houses appear (I drove by one recently), but they are only 2,000 SF or slightly higher. They strike me as modern mini mansions, but don't have the SF inside that I would expect.

I definitely do not qualify as an architectural critic. They aren't something I would buy, but then again, there are a lot of houses I wouldn't buy :-)