Recent News

  • Nov
    12

Ram Realty Advisors Sells Woodlands Square

November 12, 2018

Woodland-Square-11418 (002)_Page_07(OLDSMAR, FL –November 09, 2018) — After breathing new life into the 315,000 SF Woodlands Square, owner Ram Realty Advisors is pleased to announce the sale of the revitalized center to Dallas, Texas-based Rainier Companies.  Cushman & Wakefield’s Miami-based retail investment sales team, led by Mark Gilbert, Adam Feinstein, and Mitchell Halpern, represented the seller in the transaction.

After demolishing functionally obsolete space near the back of the center to make way for new tenants and better traffic flow, Ram’s makeover of the prime location at the intersection of Tampa Road and Curlew Road included new building facades, new signage, roofing, painting, parking lots, parking lighting, landscaping, awnings, and created a two-way ingress/egress drive. Ram estimates it touched roughly 85% of the center, which is 96% occupied, making it an attractive acquisition for Rainier.  “The Class A center is a perfect fit for our retail strategy and growing retail portfolio,” says Rainier’s President, Tim Nichols.

The tenant mix includes recognized brands including specialty organic and natural foods grocer, Earth Fare; an AMC Theatre, which recently received a $7 million makeover; PetSmart; Five Below; a free-standing Ulta cosmetics; Beall’s; Marshall’s; Dollar Tree; Anytime Fitness; Coast Dental; Fantastic Sam’s; Kids Park; Pinot’s Palette; Amazing Lash, and Salon Lofts.

Local tenants include Janice Brand DDS, T&T Nails, Perfections Hair Salon, My Greek Corner, Richard’s Foodporium, Eve’s Florist, and Ruth Fashions.

Dining options include Shaker & Peel, Craft Street Kitchen, Green Market Café, Ruby Tuesday, and long-time local favorite Eve’s Family Restaurant.

Located 20 minutes northwest of downtown Tampa, in Pinellas County (the most popular destination on Florida’s Gulf of Mexico), this prime location represents a winning decision for both firms.

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**HI-RES IMAGES AVAILABLE

ABOUT RAM

Founded in 1978, Ram Realty Advisors is an affiliated group of companies and partnerships that acquire and develop retail and residential properties in select high-growth markets in the Southeast. The company capitalizes investments with Ram-sponsored discretionary private equity funds, and periodically institutional joint ventures. Since 1996, the company has deployed in excess of $2.5 billion of capital. Ram is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; Durham, North Carolina; and Nashville, Tennessee.

ABOUT THE RAINIER COMPANIES

The Rainier Companies are headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Rainier currently holds investments in over $1 billion of commercial properties with its individual, corporate, and institutional partners.  Rainier’s acquisition strategy focuses on well-located stabilized retail centers and government properties in the central and eastern United States and value-add properties in Texas.  For further information, please see www.rainiercompanies.com.

 

Ram Realty Advisors contact:
Jonathan Porter
Ram Realty Advisors
office: 561.282.4628

The Rainier Companies contact:
Stacy McDaniel
The Rainier Companies
Office:  214.234.8200

Media contact:
Kelly Owens
Alchemy Communications Group
office: 561.935.9953 x.101
mobile: 561.222.4958

  • Nov
    1

FL Luxury Apartments Command $103M

November 1, 2018

Ram Realty Advisors and Kolter Urban have sold The Alexander and Alexander Lofts, two high-end communities located in West Palm Beach

By Keith Loria via Multi-Housing News | Read Original Article here

AvalonBay has acquired Alexander Living, a two-building luxury community encompassing 290 units in West Palm Beach, Fla., from a joint venture between Ram Realty Advisors and Kolter Urban, for $103 million.

Newmark Knight Frank’s Vice Chairmen Avery Klann, Hampton Beebe and Director Jonathan Senn facilitated the sale.

“We are constantly looking for opportunities to reinvent existing buildings. Alexander Lofts met that criteria,” Casey Cummings, Ram Realty Advisors’ CEO, told Multi-Housing News.  “We also tend to pursue locations that are emerging rather than those that are established (and frequently overbuilt). This part of West Palm Beach was, and is, undergoing a renaissance. By virtue of our direct execution teams and internal discretionary capital, we can take calculated risks where others may not.”

For example, Alexander Living was the first new institutional quality apartment community to be developed in West Palm Beach after the financial crisis.

“Much of the new product in the Southeast tends to be commoditized or repetitive. This project had all of the bells and whistles that renters expect to find in a new community, plus it had character and authenticity,” Cummings said. “The community has a soul, largely as a result of the adaptive re-use at Alexander Lofts, the public art, the urban park, and the surrounding neighborhood. That said, it isn’t just buildings and amenities that make the difference, it’s the people. The residences, onsite management team, and our retail partner helped bring the buildings to life.”

 The Alexander, located at 333 Fern St., consists of 205 units and offers views of Palm Beach and the Intracoastal Waterway. The 20-story asset was turned into luxury apartments just last year.

Originally constructed in 1926 as headquarters for Southern Bell Telephone, Alexander Lofts, located at 326 Fern St., was redeveloped into luxury units in 2005.

Units in both buildings feature modern, open-concept floorplans with plank and tile flooring, soaring ceilings, large windows, balconies on select units, contemporary style baths and gourmet kitchens with stainless appliances. Both buildings are pet-friendly.

The properties’ shared amenities include a swimming pool and club room on the seventh floor, expansive 24-hour fitness center, executive business and conference center, personal video entry system and more.

“In addition, we have a gourmet raw vegan restaurant and juice bar, a lovely public park and are instantly recognized by the iconic Art in Public Places murals on the east side of both residences,” Jennifer Stull-Wise, Ram Realty Advisors’ managing director, asset management, told Multi-Housing News. “The location and views are truly our best irreplaceable amenity.”

PREMIER LOCATION

Alexander Lofts and The Alexander are situated in downtown West Palm Beach, in the heart of the Arts & Entertainment District, and within walking distance from transportation, shopping, dining and entertainment venues.

According to Stull-Wise, the city continues to grow, not just from a quantitative perspective, but more importantly from a quality of life perspective with public spaces and new transit systems such as Brightline.

“Alexander Living is located in the epicenter of all of the exciting changes taking place in West Palm Beach,” Stull-Wise said. “It’s truly becoming a cosmopolitan place to live and work.”

Ram Realty Advisors owned the properties for approximately six years and completed execution of the renovation and new development component a little over a year ago.

“We achieved stabilization late this summer,” Cummings said. “As much as we love the property and would have been pleased to own it longer-term, our funds typically target a 5+/- year holding period. We believe in the importance of following through on business plan execution.”

Last year, Ram Realty Advisors sold the Apartments of Stonehenge, a 452-unit, garden-style community in the North Raleigh submarket of Raleigh, N.C.

  • Oct
    19

Ram Realty Advisors and Kolter Urban sell Alexander Living in West Palm Beach

October 19, 2018

the alexander pool exterior_small

(PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL – October 19, 2018) Ram Realty Advisors is pleased to announce the sale of its two downtown West Palm Beach luxury apartment communities, The Alexander and its sister property, Alexander Lofts. The properties, known collectively as Alexander Living, were sold to Arlington, VA-based Avalon Bay (NYSE:AVB). The project was a joint venture between Ram Realty Advisors and its partner, Kolter Urban. The investment sale process was handled by Vice Chairmen Avery Klann, Hampton Beebe and Director Jonathan Senn of Newmark Knight Frank Multifamily.Casey Cummings, Ram’s CEO, stated, “the acquisition and development of these properties was a labor of love for our team. The projects were started several years prior to the current downtown boom and required a high degree of cooperation from the City, and confidence from our institutional investors.  We are grateful for both.”

Alexander Lofts and The Alexander are located at Fern Street and Dixie Highway in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach. The Alexander is a recently completed 20-story luxury apartment building with views of Palm Beach and the Intracoastal Waterway.  Alexander Lofts is a six-story brick building originally constructed in 1926 as the old Southern Bell Telephone regional headquarters; its conversion into 85 urban-style lofts was completed in 2015. The development of the projects included award-winning public art and the dedication of an urban park.  Ram acquired the properties in 2012 on behalf of Ram Realty Partners III, its third discretionary real estate private equity fund.

Units in both buildings offer the high-end features and finishes demanded by this market, including modern, open-concept floorplans with soaring ceilings, tall windows, balconies on select units, plank and tile flooring, contemporary style baths, and gourmet kitchens with stainless appliances. There are 18 different floorplan configurations at Alexander Lofts, and 13 at The Alexander. Both residences are pet-friendly and situated in the heart of the downtown Arts and Entertainment District within walking distance to Brightline, CityPlace, the weekly waterfront Green Market, and numerous other retail, dining, cultural, educational, and entertainment venues.

Casey Cummings added, “Avalon Bay is widely regarded as one of the highest-quality institutional owner and operators of multifamily properties. Their entry into West Palm Beach represents an endorsement of the community. The sale is bittersweet, as we have enjoyed our joint venture relationship with Kolter and love the West Palm Beach market.”

Ram continues to expand its portfolio alongside recent sales; the firm’s portfolio of managed, completed, or projects under development includes over 1.5 million square feet of commercial space and 3,000 multifamily units.  Both Ram and Kolter have several active projects in South Florida, as well as other major southeast markets.

ABOUT RAM

Ram Realty Advisors acquires and develops retail, multifamily, and mixed-use properties in select high-growth markets throughout the Southeast. The investments are capitalized by Ram-sponsored discretionary private equity funds and institutional co-investment vehicles.  Since 1996, Ram has deployed in excess of $2.8 billion of capital. The Company’s assets are primarily operated by its management affiliate — 5/ten Management. Ram and its predecessor entities were founded in 1978.  The Company is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Charlotte, Chapel Hill, and Nashville.

ABOUT KOLTER URBAN
Kolter Urban is the urban infill and suburban high-density affiliate of The Kolter Group. The Kolter Group is a Florida-based real estate development and investment firm with a Southeast footprint and expected revenues (both completed and in-process) in excess of $12 billion. The firm is a thematic and strategic real estate investor capitalizing on the convergence of two US trends, sunbelt migration and the aging population. The firm creates award-winning, age 55+ master-planned communities, single-family homes, luxury high-rise condominiums, and branded hotels.

ABOUT AVALONBAY COMMUNITIES, INC.

As of June 30, 2018, the Company owned or held a direct or indirect ownership interest in 287 apartment communities containing 84,043 apartment homes in 12 states and the District of Columbia, of which 19 communities were under development and 16 communities were under redevelopment. The Company is an equity REIT in the business of developing, redeveloping, acquiring, and managing apartment communities in leading metropolitan areas primarily in New England, the New York/New Jersey Metro area, the Mid-Atlantic, the Pacific Northwest, and the Northern and Southern California regions of the United States. More information may be found on the Company’s website at http://www.avalonbay.com.

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Kelly Owens
Alchemy Communications Group
ko@alchemycommgroup.com
office: 561.935.9953 x. 101
mobile: 561.222.4958

  • Sep
    10

ANZO Mediterranean Kitchen Comes to Mainstreet at Midtown

September 10, 2018

5ten managment Anzo

(PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL – September 6, 2018) – Mainstreet at Midtown, the ultimate destination along Palm Beach Gardens’ vital and exciting PGA Boulevard corridor, is pleased to announce the opening of its ninth unique dining destination: global café ANZO.

Conceptually offering “Real Food. United.,” ANZO’s cuisine is inspired by the four corners of the world, while the company is committed to creating spaces that are meticulously weaved on the fabric of exploration, innovation, and connection. It’s a united space that transforms one of the most communal moments – mealtime. The menu is a culinary fusion where warm bowls, wraps, and salads are derived from its Mediterranean roots and elevated global palate.

Mainstreet at Midtown is an established destination where one may find a way to spend the entire day: pamper yourself, get fit, shop, and dine in one convenient place.

“We are thrilled that ANZO has joined the impressive array of restaurants at Midtown,” says Jonathan Porter, VP – Asset Management & Finance for Ram Realty Advisors. “ANZO fits in nicely as a fresh, healthy, affordably-priced, fast-casual concept.”

The opening of ANZO follows on the heels of the debut of new anchor tenant Earth Fare, one of the largest natural and organic food retailers in the country. Mainstreet at Midtown, a 47-acre development that encompasses more than 96,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, and office space together with 225 luxury condominiums, a 500-seat cultural center, and a 300-seat banquet hall, is the corporate headquarters for the center’s developer Ram Realty Advisors and its affiliated company, property manager 5/ten Management.

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ABOUT RAM & 5/TEN MANAGEMENT

Founded in 1978, Ram Realty Advisors is an affiliated group of companies and partnerships that acquire and develop retail and residential properties in select high-growth markets in the Southeast. 5/ten Management operates as a boutique company specializing in acquisition, disposition, renovation, asset and property management services to retail, office and multifamily developments. What started as an in-house division devoted to property management within Ram Realty Advisors, has evolved into a fully integrated affiliated company. 5/ten Management is the culmination of four generations of real estate development, management and leasing expertise. In essence, 5/ten leverages almost a century of experience and brings the guiding principles that we are people making places better.

RAM REALTY ADVISORS CONTACT:

Jonathan Porter
Ram Realty Advisors
jporter@ramrealestate.com

MEDIA CONTACT:

Kelly Owens
Alchemy Communications Group
office: 561.935.9953 x.101
mobile: 561.222.4958

  • Sep
    7

Openings: Anzo brings Mediterranean bowls to Gardens’ Midtown plaza

September 7, 2018

New restaurant, Anzo, opens in Palm Beach Gardens

By LIZ BALMASEDA 
via The Palm Beach Post 
Friday, September 7, 2018
Read the original article here.

Heads up, newbies: There may not be enough room in your bowl at Anzo Mediterranean Kitchen for all the toppings offered at Palm Beach Gardens’ newest build-your-meal restaurant.

The casual, Middle Eastern-leaning restaurant offers no fewer than 15 toppings (13 of them free) to heap on your already hefty bowl ($9.45) or wrap ($8.95). To build your meal, you choose two base items (rice or quinoa and a choice of salad greens), add one of six protein items, three sauces, a roasted veg and a dressing. The menu has plenty of vegan and gluten-free offerings.

The counter-service spot, an outpost of Anzo on Clematis Street in downtown West Palm, opened at the Gardens’ Midtown plaza Aug. 30. It took over the sunlit corner space that once housed an interior décor store.

At lunch Thursday, a stream of customers quickly filled the place. I found quite the spread of fresh-made dishes on Anzo’s steam tables. My customized bowl did not disappoint: warm turmeric basmati rice, organic arugula, deliciously tender turkey meatballs, shawarma cauliflower, harissa carrot salad, marinated tomatoes, and purple cabbage slaw, sprinkled with crispy onions and za’atar croutons. On the side: hummus for dipping and coconut curry and lemon tahini sauces for drizzling.

It was a lot, I know. But it all worked and, really, you can order as much or as little as you’d like.

Expect some items to carry upcharges. Add $2.50 for slow-braised lamb or salmon skewers, $1.50 for an organic hardboiled egg or a half avocado. To drink, there’s a range of all-natural soda, fresh teas, lemonade and almond milk drinks. Various desserts, including baklava ($1.85), are offered as well.

Anzo’s opening comes about a year after the opening of Olive U Mediterranean Grill, a casual, build-your-bowl restaurant that has built a steady local fan base two and a half miles east on PGA Boulevard. Both home-grown concepts reflect a national wave of DIY-meal restaurants that has sparked diverse spots across Palm Beach County, from healthy bowls to pizza. Call it the Chipotle effect. In fact, there’s a Chipotle near Anzo at the Midtown plaza. There’s also a Blaze Pizza, where diners customize their personal pies.

But do not assume such concepts equate lackluster settings. If you’re expecting your average fast-food joint, you may be pleasantly surprised by Anzo’s stylish digs.


Anzo Mediterranean Kitchen

  • Located at: 4747 PGA Blvd. (at Midtown plaza), Palm Beach Gardens; 561-366-7753
  • Hours: Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Aug
    22

New Sprouts Farmers Market in Durham opens TODAY, 8/22

August 22, 2018

By Faye Prosser via WRAL.com

IMG_1636

 — The new Sprouts Farmers Market grocery store in Durham is having their Grand Opening on Wednesday, August 22! There will be giveaways, samples, discounts and every customer will receive one free reusable bag with purchase.

This store will be the fourth Sprouts location in North Carolina and the second in the Triangle.

The new store is located at 105 W. NC Highway 54, Durham, NC at the intersection of Hwy. 54 and Fayetteville Road. This location is 30,000-square-feet and will employ approximately 140 people. The hours will be 7 am – 10 pm each day.

The Durham store will offer locally made products from North Carolina-based producers, including Carolina Kettle Chips, Big Spoon Roasters Nut Butters, Little Red Wagon Granola, Nello’s Pasta Sauce, Mountain Ridge Honey and Ran-Lew Dairy.

One of the fabulous things about Sprouts is that they have a commitment to “zero waste” and the new Durham store will donate unsold and edible groceries to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina through the grocer’s Food Rescue program. In 2017, Sprouts stores and distribution centers donated 23 million pounds of product, equivalent to 19 million meals. Food that is not fit for donation is provided to local cattle farms and composting facilities.

Grand Opening Details on August 22

Sprouts will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony that is open to the public just before the doors open at 7 a.m.

Grand opening day giveaways on August 22:

  • The first 200 shoppers will receive 20 percent off their initial total purchase. A line is expected to form at 6 a.m.
  • Delicious muffin and coffee samples will be served to everyone in line before the doors open.
  • Upon checkout, every 15th shopper will receive a coupon book featuring Sprouts savings.
  • Every customer will receive one free reusable bag with purchase.

Grand opening weekend deals:

  • Saturday, August 25 – The first 200 customers to make a purchase will receive a coupon booklet for five free deli items.
  • Sunday, August 26 – Upon checkout, every 15th customer will receive a coupon for $5 off a purchase of more than $15 to use on their next visit.

Ways to Save Money at Sprouts

There are a number of ways to save even more money at Sprouts including:

  • Wednesday to Wednesday Weekly sales: Their ads run Wednesday through Wednesday so every Wednesday, you can take advantage of the sales from 2 different ads! You will see very impressive produce prices in the ads every week.
  • Mobile coupons on their mobile app: You login or create a Sprouts account, clip the mobile coupons you may want to use and then scan the barcode on your smartphone during checkout.
  • Checkout Challenges: According to their website, “Checkout Challenges unlock special reward coupons. Each challenge requires you to earn a specific number of checkmarks to unlock your reward. This can be done in a single transaction or through multiple transactions. To activate a “Checkout Challenge” on the Sprouts Mobile App, click on the navigation menu and select “mySavings & Barcode.” Below your barcode, click on the “Checkout Challenges” badge. Select the challenge you would like to start by clicking on the “Activate” link. With the new Sprouts Mobile App your reward coupon is automatically clipped when you complete the challenge, ensuring you earn your reward in the same transaction. Simply, scan the “mySavings & Barcode” on your smartphone during checkout for instant savings. “
  • Deals of the Month flyer: Check out the Deals of the Month flyer in stores for even more discounts and sales.
  • Special Promotions: Sprouts regularly offers 72-Hour Sales, Vitamin Extravaganzas, Frozen Frenzies, Sprouts Brand Sales and more.
  • Vitamin Discount: Spend $100 on vitamins and supplements and get a 10% discount off of your total purchase.
  • Wine Discount: Save 10% when you buy any six bottles of wine.

See additional information on the ways you can save at Sprouts.com.

Additional Sprouts Locations In The Area

  • Raleigh: 9414 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh, NC, in the Olive Park shopping center
  • Fayetteville: 2810 Freedom Parkway Dr.
  • Both stores are open daily from 7 am – 10 pm.

About Sprouts Farmers Market

Sprouts offers fresh, natural and organic groceries in a “setting that feels like an old-fashioned farmers market” according to their website. Stores include produce, meat, seafood, deli, dairy, frozen, bulk bins, baked products, ready-to-eat meals, gourmet cheeses, gluten-free products, vitamins, health and beauty and more. Sprouts has excellent produce and meat buys every week and this new location will be a welcome addition to the grocery scene in Durham.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., Sprouts employs more than 28,000 team members and operates more than 300 stores in 17 states from coast to coast. Visit sprouts.com for more information.

 

Read the original article here.

  • Aug
    21

Sneak Peek: Inside the new Durham Sprouts grocery store before it opens

August 21, 2018

By   – Staff Writer, Triangle Business Journal

View original article here.

A new grocery store has blossomed in the shell of an old Harris Teeter.

Sprouts Farmers Market is slated to open Wednesday morning in Durham, putting its produce-centric store layout on display in a building at 105 West Highway 54.

The Phoenix-based company specializes in providing fresh organic and conventional fruits and veggies at bargain prices, intentionally situated in the center of the store. “Produce is the biggest traffic driver to our store,” says Sprouts representative Kalia Pang.

The layout will be no different at the new Durham location, which comes more than a year after Sprouts opened its first North Carolina store on Falls of Neuse Road in Raleigh.

The Durham Sprouts totals 30,000 square feet, about typical for Sprouts but smaller than traditional grocery stores.

The prices for produce in particular are how Sprouts tries to differentiate itself, Pang says, and that seems to hold true in Durham based on some of the early fruit and vegetable deals offered by the grocer. For example, Sprouts is advertising fresh, whole cantaloupe for 98 cents. At a nearby Harris Teeter, cantaloupe is advertised for $3.99. Peaches and nectarines can be bought for 98 cents a pound at Sprouts. At the same Harris Teeter, nectarines are on sale for 2.99 a pound for card-holding members, while peaches can be bought for $1.79 per pound.

Sprouts still boasts a bakery, deli, butcher and seafood counter, along with a host of other healthy and organic products throughout the store, but shoppers shouldn’t expect to find typical national brands.

Sprouts made its grand East Coast entrance in 2014 in Atlanta and has been ramping up its presence in places like North Carolina since then. The Durham location will be the third to open in the state this year, in addition to new stores in Charlotte and Fayetteville, Pang says.

  • Aug
    21

Construction to Begin on 501 Seventeen, the Latest Mixed-Use Development from Ram Realty Advisors

August 21, 2018

501 Seventeen WHOLE FOODS

(FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – August 21, 2018) – A highly anticipated mixed-use development is just days from breaking ground in Fort Lauderdale, bringing apartments and a Whole Foods Market to the northwest corner of Southeast 17th Street and Federal Highway. Slated for occupancy in Winter of 2020, 501 Seventeen includes an eight-story mid-rise building consisting of 243 apartments adjacent to a six-level, 668-space parking garage, along with 49,071 square feet of grocery retail space for Whole Foods Market.

“The mixed-use asset allows Ram to leverage its decades of dual expertise in multifamily and retail, bringing a unique project to one of the main intersections of the City of Fort Lauderdale,” says Hugo Pacanins, Ram Realty Advisor’s Managing Director-Multifamily. “The addition of a Whole Foods Market store will be truly transformational for the entire area.”

The community is being developed by Ram on a 3.2-acre parcel where a former Denny’s building now resides. 501 Seventeen is within walking distance to the main Broward Health campus and within proximity to Port Everglades, the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, and the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Most of the units in the residential portion are one- and two-bedroom, with one-bedroom plus den, two-bedroom plus den, and 3-bedroom units also available. Each unit will feature a contemporary open-concept kitchen with modern cabinetry, stainless-steel appliances, and quartz countertops. Amenities include a club room, co-working space, fitness center, group exercise room, leasing office, and an outdoor pavilion with a resort-style pool and grill courtyard.

The Whole Foods Market commercial space will employ approximately 250 locally hired, full- and part-time team members. Projected to open in Winter of 2020, the new Fort Lauderdale store will be the sixth Whole Foods Market location in Broward County.

“Opening a store at this location is an exciting opportunity for us,” said Juan Núñez, president of Whole Foods Market’s Florida Region. “We are eager to serve the neighborhood and to bring new high-quality grocery offerings to this community.”

Ram, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is well-known for creating developments that offer a carefree-yet-sophisticated lifestyle. Its vision for 501 Seventeen is a thoughtful design concept that allows residents to live in luxe brand-new apartments, work in private and shared co-working offices, and enjoy the local flavor and nearby entertainment.

The 501 Seventeen team includes lender Wells Fargo Bank, Roger Fry & Associates Architects, civil engineer Kimley Horn, general contractor KAST Construction, and leasing and property manager 5Ten Management.

ABOUT RAM

Founded in 1978, Ram Realty Advisors is an affiliated group of companies and partnerships that acquire and develop retail and residential properties in select high-growth markets in the Southeast. The company capitalizes investments with Ram-sponsored discretionary private equity funds, and periodically institutional joint ventures. Since 1996, the company has deployed in excess of $2.5 billion of capital. Ram is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; Durham, North Carolina; and Nashville, Tennessee.

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Kelly Owens
Alchemy Communications Group
ko@alchemycommgroup.com
office: 561.935.9953 x. 101
mobile: 561.222.4958

  • Aug
    14

Can Chapel Hill force developers to build more stores, offices, in Blue Hill district?

August 14, 2018

@TammyGrubb

Despite the town’s efforts, residents and shoppers may not see more offices and stores built any time soon in the Blue Hill District.

The district has generated a smattering of retail in four years, over 1,000 apartments and concerns about whether the redevelopment experiment is working.

Projects in the district — located along East Franklin Street and Fordham Boulevard — are built according to a form-based code that streamlines the town approval process and is supposed to create predictable results.

The goal is to transform a suburban, car-centric commercial district into an urban, walkable community of apartments, shops and offices that provides the town with more property and sales taxes.

While supporters say that is happening, critics see rising rents closing local businesses, and multistory apartment buildings towering over single-story shopping centers. There are no new offices, and some new retail spaces are vacant. There’s a fear that development will worsen traffic and flooding, and add to the cost of providing town services.

David Adams, with the citizens group Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town, noted that most of the town’s tax burden — at least 80 percent — falls on homeowners.

Expectations that the Blue Hill District would help shift the tax burden have not panned out, he said. Instead of 60 percent residential and 40 percent nonresidential construction, as predicted, new construction has been over 95 percent residential, he said.

“If council does not act, new construction will continue to be almost exclusively residential, exacerbating the very problem that the Blue Hill redevelopment was meant to help remedy,” Adams said.

While town staff didn’t expect the 60/40 split for 20 years, some Town Council members have shared similar frustrations with the pace of development, pushing this spring for a way to get more commercial projects.

“I don’t want to discourage development, but I think that if we have to wait a little bit longer to get what we really want, then that‘s OK with me, too,” council member Jessica Anderson said. “If all this gets filled up with residential, we won’t build office because there won’t be any space for it.”

Commercial required

The council first considered restricting six lots in the district to only commercial development. Their owners protested, and the council approved new rules for the entire district in June:

▪ Every development must include at least 10 percent commercial space, whether it’s one or multiple buildings

▪ Over 10 percent commercial space triggers an incentive that gives developers more square footage on the upper stories

While buildings still can abut the sidewalk, the incentive increases from 10 feet to 20 feet how far back upper stories must be from the building’s edge.

The 10 percent commercial requirement likely would have killed the Berkshire Chapel Hill project, said Ben Perry, with developer East West Partners. The district’s first and only mixed-use building, near Whole Foods, has 266 apartments and 15,250 square feet, or 5 percent, commercial space About half of the storefronts are vacant, leasing documents show.

That’s less overall commercial space than mixed-use buildings offer downtown. Online listings show 140 West, which opened with 7 percent commercial in 2014, is 47 percent vacant. Greenbridge, which opened in 2010, has 17 percent commercial and is nearly full.

Carolina Square is the anomaly, with roughly 41 percent commercial space leased across three buildings. Carolina Square, located at 123 W. Franklin St., benefits from its connection to UNC, noted Ben Hitchings, the town’s director of development and planning services.

‘A lot going on’

Dwight Bassett, the town’s economic development director, said what’s happening in the Blue Hill District is typical. Office space must be leased before construction in most cases, and retail needs a large customer base living nearby. By adding more apartments, Bassett said, the district can attract more retail and restaurants, which drives demand for places within walking distance to live and work.

Developers agree, including Perry, who said the district may have enough apartments to meet demand for a couple of years. It’s not just housing for people who already live here, economic and development official said. David Klepser, development director with Ram Realty Advisors, noted the more urban-style apartments, like at the new Fordham Apartments, also attract people who never thought about living in Chapel Hill before.

“I think that the residential in the Blue Hill District will certainly help the district … because it’s just been kind of this retail destination,” Klepser said. “Now when you can live there and walk to restaurants and the stuff we’re doing at Elliott Square and the stuff that Federal’s doing at [Eastgate]. I think there’s a lot going on there.”

Elliott Square, located across from Burger King on South Elliott Road, is being renovated now and adding new tenants, including Burn Boot Camp, Noire Nail Bar and Haw River Grill. Klepser said they don’t expect the 10 percent commercial requirement to cause issues if the shopping center is redeveloped in the future.

Elliott Square and the entire Blue Hill District can benefit from its unique character, noted Ashley Saulpaugh, Ram Realty investment director.

“Chapel Hill’s an anomaly in that small, local boutiques, which probably wouldn’t survive in most other markets, do well here because of the incomes in Chapel Hill and the mindset of Chapel Hill residents that really do a good job of supporting the local businesses,” he said.

The requirement could create a short-term problem, however, where commercial isn’t a natural fit or would be isolated, Klepser said.

Decision questioned

Crowell and Daphne Little, who own the Staples building and the strip mall behind Whole Foods, said they do see potentially negative effects on their property from the 10 percent requirement.

The couple didn’t name the developer but said they’ve signed a mixed-use contract for the narrow five-acre lot that could keep the Staples store, even though its owner plans to downsize.

“What we do know: Brick and mortar is still in flux,” she said. “Is mandating a percentage of commercial the best decision? Telecommuting is revolutionizing workspace. Is it wise to require traditional office space? We want to ensure that our parcel remains productive for this community and for ourselves.”

Ephesus Church Road landowner Wes Pope also has concerns. While his family is in a long-term lease with University Ford, the town’s requirement could create problems when it’s time to redevelop, he told the council.

“A lot of properties like ours are not that walkable. I just don’t see retail being successful on the east side of [Fordham Boulevard],” Pope said. “Redeveloping is expensive, and when you put the restrictions on there for commercial and office, I think it may be cost-prohibitive.”

He also questioned potential offices, noting vacancies at the nearby Europa Center, where about 47,000 square feet is waiting to lease.

That space, like much of Chapel Hill’s office market, serves smaller companies, Bassett said. The town averages a 10 percent vacancy rate and hasn’t built many new or larger offices since 2008, he said, so midsize and larger companies look to surrounding counties.

Colliers International reports the Triangle had roughly 68.4 million square feet of office space in 2017, and another 2.6 million square feet under construction. About 3 million square feet was in Orange County, compared with 8.8 million in Cary, 24 million in Durham and roughly 30 million across the rest of Wake County, the report shows.

Chapel Hill is starting to catch up, Bassett said, noting new offices planned at Glen Lennox and Carraway Village, and redevelopment options in the Blue Hill District, from the former Holiday Inn to Europa Center and Elliott Square. A permit application submitted last week would add a three-story office building at the Hong Kong restaurant/Quality Inn site in Blue Hill.

Long-term vision

But change will take time, in particular, because Chapel Hill pushed commercial away for so many years, Perry said.

“I’m not going to say that office buildings can’t or won’t be built in Blue Hill,” Perry said. “It’s just you’re not going to suddenly see 500,000 square feet of new offices pop up overnight regardless of what the regulations are.”

An initial forecast had the Blue Hill District adding more apartments in the first four years, with retail and office growth in 2024 or later. The anticipated increase in property values, totaling $263 million in 2017, also beat projections, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce reported.

Donna Bell, the last seated council member who voted for the district, said more people are walking in Blue Hill now, and more shops and restaurants have opened to serve them.

“We are at year four of a 20-year build out. It’s like wanting your 4-year-old to be able to drive,” Bell said. “We are really early on to start talking about how out of balance we are.”

In four years

The Blue Hill District has added about 33,361 square feet of retail since 2014 but lost roughly 28,000 square feet of service station, hotel and restaurant space. No office projects have been built.

That’s out of line with the town’s forecast for the first four years, which anticipated roughly 30,000 square feet of retail and 200,000 square feet of hotel space.

The four-year forecast also predicted 1,000 new apartments. That’s been exceeded, with more than 1,800 now approved, planned or built.

 

Read the original story here.

  • Aug
    9

City of Oldsmar Wins Inaugural Award for Superior Transit Access

August 9, 2018

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OLDSMAR, FL – (August 8, 2018) – During the August 7, 2018 Oldsmar City Council meeting, Mayor Doug Bevis, on behalf of City Council, accepted the Superior Transit Access Recognition (STAR) Award from the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) for improved transit access during the redevelopment of Woodlands Square Shopping Center. Oldsmar is the inaugural recipient of PSTA’s STAR award.

 
Ram Realty Advisors, offices in Palm Beach Gardens, and Oldsmar were recognized for their efforts in creating an accessible crosswalk across Curlew Road that keeps pedestrians and bicyclists safe when traveling into the shopping center.

 
“The City wants all people to move freely and safely, including citizens using transit, people with disabilities, pedestrians and cyclists. Demonstrating the support, we recently adopted a comprehensive multi-modal transportation plan,” said Mayor Bevis. “Through the development agreement for the renovation of the center, the City requested enhanced pedestrian access. You don’t realize how scary it can be until you try to traverse a parking lot with cars and trucks and everything else.”

 
The STAR Award designation was developed by PSTA’s Transit Riders Advisory Committee (TRAC) to recognize the efforts of public and private organizations that have made a significant effort to provide safer and better-planned access for public transit riders in Pinellas County.

 
“The City of Oldsmar and their staff were proactive with the requirement for us to provide pedestrian connectivity to not only within the shopping center development but also adjacent road sidewalks, Oldsmar Sports Complex and adjacent residential community,” said Mark Van Dyke, Director of Development for Ram.

 
“The point of the STAR program is to make everyone aware of the importance of having pedestrian, bicycle, and non-driver safety as part of the decision-making process as centers are built and being redeveloped,” said PSTA TRAC Chair Gloria Lepik Corrigan.

 
“This is a shining example of the impact we can have on people’s lives when we work together as a community,” said PSTA CEO Brad Miller. “Mayor Bevis and the city of Oldsmar have absolutely set a new standard of transit accessibility, and we are hopeful to see other cities and municipalities follow suit.”

 
To discover the background on this inaugural Award, visit https://youtu.be/lLzdxChknh8

 
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Media Contact:
Debb Pauley Vitraelli – Marketing Specialist (813) 749-1140 dpauley@myoldsmar.com