Written by Amanda Jones Hoyle | TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL
With the first residents now moving into the five-story, 401 Oberlin building across from Cameron Village in Raleigh, the Greenville development company that built it is taking stock of what's next.
"As everybody else in the world is now seeing, the Triangle is a very strong market," says Thomas Taft Jr., principal with Taft Family Offices in Greenville, a 30-year-old real estate development firm founded by his grandfather and now run by his father, former state senator and lawyer Tom Taft Sr.
Taft Jr. says the family firm, which had traditionally focused on office, flex and smaller multifamily projects around Greenville and parts of eastern North Carolina, has in the last six years refocused its attention on larger investments in larger projects, often in more urban areas like Raleigh and Charlotte.
The 401 Oberlin apartment and retail building, located at the northwest of Oberlin Road and Clark Avenue in Raleigh, has probably been the company's most high-profile project because of its proximity to the established Cameron Village neighborhoods and downtown Raleigh.
It will also be home to the highly-anticipated new Tupelo Honey Cafe restaurant when it opens in the fall.
But Taft Family Offices is also under construction in Greenville with a $42 million, 545-bed student housing project next to the campus of East Carolina University, a project called The Boundary @ West End. It will be managed by The Preiss Co. of Raleigh when it opens in August 2015.
The development company also recently completed construction of a 192-unit apartment project in Clayton called Arbors at East Village, located on East Front Street between N.C. 42 and downtown Clayton. The general contractor for that project was Harold K. Jordan & Co. of Apex.
Leasing demand at both 401 Oberlin and East Village has been better than expected, Taft says. "We are at both properties well ahead of our leasing schedule, and that rarely happens," he says.
At the 244-unit, 401 Oberlin apartment and retail building, the first residential units opened in June, and 104 units have been leased, as of Aug. 5. Rental rates range from an average $1,350 per month for a one-bedroom apartment to $1,900 per month for a two-bedroom unit.
At the 192-unit, Arbors at East Village apartment community in Clayton, the first residential units opened in April, and 88 units have been leased, as of Aug. 5. Its rental units range from $865 to $1,150 per month for one, two and three bedroom units.
Taft Family Offices now has about 2,500 apartment units under ownership and management, with the goal of adding 500 new units per year, Taft says.
The company also owns another 2 million square feet of office, retail and storage space in buildings across the country.