The march back to urban living is reaching the Rust Belt. For the first time in decades, Cleveland is positioned for a residential boom. The push comes amid record-low rental vacancy in northeast Ohio: just 2.9 percent in the second quarter. “We have covered Cleveland since 1980, and we have not seen a vacancy rate this low,” Victor Calanog, chief economist for commercial real estate data firm Reis, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Rental rates are also rising, with 3.3 percent growth projected for this year. Developers filed plans last month for a 280-unit luxury high-rise in the city’s University Circle neighborhood that could command rents of $5,000 a month. Developer Stark Enterprises is exploring building a 200-unit luxury apartment building atop a parking garage downtown. It’s also planning a mixed-use tower with offices, a hotel and retail just north of Quicken Loans Area, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers, adjacent to a new casino. The 54-story project, called NuCLEus, would be the city’s fourth-tallest building. The downtown construction boom also includes a 32-story Hilton hotel being built ahead of the 2016 Republican National Convention, and a $750 million waterfront project with a 214-unit apartment high-rise.
Salt Lake City
An influx of tech workers and other highly-skilled professionals has increased demand for new housing, particularly multi-family apartments, in Salt Lake City, which has become a thriving hub for hardware and tech startups. Fundrise, the real estate crowdfunding site, has partnered with JF Capital to fund the Bonneville, a luxury apartment building in the city. The 158-unit project will be located in Central City, home to two recent JF Capital developments: the 122-unit CityScape and the 61-unit Newhouse. During the summer, Google started to lay down its Google Fiber network in the city, an infrastructure investment expected to draw more tech companies. Google joins a number of other tech giants that set up shop in the Salt Lake City metro area, including Twitter, Electronic Arts and Adobe, which has a 280,000-square-foot campus with over 900 employees just south of the city.
Demand for houses in New Orleans has led to a 46 percent surge in home prices in the past decade, according to the Times-Picayune. The city’s lakefront and historic neighborhoods are generating particular interest. In the riverside Irish Channel neighborhood, un-renovated homes are selling for more than $500,000. Prices are up 81 percent in the French Quarter. Even neighborhoods that were heavily damaged by Katrina in 2005, like Gentilly and Lakeview, are hot. Just before the storm, the average house in the city sold for $228,620; today the average is $343,743. Demand in traditionally lower-income areas like Marigny and Bywater has pushed out many former residents. There are still fewer sales citywide than before the storm — 2,400 sales are projected for this year, down from 3,300 sales in 2005 — but the hot market has pushed prices up as much as 10 percent in the last six months alone, a report found. Rents are up by as much as 33 percent in the past decade.
Providence, Rhode Island
After a slow start, three development projects are underway on 19 vacant acres in Providence that formerly held a portion of Interstate 195. City officials are hoping to reunite neighborhoods previously split by the highway, which has been rerouted. The city’s I-195 Redevelopment District Commission told the New York Times it should have commitments for all of the land within five years. First to start building was Johnson & Wales University, which is putting up a $40 million academic center. In addition, Lincoln Property Company of Dallas plans to build housing for up to 500 students and faculty, plus 18,000 square feet of retail space on 1.5 acres. Royal Oaks Realty is developing a third site, a $20 million mixed-use project with 4,500 square feet of retail space. Providence’s mayor is reportedly most excited about a proposal by Wexford Science & Technology of Baltimore to build a life sciences complex with research labs, retail space, housing and a hotel. Groundbreaking on the $400 million to $500 million complex could come as early as 2016 — that is if the new owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox don’t get their way. They want to build a new stadium on the same site, but have run into resistance from lawmakers over funding.
The home once owned by Vice President Dan Quayle and his wife, Marilyn, was auctioned last month. Quayle bought the McLean, Virginia, pad for $125,000 in 1977, when he was in Congress, and used it as a retreat when he served as George H.W. Bush’s veep. The 4,500-square-foot Colonial has five bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths and an in-ground pool on a 1.84-acre lot. Recently listed for $1.5 milllion, the opening bid at auction was set at $850,000.
Filmmaker Michael Moore is selling his lakeside home in Upper Michigan for $5.2 million. The 11,058-square-foot, seven-bedroom log mansion includes a dock, library, art studio, guest cottage and five fireplaces. The sprawling villa sits on Torch Lake outside Traverse City, in an area known for celebrities. Moore and ex-wife Kathleen Glynn lived there before their 2013 divorce.
Rock legend Neil Young is letting go of his 4,530-square-foot mansion situated on a lush peninsula on the shores of Hawaii’s Big Island. The oceanfront home, which is asking $24.5 million, has five bedrooms and four bathrooms, along with two cottages, two greenhouses, a pool house and spacious verandas. But the mountain views and 830 feet of ocean frontage are the real stars of the property. A world-class surf break, Beach 69, is right down the road.
The Albuquerque “home” of “Breaking Bad” drug dealer Jesse Pinkman is up for sale for $1.6 million. Pinkman, played by actor Aaron Paul, hosted drug-fueled parties and month-long benders at the 3,539-square-foot Spanish Colonial, built in 1940, but most tourists taking selfies outside are less interested in the architecture than in the fictional basement meth lab and the tub upstairs, where one dealer’s corpse was dissolved in acid. The home has four bedrooms, three baths, two porches and stonework-framed fireplaces. Compiled by Adam Warner