Southwest Wake County’s growth spike shows it’s no longer a bedroom community

What used to be a mere cluster of Triangle-outskirt towns is now one of North Carolina’s centers for economic growth. Even by Triangle region standards, which have been significant, Southwest Wake County’s growth has spiked over the last two decades.

The Census Bureau recently reported growth rateCaptures of approximately 26 percent in Apex, 35 percent in Holly Springs, and 44 percent in Fuquay-Varina, outpacing Raleigh in 2016. Residential growth in Holly Spring


s alone is expected to grow so rapidly that for every three residents today, there will be five by 2025.

As a site selection specialist and a local resident, I have seen the impact this has had on the workforce. Joanna Helms, Apex Economic Development Director shared, “Most people don’t realize that Apex has over 50 thriving companies that range from advanced manufacturing, wholesale distribution and precision machining to information technology, computer gaming and software development, as well as micro brewing.”


Following the population growth, retail market vacancies have been competitive, and are currently at 2.8 percent according to CoStar. It seems that almost every week, another grocer, restaurant, or other retailer announces an opening. As of November 2017, Southwest Wake had almost 30,000 square feet of retail space under construction, as well as five shopping centers proposed. Current mixed-use developments in Holly Springs and Fuquay-Varina create tremendous retail and mixed-use opportunities for business owners and consumers alike.

While retail development will always follow the rooftops and urban areas continue to thrive and grow, a new trend is emerging where many companies are migrating closer to their workforce. This has not only reduced geographic and traffic concerns during the recruiting process, but has also developed a quality of life for employees that, in turn, improves the quality of the company. Names such as Dell Inc., Rovisys, and Sequirus are located in the heart of Southwest Wake, producing thousands of jobs and catalyst for economic growth.


“Town leaders have strategically positioned the assets of the community to attract more life science companies. Highlights include: more than $100 million has been invested in roads, water and sewer projects and parks and recreation facilities in the last 10 years,’ said Holly Springs Economic Development Director, Irena Krstanovic.

Southwest Wake currently has over 75,000 square feet of industrial and flex space under construction. These properties are in addition to almost one million square feet of proposed development. Local municipalities are looking to grow their commercial tax base, as well as offer incentives for businesses to join their communities.

This, along with land availability, provides development opportunities for any


thing from spec space to owner-occupancy. Additionally, the construction of “Complete 540” project going through the southwest, there will soon be expedited access to RDU and other parts of the region. According to Economic Development Director, Jim Seymour, “Fuquay-Varina continues to see strong growth in the expansion of our medium to large manufacturing firms. Our geographical location is one of our community’s greatest assets for manufacturing and distribution.”



8 Tips for Preparing Your Properties for Winter

Snow ShovelingWith the weather more unpredictable than ever, you’ll want to be sure your properties are well prepared for whatever weather may head your way. For those of you living in more temperate climates, now is a good time to perform some annual maintenance on your properties. Here are some suggestions to get you started before that first snow storm hits:

· Have snow removal equipment supplies ready and waiting. No one (or almost no one) looks forward to a big snow storm, but it can be even worse when you realize that you’re out of salt or sand, or your snow removal equipment needs a new motor.
· Be sure to get up on the roof and clean out leaves and other debris from the gutters. Clogged gutters can lead to all sorts of issues when the rain or snow arrives.
· While you’re up there, be sure to inspect the roof. Be sure to keep an eye out for missing or broken shingles or shingles that look like they’re curling up. Taking care of roof problems now will eliminate costly winter repairs, while ensuring that the roof is able to withstand the onslaught of rain or snow that is likely.
· Have maintenance check all furnaces or boilers on the property, repairing any issues immediately. Emergency calls are costly.
· Inspect windows and doorways for drafts and seal the drafty areas immediately with exterior grade caulking. New weather stripping will also work to seal any drafty areas around doors.
· Be sure not to neglect the landscape around your properties; checking all trees for weakened tree limbs, removing them before they have the chance to possibly come crashing down on a tenant or employee. Also take the time to inspect the property for dried brush, which can easily dislodged during a wind storm and become a hazard to anyone walking on the property.
· If your property has wood-burning fireplaces, be sure to have each fireplace inspected prior to use to ensure that the flue is in good working order and that wildlife has not taken up residence in the chimney.
· Provide your tenants with a list of things they can do to save energy and stay safe during the winter months.

Being prepared can eliminate costly repair bills, while keeping your tenants safe and warm during the cold winter months.


What Do Renters Really Want?

Renters aren’t so different from homeowners in their wish to live in single-family houses, a new survey indicates. Nearly half of renters consider choosing a single-family house, with roughly another third expressing interest in townhomes, says a recent poll by Zillow Group.

1Among homebuyers, 83% are in the market for houses, with 20% also viewing townhomes as a possibility, Zillow found. The online real estate database company determined that the top concern among both renters and homebuyers, though, is affordability — with 95% of renters and 78% of homeowners putting it high on their list of priorities. Safety ranked next among the drivers of home selection, cited by 60% of homebuyers and 54% of renters.

There’s a big gap between homebuyers and renters in terms of the dwellings they end up living in, though — and that may have to do with the issue of cost. Single-family houses comprised 78% of residential purchases, with townhomes making up another 10%. But only 28% of renters ended up in single-family houses. And more than half of renters landed in multiunit dwellings of less than 50 residences. The share of renters in townhomes, though, was only slightly less than that of homebuyers, at 9%.

The gap in median income is also large, with the typical homebuyer in Zillow’s survey having a household income at $87,500 annually while the typical renter’s is below $50,000.

2The typical homebuyer is also “is in their mid-to-late 30s or early 40s, married (67%) and college-educated (75%).” The typical renter, meanwhile, “is most often female (57%)” and below 50 (84%), with 56% of all renters being millennials (ages 18-34) and 28% of them members of Generation X (ages 35-50).

Most renters (58%) told Zillow they are looking to buy, though only 19% said they are “seriously” house-hunting. On the other hand, most homebuyers (52%) said that, even while searching for a home, they would consider renting as an alternative, with 23% seriously evaluating that option.

The survey, part of Zillow’s Consumer Housing Trends Report 2016, was given as to consumers between April 27 and May 12 of this year and involved 3,000 renters who had moved in the previous 12 months and 3,003 homebuyers who had purchased their primary residences in that same period.