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Blowing Rock Real Estate Forum

PDF Press Release

August 30, 2016



Blowing Rock is a buyers’ market according to a panel of real estate experts assembled by the Blowing Rock Civic Association for a number of citizens attending a community meeting at the American Legion Building in downtown Blowing Rock. Blowing Rock residential properties are moving at the best rate in several years but prices are lower than before the great national recession that started in 2008 and the forty eight homes that have sold to date this year in the immediate Blowing Rock area had been on the market for an average of 357 days according to the realtors. The realtors said there are currently 70 single family homes and 36 condominiums/townhouses on the market in the immediate Blowing Rock area. They also noted in graphs that are attached that 69% of the homes sold in Blowing Rock since 2011 have ranged in price from $ 250,000- $ 500,000. The realtors observed with concern that despite extensive successful efforts to attract tourists to the town by the Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Development Authority Blowing Rock has had a sharp drop in the number of fulltime residents since 2000 to the current approximately 1200. The realtors encouraged efforts to reverse this loss of population to preserve the town and to improve a seriously deficient infrastructure. They said good roads and streets are critical to the future of Blowing Rock. They are optimistic about the impact of a completed Highway 321 widening project but they are seriously concerned about the poor condition of many town streets. The realtors saw the new Chestnut Hill Development on the old Blowing Rock Hospital site as a very positive one bringing 24 new luxury condos/townhouses to a location with spectacular views and walking distance from downtown. The realtors said there is a great need for Blowing Rock to do some first class marketing particularly in Charlotte and Raleigh to potential Blowing Rock second home buyers. A panel member said that Raleigh homes now are selling after only an average of four hours on the market. The Charlotte market for homes is also booming. The realtors view Blowing Rock as primarily a second home residential community rather than a resort or tourist destination, though they certainly recognize the value of the tourism business to the area. They pointed out that most of Blowing Rock’s revenue is received from homeowners most of whom require little

service therefore enabling the town and county to have some of the lowest property tax rates in the state. The panel said, of course, the biggest assets for Blowing Rock are the world class panoramic views and scenery and wonderful seasonal climate. Outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, horseback riding, rafting, biking, tennis, golf, and croquet that take advantage of this great outdoors environment are all strong inducements to buy a home in Blowing Rock. They cautioned that any move by government or business that damages views and scenery is a devastating blow to area prosperity. The panel also sees downtown Blowing Rock’s village environment to be very valuable and much sought after by potential home buyers. They also see activities and attractions such as the Ragged Garden Inn’s great Friday evening lawn parties, Ensemble Stage productions, the Chamber’s Savor Blowing Rock, and Art in the Park, the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum and the Blowing Rock Country Club as very positive for the town. They recommended more quality events to bring potential home buyers. The realtors said that the quality of shops downtown has diminished over the last several years and they said that more quality retailers would be very helpful to Blowing Rock. The real estate experts encouraged dynamic efforts to promote and preserve Blowing Rock’s unique natural beauties and village character in order to capitalize on the growth of Appalachian State University, Boone and Charlotte rather than be run over by short term pushes for quick dollars and fast growth. The real estate panel was composed of Scott Macintosh and Anne Rasheed of Blowing Rock Investment Properties, Pam Vines and Kathleen Austin of Jenkins Realtors, and Richard Puckett and Maurice Williams of Premier Sotheby’s Real Estate. Realtors Gardelle Lewis and Bill Carter were moderators. This meeting was the first of what will be annual Blowing Rock real estate panel programs sponsored by the Blowing Rock Civic Association. A complete video of the realtors’ panel community meeting can be seen on the Blowing Rock Civic Association

NC DOT Executives’ Update on 321 Widening

NCDOT High Country Transportation Board Member Jim Palermo and NCDOT High Country Division Engineer Mike Pettyjohn told a Community Meeting sponsored by the Blowing Rock Civic Association that the lengthy project to widen Highway 321 in Blowing Rock to four lanes will be finished in the fall of next year.

The meeting at the Blowing Rock American Legion Building on Wednesday July 20th. was attended by a number of interested Blowing Rock citizens.

Pettyjohn said that the section of the project from Tanger Outlets Mall to just South of the intersection with Highway 321 Business is substantially complete with four lanes of traffic moving except when and where some finishing touches are being applied.

Pettyjohn projected that the section of the project from the Highway 321 Business intersection to Green Hill Road will be completed in the spring of next year if not before. The total project from Tanger Outlets Mall to Blackberry Rd. is scheduled for completion in the fall of next year. Unusually bad weather and/or rock slides could delay completion.
Palermo and Pettyjohn said that special efforts have been made in the construction process to produce a product that will be compatible with the wonderful scenery and historic village setting of Blowing Rock, one of the nation’s great destination locations.

The executives said that in response to a BRCA Community Meeting last year with NCDOT executives they stepped up the pace of project completion substantially. Extra crews were brought in and extra money spent to speed up the completion date. Crews are working over sixty hours in six days each week. Additional personnel have been authorized to further expedite project completion.

Both executives said they look forward to the day when the final coating of asphalt has-been placed on all road surfaces and the punch list is completed which means the project is finished. They are confident that all businesses and residents will have good road access. Crews are busy working on driveway tie- ins with the widened highway.

Palermo and Pettyjohn presented the following impressive numbers to the attentive audience:
1. Of the original contract amount for the project of $ 66,438,147.43 the contractors have been paid $ 52,400,000.00. Final costs will exceed $ 70,000,000.00.
2. 94,000 square feet of retaining walls have been constructed; 78,000 tons of asphalt have been placed; 2.5 miles of water lines have been relocated; 2.1miles of duct bank have been constructed holding 10 miles of conduit.

Anyone having specific questions or concerns about the Highway 321 widening project should call:
828-964-3260 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday