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High-end apartment complex coming near Friendly Center

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- An empty lot of mud will soon bring an urban flair to Greensboro near Friendly Center.

The Hawthorne at Friendly Center Apartments will be within walking distance of the shopping center at the corner of Northline Avenue and Hobbs Road.

The upscale apartment complex will hold 188 units of studios and one, two and three-bedroom apartments.

"It could be very successful. I think definitely the location is going to generate a whole lot of interest," said Michelle Tilghman, a rental showing agent.

But some shoppers question if high-end apartments are the answer to filling the lot that's sat empty for years.

"It's for those rich people, and everyone ain't rich, and they have to think about us," said India Walker, a Friendly Center shopper.

Rent at the Hawthorne at Friendly Center will start at $1,000 and could top $2,000 each month. That's well above the $790 average rate in Greensboro, according to Rent Jungle, a website that monitors property value data.

"I'm paying like $760 and that's too high," Walker said.

Tilghman says the high-end amenities this complex promises can drive up the price of a rental unit, but she says those modern features are part of its appeal.

"You go from straight, traditional apartments to very high-end condos for sale, but not very much for rent in between those two," she said.

She says the location next to Friendly Center could convince renters to shell out the extra cash.

"There will be a lot of interest, it's just going to be a situation of if people really can afford it," Tilghman said. "I think we're going to have a lot of people who can, but we'll have to wait and see if they're able to fill up or not."

Construction should start within the next 60 days and the project is expected to be finished by late 2018.