Burlington downtown housing stock gaining momentum

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BURLINGTON, N.C. -- Mark Heizer and his team at H-CO properties have dealt with real estate from Durham to Chapel Hill, but have set their eyes west down I-40. They moved into a building on East Davis Street in Burlington at the beginning of the year.

"We see a lot of growth potential," Heizer said. "Burlington just offers a great value."

Heizer says in a hub between Durham and Greensboro is a smart option for commuters at a good price.

"We've seen affordable housing getting harder and harder to find," Heizer said. "We've run out of it in Orange County and now in Durham County."

There's a trend of investors seizing the opportunity to buy property in the downtown core.

Mary Katherine's Boutique was just bought out by Allen Gant III, son of Allen Gant Jr., CEO of Glenn Raven in Alamance County. His plan is to transform the space into lofts and condos, with the potential for retail space or a restaurant street side on East Front Street.

This follows news of more than 70 market-rate apartments being built out of a renovated May Hoisery Mill.

"Our plan is to build more residential, draw in more commercial tenants, and then that will start to spread the downtown development to other areas," Burlington's Economic Development Director Peter Bishop said.

Bennet Harris, one of the brains behind downtown's Steam Junction, loves the idea of more feet on the streets downtown.

"It's gonna show more support for the Company Shops," Harris said. "You're gonna walk down the street to buy your groceries, you're gonna go next door to get dinner, you're going to visit the library, so it's good to have people living in downtown."

Gant III says they're in the planning phases of the new condos and lofts, but hopes to start construction around the end of the year.

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