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Triangle Business Journal Article-New homes to sprout soon as wait list grows

PITTSBORO-As a waiting list of buyers grows, the Galloway Ridge retirement community is starting a second phase of construction that will max out the community’s 50 acres adjacent to the upscale Fearrington Village community.

Galloway Ridge will have an additional 67 residential units and 53 health care beds once a $34 million construction project is complete in March 2012.  The expansion also will result in the need for 75 additional service-related positions to the retirement community’s staff of 127 full-time and 125 part-time work staff, says Galloway Ridge Executive Directory Jason Cronk.

Galloway Ridge opened in 2005 with 234 independent living units and a health care facility with 38 beds, plus its own Duke medicine-staffed wellness center and primary care clinic.

It is one of 12 continuing care retirement communities, or CCRCs, in the triangle that offer sales of condo units and single-family homes to adults ages 55 or older, as well as assisted living and memory care facilities for residents who need additional nursing care.

The new phase of construction will include a 49-seat cinema, a third dining room, expanded lounge, library, arts studio and salon as well as renovation of the Duke Center for Living locker rooms.

Cronk says Galloway Ridge was ready to break ground in October 2008 on its expansion project, “but that’s when the markets stopped lending.”  By waiting two years, Galloway Ridge was able to refinance its debt and fund the expansion at an average interest rate of 5.62 percent on nearly $100 million in debt financing.

Entrance fees at Galloway Ridge ranged from 4213,000 to $782,000 in 2010, depending on the size of the unit.  Monthly fees ranged from $2,142 to $4,156, according to Traingle Business Journal research.

In Raleigh, owners of the 242-unit The Cypress retirement community want to build a second phase with another 61 units at its campus on Strickland Road, but Cypress principal craig Huggins says he has no immediate plans to begin construction.

Developers of the proposed $150 million Cardinal at North Hills retirement community on Six Forks Road in Raleigh shelved their plans when they counldn’t find an adequate number of buyers to meet funding requirements.  The Cardinal withdrew its application to the state Department of Insurance in October 2010.  Cardinal developers say they are making plans to redesign the project under a different format.

SearStone, another CCRC project that’s proposed in cary, could break ground later this year if it can achieve the 70 percent reservation requirement of the North Carolina department of Insurance.  SearStone Marketing Director Morgan Lamphere says the community has reservations for 108 of the 169 units, or 64 percent, in the $109 million first phase of construction.  “We’re very close to this goal,” she says.

Galloway Ridge has kept a steady waiting list of about 100 people at any given time.