Creedmoor prepares for the boom

By J. Barlow Herget, 
CorrespondentOctober 22, 2012 

PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHAEL PENNELLO

CREEDMOOR — If location, location, location are the three most important attributes in real estate, Creedmoor is a market waiting to happen not unlike Holly Springs and Clayton in the 1990s.

“Our population has doubled since 2000. We’re minutes from I-540. We’re 15 minutes from Durham; 32 minutes from Raleigh. We’re inside a 25-mile radius of RDU [Raleigh Durham International Airport],” says Creedmoor Mayor Darryl Moss, a one-man booster bureau.

The once stagnant small town on state HWY 50 north of Raleigh recorded a population of 2,232 in 2000 and in 2010, 4,124. Main street stores are mostly filled today. “In 1989, 80 percent of the stores on Main Street were vacant. Today, we have one vacant store,” boasts the mayor.

The city also is completing a $10 million water and sewer project. In the next six months, the city will decide on its long-term plan.

“There have been subdivisions that kept on selling homes during the whole time of the Great Recession,” says “Cozy” Felton, a developer of Pine Valley, one of the newer communities in Creedmoor.

“And we’re seeing more interest now because the market is picking up,” he adds. Felton ticks off neighboring subdivisions along state HWY 56, east of downtown: “Southerby, it’s almost sold out; Paddington; Golden Pond—that’s been a big success.”

Wallace Peiffer, a partner with Coldwell Banker Advantage in Creedmoor, sold many of the 430 homes in Golden Pond. “Prices at the start [1993-1994] were under $150,000,” he recalls. “That’s why Golden Pond worked so good.” Peiffer also sold one of the first homes in Pine Valley.

The value of homes in Creedmoor is not unlike home values in other Raleigh suburbs, if not better. The model home in Pine Valley, built by HHHunt Homes, for example, has 2,300-sq. ft., four bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, hardwood floors and granite table tops in the kitchen. Prices in the subdivision start at $160,000.

Dave Harney, a broker for Fonville Morisey’s Youngsville office, has worked with clients in Creedmoor. “My business is about 60 percent resale and 40 percent new homes. I’m seeing for the first time in years families starting to relocate to this area,” he explains.

“Creedmoor is a good commuting point for people in RTP [Research Triangle Park], Raleigh and Durham. You get more home and land for the money, and the Granville County school system has made tremendous strides and expanded,” Harney says.

Peiffer, who grew up in Creedmoor and sold 252 homes in 2007, tells his clients that the town is quiet, safe, great place to raise a family, fantastic schools, and it’s about seven minutes from a boat ramp on Falls Lake.

“Right now,” he says, “prices are extremely good. A brand new house, 2,300-sq. ft. with granite table tops and two-car garage for $179,000.

“Fifty percent of my clients work in Durham or RTP; 20 percent are local and 30 percent are in Wake County. When they build the NC 50 expansion from I-540, it will do the same for us as I-40 did for Clayton.”

Mayor Moss says the city does not plan to become an industrial center unlike many suburban towns. He sees Creedmoor developing as a residential and commercial hub. He points to his community’s high average household income, about $62,000 a year, higher than the state and national figures.

“We have focused on the basics: public safety, our crime numbers are incredibly low. We are working on our road infrastructure, and we joined the Wake County Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization because Raleigh traffic has more influence on us than traffic north of us,” he explains. “We’re on the [NC Department of Transportation’s] TIP plan for HWY 50 expansion.”

Rick Flowe, Creedmoor’s planning, zoning and subdivision administrator, expects the population to be 14,000 by 2030. “We want to create a compact town, and we’ve eliminated 16 small [sewer] package stations and replaced them with two large ones,” he says. “We’re building 7,000 feet of sidewalk right now.”

He also notes that the town may run out of platted inventory in the next 18 months. “Our prospects are very good. We have a small town feel and are adding restaurants and services,” he says.

For developer “Cozy” Felton, the nearby complex of state and federal hospital and correction institutions offers a pool of steady and many professional jobs. He lists some of them: North Carolina’s Central Regional Mental Health Center (the old Dorothea Dix hospital), Federal Medical Center at Butner, three federal prisons, North Carolina’s Polk Youth Center and Whitaker Training School.

Felton agrees with Moss and Flowe on the town’s prospects: “Creedmoor is ready for dramatic expansion.”

Barlow Herget is a writer, radio commentator and co-author of “The Insider’s Guide to the Triangle.”

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