We’ve no doubt the condo project to be dubbed “The Oberlin,” at 904 Oberlin Road near Cameron Village in Raleigh, will be grand indeed. Developer Chad Stelmok says the units will be from 2,100 to 4,200 square feet and will have a rooftop deck with a view of the downtown Raleigh skyline.
They’ll start at $900,000, or in that range, he says, and go up from there.
That a developer would engage such a project — having certainly studied the potential of the market and found it promising — is a commentary on the growing number of people in the community who are able, and willing, to afford such money for their homes. Some spend more than they might ordinarily invest in terms of percentages of their gross income, but believe having built-in entertainment and walkable places such as Cameron Village nearby makes it all worthwhile.
While such places speak to the city’s economic strength, projects on this scale point, again, to the need for affordable housing in Raleigh, something the City Council and Wake County commissioners must continue to push. And that doesn’t mean housing just for lower-income people; it means middle-class housing for teachers, young professionals, retirees and others who have decent incomes but not on the scale to afford some of the many new luxury condominiums in the city and more going up in the city.
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This is a worthy aim. And, local government officials also should try to establish that kind of housing not just out the outskirts of the core, but close in to the city’s core. Diversity is a strength, and something that makes a city livable for all.