Development Competition Would Be Beneficial

By Ran Northam Posted June 12, 2014 at 8:05 am

Chapel Hill developer, Roger Perry, says he’d like to see more economic competition for East West Partners Management Company.

He says Chapel Hill should be more willing to accept some much-needed changes.

Roger Perry (Courtesy of UNC News Services)

Roger Perry (Courtesy of UNC News Services)

“We are willing to put up with it, others will not,” says Perry. “From a cost standpoint, the market risk is greater than the entitlement risk.”

While he says East West Partners has tried to take advantage of working through this entitlement process because no one else wants to, it may no longer be in the company’s best interest.

“I fear the worst economic impacts on our company will be the lack of true competitiveness in Chapel Hill,” says Perry.

Perry also says that he might not be in opposition to another one-cent tax increase, passed this week by the Chapel Hill Town Council.

“There are no short-term answers,” says Perry. “That one cent is going to some very basic improvements and to put a little bit of money into some capital projects that are long past overdue.”

While Perry says changes can still be made to the development processes, there are signs of progress being made.

“I think the town has already taken a big step with the Ephesus-Fordham approval,” says Perry. “I am not sure that I would necessarily tear down any barriers that currently exist for development, but I would dramatically streamline the process.”

Perry made these comments in a WCHL News Special with Jim Heavner.

Chapel Hill’s tax rates—city, county, and school taxes–support the city schools, free local busses, and social services, at the highest rate in North Carolina. Local government development policies have made Chapel Hill’s taxes on residences the highest percentage in the state, and commercial taxes the lowest. Orange County exports more retail spending to other counties than any county in the region. In a WCHL news special, Jim Heavner interviews Roger Perry, who has recently been more outspoken on those issues.

Perry, a Chapel Hillian, is the President of East West Partners Management Company, and since 1983 East West Partners has developed more residential real estate than any company in North Carolina. That includes Meadowmont, Downing Creek and East 54 here in Chapel Hill. He’s now trying to develop Obey Creek, so he’s a big player. Perry, a UNC graduate has also served as chair of the UNC Board of Trustees, and that is also a topic of the special interview.

This interview was conducted before the Chapel Hill Town Council approved next year’s budget, which includes a one-cent tax property increase.

***Listen to Part Three***

Part 1 | Part 2Part 3 | Part 4

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