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Stonehenge or condo bust? 

Uptown development remains on pause

Jutting up from the ground next to the Circle K on Graham St. is what was supposed to be The Garrison at Graham, Uptown's latest condo complex. But construction has been stalled so long, all that stands is a series of concrete columns topped with rusty metal bars; the whole scene looks like an ugly work of art.

Construction on the property began in the summer of 2007. Looking at pictures on The Garrison's Web site, it appears there hasn't been any work done on the property since August 2007.

If construction had continued, living at The Garrison wasn't going to be cheap -- despite the fact that the quality of its location hasn't quite caught up to the hype. On one side of the proposed construction is a lovely gas station and on the other side is a hangout for homeless people and an auto shop.

But what stopped the progress on The Garrison?

First Charlotte Properties, the firm in charge of the project, didn't return phone calls to Creative Loafing for comment. But in January, Terry Childers of First Charlotte Properties told the Charlotte Business Journal that the Garrison is on hold and there is no date for delivery on the project.

Almost half of the units in The Garrison had been sold, according to the Business Journal. The Journal article also says The Garrison is the latest victim of the sub-prime market. But many experts have touted the Charlotte housing market as one of the stronger ones in the country.

In a recent study by Expansion Management, Charlotte ranked 20th in the top 40 U.S. housing markets. So, why did other Uptown projects keep chugging along while The Garrison stalled?

Aside from the sketchy neighborhood near the proposed condos and the high price tag associated with the units, (The Garrison's Web site shows sample pricing for the condos and they start at $427,000 for 1,609 square feet), the Journal says that the Chicago fund financing the development wanted smaller units in the $20 million location.

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