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Last residents of Cloverdale Apartments told to leave

The last residents of Cloverdale Apartments will be out of the complex by early March as the owners move toward demolition of the brick apartments seen by some as iconic examples of post-World War II construction in Ardmore.

Kevin Thompson, the chief marketing officer with Carlisle Residential Properties, said that after about a year of not accepting any new leases at the apartments, the number of residents is down to about 45 people. Many of the 168 apartment units on the site are now vacant.

“In early 2019, we stopped taking any new leases, and anyone’s lease who was still there went to a month-to-month basis,” Thompson said. “We did not want to displace anyone and cause any unexpected hassles.”

Carlisle manages the property for its owners and will be steering the demolition of the existing buildings. Although Carlisle could have given residents 30 days to get out, Thompson said that was extended to 60 days to give the remaining residents more time.

The owners plan new apartment construction on the site.

The companion apartment complex, Ardmore Terrace on the north side of Cloverdale Avenue, will stay. Thompson said that as apartments have become vacant in Ardmore Terrace, Cloverdale residents who wanted to have been able to relocate to that complex.

Ardmore Terrace is full. Given the number of residents remaining in Cloverdale Apartments, the management company decided it was time for them to go. Thompson said the other apartment option for people who want to keep renting from Carlisle is Countryside Villa off Shattalon Drive in northern Winston-Salem.

Southwest Ward Council Member Dan Besse said he tried for years to encourage the owners of Cloverdale to renovate instead of tearing down and to keep affordable rents in the complex.

The apartments are owned by Cloverdale Apartments LLC, described by Besse as heirs of the original apartment developers.

Cloverdale and Ardmore Terrace apartments were build between 1948 and 1952 by Wilson-Covington Construction Co., which continued to lease the apartments for many years. In her 2015 book, “Winston-Salem’s Architectural Heritage,” architectural historian Heather Fearnbach said the apartments were built to ease the housing shortage that developed at the end of World War II.

Fearnbach said the apartment buildings have classical design elements and that many retained the original steel casement windows.

“It is a crying shame to lose those historic structures,” Besse said, adding that there’s no way to prevent the demolition because the owners are not looking for a rezoning to rebuild on the site. Besse said he did get a heads-up from Carlisle after the new year began that letters would be going out requiring residents to move.

Besse said he asked for renters to get 90 days instead of the original 30, and that Carlisle responded by extending the move-out period to 60 days.

Thompson said renters are getting a $200 stipend to help with moving and are getting their full security deposits back.

“We are trying to be conscientious and thoughtful for all our residents,” he said.

In 2015, a developer submitted plans to tear down all 92 buildings in both Ardmore Terrace and Cloverdale Apartments, replacing them with 15 larger three-story apartment buildings and a 4,000-square-foot clubhouse.

That plan was released after earlier plans to more extensively redevelop the property ran into opposition from Besse and others in Ardmore. The more extensive plan, which would have required a rezoning, called for a new street layout, including a traffic circle and some ground-floor retail.

Besse said he’s been in talks with the owners for years, as he tried to come up with a compromise.

The current plans call for no rezoning, which means Besse and anyone else opposed can’t stop the conversion of the site.

“The new apartments will be market rate and completely unaffordable to a lot of people,” Besse said. “I do not approve of it, but do not have any legal or political power to stop it.”

Aaron King, the director of City-County Planning, said no new plans have been submitted for buildings on the Cloverdale Apartments site, nor has a demolition permit yet been issued. For now, all that exists is a grading permit obtained last June.

Thompson didn’t reveal any details about the designs or rents anticipated in the new units.

“That is where it gets a little sketchy,” he said. “I think the apartment count is targeted at over 200. They are still working on the final designs.”


Business
North Carolina remains popular destination for movers

North Carolina continues to be a destination for people wanting to relocate to another state.

Atlas Van Lines said North Carolina was third in the U.S. for customer inbound moves in 2019, as well as first in the Southeast.

U-Haul also had North Carolina ranked third, trailing Florida and Texas. North Carolina jumped considerably from 24th in the 2019 report.

Atlas had 2,711 inbound moves for North Carolina, along with 1,860 leaving the state.

The 2019 total is the lowest number of inbound Atlas customers for North Carolina during the 2010s. The peak was 3,975 in 2011 at the end of the Great Recession.

For Atlas, North Carolina was one of just 11 states with a majority of moves being inbound.

U-Haul said the Triangle, Wilmington, Boone and Hendersonville led U-Haul in-migration rentals, with Winston-Salem included in the list of communities having an overall net in-migration gain.

Raleigh was listed as the nation’s top growth city for in-migration, while Wilmington placed in the top 25.

“North Carolina is seeing growth in businesses coming in, which attracts new residents,” said Jason Grider, Central North Carolina president for U-Haul.

“The housing market is booming. With plenty of jobs to choose from, residents from every background are making North Carolina their home.

“We also have some of the best colleges, so graduates from all over end up moving here for good,” Grider said.

North American Van Lines Inc. ranked North Carolina fifth with 60% of customers being inbound rentals and 40% outbound rentals.

North American cited North Carolina’s main advantages as being a “very friendly tax state, warmer climates and job growth.”

Allied Van Lines also ranked North Carolina, citing in particular individuals and households moving to the state for work reasons.

United Van Lines had North Carolina ninth in the country for its customers, as well as third in the Southeast. It was United’s 42nd annual migration report.

The United moving breakdown for North Carolina was 57.3% inbound and 42.7% outbound.

United provided additional socioeconomic data for customers moving to and from North Carolina.

For example, 44.8% of inbound movers cited a job as their primary reason, while 58.2% of outbound movers did.

About 25% of inbound movers said family was the motivating reason, while 23.8% said retirement, 14.1% said lifestyle and 3.8% said health.

Given North Carolina’s popularity as a retirement state for the beach, mountain and golf activities, 30.6% of inbound movers were age 65 and older, along with 26.9% of those ages 55 to 64.

However, the state appeared to be less attractive to millennials and Gen Xers, with those ages 18 to 34 representing 11% of inbound movers, along with 15.6% of those ages 35 to 44.

Meanwhile, 19.4% of outbound movers were ages 18 to 34, as well as 22.5% of those ages 35 to 44.

North Carolina proved most popular with those with household incomes of at least $150,000, representing nearly 40% of inbound movers, as well as 37.1% of outbound movers.

“Key factors were the baby boomer generation relocating upon reaching retirement age, as well as states’ economic performances and housing costs, that drove these 2019 moving patterns,” said Michael Stoll, an economist with the Department of Public Policy at UCLA.

“United Van Lines’ study encompasses data consistent with the broader migration trends to western and southern regions that we’ve been seeing for several years now.”

The inbound trends contributed to the state’s population exceeding 10.5 million in 2019, up at least 10% from 2010. The 2020 U.S. Census will determine the official state population total.

North Carolina currently is the ninth largest state, trailing Georgia by about 120,000.

North Carolina’s growth spurt during the 2010s is projected to land it a 14th congressional district for the 2022 election.

“North Carolina has consistently featured prominently as a net in-migration state,” said Keith Debbage, a joint professor of geography and sustainable tourism and hospitality at UNC Greensboro.

“That has been triggered by a rigorous job market, attractive amenities both manmade and natural, and the retirement migration from both the Rustbelt region and ‘rebound migration’ from folks in Florida who are looking for some topography to complement the beach environment.”


Business
Spotlights heats up on N.C. GOP as another red state reaches Medicaid expansion compromise

North Carolina, particularly its unyielding Senate Republican leadership, is in the national spotlight on Medicaid expansion as the legislature resumes its 2019 session Tuesday.

A first-term Democratic governor and the Republican senate majority leader in Kansas agreed on a compromise last week that would allow it to become the 38th state — and 15th red — to expand its Medicaid program.

The Affordable Care Act makes Medicaid available to households with incomes below 138% of the poverty line, or nearly $36,000 for a family of four.

The agreement is the third of its kind recently between a Democratic governor and Republican-controlled legislature counting Kentucky and Louisiana.

Those bipartisan successes have raised the question of why a compromise can’t be reached in a similar scenario in North Carolina.

For example, Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent wrote in December that “Medicaid expansion keeps breaking through in red America. Next stop: North Carolina?

Sargent cited as evidence a recent quote from Phil Cox, a former head of the Republican Governors Association: “The battle has been fought and lost on Medicaid expansion.”

“Republicans may be able to hold off the Medicaid expansion in some parts of the country — and it’s still possible that a continuing lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act could wreak untold havoc,” Sargent wrote Friday in response to the Kansas compromise.

“But the public argument over the expansion may be close to over.”

Mitch Kokai, senior policy analyst for Libertarian think tank John Locke Foundation, said “there is no question that the well-funded Medicaid expansion lobby will latch onto this announcement as it continues to pressure North Carolina to join the club.”

“The work requirements included in the Kansas package might appeal to those — especially in the N.C. House — who supported similar proposals here,” Kokai said.

However, he cautioned that “Senate leaders who have been uninterested in any version of Medicaid expansion are unlikely to change their minds, regardless of what happens in Kansas.”

Kansas is one of several Midwest and Mountain West states that have decided to expand, along with Nebraska, Idaho and Utah, said Mark Hall, a law and public-health professor at Wake Forest University. Hall released a study in April 2018 titled “Do States Regret Expanding Medicaid?” with an overall conclusion of “No.”

“This move makes the (seven) Southern block of states look more and more like stubborn outliers in refusing to even consider more conservative versions of Medicaid expansion,” Hall said.

Those Republican-leaning states are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Kansas

A Republican super-majority legislature passed a Medicaid expansion bill with a work requirement in 2017, but there were not enough votes to override then-Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto.

The 2020 compromise, according to The Associated Press: Gov. Laura Kelly, who won her election in 2018 by keying on the issue, gets expansion.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning secures his version of a program for driving down private health insurance premiums to make it less likely people would drop existing private plans for Medicaid.

The agreement is projected to add up to 150,000 Kansas residents to the Medicaid program that already has more than 390,000 participants. At that level, it would cover 18% of Kansas’ 2.91 million residents.

By comparison, Medicaid currently covers 2.2 million North Carolinians, with projections of expansion adding between 450,000 and 650,000 residents. At 2.65 million participants, that would represent 25% of the state’s population, while at 2.85 million, it would represent 26.8%.

A key element in the Kansas negotiations, according to The Associated Press: Kelly carried Denning’s home county by nearly 19 percentage points in 2018, and President Donald Trump’s problems with suburban voters makes Denning’s seat a top Democratic target in 2020.

North Carolina

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the Republican-sponsored state budget on June 28, primarily because it did not include expanding Medicaid and featured a lower raise for 2019-20 and 2020-21 for public school teachers than Cooper prefers.

When Tuesday’s session begins, it will be Day 201 since the budget veto, as well as Day 125 since the state House overrode Cooper’s veto in controversial fashion Sept. 11.

Most Democratic members were not on the floor because they said they had been told by Republican House leadership that no votes would be taken during the first session that day.

Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, and Senate Republican leadership have been adamant opponents to expansion since it surfaced in 2012 as an option through the Affordable Care Act.

They oppose a bipartisan House Bill 655 that would expand Medicaid. Rep. Donny Lambeth, R-Forsyth, is the bill’s primary sponsor.

The bipartisan bill contains two elements key to expansion in Republican states: a work or community volunteer requirement for some recipients; and a requirement that recipients pay 2% of their monthly household income for Medicaid coverage.

Those requirements have been held up by federal judges in at least four states.

Most left-leaning advocate groups say that while they support Medicaid expansion, the work and premium requirements are too onerous overall compared with the potential benefit.

Debate

Berger and Republican leadership have stated their concern that the federal government may opt to end its 90% match on additional administrative costs for expansion. They also oppose an annual $758 million assessment that the state’s hospitals and health-care systems have agreed to provide.

Berger claims Cooper is “holding the entire budget hostage” over Medicaid expansion that he says puts “able-bodied individuals” in front of disabled individuals for funding priorities.

On Monday, Sen. Ralph Hise, R-McDowell, issued a statement citing The New York Post, which claimed a $6 billion budget deficit for New York state comes from “exploding costs in New York’s popular health-insurance program for the needy.”

“Gov. Roy Cooper is selling the same fantasy to North Carolina voters and the media. The actual evidence from other states shows that Medicaid expansion will bust budgets.

“Which do you believe: Reality or Roy Cooper?”

However, several public-health advocates, as well as Lambeth, have said the GOP warning is unfounded.

For the 36 Medicaid expansion states and the District of Columbia, the federal government has been consistent even under the Trump administration in meeting its 90% contribution.

Lambeth told a House committee in July that the 90% match is sustainable and would take an act of Congress to change.

‘Stands to benefit’

Both sides have relied on Medicaid expansion reports as dueling proxies for their reasoning for and against supporting HB655.

For example, a national study found that at least 1,400 North Carolinians may have died between 2014 and 2017 because the state has not expanded Medicaid coverage.

The report released Nov. 6 by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities determined that in the 33 expansion states as of 2017, at least 19,200 lives were saved from potential premature deaths.

Meanwhile, in the 17 non-expansion states at that time, there was an estimate of 15,600 potential premature deaths.

A June report sponsored by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and the Cone Health Foundation determined that expanding Medicaid would create more than 37,000 jobs in North Carolina, including 20,600 in the health-care sector, by the end of 2022.

It also would bring in an additional $11.7 billion in federal Medicaid funding from 2020 to 2022.

“Every community stands to benefit from Medicaid expansion,” said Dr. Laura Gerald, president of the charitable trust.

“The evidence shows that closing the Medicaid gap will improve population health, support vulnerable North Carolina families and boost the economy across the major sectors.”

Changes

House speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, pledged after the controversial Sept. 11 veto override vote to let HB655 go to the House floor.

Lambeth agreed to remove the bill in an attempt to improve the legislation at the committee level.

At a Sept. 18 House Health committee meeting, attempts to remove the work and household monthly premium requirements failed to win approval.

The committee addressed 12 amendments, four of which were approved. Those include removing language that would have delayed the potential rollout by six months from July 1, 2020, to Jan. 1, 2021.

Five amendments were withdrawn after Lambeth said he would discuss the potential legislation with their sponsors. There has been no action since on HB655 since it was sent to the House Rules and Operations committee.

Election

Berger’s projection of a brief session — particularly if he is successful in convincing at least one Senate Democrat to support a budget veto override attempt — has no stated consideration of addressing Medicaid expansion.

Berger’s opposition carries more weight than similar Medicaid expansion scenarios in Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska and Utah because unlike those states, North Carolina citizens do not have the ability to initiate statewide ballot referendums.

“I suspect Republican legislators in this state will not budge,” Kokai said.

“Gov. Cooper’s willingness to threaten the entire state budget over Medicaid expansion has made legislative leaders even more wary of a scheme that already raised significant concerns for them.”

John Dinan, a political science professor at Wake Forest University and a national expert on state legislatures, said the Medicaid expansion focus for North Carolina should be on the 2020 General Election and what the composition of the House and Senate will be for the 2021 session.

Republicans hold a 29-21 advantage in the Senate and 65-55 in the House.

“There is not an expectation of any movement on the part of the Senate toward Medicaid expansion this year,” Dinan said.

“If Democrats hold the governor’s office and gain control of one chamber or possibly both, then there would be an opening in 2021 for Medicaid expansion in some form.

“At that point, there would likely be discussion about what form expansion would take and whether it would be accompanied by the sorts of work requirements or premium-payment requirements that some states have tried to enact.”