DURHAM CONDO HIGH-RISE WILL COST YOU MILLIONS: If you have a few million dollars laying around, the newest luxury high-rise housing coming to Durham may be for you. Million-dollar condos will be part of The Novus, a new high-rise tower developed by a firm with an already established presence in downtown. Although formal plans for The Novus mixed-use tower haven’t been announced yet, renderings of the future tower and early listings for its pricey condo units have appeared online. A three-bedroom, four-bathroom condo of 3,755 square feet with views of the Bull City will go on the market for a cool $3,479,900, according to a new Zillow listing. The building will also include apartments, office and retail space. Smaller condo units that are listed online will go from $1,429,900 to $1,939,900. Now, those are more affordable. Just kidding, this is insane...
RENT IN RALEIGH IS THROUGH THE ROOF: In the Raleigh metropolitan statistical area (MSA), Apartment List found the median rent price to be $1,508, the highest in the company’s data set. In the prior month, rents rose by 2.6% in the Raleigh MSA, Giddons told WRAL TechWire. That’s up about 18% year-over-year, Gibbons said. “The pandemic-era slowdown has given way to an extremely hot rental market,” said Gibbons. In the Durham MSA, rents rose by 2.3% in the prior month, and the median price of renting is also at an all-time high in the data set, at $1,365. Since the same time period last year, rents have increased by about 22% in the Durham MSA, Gibbons noted. A household would need to make $60,000 per year to afford most two-bedroom, two-bath apartments in Raleigh. Based on guidance that housing should make up no more than 30% of monthly expenses, someone working at minimum wage would be priced out of both Triangle cities. An individual would need to make $5,027 per month for the Raleigh average of $1,508 to be 30%. Both cities (and many others) need to put rent controls in place. If landlords don't like it, they can suck on a lemon.
LEANDRO JUDGE GIVES REPUBLICANS THREE (MORE) WEEKS TO COMPLY: A North Carolina judge is giving state lawmakers three more weeks to put billions of dollars of new funding into public schools before he potentially orders them to do so. State Superior Court Judge David Lee said Monday that he can compel the General Assembly to fund a plan that calls for $1.7 billion in new school funding over the next two years. The goal of the new money would be to try to provide students with their state constitutional guarantee to a sound basic education. But Lee said that he would wait until at least Nov. 8 before issuing a court order. In the meantime, attorneys representing the school districts and parents in the long-running Leandro school funding lawsuit will draft an order they want Lee to sign that would compel lawmakers to fund the multi-billion dollar plan. “I think everyone knows that I’m ready to pull out of the station and see what’s around the next bend,” Lee said at Monday’s court hearing. Kudos for the train reference, but schools need the money now.
REPUBLICANS MOVE (ONCE AGAIN) TO STRIP POWER FROM THE GOVERNOR: Republican lawmakers on Wednesday approved yet another attempt to limit the governor's emergency powers, but the legislation is headed to a near-certain veto from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. House Bill 264 is the latest in a series of proposals backed by legislative leaders seeking to limit the emergency powers of the governor. It would require any emergency action lasting longer than a week to have the support of a majority of the 10-member Council of State, which is currently dominated by Republicans. The legislation is similar to a bill that passed last summer, Senate Bill 105. It was promptly vetoed by Cooper, as were lawmakers' other, less expansive attempts to limit gubernatorial emergency powers. Signaling the expected veto, neither Democrats nor Republicans even bothered to debate House Bill 264 on the House floor. It passed on party lines, 66-44. It's all they know how to do, take powers from Dems and give tax cuts to the wealthy.
PARKLAND MURDERER PLEADS GUILTY, MAY GET DEATH PENALTY: Nikolas Cruz, the former student who killed 17 people at a South Florida high school in 2018, pleaded guilty Wednesday to 17 counts each of murder and attempted murder, paving the way for a jury to decide whether to sentence him to death or life without parole. Appearing in Broward County court in a mask and dark-colored shirt, Cruz listened as Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer guided him through the charges and potential punishment for the massacre that killed 14 students and three faculty members. “These are capital felonies, and they’re punishable one of two ways, either life in prison or the death penalty,” Scherer said. “Do you understand that you are facing a minimum, best-case scenario of life in prison?” “Yes ma’am,” Cruz responded. The plea by Cruz, 23, came more than 3½ years after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. His change of plea from not guilty was an abrupt reversal in the case. His attorneys had long acknowledged Cruz’s guilt but said he would formally plead guilty only if prosecutors agreed to let him be sentenced to life in prison. Prosecutors had refused, calling this the type of case that demanded the death penalty. I'm not sure if any case "demands" the death penalty, but this dude should never be heard (or seen) again.