by: Mark Becker Updated:
While Charlotte's economy is still grinding to get traction toward recovery, one business is booming: the apartment business.
"In Mecklenburg alone there are probably 12 communities under construction," said Ken Szymanski, director of the Greater Charlotte Apartment Association.
Szymanski said there are already about 100,000 apartments in the greater Charlotte area, a record number.
Local developers are seeing the boom as well.
"The market has actually been a good one. The property across the street has performed really well," said Carter Siegel who is with Wood Partners, a nationwide firm that already has six apartment complexes in Charlotte and is working on a seventh near Northlake Mall.
Several others are also on the drawing board, waiting for rezoning approval from the city.
Szymanski said there are several reasons for the apartment boom, but the uncertain economy may be the biggest.
Many people are still nervous about buying back into the housing market, and renting offers a safe alternative.
"If you sign a 12-month lease, then you've got flexibility after that. If you sign a mortgage note and you can't sell the property and you want to or need to you might be in a tight spot," Szymanski said.