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Thursday, August 27, 1981The Daily Tar Heel3
Condominium conversion , continue mreu
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Send a greeting
Use a message cake
By qilP WILSON
DTH Staff Writer
Greeting cards may be the very best way
to show you care, according to one com
pany's slogan, but in Chapel Hill, it isn't
the very least.
Among the various ways of sending
messages are balloon bouquets, singing
telegrams, dancing clowns and even a belly
One, Carrboro firm, Balloons and
Tunes, specializes in balloon bouquets,
singing telegrams and message cake de
livery. Since the company began operating
in November 1980, business has boomed,
said co-owner Sharon Collins.
"Last year, we had quite a few students
request our service," she said. "Many
times someone will see somebody in class
that they like, but never say anything to
her. So he will call us and we'll go over to
her dorm and sing a message like, 'I'd
really like to get to know you better.
"Other things we have done have been
'Happy Birthday' messages, get-well
greetings and congratulations messages.
We even proposed marriage once."
In addition to balloon bouquets and
singing messages, Balloons and Tunes
also offers delivery of a message cake by a
Cookie Muncher dressed in a blue cos
tume. For those whose preferences extend be
yond cookie monsters and balloons, a
Raleigh woman will come to a party, of
fice or hospital room and perform a
Turkish belly dance in addition to
"Happy Birthday" or "Get Well Soon."
"It's a;lot like a singing telegram," said
Faika Jamal, who was born in Turkey.
"What I try to do is catch the man off
guard while he is still at his office, in the
' hospital or party." After the performance
is over, she said, Jamal then presents the
"customer with a card.
One primary drawback to purchasing
this unusual greeting might be the price.
Jamal said a belly-dance greeting in Cha
pel Hill would usually cost $50 or $60,
since she has to travel from Raleigh,
where most of her student clientele is.
The price of a singing telegram could
also run to $200, since options such as
originally-composed songs and late night
visitations are offered.
'' "Many students usually request our
lowest price, which is $12," she said.
Other local firms that offer message
delivery include Balloon's Forever in Cary
and B and B Music Company in Chapel
By MICHELLE CHRISTENBURY
DTH Staff Writer
The trend toward condominium conver
sion in Chapel Hill and Carrboro contin
ues, with several recent conversions, in
cluding Castillian Villa, Hillmont and Ce
dar Court Apartments.
Local real estate agents said they expec
ted Graham Court and University Gardens
to become condominiums in the near fu
ture. Condominium conversion means that
apartment property is purchased by an in
dividual or a group of investors, who offer
the units of the building for sale and pri
vate ownership, rather than for rent as
If someone is living in the building at
the time of conversion from apartments
to condominiums, his lease grants him the
right to live there only until the lease's ex
piration. He then may be offered the chance to
buy his apartment, or may be asked to re
locate. Chapel Hill Town Planner Chris Berndt
said, however, that there were local stipu
lations that protect the tenant for a period
Tenants must be given a certain period
of time before they are required to vacate
their apartments or terminate their leases.
Tenants should also be given the exclu
sive right to purchase their apartments be
fore they are sold to the general public.
"A 1980 HUD (U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development) study
found that condominium conversions
were most likely to occur in growing com
munities with active housing markets,"
Berndt said. s
. "Chapel Hill fits into this profile."
But, Berndt said, recent, dramatic in
creases in interest rates on loans may cause
a slowdown in the number of conversions.
Debbie Kuilema, the recently-named
general manager of The Oaks Apartments,
said that high interest rates may have been
the cause of The Oaks converting back to
The Oaks had been converted to con
dominiums but were changed back into
None of the units had actually been
purchased before the re-conversion to
apartments, so there were no problems
associated with displacing condominium
owners, Kuilema said. The condominium
conversion project never reached that stage.
Berndt said there were both advantages
and disadvantages to condominium con
versions. "On the one hand, condominiums pro
vide moderately priced housing, depend
ing on the project. Also, parents can pur
chase a condominium for a student in
school and get a tax write-off for that
"However, condominium conversions
could possibly cause problems if too many
occur at one time," Berndt said. "Con
dominiums reduce the supply of rental
housing in communities, and Chapel Hill
historically has a low vacancy rate."
Tony Lathrop, town relations chair
man for UNC's student government, said
that condominium conversion would not
be a benefit to students.
"Condominiums could be inconvenient
for students because they (students) prob
ably would not want to invest the time
and money into such a big investment,"
"Chapel Hill is also a transitive envi
ronment and most students probably
wouldn't want to be tied down to one
Dave Farrell, a student and two-year
resident of University Gardens Apart
ments, is also displeased with the idea of
University Gardens is believed to be in
line" for conversion in the near future.
"I think it is terribly unfair that the
people of Chapel Hill have nothing to say
about it," Farrell said. "This is a Univer
sity community and students must have a
place.to stay. Most students cannot afford
the obligation of owning a condominium.
"I just don't see how the town will gain
from the conversions," Farrell said. "Uni
versity Gardens is within walking distance
to campus. The conversion will only force
more students off campus, causing more
problems with busing and traffic.
"I'm expecting to be out by Christmas.
There's no choice for me but to move."
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