For those of us fortunate enough to have been born and raised in Winston-Salem or the surrounding areas, we know exactly what it means to say, ‘I like calling North Carolina home.’ From the beautiful landscape with rolling hills, to the convenience of being close to the mountains and the beach, to the goodness of the people, this area is a great place to live for many reasons. And with the number of people who are moving into the Forsyth County area on the rise, more folks are realizing what this state has to offer and sharing why they like calling North Carolina home. Chris Parr of Parr Investments, a Greensboro, NC native, has been helping people make their ‘home’ in our area since 2003 with the construction and planning of almost 2,500 apartment units in ten developments across Forsyth County, with the 9th &10th communities in the grading and planning stages. “Since I grew up here, I know what makes this area a great place to live and I have made my business building apartment complexes and offering people beautiful communities to live in, from our upcoming communities in Kernersville, NC, to our newest residential community – which is our 8th – Clemmons Town Center Apartments in Clemmons, NC, set to have 312 units by March 2016,” said Chris.
Being An Entrepreneur is Hard Work
Chris Parr doesn’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t working toward a goal, or just working in general. “Growing up, when all of my friends were hanging out at the pool, I was mowing yards, which turned into a lucrative business. After graduating from Appalachian State University in 1991, I moved to Chicago, IL, and worked for the world’s largest carpet manufacturer for 2 ½ years. I decided to return to the Greensboro area and start my own flooring business on just $20,000 in credit cards. It was during this time, while working as a subcontractor for apartment developers, that I saw what it took to build apartments and I began looking into building my own apartment communities. So in 1999, I sold everything I had in my stock portfolio and invested those funds in my first land acquisition, just in time to miss the famous ‘dot.com’ bust. Looking back, it was an incredibly lucky decision. During the construction of my first apartment site, I knew this is where I wanted to focus my energy and build my business, so in 2003 I closed down the carpet business and concentrated on building apartments in the area,” Chris recalled.
Chris is the first to admit that being an entrepreneur is hard work and stressful, to say the least. “Because I am sole owner of Parr Investments, everything is on me, from locating the property on which to build, to getting the bank loans, to supervising the construction. The hardest part of what I do is working with banks on securing loans, but it is the part that I really love. With my first communities, getting a bank to believe in me was hard, but once I had proved myself over and over, I was fortunate to have their confidence,” commented Chris. As Chris approaches finishing the first phase of 208 units in Clemmons TownCenter Apartments, and has his 9th complex underway, he keeps his sights focused forward with little trepidation.
“In the beginning, I set my goals high thinking, ‘When I have 1,000 units, I’ll be happy.’ Then my goal was 1,500, and now as I approach 2,500, I’m not sure when I will be satisfied. I am exploring the idea of ‘rehabbing’ existing apartments, fitting them with new fixtures and amenities. With my experience, turning a place around with new cabinets, flooring, and roofs is a new challenge, compared to taking a property from groundbreaking to an actual residential community,” Chris said. No matter what avenue Chris decides to go down, his ‘right-hand-woman’ is Rhonda Roth, President of the Property management side of Parr Investments. Rhonda, who grew up in the foothills of North Carolina, has always dreamed of being a business woman. After graduating from Appalachian State, she worked briefly with the YMCA before being offered a job in the property management field, and quickly fell in love with the industry. Rhonda has been in the management area of apartments since 1999. She came on board with Chris and Parr Investments with a belief in not only what she does, but who she works for. “It was easy to believe in Chris and his vision, so I joined him seven years ago and since then we have doubled in staff, with a projected 50 employees in three years,” commented Rhonda. One of our key employees is Kevin Staff, Regional Manager for Parr Investments. “I have been with Parr Investments for 6years now, said Kevin. “The core values of teamwork, superior customer service and providing a high quality product to our current and prospective residents makes me proud to represent Parr Investment.” After the apartments are built, Chris turns over the management of them to Rhonda, who loves what she does.
Wearing Many ‘Hats’ Suits Her Just Fine
For Rhonda, the entire process – from choosing the site, to clearing the land for building, to seeing the vision become reality – never gets old. “First and foremost in our residential communities is a focus on customer service from our employees. We have a wonderful staff available to help our residents and address any concerns or needs they may have. I always stress that we are an extension of our residents’ homes. They need to know that we care and that we will roll out the ‘red carpet’ every time we see them,” Rhonda stated. Beyond customer service, providing residents with a quality product is very important to both Chris and Rhonda.
“You can choose from many places to live, but we focus on making our properties quality, inside and out. We take a lot of pride in the features and amenities we have in our apartment communities, from the countertops, flooring, and everything that makes a place feel like a home, to making sure that we offer our residents the things they want and will enjoy. From our on-site theaters, to our pools and fitness centers, we have the best for our residents and love the feedback we get to continue to improve our communities,” said Rhonda. Another ‘hat’ that Rhonda wears is the decorating of the clubhouse and staging of the model units at each apartment complex. “I really enjoy shopping and choosing how to decorate and help people see all the possibilities in living at one of our communities,” Rhonda commented.
Chris and Rhonda believe that there’s more to apartment living than having a maintenance-free home; feeling a part of a community is important. “Our residents are from all walks and stages of life. Some are just starting out, beginning their life on their own, others are families, new to the area, perhaps looking for a home, and then we have older adults who don’t want the responsibilities of taking care of a house. We really see life come full circle, and having events and activities in our communities brings our residents together,” stated Rhonda.
Clemmons, NC: A Great Place to Call Home
With Parr Investments’ newest residential community, Clemmons TownCenter Apartments has already become home for almost 50 people, who see the charm of living in Clemmons, NC. “The Clemmons area was in need of housing like we have built, and continue to build, at Clemmons TownCenter Apartments. Our location is in the heart of Clemmons. Our residents are within walking distance to restaurants and stores, and our property will tie into the greenway behind us, connecting to the Jerry Long Family YMCA, and close to schools and Novant Health Medical Center. There’s a real sense of community within Clemmons, and we hope to be part of bringing many people into the area and helping them call Clemmons ‘home,’” Rhonda commented.
For more information on Parr Investments or any of their residential communities, visit www.parrinvestments.com. Clemmons TownCenter Apartments are located at 6400 Gentry Circle, Clemmons, NC. Call 336-829-5924 to schedule a visit.