In the past 20 years urban Charlotte has gone from a sleepy office park to a true urban center teeming with residents, workers and visitors. Everywhere you go, you’ll see cranes swinging material back and forth, orange barrels lining the streets, fences wrapped with renderings and workers in hard hats buzzing about.
Whether it be new restaurants, homes, stores, or the latest high rise, there’s always so much going on in Charlotte development that it gets a little hard to follow.
This is a guide to the most important projects currently under construction in Uptown and South End and why you should care about them.
What is it: 10.2-acre site adjacent to Bank of America Stadium. The massive mixed-use development will eventually include hotels, residential, office and retail. Currently being built is a 33-story/632-foot office tower. Bank of America will anchor the majority of the office tower.
Where is it: 620 S. Tryon Street — the two blocks bounded by Tryon, Mint, Stonewall and Hill. This is the former site of the Charlotte Observer.
Projected completion: 2019
Why care: This will be Charlotte’s fourth-tallest building, adding a pyramid shaped crown to the growing skyline. Although the architecture leaves something to be desired, this development could support up to five million square feet of mixed-use space. That’s five Bank of America Corporate Centers worth of development, wow. Recently Lincoln Harris submitted plans for a new 17-floor office tower at Hill and Tryon — details to come.
What is it: 26-floor/378-foot tall office tower (to be anchored by Ally Bank), a future full-service hotel and associated retail. Developed by Crescent Communities.
Where is it: Corner of E. Stonewall and S. Tryon
Projected completion: 2021
Why Should I Care: Aside from the office space, Ally Charlotte Center will add a new-to-Charlotte luxury hotel brand and tons of very cool retail. There will also be a public gathering space on the corner of Tryon and Stonewall. Between Legacy Union and Ally Charlotte Center, this intersection could easily be a new center of gravity for Uptown.
What is it: 300-room luxury hotel tower by IHG
Where is it: Atop the Carolina Theatre — on the corner of 6th and Tryon
Projected opening: 2019
Why care: Charlotte’s InterContinental Hotel will be the new tallest hotel in the state and is being built as part of the Carolina Theatre redevelopment, the city’s oldest theatre.
What is it: 16-floor luxury hotel by the Kessler Collection
Where is it: Corner of Trade and Church, beside the Carillon Building
Projected opening: Late 2019
Why care: It’s a new hotel brand for Charlotte and another luxury option for tourists and business travelers. It’ll also add another rooftop restaurant.
What is it: 22-floor luxury apartment building by Northwood Ravin
Where is it: Corner of Stonewall and Caldwell
Why care: It’s architecturally interesting, which is more than can be said about most new apartment towers in Charlotte. Not a box… check, not boring… check, not just a bunch of flat walls… check, isn’t 50% parking deck… check. It’ll feature a private rooftop bar, fitness mezzanine overlooking the city, golf simulator and resort-style spa and sauna for residents.
Home2Suites by Hilton & Even Hotels by IHG
What is it: Two 181-room hotels, both new brands for Uptown
Where is it: Corner of Stonewall and Caldwell — on the block with Novel Stonewall Station
Why care: These hotels by themselves aren’t groundbreaking but provide a considerable number of rooms to a growing Stonewall corridor. Even Hotel will be Charlotte’s first prefabricated building, which means it’ll be built mostly off site and shipped in on flatbeds and hoisted in place. These buildings take up the rest of the block occupied by the recently completed Novel Stonewall Station.
What is it: 302-unit apartment building with ground-floor retail
Where is it: 650 E. Stonewall Street — corner of S. Alexander and E. Stonewall
Why care: It’s a fairly standard Charlotte apartment project but has a good amount of handsomely designed retail and moves us one more step closer to the full transformation of Stonewall Street. The redesign of I-277’s on/off ramps has been arguably one of the cities best decisions ever. This was all highway right-of-way twelve years ago and the change has led to the development of all of the four previously mentioned projects — hundreds of millions of dollars worth of development.
What is it: Twin 8-floor office towers with 300,000 square feet of office space, 30,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and 100 micro-unit apartments
Where is it: The block bound by Bland, Tryon, Winnifred and Winona
Projected completion: Q1 2019
Why care: In addition to substantial office and retail space and a 15,000-square-foot courtyard, The RailYard will introduce Charlotte’s first micro-unit apartments, all of which will be under 450 square feet and very competitively priced. It’s also really good quality construction and fantastic looking. Currently announced office tenants include Ernst & Young and Allstate. Retail tenants so far include Rhino Market.
What is it: 9-floor office tower anchored by Austin-based investment firm Dimensional Fund Advisors
Where is it: 1515 S. Tryon — on the wedge shaped block bound by Tryon, Camden and Park Avenue. This was the cherished home of Common Market South End, some handsome pedestrian scaled buildings and the Food Truck Friday lot.
Why care: It’s a great-looking building with high quality materials that will add hundreds of new workers looking to contribute to South End’s economy. We miss what was there, but have you been in the new Common Market on Tremont? It’s wild!
What is it: 62,000 square feet of retail space, 346 apartments, public gathering space and a parking garage being added to the existing development home to existing businesses like Living Kitchen, Anthropologie and Warby Parker.
Where is it: 2120 South Boulevard
Why care: This project, if done right, could be South End’s new neighborhood center. Already confirmed tenants include West Elm, Eagle Food & Beer Hall, Indaco, Cava and Las Olas. We hear there might be more on the way soon.
What is it: South End’s first hotel
Where is it: Corner of W. Kingston and South Tryon
Why care: The addition of a hotel is a significant milestone for the neighborhood. People not only want to live in South End, they want to work and visit too. This project will also have 4,700-square-feet of retail, enough for a cafe or restaurant.
Bradham at New Bern Station
What is it: 423-unit apartment complex with 25,000 square feet of space
Where is it: Corner of New Bern and South Tryon — on the former site of the Pepsi Bottling Plant
Why care: It’s not just another apartment complex. Bradham will be bringing along retail tenants like Link & Pin, a new concept by Duckworth’s and another outpost for Inizio. Slowly but surely this sleepy stretch of South Boulevard is getting some life.
What is it: 350-unit apartment community
Where is it: West Tremont between South Tryon and Hawkins.
Why care: West Tremont continues to boom. This development is just steps from Zeppelin, Bang Bang, Common Market, and future establishments like Pins Mechanical and Queen City Pour House.
Related Agenda story: West Tremont will soon be one of the hottest streets in South End
What is it: 64,000-square-foot office building
Where is it: Summit Avenue between S. Mint and S. Church
Why care: When new developments provide Charlotte residents a place to work, it is a plus for everybody — especially nearby new businesses like Max & Lola Bodega, Bardo and Yume that will benefit from more foot traffic around the area. No tenants have been announced at this time.
What is it: 3- and 4-level rental townhomes
Where is it: 309 E. Morehead Street — on the crescent shaped strip of land on the southwest corner of Caldwell and 277
Why care: This project is a big change of pace for new construction rentals in the center city. Despite all the growth in the apartment sector, there’s a shortfall of 2 and 3 bedroom homes that aren’t labeled “penthouse” in Uptown, so this is a good project to fill that gap. Pricing hasn’t been announced at this time, but I’d expect they aren’t cheap.
What is it: Renovation of about 300,000 square feet of space across several older properties in South End led by Asana Partners
Where is it: Along the Camden Road corridor
Why care: These developments make smart use of existing buildings (something Charlotte struggles to do) with jackpot tenants like Superica, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Barcelona Wine Bar, a “rumored” Shake Shack, and Pins Mechanical, among others.
Related Agenda story: A building by building look at how the ‘Design District’ will transform South End
It doesn’t end there. We’ll be keeping an eye out on the following future projects:
• Ally Center Hotel
• 401 South Graham
• Market 42
• Spectrum Office Towers
• Homewood Suites
• 500 South Tryon
• 550 South Tryon
• Ten Tryon
• Third & Baldwin
• Moxy Hotel