Tenants’ fate uncertain as a prominent property in Plaza Midwood goes up for sale

Tenants’ fate uncertain as a prominent property in Plaza Midwood goes up for sale
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A prominent 12-acre property in the middle of Plaza Midwood is up for sale. Major upgrades to the property could change the flavor of the already-changing neighborhood.

Where it is: The site includes the Central Square shopping center that’s home to Roasting Company, CVS and Bistro La Bon. The sale of the land was first reported by Tony Mecia of the Charlotte Ledger.

The commercial real estate firm Berkeley Capital Advisors has the site listed on its website as “Pecan & Central.”

Property records show the site is technically divided into three adjacent parcels. The site, shaped a bit like a truncated triangle, is bounded by Pecan Avenue, Central Avenue, train tracks and Independence Boulevard. Berkeley’s listing doesn’t include a sale price, but the county’s most recent revelation shows the site has a property tax value of just over $18 million.

The property has been owned since 1975 by Cole Investments & Investments Inc., records show. That’s the firm that was long led by John Cole Hatcher, who used to own several commercial properties in the heart of Plaza Midwood, according to a 2013 Charlotte magazine story.

central square for sale in plaza midwood (1)

What’s next: It’s unclear whether any of the buildings on the site will be razed; a Berkeley representative could not be reached for comment.

Not all tenants were aware of their landlord’s decision to sell until the news was reported Thursday afternoon.

The Dog Salon has been a fixture at the edge the Plaza Midwood shopping center for about 15 years. Owner Jessica Law said the salon doesn’t have any plans to move until the landlord provides additional direction.

“Unfortunately all tenants seem to be finding out before the landlord has addressed it,” Law said in an email. “It is a shame.”

Karen Van Sickler, president of the Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association, said she had no other information about the sale other than what’s been reported.

“The most common reaction I’m hearing is, ‘please, no apartments,’ ” Van Sickler said. “We’ll all be carefully watching this unfold.”

The shopping center also includes an ABC store that opened in 2017 in the former Family Dollar. The Mecklenburg County ABC Board learned of the sale Wednesday, according to Julia Paul, the board’s community outreach director.

The board’s lease for the space is in place until 2027, and is transferable to the next property owner. “At this time, the Board is committed to staying in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood,” Paul said.

Frank Scibelli — owner Yafo and Midwood Smokehouse, which are across the street from Central Square — was unaware of the sale of the property but said he was not surprised by it. It’s part of the life cycle of businesses, he added, and it could bring positive change for the neighborhood.

“It would be great to see that center be rejuvenated. I think there’s a ton of potential there,” Scibelli said.

bistro la bon in plaza midwood charlotte

Why it matters: The sale of such a large and centrally located property could mean a major new development is coming to the area, which has been rapidly changing over the years.

The commercial area surrounding the property for sale has undergone significant changes in recent years, too. Beloved longstanding restaurants, from the Penguin to the Dairy Queen on Central, have either closed their doors or have said they plan to. New bars and restaurants, including Snooze AM Eatery and Moo & Brew, have opened nearby. Hundreds of apartment units have been built, too.

What’s certain is that people who spend time in the area will likely have strong opinions about the property’s fate. Charlotte’s city planner Taiwo Jaiyeoba said on Twitter Thursday that he’d like to engage with the community on a master plan for the site.

“I’ll like to ask: What would you like to see happen here?” Jaiyeoba tweeted.

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