The N.C. Music Factory’s name is changing. The question everyone has now is whether the culture of the place will change as well.
AvidXChange — a payment technology company currently growing by 80 employees per quarter — announced Thursday that it has purchased the naming rights to the music and nightlife venue. It will hereafter be called the AvidXChange Music Factory.
Branding has already gone up around the factory in signs and murals. Neither the company nor the property manager would say how big a check is involved. But CEO Michael Praeger said Thursday the company has made a long-term commitment.
AvidXChange has undeniably become a force in Charlotte. Construction is underway on a 200,000-square-foot office building at the Music Factory that will be home to the company’s global headquarters. The company expects to build another office building right next to it soon after.
[Agenda story: AvidXChange is now on the map in a big way]
The idea, Praeger says, is to create the kind of corporate campus that rivals Apple, Google and GE and helps bring young talent to the company.
Prager said in five years, his company will have about 1,000 employees on the campus. Right now, most of the company is in office space at the Metropolitan.
That growth coincides with more work the ARK Group is doing at the Music Factory. Construction is underway on a 205-unit apartment complex on the property closer to Graham Street.
It’s turned this part of the Uptown area from a “neglected and forgotten” space, Mayor Jennifer Roberts said Thursday, into “an incredibly vibrant commercial and entertainment district.”
With all this development and the name change comes the real fear that the Music Factory will lose the vibe that makes it such a popular music and nightclub scene.
Praeger, the AvidXChange CEO, said he doesn’t think that will be the case. He said the company will be bringing 1,000 young people to the area who will be frequenting the bars and going to the shows. He said his workers are already lining up to be on volleyball teams at VBGB.
“We think we’re going to be adding to the energy,” he said.