Midtown Charlotte is getting taller and taller

Midtown Charlotte is getting taller and taller

  • Axios Charlotte
  • 03/14/24
Rendering of development

View of the Pappas Properties' future mixed-use project from Pearl Park Way. The three buildings are 95 feet, 195 feet and 275 feet. Courtesy of Pappas Properties/KPF

Midtown is known for its notorious Trader Joe's parking lot and its bustling Target. But the area is quickly transforming into one of Charlotte's most prominent neighborhoods.

Why it matters: Several major developments underway are shaping what the area looks like.

Here's what you should know about each.


Pappas Properties' mixed-use development

Next to Pearl Street Park, Pappas Properties plans to erect three new buildings, ranging from 95 to 275 feet in height.
  • The mixed-use project incorporates a boutique hotel, housing, including for-sale units, and 35,000 square feet of first-floor restaurant and retail space across all the buildings.

The intrigue: Pappas Properties has had a substantial hand in shaping midtown. In the early 2000s, it redeveloped the old Charlottetown Mall into the Metropolitan.

Zoom out: This project expands on what Pappas Properties has done in the neighborhood.

  • The developer also built the 60,000-plus-square-foot Charlotte Canopy Real Estate Institute headquarters (completed in 2019), two Atrium Health medical office buildings and a parking deck (finished in 2020), and the 328-unit Solis apartments (opened in 2023).

What they're saying: Descendants of Brooklyn, once a thriving Black neighborhood until it was razed, are calling on the elected city council to require affordable housing in exchange for Pappas Properties' rezoning.

  • Pappas Properties plans to include five workforce units at 80% average median income.
  • It will also contribute $250,000 to the city's affordable housing trust fund, plus $125,000 if one building exceeds 200 feet in height.

Timeline: Pappas Properties is seeking a city rezoning process to build its desired height. No groundbreaking dates were shared with Axios.


The Pearl

Charlotte's incoming innovation district is a big deal.

Why it matters: "The Pearl" will bring a four-year medical school, the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, to Charlotte. Stakeholders say it will be the "most innovative medical school in the country" with artificial intelligence embedded into the curriculum.

  • IRCAD, a France-based surgical training institute, will anchor the 10-story research facility onsite. The headquarters is expected to be a "super magnet," bringing experts and surgeons from around the globe to Charlotte.
  • Atrium Health is teamed up with Wexford Science & Technology on the development.

The latest: The 14-story campus building, the Howard R. Levine Center for Education, is under construction. Next door is the 300,000-plus-square-foot research facility, where IRCAD will house its North American headquarters.

  • Work is also underway on parking garages, an outdoor plaza connecting the two buildings, road and utility work, and landscaping.
  • Events will be held in the plaza and green space, such as yoga in the park, a band concert, food trucks and small business showcases.

Timeline: Ground broke a little over a year ago and topping-offs were celebrated in December. The school, opening in 2025 along with the research building, will be competitive to get into. Glass is being put into the buildings.

  • The Pearl will keep expanding over the years, eventually covering more than 26 acres and incorporating a mix of uses, from hotel to residences.

Metropolitan apartments

Northwood Ravin will break ground soon on a 27-story, 283-unit luxury residential tower next to The Metropolitan.

Why it matters: This tower will be one of Charlotte's bougiest, featuring two-story penthouses with hot tubs on the terraces. Plus, there will be multiple pools and a rooftop private bar.

  • Northwood Ravin president and CEO David Ravin compared the vision for this tower to Phillips Place in SouthPark.

Timeline: The groundbreaking is expected this year. It will take around three years to build on the grassy lot.