Special Report: Southend's Booming Skyline

  • Charlotte Living Realty
  • 02/9/22
 
Charlotte’s Southend neighborhood has changed rapidly in the last few years, and more change is ahead — as described below. (Photo illustration by Clayton Sealey; photo by Myles Gelbach). 

 

Southend has seen a breathtaking amount of change over the past 24 months, seemingly undisturbed by the pandemic that has raged on, unnoticed by the neighborhood’s busy visitors.

The streets never emptied of people. The bars and restaurants seemingly never slowed down. This noticeable momentum, and new and favorable zoning regulations, have led to an unprecedented wave of investment in the neighborhood.

I remember thinking, back in April of 2019 when the TOD (Transit Oriented Development) Zoning Districts were adopted by city council, “I wonder if Dilworth and Wilmore understand what is coming.” The policy’s adoption opened the gates for structures as tall as 20-30 floors to be built within ½ a mile of a light rail stop. This casts a wide net that falls a few blocks into largely single-family Dilworth and Wilmore. 

This new dynamic, along with the national attention on the Southend submarket, has developers nationwide zeroing in.

“Relocation trends that had been playing out for two decades have only accelerated as it pertains to Charlotte’s growth story, and the local economy continues to benefit from corporate migrations seeking to access talent in response to that dynamic population growth,” said Anthony Scacco of Chicago-based Riverside Investment & Development, which is planning a series of towers at West Morehead and South Tryon streets, on the site of the Uptown Cabaret and Midnight Diner. “Our location (C) is tailor-made for a best-in-class live-work-play environment and our plan is to deliver a product that establishes new qualitative standards for the market."

This dynamic growth he speaks of has translated into four distinct development trends for high density in Southend:

Local legends become high-rise towers

A.  Price’s Chicken Coop

  • Developer: Catalyst Capital and Stiles Corp.

  • Location: Camden Road and West Park Avenue

  • Height: 30 floors

  • What’s Planned: Just a few months ago, lines wrapped nearly two blocks of Southend with nostalgic diners waiting to take one last crunchy bite into a piece of fried chicken at Price’s Chicken Coop. Today the building sits empty, ready to make way for a 300-unit multifamily building by Stiles Corp. and local developer Catalyst Capital Partners, who is a tenant in one of the buildings on site. 

B.  Tyber Creek

  • Developer: Southern Land Co.

  • Location: West Tremont and South Boulevard

  • Height: around 30 floors

  • What’s Planned: Many readers have memories of Tyber Creek, an establishment that has served folks from all over Charlotte for 23 years. In November, Nashville-based Southern Land Co. announced plans for a 300-unit multifamily building where the pub stands today. The site is at one of the busier intersections in the neighborhood and sits at the edge of Dilworth. The developers have promised a new home for the beloved pub, but questions surround the historic Leeper-Wyatt Building on site. The 1903 structure could be in peril, and recently there was a Certificate of Appropriateness for Demolition filed with the Landmarks Commission.

C.  1111 South Tryon Street

 

(Courtesy of Riverside Investment & Development)

 

  • Developer: Riverside Investment & Development

  • Height: 30-40 floors

  • Where: West Morehead and South Tryon

  • What’s Planned: We have not yet seen top-to-bottom renderings for the mixed-use development planned by Chicago-based Riverside Investments, but the plan promises something huge on the site, now home to the Uptown Cabaret and Midnight Diner. When the development on the edge of uptown begins delivering in 2025, the mixed-use project could become Southend’s tallest building. With at least 800,000 square feet of office, up to 650 residential units, a possible hotel and retail, it’s the most ambitious project in Southend’s history, both by numbers and design.

Bridging the Gap Between uptown and Southend

D. Vantage Southend Hotel Tower

 

(Courtesy of The Spectrum Cos.)

 

  • Developer: The Spectrum Cos.

  • Height: 20 floors (10 floors of hotel atop 10 of parking)

  • Location: West Catherine Street and South Tryon

  • What’s Planned: Joining Vantage Southend, home to LendingTree and Grant Thornton, will be a new-to-market, boutique hotel with 180-200 rooms. Local developer The Spectrum Cos. hopes to have a hotel flag announced by the end of this year. 

E. Morehead Square

  • Developer: The Spectrum Cos.

  • Height: TBD

  • Location: West Carson Boulevard and South Tryon

  • What’s Planned: Earlier this year, local developer The Spectrum Cos. acquired the 22-year-old, six-floor Morehead Square building for $65.5 million. The property came with a parking deck and a developable parcel along Carson Boulevard. While nothing has been announced at this time, I’d expect the value-add on this piece of property to be a future mixed-use tower and a reimagining of the original office tower and parking deck. No guarantees this will start this cycle, however.

F. Enterprise Rent-A-Car Lot

 

(Courtesy of Crescent Communities)

 

  • Developer: Crescent Communities

  • Location: South Tryon and West Morehead

  • Height: 31-floor office tower and a 20-floor hotel

  • What’s Planned: Coming off the recent sale of Ally Charlotte Center, their most recent skyline-altering project, local developer Crescent Communities is ready to make their next “big splash” in Charlotte. The developer is planning more than 500,000 square feet of class A office, a 200-key luxury hotel, retail and around 100 units of multifamily wrapping most of the site’s parking deck. The Enterprise Rental Car building is considered historically significant for its modernist design. No word yet of its fate. 

The fringe of Dilworth and the Camden core

G. 110 East

 

(Courtesy of Stiles)

 

  • Developer: Stiles and Shorenstein

  • Location: Corner of West Boulevard and the CATS Blue Line East/West Blvd Station

  • Height: 23 floors

  • What’s Planned: Much of Southend’s development has been either on or just off Camden Road, including 110 East, a 370,000 square foot, 23-floor office tower under construction on what was a long empty parking lot on West Boulevard. The tower will add another tall new focal point and 6,000 square feet of retail space facing Charlotte’s eclectic Rail Trail. Future plans call for a second phase along South Boulevard, but those details have not yet been released.

H1. Ascent Uptown

 

(Courtesy of Greystar)

 

  • Developer: Greystar 

  • Location: Corner of East Boulevard and East Kingston Avenue

  • Height: 24 floors of residential 

  • What’s Planned: Much of the theme of Southend’s growth has been towers replacing buildings that weren’t the “highest and best use” for the site. This 324-unit multifamily project is no exception, replacing the former Rosemont Bar and a couple smaller buildings. When completed in early 2024, Ascent Southend will include a new location for the neighboring Walgreens pharmacy, within the brick and steel high-rise building. 

H2. White Point Partners Walgreens Tower

  • Developer: White Point Partners, Barings, MRP Realty

  • Location: Corner of East Boulevard and South Boulevard

  • Height: around 20 floors

  • What’s Planned: Once the above-mentioned Walgreens has closed, a new mixed-use project will take its place, starting construction in the 1st quarter of 2023. Local companies White Point Partners and Barings, as well as Washington D.C.-based MRP Realty, will be partnering on the venture, delivering a 400,000 square foot office tower, with ground floor retail, office amenities and a rooftop terrace. The tower will complete the transformation of what was a very underutilized block in Southend.

I. 2161 Hawkins — The Line Residential

(Courtesy of Portman Residential)
  • Developer: Portman Residential

  • Location: Hawkins Street

  • Height: 22 floors

  • What’s Planned: Portman will be doubling down on Hawkins Street in the coming months. The Atlanta-based developer will be breaking ground on a 200-300-unit apartment tower to join The Line, their 275,000 square foot office tower that is close to wrapping up next door. The building features a design unlike anything in Charlotte and will be a unique building in the South End skyline. The building replaces Sycamore Brewing, which will be moving its popular taproom into a greatly expanded space within their neighboring development.

J. Cousins / Gas Fire Products Site

  • Developer: Cousins Properties

  • Location: Between West Tremont Avenue and Doggett Street

  • Height: Up to two buildings, around 15-20 floors.

  • What’s Planned: Site work has already started on this site, but no development plan has been announced to date. Public filings point to 325,000 square foot office tower, a 300-unit multifamily building and 18,000 square feet of retail.

K. Cousins Southend Station

  • Developer: Cousins Properties

  • Location: East Bland Street next to Rail Trail

  • Height: Up to two buildings, between 12-20 floors.

  • What’s Planned: This project has received more press than its counterpart above, but its details are less clear. The buildings will be located along the Rail Trail, where All American Pub, Hot Taco and Slate are today (formerly the Greek Isles restaurant and Jillian’s building). Brownfield agreements filed point to a large mixed-use project with a multifamily, retail and office component.

L. OmShera Hotel

  • Developer: OmShera Hotel

  • Location: Hawkins Street between Rampart and West Tremont (2132 Hawkins St.)

  • Height: Around 15 floors

  • What’s Planned: In late 2019, the Charlotte Business Journal outlined plans by local developer OmShera for a hotel on Hawkins Street. Thanks to the pandemic ravaging the hospitality industry, most current hotel developments in Charlotte can be questioned. This one, however, has been active once again with the planning department in the past two months. Early plans called for a mix of uses vertically integrated on the 1.2 acre parcel.

Southend Pushes Away From The Core

M. Radius Dilworth

(Courtesy of Spandrel Development Partners)
  • Developer: Spandrel Development Partners

  • Location: Euclid and East Morehead

  • Height: 26 floors of residential

  • What’s Planned: Local development enthusiasts might remember 615 East Morehead, a 35-floor Neo-Romanesque residential tower that was planned in the early 2000s. After 20 years, a new residential tower, being developed by Spandrel, is ready to break ground. The new tower, created by BB+M, is handsomely designed and will include 352 apartments in a 26-floor residential tower, as well as an additional 274 units within a mid-rise portion facing Interstate 277.

N. Centre South

(Courtesy of The Fallon Co.)
  • Developer: The Fallon Co.

  • Location: Lexington Avenue and South Boulevard

  • Height: 12 floors of office, and several mid-rise residential buildings

  • What’s Planned: Centre South by Boston-based The Fallon Co. will not be the most impactful project on the skyline, but it’ll bring a ton of new development to the edge of Dilworth. The project will include 1.4 million square feet of development, consisting of 330,000 square feet of office space, a hotel, 750 market-rate residential units and 145 affordable housing units. It’ll replace a much less dense senior housing development that was demolished a few years ago.

O. Hanover Company Apartment Tower: (Not on map)

 

(Courtesy of Hanover Co.)
  • Developer: Hanover Co.

  • Location: Euclid & East Morehead

  • Height: 15 floors

  • What’s Planned: Houston-based developer Hanover Co., who developed Southend’s Ashton, is planning a 337-unit apartment tower at the edge of Dilworth. 

P. Stream Realty (Not on map)

  • Developer: Stream Realty and The Durban Group

  • Location: 2905 Griffith St.

  • Height: around 20 floors

  • What’s Planned: The furthest planned tower from the Southend core will be the 325,000-square-foot office tower planned by Stream Realty and the Durban Group. The mixed-use project will be just steps from Southend brewery staples Triple C and Suffolk Punch, will feature retail and will be a short walk to the New Bern Light Rail Station.

The future sites in play — maybe

Over the years covering this industry, I’ve learned that bars and group chats are always abuzz with chatter. This year, it’s at a level I’ve never experienced. There seems to be endless money to be spent on the Southend neighborhood, and I can assure you this story will continue developing following the patterns I’ve outlined above.

The visual notes a few parcels I would expect to see action on this year or next, including:

  • Carolina Foods (1807 S Tryon St.)

  • Campbell’s Green House (209 McDonald Ave.) 

  • H&H Automotive (1909 South Blvd.)

  • Portman Residential #2 (2120 South Tryon St.)

  • Miller Services (100 E Park Ave.)

  • Aspen Heights (315 West Morehead St.)

  • Stream Realty Woodies and Flores Site (1218 S Church St.)

  • Delray Ventures “BullDog” building (1434 Winnifred St.)

 

 

Link to original article.