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Publix, Whole Foods Expanding in Metro Charlotte

5 Mar 2014, 1:14 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Publix at Ballantyne Town Center

Publix has officially broken into the North Carolina retail market with the opening of Publix at Ballantyne Town Center, its first location in the state. However, the 56,445-square-foot store at West Providence and Johnston roads, isn’t the retailer’s first location in the Charlotte Metropolitan Area. Publix already has two stores in greater Charlotte, both of which are located in the South Carolina. Publix on Gold Hill in Fort Mill and Publix at Cross Creek in Indian Land have been open since late 2012.

Publix at Ballantyne Town Center features a pharmacy, bakery, deli as well as produce, seafood, meat and floral departments. A drive-thru pharmacy and event planning services are also available at the location.

Publix is currently pursuing a rapid expansion in North Carolina, focusing on the greater Charlotte region. The Florida-based retailer will open locations in Charlotte at Shops at Southline and on York Road by late 2014 and on South Tryon by mid-2015. Additionally, by late 2014 it will open stores in Metro Charlotte communities like Cornelius, Mint Hill and Matthews adding further location Huntersville, Lake Wylie and Concord by the end of 2015. Metro Charlotte will also gain two additional stores in Rock Hill, S.C.: Publix at the Villages at Cherry Road Shopping Center set to open in March 2014 and a yet to be named store on Heckle Boulevard, which will open in 2015.

In other retail news, Whole Foods Market recently announced its third Charlotte location. The natural and organic foods retailer has signed a 40,000-square-foot lease in South Charlotte, in the Waverly mixed-use development at Providence and Ardrey Kell Roads. The supermarket should open in late 2016. Whole Foods currently has one operational location in Charlotte’s SouthPark and will be inaugurating its second in Huntersville, N.C.

Image courtesy of Publix via Facebook

Balfour Beatty to Renovate Student Housing High-rise at UNC Charlotte

26 Feb 2014, 4:11 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Holshouser Hall current look

Balfour Beatty Construction has landed yet another contract at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte), recently announcing being appointed construction manager at-risk for renovations at the university’s 202-bed Holshauer Hall, located in  the South Village area of the campus.   This the company’s third major contract at UNC Charlotte, following the successful completion of the university’s Student Union in 2009 and landing the contract for a newly-built 400-bed freshmen residence hall in 2013 in a joint venture partnership with Metcon Inc.

Balfour Beatty is set to execute renovations throughout the 100,135-square-foot 11-story residence hall, including replacing the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, as well as all the windows. A significant component of the renovation will include asbestos abatement at the 1973-built student housing. The elevator system will undergo a major upgrade, as will the building’s façade, which will be clad in brick. Some demolition work is also expected to take place. Upon completion the high-rise dorm will feature single and double rooms, lounge areas, meeting rooms, new patios, walkways and two resident advisor apartments.

Holshouser Hall Rendering

Stewart Engineering, another company with a successful track record at UNC Charlotte, will provide civil engineering services. Award-winning architecture and engineering firm Clark, Nexsen, Owen, Barbieri & Gibson, P.C., also known as Clark Nexsen, PC is another participant in the project.

Construction is set to kick off in May 2014 with a targeted completion for the summer of 2015, in time for the new college semester. The cost of the renovation project has yet to be disclosed.

Rendering courtesy of Balfour Beatty

Photo courtesy of UNC Charlotte 


Beacon Partners Taking Over East Morehead Street; LP Financial Scouting the Suburbs

12 Feb 2014, 7:30 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

1228 East Morehead

Charlotte-based full-service real estate company Beacon Partners has just increased its East Morehead portfolio, buying its fourth office asset on the Midtown street. The property, located at 801 East Morehead, was recently picked up for $2.85 million and is undergoing renovations set to complete by spring, the Charlotte Business Journal reports.

The building has around 7,000 square feet of vacant space leasing at $21.5 per square foot. Leasing will be handled by Beacon Partners. The property was acquired from a limited liability company managed by Jill Newton. According to real estate website PropertyShark.com, the office building was previously owned by 801 East Morehead LLC, an entity featuring a single family residential property address owned by Jill S. Newton.  According to the same source, the 31,545-square-foot, two-story Class B office asset had an estimated market value of $4,389,000.

Beacon Partners’ other East Morehead Street office assets include 500 East Morehead, a 43,904 -square-foot, three-story Class B property with onsite free parking, onsite property management, located within walking distance of a LYNX light rail station and 1228 East Morehead, a 14,000-square-foot, two-story Class B property, renovated in 2013. PropertyShark.com estimated the market values of these properties at $4,979,500 and $1,981,000, respectively. Beacon Partners owns, manages and leases five buildings in Midtown, totaling 185,000 square feet.

In other news, LPL Financial, the largest independent broker-dealer is the U.S. is shifting its focus from Uptown Charlotte to the suburb, the Charlotte Business Journal reported. The company, which already has a 150,000-square-foot at the Coliseum Centre, has been scouting the Queen City for a location that would provide it with an initial 400,000 square feet of office space, as well as the option to expand in the future. An expansion site adjacent to the Coliseum Centre, which could provide 400,000 square feet, Childress Klein Properties’ Lakepointe Corporate Center site as well as proposed built-to-suit facility in Ballantyne Corporate Park courtesy of the Bissell Cos. are reportedly now being considered.

Image courtesy of Beacon Partners

Investors Add New Charlotte Apartment Projects Amid Rising Rents

3 Feb 2014, 9:29 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

The Mint

Spectrum Properties is kicking off construction on its newest Charlotte project, a 177-unit luxury apartment complex in Uptown, reports the Charlotte Business Journal, after it purchased a 1.4-acre site in January for $6 million. Dubbed The Mint, due to its proximity to a site that once held a U.S. Mint branch, the development is expected to complete in April 2015. Initially slated to break ground before the end of 2013, The Mint boasts Balfour Beatty as general contractor and Charlotte-based Housing Studio as architect.

According to previous coverage by the Charlotte Business Journal,  the seven-story development will comprise five residential floors featuring studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments atop two parking levels and amenities such as a pool, fitness center, sky terrace, luxury community lounge, multiple  courtyards, dog park, pet elevator and bikes for resident use. Rents are predicted to be lower than Uptown’s average due to The Mint’s wood frame structure and midrise design.

2014 Forecast by Marcus&Millichap

In other multifamily news, Atlanta-based Tivoli Properties Inc. is also eyeing Uptown for apartment development. According to Charlotte Business Journal, Tivoli plans to develop a 30 to 35 story high-rise at the corner of east Sixth and North College Streets that could feature as many as 330 units and street-level retail space.

The Charlotte apartment market continues to be an attractive location for investors, with Marcus&Millichap predicting a 3.5 percent rent increase in 2014,to an average of $911 per month,  after a 6 percent increase experienced in 2013. Although vacancies will rise for the first time in 2014 to 5.6 percent due to 5,500 units coming online, which will outpace absorption, the demand and supply ratio will remain in a healthy balance.

Rendering courtesy of Housing Studio

Chart courtesy of Marcus&Millichap

70-Unit Affordable Housing for South Charlotte; NorthMarq Arranges Financing for Metrolina Apartments

24 Jan 2014, 8:58 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Woodlands Apartments

Affordable housing could be on its way to South Charlotte, as Charlotte City Council has approved a rezoning request for a 7.23-acre site on Weddington Road, clearing the way for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership (CMHP) to develop an up to 70-unit subsidized apartment complex, reports the Charlotte business Journal.

The affordable housing development will consist of 70 two- and three-bedroom apartments, 10 percent of which will be low-income housing, available for tenants earning a maximum of 30 percent of the area’s median income level. The remaining 63 units will house tenants earning 60 percent or less of the area median income level, resulting in rents ranging between circa $450 and $965. According to previous Charlotte Business Journal coverage, the two-or three-story building will rise around a courtyard and 54 percent of the site would be kept as green space. A 50-foot tree-line buffer will be implemented between the development and adjacent neighbors. CMHP is working on a preliminary tax credit application to fund the development.

The project site, owned by NewDominion Bank and under contract to the CMHP, was previously zoned for a child-care facility for up to 425. The project faces strong neighborhood opposition due to its affordable nature.

In other multifamily news, NorthMarq Capital’s Charlotte regional office announced arranging a $2,128,000 acquisition financing structured with a seven-year term and 30-year amortization period, facilitated through a Fannie Mae DUS lender. The equity was used in the purchase of the 100-unit Woodlands Apartments located in Statesville, N.C. NorthMarq was recently involved in the refinancing of several Metro Charlotte apartments, including the $10 million refinancing of the 423-unit Ashbrook Village Apartments in Gastonia, N.C., based on a 10-year term and 20-year amortization schedule through NorthMarq’s seller/servicer relationship with Freddie Mac. The same terms apply to the recent $10.66 million refinancing of the Sunset Village Apartments and Forestbrook Apartments, two Charlotte multifamily assets totaling 360 units.

Image courtesy of Northmarq Capital

Luxury Apartments Sell for $59M in Charlotte

13 Jan 2014, 8:18 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Invesco Real Estate, the real estate branch of global diversified independent investment management firm Invesco, has acquired the 10-acre Junction 1504 apartment community for $59 million, according to the Charlotte Business Journal. Invesco Real Estate made the acquisition through an affiliate, buying the 281-unit South End apartment complex from Dallas-based JLB Partners. The seller was represented by CBRE Group Inc.’s Phil Brosseau.

Located in the highly desirable neighborhood of South End, the property was developed by JLB Partners, breaking ground in November 2011 and opening in April 2013. JLB Builders LLC was general contractor for the high-end residential project.

Amenities include a multi-level clubhouse featuring a spacious entertainment lounge including a TV gallery, Wi-Fi café and serving bar, fully equipped fitness center, resort-style swimming pool, fire pit, grilling areas featuring high-end grilling equipment, controlled access, private one-car garages.  Units include one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging between 770 and 1,083 square feet and are available in seven layouts. Unit amenities include private balconies, stainless steel Energy Star appliances including microwave, refrigerator and dishwasher, gourmet preparation island, granite countertops, oversized soaking tubs and walk-in showers, water efficient plumbing fixtures, full-size washer and dryer, hardwood floors and custom cabinetry.  Junction is located on the light rail line, further boosting its sustainability score.  The community provides easy access to the city’s major employment centers, such as Uptown, as well as to upscale shopping, dining and entertainment as well as generous green spaces.

The community is managed by Greystar.

Image courtesy of Junction 1504 via Facebook

Patriot Equities Sheds 1.5MSF Charlotte Industrial Complex for $50M

13 Dec 2013, 9:57 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

A joint venture formed by New York-based LRC Properties LLC and New York Life have completed the purchase of a 1.5 million square-foot multi-tenant industrial complex in Charlotte for an acquisition price of $50,525,000, announced Cushman & Wakefield | Talhimer. The properties, 1800 and 1900 Continental Boulevard were acquired from Patriot Equities, represented by Cushman & Wakefield | Talhimer’s Capital Markets Group. Members of the commercial real estate firm’s North Carolina and Atlanta offices also handled the marketing of the property.

Strategically located at the interchange of I-77 and I-485 in Charlotte’s southwest industrial submarket, the 1.5 million square-foot industrial complex also features 25 acres of additional land, which could hold up to 270,000 square feet of warehouse space with direct I-485 frontage.  According to a press release, LRC plans to build out the undeveloped land into big box warehouses.

Patriot Equities purchased the asset in 2007 from Continental Tire, redeveloping and repositioning the industrial hub into a multi-tenant distribution facility with Class A features. LRC will further enhance the property, rebranding and repositioning both 1800 and 1900 Continental Boulevard and add environmentally friendly features.

1900 Continental Boulevard’s four tenants bring the property up to a 98 percent occupancy rate. The asset featured a publicly traded rent roll anchored by Continental Tire. Snyder’s Lance and Snap AV also occupy space in 1900, while the latter leases space in 1800 Continental Boulevard as well. While 1800’s occupancy rate is currently 34 percent, the asset has outstanding leases that will elevate occupancy to 74 percent.

According to Cushman & Wakefield | Talhimer’s latest data Charlotte’s industrial market reflects a steadily growing economy with decreasing vacancies and growing rental rates. Year-over-year vacancies have decreased by 2.3 points to a current 10 percent, while rental rates have grown by 8.4 percent to an average asking rate of $4.11 per square foot. The Southwestern submarket, where the newly traded properties are located has an overall vacancy rate of 5.7 percent and asking rate of $3.98, the lowest within Charlotte. By comparison, Charlotte’s strongest industrial market boasts a rental rate of $4.50 per square foot and a 6.8 percent vacancy.  According to Talhimer’s predictions vacancies are expected to decrease with the larger blocks of Class A and B industrial space to go off the market by the end of Q1 2014. Speculative developments are expected to be announced and buyers’ interest in the market to continue.

Click here for further Charlotte market data

Image courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield | Talhimer

Chart courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield | Talhimer

Cushman & Wakefield | Talhimer Lands 325KSF Leasing Assignment

9 Dec 2013, 7:04 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Maersk Inc. has awarded the leasing assignment of its 325,000-square-foot regional office to Cushman & Wakefield Talhimer, announced the Mid-Atlantic’s leading commercial real estate firm. Mark Holoman and Meredith Dickerson have been appointed exclusive leasing representatives of the office park.

Located at 9300 Arrowpoint Blvd. in the Arrowpoint Business Park, the corporate campus sprawls on 40 acres and features amenities such as an auditorium, executive suite, full-service cafeteria, fully-equipped fitness center as well as tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, and a softball field. According to PropertyShark.com, the 1985-built asset was purchased by Maersk in April 2006 for $31 million. The real estate website assessed the property’s 2013 market value just short of $31.5 million.

“A.P. Moller-Maersk’s global initiative to optimize its real estate portfolio” is the reason for the company’s move “to optimize its efficiency in its Charlotte office,” a Maersk spokesperson said in a press release, adding that the company will remain in the Charlotte office but will put excess space on the market.

Maersk’s corporate campus represents the largest chunk of available office space in the Charlotte market, which could attract new players to Metrolina, as the city suffers from a lack of available large blocks of office space. According to CBRE’s latest office market report, several entities have been interested in large office space availabilities in Charlotte, defined as more than 150,000 square feet. With move-in dates usually south of 12 months, these enquiries rule out built-to-suit facilities. Although several developers are considering large office projects, mostly in the CBD, to meet these needs, they aren’t expected to break ground prior to reaching a 50 percent pre-lease rate.  The exception is local developer Lincoln Harris, which recently announced plans for a two-tower, 480,000-square-foot speculative office project. Incidentally, the selected site for Capitol Towers at Carnegie is Maersk’s former SouthPark location (details here).

Click here for further Charlotte market data

Image courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield |Talhimer

Chart courtesy of CBRE


Lincoln Harris Eyes 480KSF Office Project, Amid Strengthening Market Fundamentals

2 Dec 2013, 9:42 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Charlotte-based Lincoln Harris has announced plans to develop 480,000 square feet of office space on the former Maersk site in SouthPark, according to a report by the Charlotte Business Journal. Dubbed the Capitol Towers at Carnegie due to design and architecture evocative of Washington D.C., as well as the site’s location on the corner of Carnegie Boulevard and Congress Street, the project is expected to break ground by June 2014. Capitol Towers will comprise two ten-story towers of 240,000 square feet each on a six-acre chunk of the former Maersk site. A seven-story parking deck is planned to the back of the site. Retail space is also in the mix, with the Charlotte Business Journal reporting that the lot’s zoning allows for as much as 15,000 square feet of retail, 5,400 square feet of which will be built between the office towers. Two small structures will also rise at the back of the parking garage.

Lincoln Harris is now seeking city approval for the project and has secured the backing of a yet-to-be-named financial institution to acquire the property owned currently by JLB Partners. The Dallas-based owners picked up the 13-acre former Maersk site in 2012 for $21 million from a U.S Steel and Carnegie Pension Fund affiliate. The Charlotte Business Journal reported a while back that the company intended to sell the eastern part of the site, currently eyed by Lincoln Harris, amid strong interest from office developers, while it planned two-phase apartment construction on the western half. JLB will raise a 350-unit apartment complex in the southwestern corner during phase one. Phase two, set to be built in the northwestern corner, could contain as much as 200 units, the zoning maximum.

While Capital Towers has yet to secure any tenants, developers are confident in building speculative office space, with SouthPark and Charlotte itself currently experiencing a shortage of large blocks of office space for company expansion. Colliers International’s latest data confirms that big blocks of Class A and Class B office space has gone off the market rapidly, although the vacancy for both classes is still in double digits: 13 percent and 15.4 percent. However, net absorptions continue to increase and are expected to continue, with rental rates expected to grow as well, making a Charlotte an attractive market for office development.

Click here for further Charlotte market data

Image courtesy of Google Maps

Chart courtesy of Colliers International


Schletter Celebrates140KSF Facility Grand Opening; DataChambers Breaks Ground on 50KSF Data Center

27 Nov 2013, 1:29 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor


Grand Opening of Schletter’s North American headquarters in Shleby, NC

Schletter Inc., a global manufacturer of photovoltaic mounting systems has celebrated the grand opening of its new North American headquarters and manufacturing site in Shelby, N.C. The expansion, announced in mid-2012, has increased Schletter’s original structure with about 100,000 square feet to a total of 140,000 square feet of highly-automated manufacturing space and administrative offices. As previously reported on this page, the upgraded Shelby facility necessitated a $27 million investment to realize. However, according to a news release, the highly automated and energy efficient character of its production systems allows the company to push prices down.

The facility currently employs 100 with a further 70 new positions expected to be created and be filled by the end of the year.  The expanded Shelby location, which started production in the summer, has given Schletter the largest manufacturing capability for solar mounting systems in North America. Its previous HQ, located in Tucson, Ariz. will continue to operate as the West Coast hub of operations, while the Ontario facility will serve the Canadian market. The company has plans to open a new Texas office in 2014.


Charlotte Regional Datacenter at North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, NC

In other green tech news, Raleigh-based DataChambers LLC has broken ground on a 50,000-square-foot third-party data center in Kannapolis, N.C. Set to open in the third quarter of 2014 in the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC), DataChambers’ third location is expected to provide services to existing and future residents of the research campus and will employ between 20 and 30 IT professionals.

As previously reported on this page, the data center will be LEED-certified for energy efficient operation. Parties involved in the design and development of the facility are all Metrolina-based. Land Design is handling land planning and civil engineering, Creech &Associates is designing the data center, while McCracken& Lopez, PA is providing mechanical, electrical and fire protection designs. The data center is being developed in partnership with Castle& Cooke, Inc. and David H. Murdock, founder, chairman and CEO of Castle & Cooke and Dole Food Company. Castle & Cooke is the company behind the development of the 350-acre N.C. Research Campus, a future hub of biotech, nutrition and health research.

For further Charlotte market data click here

Images courtesy Schletter and North Carolina Research Campus

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