Light rail is two-plus years away, but University Executive Park is already preparing for North Tryon Street’s expected transit-oriented business boom. Upgrades to five buildings and grounds are nearly complete, at a cost of $4.5 million. “We are breathing new life into the park, and this is just the beginning,” says property manager Denise Steindl.
The five buildings have received storefronts, windows and blinds, plus remodeled hallways and bathrooms. The three-story 8210 Building, which fronts North Tryon Street, has been remodeled on all floors. The first floor facing North Tryon now has a drive-up storefront that could serve a retail tenant, Steindl says.
The improvements also include a full fitness center with men’s and women’s change rooms and showers; new meeting rooms; and a completely reworked courtyard at the center of four buildings – 8301, 8303, 8305 and 8307 University Executive Park Drive.
“We are completely reworking the courtyard from front to back to make it into an outdoor living area,” Steindl said. “We are reworking the fountain and making the courtyard ADA accessible. We will be able to have food trucks visit us, and hold farmer’s markets.” The current renovations should be finished in December. More improvements will follow, Steindl says.
Atapco seeks to capitalize on BLE
Steindl says that the park’s owner, Atapco Properties, has made the investment to capitalize on the coming Blue Line Extension. Transit planners predict that the light-rail line will carry more than 22,000 riders daily between UNC Charlotte and Center City when service starts in spring 2017.
Planners also expect the line to spark major private investment near each University City station, similar to what has occurred on the existing Blue Line between Center City and South Charlotte.
The McCullough station will sit at the main entrance to University Executive Park. All of the park’s 13 buildings are within a short walk of the future station.
“It’s very exciting that our development team in Baltimore sees what is happening here and embraces it,” Steindl said.
Other transportation improvements helping, too
While the light-rail line has brought new attention to North Tryon Street, Steindl says that other transportation improvements also are helping the park attract and keep tenants. These include the extension of IKEA Boulevard last year to McCullough Drive (giving park tenants and visitors easy access to I-85 via University City Boulevard) and construction over the next two years of a bridge across I-85 linking IKEA Boulevard to IBM Drive in University Research Park.
“The fact that our office park is now connected to the largest, newest shopping center in University City is a wonderful thing,” Steindl says. “I know my tenants enjoy that connectivity and that we have so many avenues in and out of here.”
That access will grow exponentially with the coming of light rail and the direct road link to University Research Park. “I am confident that we are going to be the spot where people wish they were,” Steindl says. “What an exciting time.”
Learn more about University Executive Park
For details about University Executive Park, contact property manager Denise Steindl at 704-547-7437 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For leasing information, contact Joe Franco (704-887-3035 or Joe.Franco@cassidyturley.com) or Kris Westmoreland (704-335-4440 or Kris.Westmoreland@cassidyturley.com).