Developer seeks OK for major reworking of University Place

Developer seeks OK for major reworking of University Place

The new owner of several retail buildings on 30 acres of University Place has filed a rezoning for 15 acres beside the University Place Lake, the Charlotte Business Journal reports. EBA Crystal Real Estate’s development plan calls for up to 300,000 square feet of commercial uses, 600 residential units, 20,000 square feet of civic spaces and possibly a hotel. EB Arrow bought the property earlier this year. While the development plan is for 20.6 acres, the rezoning is for just 15 acres along the lake’s west side. The Business Journal reports that the petitioner developed its site plan in line with the University City Town Center plan developed in 2017 by several property owners and University City Partners.   The vision for University City Town Center That plan seeks to create a densely developed, pedestrian friendly urban village of shops, housing and offices that encompasses all of the existing University Place campus including the Shoppes area near north Tryon Street and the big-box retail area between the lake and I-85 that once was dominated by Walmart, Sam’s and several other national retailers. The plan also includes several residential communities and the retail center directly across from UNC Charlotte’s main North Tryon Street entrance. The segment up for rezoning by EBA Crystal Real Estate covers 15 acres along the west side of the lake from The Hilton to JW Clay Boulevard. The University City Town Center Plan envisions a “lodging district” of additional hotels between the existing Hilton Hotel and the main bridge over the lake, and a residential district along much of the remaining lakefront north of the bridge....
Proximity Park project turns back the clock

Proximity Park project turns back the clock

By next fall, one of University City’s oldest office buildings will look like its newest. With a redesign by global architectural firm Gensler, the former office of Allstate Insurance, at 401 McCullough Drive, will have completed its transformation to Proximity Park – the single biggest available suburban office building on the 19-mile LYNX light rail line. Work will start in the next few weeks on major improvements to the building and 32-acre campus, including a visually striking new entrance and two-story glass atrium, new energy efficient windows, extensive new landscaping and an outdoor meeting area. The building already underwent several months of interior demolition, which included removal of the old mechanical, electrical and HVAC systems. The redesigned building will have all new energy-efficient systems. When the remodeling is finished next August, Proximity Park will offer nearly 200,000 square feet of space for lease in like-new condition – with room for expansion – within a 10-minute walk to light rail and a 1-mile drive to I-85.   Potential corporate campus Colliers International, which is handling the building transformation and its marketing, hopes to find a single tenant for the building. The building also can be subdivided for up to three tenants. “Given the unique design of it and the large campus setting, we feel like Proximity Park will provide a unique opportunity for a company wanting its own branded building with easy expansion potential,” said Brad Grow, a partner in Colliers’ Charlotte office. The site can accommodate an additional 100,000 square feet of office space, plus structured parking for the additional employees. That building will have great curb appeal, Grow...
Business Journal honors University City ‘Heavy Hitters’

Business Journal honors University City ‘Heavy Hitters’

Two University City development projects and a pioneering architect for University Place have received the Charlotte Business Journal’s Heavy Hitters Commercial Real Estate Awards: Blu at Northline apartments, Corvian Community School’s high school and architect David Furman. The awards were announced on Nov. 1 at the business publication’s fifth annual event honoring commercial real-estate projects completed in the past year in the Charlotte region.   Blu at Northline Blu at Northline, the apartment community on North Tryon Street beside the I-85 entrance, won in the apartment development category for leading a development boom in this part of University City. The 377-unit apartment community was the first transit-oriented development along the 9.3-mile Blue Line Extension between uptown and UNC Charlotte, the Business Journal noted. MORE   Corvian Community School – High School Corvian Community School won in the Public/Civic/Community category for creating a building “for the next generation.” The 70,000-square-foot high school has many notable features besides classrooms, the Business Journal noted. These include innovation labs for robotics, a yoga and dance studio, a black-box theater and other learning and collaborative spaces. MORE   David Furman Architect David Furman received the Pillar Award for three decades of working helping to transform the landscape of center city Charlotte. At the start of his career, Furman designed three components of University Place: Lakeshore Village condominiums, Walden Court apartments and the original Countryside Montessori School. The Business Journal honored Furman for being “a pioneer and leader in creative, cool and funky real estate projects — primarily in the residential space but more recently in commercial and mixed-use deals in South End and uptown...
Office sale indicates surging interest in Ucity submarket

Office sale indicates surging interest in Ucity submarket

Charlotte’s hot economy is heating up University City’s office market. The largest multi-tenant office building in University Research Park, Cambridge Corporate Center, just sold for 45% more than what the previous owners paid to buy it just four years ago, the Charlotte Business Journal reports. And that trend will continue, the Journal article adds. The Business Journal says that a joint venture by Arch Cos. And Lakestar Properties paid $63 million for the 339,544 square-foot office center and 53 acres at Claude Freeman Drive and West Mallard Creek Church Road. The previous investment group, Origin Capital Partners, paid $43.5 million in 2014. In 2016, Origin spent $4.2 million to add a 475-vehicle parking deck. Originally intended as a single-tenant building for a West Coast financial institution, Cambridge Corporate Center now has numerous tenants including Red Ventures, Web.com and Duke Energy.   Investors turning to suburbs The Business Journal reports that suburban office centers are becoming much more attractive to investors as central city locations in Charlotte and elsewhere soar in both rent rates and sales prices. That surge in interest is apparent to the University City Partners staff, which spends much of its time helping market office space in the University City Municipal Service District that includes University Research Park.   Prime space available in University Research Park The MSD has more than 11 million square feet of offices, including about 4.8 million square feet of leasable space. University Research Park has large tracts available for additional office buildings, including nearly 52 acres recently put on the market by Electrolux beside its North American headquarters. Mohr Partners is the exclusive...
Redevelopment-focused investor buys key part of University Place

Redevelopment-focused investor buys key part of University Place

A Texas-based developer and asset manager has purchased a large part of University Place along JW Clay Boulevard and the lake, reports The Charlotte Business Journal. The buyer, EB Arrow, focuses on renovating and redeveloping older commercial centers located in prime locations. “EB Arrow found their bread and butter at this site, an aging power center supremely located at the center of Charlotte’s second largest employment center and adjacent home of UNC Charlotte with excellent road and transit access,” said University City Partners Planning Director Tobe Holmes, who met with EB Arrow staff prior to the purchase. The University Place purchase involves 36 acres and buildings totaling 294,000 square feet, mostly along the west side of the lake and also including the building that houses Guitar Center. EB Arrow paid $18.2 million for the property, according to tax records.   ‘Prime spot for redevelopment’ “The University Place site is a prime spot for redevelopment with tremendous infrastructure and amenities including light rail, interstate accessibility, a 15-acre lake, convention hotel and access to greenways. … University Place I & II represents a rare opportunity to shape a large-scale redevelopment in a mature environment,” said Mike Burkard, senior vice president at CBRE Charlotte, in a prepared statement. Burkard and Steve Shields at CBRE represented the seller, Aegon USA Realty Advisors, in the transaction.   Ground-breaking center at regional crossroads University Place, a ground-breaking mixed-use center when it was launched in the early 1980s, also includes the Lakefront Shoppes retail center on the east side of the lake, The Hilton Charlotte University Place, One University Place offices, Sam’s Club, a retail center...
New online map puts UC growth at our fingertips

New online map puts UC growth at our fingertips

Ever wonder who’s building in that newly cleared site or what’s being planned next to the brand-new rezoning sign? A new map created by University City Partners and available to the public has that information and more, including links to rezoning documents, public hearing dates and locations of street improvements. Click here to view the map. UCP Planning and Development Director Tobe Holmes and UCP intern Luis Martinez spent about 10 hours building the database-driven Google map. Holmes plans to update it monthly. “We aimed to expand the tools through which people can be informed about changes in University City and potentially share their opinions with regard to active rezoning petitions,” Holmes explained. Specific map subjects include: Current land development projects under construction, planning or permitting. Pipeline projects (in the works). Current rezoning petitions (such as the university’s conference center and Armored Cow Brewing at University Place). Public projects (I-85 North Bridge, retail space at JW Clay Station Parking Deck, etc.). Under construction. The boundary of the University City Municipal Service District. Have a question, correction or suggestion? To comment on the map, email University City Partners at...