Four years after moving into a new, $20 million building on Charlotte’s west side, Charlotte School of Law said Friday that it plans to relocate to an uptown office tower.
The school is leasing 10 floors of the Charlotte Plaza office tower at 201 S. College Street, located about two miles from the school’s current location on Wilkinson Boulevard. At 243,000 square feet, the new space will more than double the school’s current size of about 112,000 square feet.
“Because the school doesn’t own its buildings, we can take advantage of exceptional lease options to best position our students for success,” said Dennis Stone, the school’s president, in a statement. The school will relocate in Aug. 2013.
When it opened in 2008, the building on Suttle Avenue in Bryant Park was meant to be the anchor for a large redevelopment plan at the site of the old Radiator Specialty Co., between West Morehead and Wilkinson.
The building was developed by Merrifield Partners, a Crosland affiliate. In 2008, the mixed-use project was projected to include 1 million square feet of buildings and 2,000 residences, for a total of $250 million worth of redevelopment.
Except for the law school, that development didn’t materialize.
Friday, law school officials said they had considered whether another building at their current site would suit their expansion plans, but ultimately decided to move.
“We have always had the goal of having a unified campus since we began in 2005,” said dean Denise Spriggs, in an email. The new office space will house all of the law school’s students and facilities, including a temporary overflow space the school opened this year at Gateway Village.
Spokesman Harry Workman said the school currently has just under 1,200 students in all of its programs. Workman said Friday that he didn’t have a projection for the school’s future growth.
He said that though Charlotte School of Law will no longer be located in west Charlotte, the school expects to continue serving residents through legal clinics and other programs. Workman said the school hopes to expand its roster of partnerships and pro-bono programs.
School officials also said the move would put students closer to businesses and Mecklenburg and federal courts located uptown. They said it would also make the school more green, because students will more easily be able to take public transportation instead of driving.
Other schools have moved uptown recently. Boston-based Northeastern University has a campus at Trade and Tryon Streets, and Wake Forest has a business school campus at Fifth and College Streets.