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Johnny Harris’ firm building two 10-story office towers in SouthPark

Charlotte real estate developer Johnny Harris’ firm is building two 10-story office towers in the SouthPark area.

Harris, head of the Lincoln Harris real estate firm, said Wednesday that he plans to start construction this spring on two buildings, each with about 240,000 square feet of space, on just under 6 acres at Carnegie Boulevard and Congress Street.

The project, called Capitol Towers at Carnegie, will sit behind Piedmont Town Center.

Harris said the last comparably sized project built in SouthPark was Piedmont Town Center, which his firm developed about eight years ago.

“There’s been no new space in the market at SouthPark,” he said. “There’s pent-up demand in the market, and we’re trying to respond to that.”

Office vacancy rates in SouthPark sat at 10.5 percent in the third quarter, according to data from Karnes Research. The city’s overall vacancy rate was 15.7 percent.

Harris said he doesn’t have tenants lined up yet, but he added that the Piedmont Town Center project also launched without tenants. Tenants signed on after construction started, and he said he expects the same to happen with the new project.

Tenants in Piedmont Town Center include Piedmont Natural Gas, PNC Bank, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse and Georges Brassiere.

The site plan calls for the two office towers to sit at either end of the block formed by Congress Street and a loop of Carnegie Boulevard. The towers would sit fronting on Congress Street, with a seven-story parking deck between them.

A building containing 15,000 square feet of retail space will sit in front of the parking deck, facing Congress Street.

The site plan also calls for the parking deck to be flanked at the other end of the block by a 7,500-square-foot office building and a 6,650-square-foot restaurant and retail structure.

Harris said his firm won’t need rezoning, since the plan requires no change in the square footage allotted to the site. Still, Lincoln Harris has filed a site plan amendment with the city, he said, to allow the buildings to be placed on either side of the parking deck.

Frazier: 704-358-5145; @ericfraz on Twitter
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