When developer Jim Gross heard Queens University was selling an aging dorm near the intersection of Queens and Providence roads, he started sketching out designs for the lot sandwiched between the two streets.
What he came up with was a condominium development meant to emulate a pedestrian-friendly, European design, with five buildings connected by an internal, gas-lit street for walkers.
The development, called Opus Myers Park, is under construction now. It’s meant to answer many of the objections people have to condos, as Gross hopes to lure buyers seeking a high-end development near one of the city’s best-known intersections.
Each of the 24 condominiums will occupy its own floor, so there won’t be any internal hallways, windowless rooms or next-door neighbor noises and cooking smells. Instead of wood framing – ubiquitous in five-story, multifamily projects – Gross is opting for steel and concrete construction, which he said will be more durable, protect against noise transfer from other units and give buyers the flexibility to remodel, since there won’t be interior load-bearing walls.
“There’s nothing like this in Charlotte,” said Gross. “I wanted to create this European street that connects Providence to Queens Road.”
His past developments include the Arlington condo tower (South End’s “pink building”), Dilworth Crescent and the Ivey’s condos uptown – all projects that pushed the envelope at the time. Gross said he likes being out in front of the market.
“I like the challenge,” said Gross. His company paid $4.2 million for the five-story Queens dormitory and the 3/4-acre site it occupies.
Demolition of the building is underway now, with crews gutting the interior. That work should kick into high gear next week, followed by construction. Thomasson Construction, a residential builder known for working in neighborhoods such as Myers Park and Foxcroft, is the general contractor.
Gross said the whole site will be excavated down about 10 feet so parking for Opus Myers Park can be buried. From the underground parking garage, each of the five buildings will have its own elevator, which will open on each floor into a foyer for the individual unit.
Gross is targeting a late 2018 completion for the project.
HM Properties is marketing the condos, which Gross said will be priced from roughly $1.25 to $1.6 million. They’re planned as two-, three- and four-bedroom units, between 2,700 and nearly 3,300 square feet. Interior touches will include hardwood floors, fireplaces, top-of-the-line appliances, 10-foot ceilings, separate HVAC systems for each side of the unit and smart home wiring that will allow residents to control all their internal systems from a smartphone.