Work Life

3 massive developments that will reshape SouthPark, South End and more approved by City Council

The Charlotte City Council got busy in its first meeting since the long Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. During Tuesday’s meeting, it approved plans for:

(1) A HUGE mixed-use development in booming SouthPark

The deets

– Will redevelop 27 acres of the Colony apartments, one of the biggest redevelopments in the area.

– 990 apartments, 55 of which will be affordable housing — for those making less than 80 percent of the area’s median income.

– A 225-room hotel.

– 250,000 square feet of office space.

– 300,000 square feet of retail space, including a grocery store.

– A grid of streets will replace the cul-de-sacs to make it more connected to other areas of SouthPark

Any concerns?

Uh, traffic. The area is already bad enough (though the city is asking for help in finding ways to make it more pedestrian-friendly) and this will just add to it.

Plus, there are several other big developments planned for the area. But the overall benefits of the development and the affordable housing won the council over.

What’s next?

Construction could start in early 2017, most likely with apartments, retail and a grocery store.

(2) The office building that will replace Common Market and the Food Truck Friday lot in South End

The deets

This isn’t much of a surprise after no one spoke out against the development at a previous meeting. A reminder of what’s coming:

– The East Coast headquarters for Dimensional Fund Advisors in — at its tallest — seven floors of office space over one floor of retail and below-ground parking

– Ground-floor retail on all corners at Tryon, Camden and Park

Any concerns?

How will this affect the character of the neighborhood? The development is already replacing character-filled places like Common Market and Black Sheep Skate Shop, and The Boulevard at South End closed at least in part because of the development. Is there more to come?

What’s next?

Food Truck Friday is moving to new spots in Plaza Midwood and at Sycamore Brewing. Common Market is looking for a new home.

Construction on the office building could start late this year.

(3) The Highland Mill redevelopment

office hall

As Charlotte development expert Ely Portillo told us in the first episode of The Good News Is, mills are so hot right now.

The deets

– The Highland Mill dates back to 1891 and sits at the corner of 16th and North Brevard, along the light rail extension.

– 12 acre site. The building currently covers 250,000 square feet but it will go down to 160,000 with the renovations.

– 60,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, including a “food hall” (a cross between a series of restaurants and a farmer’s market).

– Up to 100,000 square feet of office space — loft style with open floor plans.

– A large courtyard and pedestrian plaza facing uptown.

Any concerns?

Not that we know of. The developers are pursuing tax credits available for mill restoration projects.

What’s next?

Developers plan to finish the project by the time the light rail extension opens up in 2017. The extension is a pretty big part of this project working.


Slightly less exciting, but equally massive: City Council also approved a 850-house senior living community near Mint Hill.

Images: BB+M Architecture; Duda Paine Architects; Perkins+Will