Crescent Communities unveiled plans for a major new mixed-use development in uptown Charlotte on Wednesday, with designs for a new supermarket, up to 400 hotel rooms and 450 upscale apartments.
The Observer and other media reported earlier this week that the Whole Foods and apartment complex were coming. But Crescent has not previously laid out its plans in detail for the development at Stonewall and Caldwell streets, across from the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Ben Collins, Crescent’s vice president of the mid-Atlantic region, said the project will be “transformative,” adding a second grocery option for uptown dwellers and filling a mostly vacant 5-acre site with a new development tied to the Lynx Blue Line.
“This is a development we’ve been working on for quite some time,” said Collins. He said the company has been in talks with Whole Foods about an uptown location for more than three years.
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Michael Smith, CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners, said the development would help create a stronger connection to South End, as well as encouraging retailers to locate uptown.
“Having a national retailer come in with the strength of Whole Foods is a game-changer for center city retail,” said Smith, whose group has been working to bring more retail options uptown.
Highlights of the plan:
• Crescent plans to start construction in the fourth quarter this year and complete the project by late 2017. The company agreed to purchase 3.6 acres from the city of Charlotte for $10.3 million last year.
Collins said Crescent will also buy the adjoining 1.8 acres. Club Caviar and a surface parking lot currently sit there, next to the Stonewall light rail stop. In the Crescent Uptown development, the Whole Foods will be adjacent to the light rail stop.
• Whole Foods will occupy 47,000 square feet, with a rooftop deck. The development will also include a parking deck, as well as direct pedestrian access to the light rail.
• Crescent will build 450 apartments, split between a mid-rise and a high rise building. Collins said both will target “urban professionals,” but the high-rise will be slightly more upscale, aimed more at empty-nesters than millennials.
• The development will include 300 to 400 hotel rooms, likely split between two hotels, and an additional 15,000 square feet of retail. Collins said Crescent is still in talks with hotels and isn’t ready to announce which brands they will be, but said the company plans to finish the hotels at the same time as the rest of the development.
• Collins said the new development will complement its planned 27-story tower a block away at Stonewall and South Tryon streets, to be called Tryon Place. That development, on the site of a closed Goodyear shop, is expected to break ground this summer.
Other developments are also underway on uptown’s southern edge. A 230-unit upscale apartment building is slated to open this year at Stonewall and McDowell streets, and Portman Holdings plans to break ground this summer on a 19-story office tower at 615 S. College St.
The new hotels will be adjacent to the Westin, which at 700 rooms is the largest hotel in Charlotte. The site is across Stonewall Street from the Charlotte Convention Center, a major source of hotel room traffic.
Uptown has only one other grocery store, a Harris Teeter at Fifth and Poplar.
Whole Foods operates two other local stores, in SouthPark and Huntersville. The upscale grocer is also opening another store in south Charlotte, in the Waverly development on Providence Road.