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Here’s how Phillips Place is reinventing itself amid all the changes in SouthPark

A rendering of the redesigned Phillips Place.
A rendering of the redesigned Phillips Place. Courtesy of Lincoln Harris

Charlotte’s first mixed-use development is getting a facelift as a plan to make SouthPark more walkable takes shape.

Lincoln Harris announced Thursday it plans to revitalize Phillips Place, a SouthPark development that opened in 1997, which includes adding a 41,000-square-foot Restoration Hardware design gallery with a rooftop restaurant, outdoor gathering spaces, updated architecture and part of a planned pedestrian loop.

The gallery and rooftop restaurant are a hospitality concept that Restoration Hardware has in six other locations.

When the idea for the mixed-use center was first proposed in the early 1990s, the city didn’t have a zoning category for a site like Phillips Place, which has retail, residences, office space, a hotel and movie theater.

Fast-forward over two decades and mixed-use developments are cropping up across Charlotte. But SouthPark remains a car-oriented, suburban community with major traffic congestion.

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A rendering of the expanded Restoration Hardware space, which will include a design gallery and rooftop restaurant. Courtesy of Lincoln Harris

City officials and developers are hoping to change that. Lincoln Harris said its Phillips Place improvements will include the first completed section of the Loop, a planned pedestrian walkway connecting popular destinations in the area.

The city announced plans last year for a 3-mile pathway, similar to South End’s Rail Trail, as part of the $10 million it’s spending on improvements in the community.

All of the changes coincide with an influx of development in the area.

Last year, Charlotte developer Childress Klein started work on Apex SouthPark, a pair of 12-story buildings near the entrance of SouthPark Mall. And developers are planning a 27-acre redevelopment on Colony Road that will be home to retail, apartment and office space, as well as a hotel.

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A rendering of the pedestrian walkway. Courtesy of Lincoln Harris

“The component we hadn’t had over the last 10 years was residential,” said Johnny Harris, chairman and CEO of Lincoln Harris. “That’s changing the whole scope of what’s happening here at Southpark.”

City Council approved Lincoln Harris’ plans for Phillips Place in 2017. The center is home to a Hampton Inn & Suites, as well as a movie theater, restaurants and retailers like Brooks Brothers and Eileen Fisher. Lincoln Harris did not disclose the cost of the redevelopment.

Harris said the new Restoration Hardware building will be at the former site of Dean & Deluca, which they’ve begun tearing down. The upscale grocer closed all three of its Charlotte locations last year. He said they aim to open the new building this year.

Harris’ company has been a major force in developing Charlotte, especially in SouthPark and Ballantyne. Lincoln Harris is also developing the Deloitte and Bank of America-anchored towers in uptown.

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Danielle Chemtob covers economic growth and development for the Observer. She’s a 2018 graduate of the journalism school at UNC-Chapel Hill and a California transplant.