Why Dilworth’s retail landscape is changing

Ed’s Tavern, seen in this 2014 file photo, is adding an outdoor patio, part of a flurry of retail-related activity along Park Road in Dilworth.
Ed’s Tavern, seen in this 2014 file photo, is adding an outdoor patio, part of a flurry of retail-related activity along Park Road in Dilworth.

A new building underway near Food Lion that will be home to Yoga One and Not Just Coffee. A new outdoor patio for Famous Toastery and Ed’s Tavern. The addition of new, national retailers like PetPeople and Domino’s.

If you live near or drive along Park Road around where it turns into Scott Avenue in Dilworth, you may have noticed the recent flurry of retail-related activity, which includes new construction and renovations as well as new stores. It’s similar to what’s been happening in the Park Road Shopping Center and Atherton Mill, both upgraded shopping centers surrounded by homes and apartments.

Like those two areas, as property values have skyrocketed in Dilworth, developers have taken steps to upgrade their shopping centers in the area to make them a one-stop destination for dining out, nightlife and shopping.

“We really see a lot of potential for that extension of Park Road,” said Andrew Rowe of DCG Construction, which owns the new building at 2230 Park Road. “We’ve seen a resurgence of retail in that area.”

Rowe said the 14,000 square-foot building near Food Lion will be in the style of an historic mill, complete with handmade brick, cedar ceilings and custom windows and doors. In addition to the yoga studio and coffee shop, it will house Inizio Pizza Napoletana and a Green Brothers juice – both Charlotte-based companies.

Nearby, nighttime hotspot Ed’s Tavern just wrapped up construction of the enclosed part of the new deck with roll-up garage doors, and a stainless steel bar will soon be added, too.

Down the street in Park Square – which includes restaurants like Ru San’s and Fran’s Filling Station – discount home goods retailer Tuesday Morning recently moved into a 12,000 square-foot space, an upgrade from its former, smaller spot in the next door Courtyard shopping center.

In Tuesday Morning’s old space next to Famous Toastery will be a shop called PetPeople, an Ohio-based, upscale pet store. And next to PetPeople, the popular Charlotte-based breakfast chain Famous Toastery is getting a new outdoor patio, said Jimmy Penman, director of leasing at Lat Purser & Associates.

“Demand has just increased steadily in the submarket over the last 18-24 months. Some of the people driving that interest cater to that demographic that is obviously here,” Penman said.

“Retail follows rooftops. This section is surrounded by only rooftops,” he added.

The upgrades in Dilworth come at a time when home values continue their steep climb in the neighborhood that’s about two miles from uptown Charlotte. A latest sign of Charlotte’s housing rebound, older homes continue to be bulldozed and replaced by bigger, more expensive ones. According to data from Carolina Multiple Listing Services, the average sales price of a home in Dilworth in November 2016 was $504,776, up 7.3 percent from the same month two years prior.

“Property values are moving up, rental rates are moving up, and that’s allowing people to spend more money to upgrade the centers,” George Warren, CFO of Marsh Properties, which owns Park Square.

The firms handling the upgrades at the Dilworth shopping centers say they try to maintain a balance of different types of retail, including food and soft goods, and local and national. Across Park Road from the Tuesday Morning, for example, is a Domino’s Pizza that just opened next to the Shell gas station.

“The national tenants bring the credit worthiness, which our lenders always like. We also do like having some locals also. We support local entrepreneurs,” Warren said.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta