Pushed out of South End by new development, Charlotte arts group finds new home

Station House rendering
Station House rendering

The Charlotte Art League has secured a new location in NoDa, the group said, after redevelopment plans in South End pushed the group from its longtime home.

The arts group is moving to the Station House development on East Sugar Creek Road, along the Blue Line light rail extension. The property is being redeveloped by the Flywheel Group, which plans to renovate and reuse some of the former industrial buildings at the site.

“Flywheel Group is excited to have Charlotte Art League as a founding tenant and partner for the Station House project,” said Tony Kuhn, Flywheel’s CEO. “The Station House project will be a hub of activity for art, music, food, retail and offices.”

Kuhn said the goal is make the Station House “a true mixed-use development that combines preservation of some of the old buildings on the site as well as new construction.”

The Charlotte Art League has been located on Camden Road for more than two decades, where the nonprofit art gallery and studio space was one of the pioneers of South End’s redevelopment. Since the Blue Line opened in 2007, the area has grown rapidly, with thousands of new apartments opening and a wave of new office buildings under construction.

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Charlotte-based Asana Partners bought the block of buildings on Camden Road, which also included the former Phat Burrito location, for $2.7 million. The company plans to bring in new restaurant and retail tenants.

Executive director Cindy Connelly said Asana notified the Charlotte Art League in August that they had six months to find a new location. But the group had been looking for a new location for a while, Connelly said, since developers demolished the building across the street – once home to Common Market – to make way for a new office building.

“This new opportunity will enable CAL to offer creative space for more local artists and give the Charlotte community a new venue to experience the many facets of art,” Connelly said of the NoDa location. The group moves in February, and plans to have a grand opening at the new location this spring.

Connelly said the Charlotte Art League has raised more than $10,000 to fund the move, and is pursuing corporate sponsorships.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo