Uptown’s first Whole Foods is opening this year as first residents move in above it

The first residents are set to move in Thursday to Novel Stonewall Station, the new project combining a tower of high-rise apartments with a Whole Foods, other shops and restaurants, two hotels and a mid-rise building with hundreds of additional apartments.

Construction on the apartments and Whole Foods is set to wrap up by the beginning of June, which is also when the specialty grocer is expected to open its first uptown location. The store on Stonewall Street will include an extensive prepared food selection, along with indoor and outdoor seating for diners. The hotels, which are being developed separately but on the same site, will still be under construction.

“This is a big moment for us,” said Crescent Communities managing partner Michael Tubridy. The developers broke ground in January 2016 on the site, which was formerly a nightclub and empty grass lot.

A pedestrian plaza connected to the Stonewall Station light rail stop, along with a staircase to the sidewalk, is already open and accessible. The plaza will also include a restaurant perched above Stonewall Street, which will be publicly accessible.

Tubridy said 45 apartments have been leased so far, out of 71 that have been completed. More apartments will be available in the coming months as the building is completed chunk by chunk, with the 20-story high-rise portion opening in May. The building is primarily competing with the Ascent and Museum Tower apartments, luxury towers uptown that opened last year, and people considering South End, Tubridy said.

There are 328 apartments in the lower, wood-framed section of the building and 131 in the high-rise tower. From the 10th floor amenity deck, the scale of the city’s building boom is visible, with 11 cranes and seven buildings that weren’t there two years ago visible on the skyline.

The amenities are luxurious: The tenth floor deck includes a heated, saltwater swimming pool, a dog park, a “beer garden” with outside seating and fire pit, fitness center with a yoga studio and lounge room with a kitchen, seating and a mega 110-inch television. Another new touch is a dedicated package room to handle the delivery of hundreds of Amazon Prime and other e-commerce packages each day. Tubridy said Crescent had to repurpose some space that had been intended for parking spaces to accommodate that.

“We had to adjust to new technology,” he said.

At Novel Stonewall Station, a 469-square-foot studio starts at $1,120 a month. A one-bedroom unit ranges from $1,510 to almost $2,700, while a two-bedroom starts at $2,098 and goes to about $3,300. The biggest apartment, a three-bedroom, two-bathroom penthouse atop the tower, has a list price of $15,037 a month.

Novel Stonewall Station is part of a $2.7 billion wave of development reshaping a mile of Stonewall Street, transforming the area from a string of old buildings and vacant lots next to Interstate 277 into a dense new collection of apartments, office buildings, shops and restaurants.

Two blocks away at the former Observer building site, Lincoln Harris is building a 33-story office tower for Bank of America, the first phase of a new project called Legacy Union. Across the street, at Stonewall and Tryon, Crescent has started work on a 26-story office tower for Ally Financial, with a 350-room hotel on the site. Down the street, both Proffitt Dixon and Northwood Ravin are building hundreds of additional apartments in two additional projects, Savoy and Uptown 550 on Stonewall.

All told, almost 1,200 apartments are under construction on a three-block stretch of Stonewall Street, with more expected in future projects.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo