Another bank tower is joining Charlotte’s growing skyline, with the addition of a 31-story building at 401 S. Graham St.
Pittsburgh-based FNB Corp., the parent company of First National Bank, said Tuesday that it will be the anchor tenant for the new building, to be called FNB Tower-Charlotte.
The building will include 160,000 square feet of office space and, in a new arrangement for Charlotte, 215 luxury apartments. Street-level retail space will be anchored by an FNB branch.
FNB will lease 30,000 square feet of office space when the building opens. Completion is anticipated in late 2020. The building site is across from BB&T Ballpark and a block from Bank of America Stadium, on a vacant lot that’s currently used for parking. It’s tucked in next to a large parking deck owned by Duke Energy.
The bank is also building a similar tower in Raleigh, expected to be complete in summer 2019. That building, at building at 501 Fayetteville St., will be 22 stories and include about 240 apartments.
“FNB’s continued growth puts us in an exciting position to participate in projects that contribute to economic expansion in the markets we serve,” Vincent Delie Jr., CEO of FNB Corp. and First National Bank, said of the Charlotte building. “FNB Tower-Charlotte will provide our local teams with a centralized base to collaborate, share experiences and engage with the community, which enables us to even better serve our clients and the neighborhoods we call home.”
FNB entered the Charlotte market when it acquired Raleigh-based Yadkin Financial last year, in a $1.4 billion deal.
FNB has 16 branches in the Charlotte region, according to the latest Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data. It ranks eighth in the area by amount of deposits.
Dominion Realty Partners, which has previously built apartments in Charlotte, is the developer. No rendering of the building was available.
FNB is the fourth bank to announce in the last two years that it plans to occupy a new office tower in uptown Charlotte.
Other bank towers are already under construction nearby. Lincoln Harris is building a 33-story tower near Stonewall and Tryon streets, on the former site of The Charlotte Observer, to be anchored by Bank of America. Crescent Communities is building a 26-story tower across the street with Ally Financial as anchor tenant.
And in 2016, Regions Bank said it would be the first tenant in a tower at 615 South College St.
Uptown apartment surge
Although the building will be named for FNB, only a relatively small portion of it will be occupied by offices, with 160,000 square feet of office space. By comparison, the 33-story Bank of America tower a few blocks away will total about 845,000 square feet of office space.
The 215 new luxury apartments that will occupy most of FNB Tower-Charlotte are the latest in a flood of upscale rentals being built uptown. According to the most recent report from Charlotte-based Real Data, there were about 1,263 apartments under construction uptown, on top of about 5,000 already in place. And that was before Northwood Ravin announced 354 new apartments at 500 West Trade Street, and the FNB announcement.
Together, those would bring the number of new apartments underway in uptown to more than 1,800, or a 37 percent increase in supply.
Apartment towers in Charlotte’s downtown are also the most expensive, on average, in the city. A 472 square-foot studio apartment will set you back $1,660 a month at the Ascent tower next to Romare Bearden Park, for example. Across uptown, apartment rent averages $1,860 a month, according to Real Data.
As a result of the big surge in new supply and the higher rents, apartments in uptown had the highest vacancy rate of any market in Charlotte last year, with nearly 22 percent empty. That’s almost four times the city’s average. To attract tenants, many of the new apartment towers uptown are offering one or two months rent-free, as well as price reductions on certain units.