Business

Major Plaza Midwood lot, a hub of parking enforcement complaints, is up for sale

The sign in front of The Peculiar Rabbit, warning customers about the lot across the street. The lot is now listed as for sale.
The sign in front of The Peculiar Rabbit, warning customers about the lot across the street. The lot is now listed as for sale. Melissa Oyler

A major parking lot and shopping center at the heart of Plaza Midwood has been listed for sale, according to retail investment firm Berkeley Capital Advisors’ website.

Central Square on Central Avenue and Pecan Ave is listed as available, The Charlotte Ledger first reported Thursday.

The three lots listed on Berkeley Capital Advisors website are owned by Cole Properties and Investments. The lots include roughly 12 acres, and features a CVS, the Roasting Company, Bistro La Bon, Five Guys and a large parking lot.

The asking price was not immediately available. But the parcels are valued at about $18.2 million, county records show.

The shopping center, last sold in 1975, is surrounded by a rapidly-changing neighborhood with new apartments and breweries. The area has seen longtime businesses like Brodt Music and the Penguin restaurant close their doors. Last week, the iconic Dairy Queen, which opened in the 1950s, announced it too would close.

The parking lot has made news lately for complaints from patrons and nearby businesses for strict parking enforcement practices.

An all-caps sign was hung outside of nearby businesses The Peculiar Rabbit and Smooth Monkey the week of Aug. 2 that read:

“THE BULLIES ACROSS THE STREET ARE BOOTING YOUR CARS. DON’T PARK THERE!”

‘Way too valuable’ real estate

The shopping center has had a wave of new businesses moving in recently.

The neighborhood’s first ABC store in years opened in the old Family Dollar space in 2017. Grocer Organic Harvest, which replaced Healthy Home Market, closed after less than a year. And Five Guys opened in the old space of J&J Beauty Supply.

Sam Spencer, chairman of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission, said the “huge sea of parking” is an outdated use for the site, just a few blocks away from where the extended streetcar line will stop.

It’s real estate that’s way too valuable to remain a parking lot,” he said.

Part of the site was once an early 20th century manufacturing plant, designated as a landmark by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission. A yoga studio, pet groomer and other businesses are in the former home of the Cole Manufacturing Company, an agricultural equipment producer.

Residents have often fought to maintain the area’s quirkiness amid all the development. The iconic Thirsty Beaver sits amid a five-story apartment development, after the dive bar’s owners refused to sell.

Spencer said in order to get neighborhood support, a potential development on the site would need to be unique and honor the area’s history.

“If it’s the same sort of cookie-cutter type apartment building, I would anticipate a lot of opposition,” he said.

The neighborhood is the “cultural heart of Charlotte,” he said.

“(A developer) has really got to get the support of the entire city in a way that I think no other neighborhood sort of puts that pressure on you,” he said.

Related stories from Charlotte Observer

Hannah Smoot covers business in Charlotte, focusing on health care, aviation and sports business. She previously covered money and power at The Rock Hill Herald in South Carolina. She is a lifelong North Carolinian and graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  Comments