Microsoft buys officesoff Arrowood

Microsoft has purchased two buildings it has leased for more than seven years in ArrowPoint Office Park off Arrowood Road in southwest Charlotte.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant paid $66.2 million for a total of 408,000 square feet.

“This is a good investment,” said Stephen Sorenson, director for the Microsoft Charlotte Campus. “We recognize that Charlotte is a great place to be. We have been very successful recruiting people to Charlotte.”

He said about 50 percent of the company's new hires are local and about 50 percent from outside Charlotte.

Microsoft, which has operated in the city since 1991, moved to the 38-acre southwest Charlotte campus in October 2000 after a 10-month site search that included Gateway Village in the center city.

The ArrowPoint complex was developed by Trammell Crow Co. in two phases at 8050 Microsoft Way and 8055 Microsoft Way.

Microsoft's more than 1,000 Charlotte sales, service and technical support employees occupy 306,000 square feet in the buildings, which include some space now occupied by a tenant.

Sorenson said the company has ample room for current operations and will consider leasing excess space to other tenants until it's needed.

In announcing its selection of the ArrowPoint site in 1999, Microsoft cited the business park's campus-like setting, space for future growth and proximity to the company's employment base.

Sorenson said employees like working on the campus, which includes walking trails and borders a protected wildlife area.

The community work of the Charlotte operation and its employees was recognized last year by the North Carolina Technology Association with its Corporate Citizen of the Year Award.

“We are delighted that Microsoft is reaffirming its place in Charlotte by purchasing its commercial space at Microsoft Way,” said Charlotte Chamber President Bob Morgan. “Microsoft has been a very strong partner to the businesses in the Carolinas, with very significant impact in the local economy and in the community.”

Tal Isbell and Don Schulz of Jones Lang LaSalle represented Microsoft in the purchase.

Doug Smith's Notebook

Novare Group plans to “top out” the 27-story Catalyst condo tower Thursday on South Church Street at Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Forms are in place now on the roof for crews to pour the concrete for the final floor, said Tony Skillbeck, president of Novare's Carolinas division.

Novare plans to open the Catalyst sales center June 21 in a neighboring office building at 222 S. Church St., he said.

The tower's 462 units are designed to appeal mainly to 25- to 40-year-old buyers with such amenities as a fitness center, club room, pool, Internet cafe and concierge service.

One-bedroom units start in the $180,000s, one-bedroom with den units in the $250,000s and two-bedroom units in the $330,000s.

Skillbeck said only nine of 386 units remain for sale in Novare's first Charlotte project – the 36-story Avenue condo tower at 210 N. Church St.

He said residents have closed on 370 units and are continuing to move into the building, which has signed Basil Thai Restaurant as a street-level tenant.

Extensive Enterprises LLC, a Charlotte investment group, paid $17 million for five apartment communities totaling 475 units in Charlotte and Raleigh.

The company said it expects to spend about $2 million to upgrade and reposition the projects in growth areas of the two cities.

“This acquisition represents the beginning of a five-year plan to build out the company's portfolio in Charlotte to 3,000 units,” said Extensive Enterprises President Todd Pfalzgraf.

The Charlotte complexes included in the acquisition are The Chase on Commonwealth, 2728 Commonwealth Ave., 132 units; The Landing on Farmhurst 711 Farmhurst Drive, 125 units; The Courtyard, 5312 Montague St., 55 units, and Sharonridge, 1937 Sharon Road West, 75 units.

Doug Smith: 704-358-5174;