Developers break ground for 24-story SkyHouse apartment tower uptown

Add another apartment tower to the real estate construction mix in uptown Charlotte.

Developers broke ground Monday for SkyHouse Uptown, a $70 million, 24-story tower on a parcel bordered by 10th, Church and North Tryon streets.

Novare Group, Batson-Cook Development Co. and Grubb Properties are developing the 336-unit project, with Batson-Cook Construction building it.

The project marks the 11th SkyHouse tower Novare Group and Batson-Cook have handled throughout the Southeast, said Jim Borders, president of Novare Group.

Like the others, it will be aimed at young single workers, with easy access to the office towers along and near Tryon.

“It’s a perfect mix of high-rise urban (living), yet go out that way” – he pointed toward Fourth Ward – “and you can go for a walk with your dog in a residential area.”

The building is expected to open to residents in about a year, Borders said. It will be built on a 1.4-acre site that takes up roughly half of that block, county records show. It sits next to the City Center Inn motel at Ninth and Tryon streets.

“This was a complicated site that (the developers are) taking just a portion of,” said Clay Grubb, CEO of Grubb Properties. “So it took a lot of moving and figuring out what’s the best way to maximize the site so we can really make a difference here in the Fourth Ward.”

The project comes as officials with Charlotte Center City Partners, the Foundation for the Carolinas and other groups are trying to craft a vision for revitalizing the north end of Tryon.

While South Tryon is bustling with activity thanks to the new museums and the Duke Energy Center, North Tryon is struggling with panhandlers and hasn’t seen as much new construction in recent years. Officials for key North Tryon landmarks such as the Main Library and Spirit Square have said their buildings could stand improvement.

“This is an important stride for a new era here on North Tryon,” Center City Partners President Michael Smith said. “There’s no more powerful tool for change than residents.”