Hot South End market could boost stalled project near Scaleybark station

Real estate brokers are hoping a new marketing campaign will help propel a stalled mixed-use project out of the starting gates.

Ambitious plans for office space, retail and affordable housing along South Boulevard, near the Scaleybark light-rail station, have been on the books since before the recession.

The city spent $9.3 million assembling about 18 acres, and Scaleybark Partners, led by developer Peter Pappas, was selected in 2007 to develop it. To make sure low-income housing would be included, the city’s Housing Trust Fund paid $2 million so the land could be sold to Scaleybark Partners at a discount.

But the development team was twice turned down when it sought federal tax credits needed to complete the plan.

Now real estate signs have sprouted at the property touting office and retail offerings “coming soon” for the tract just south of Clanton Road.

Real estate brokerage firm CBRE recently began a new marketing effort for the property, said Anne Vulcano, a senior vice president at the firm.

Billed in marketing materials as “Charlotte’s next great TOD (transit-oriented development),” it would bring more than 487,000 square feet of office space spread across at least two six-story buildings on South Boulevard, near Scaleybark Road.

“This is a fantastic location for the new ‘urban’ office tenant,” Vulcano said via email. “Hop the light rail to amenities and the CBD (central business district). Drive to SouthPark if that is your flavor. The best of both worlds.”

It would also include an as-yet unspecified amount of retail. CBRE is marketing the office space, she said, while Pappas is handling the retail.

Pappas has said in the past that the poor economy stymied the project. He said Monday that the booming South End market, which has seen an explosion of apartment complexes and an influx of young renters, bodes well for the project.

“Light rail and the South End corridor have been embraced by the young professional community,” he said. “Having a young, talented workforce within walking distance or a short ride on the Lynx (train) to a company headquarters is an advantage in attracting new companies to Scaleybark.”

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, which is working with Pappas to build 90 low-income apartments, recently submitted a third application for the necessary tax credits, said the partnership’s president, Julie Porter.

She said her group is determined to see the affordable housing through to completion, and believes Scaleybark Partners is, too.

“When it’s all said and done, I think it will be very cool to have some affordable housing on the transit line,” she said. “It’s taken a while, no doubt, but we’re dedicated to getting it done.”