Uptown motel to be demolished for second SkyHouse apartment tower

The developer behind the new SkyHouse apartment project uptown said it plans to demolish a motel on North Tryon Street by the end of the year and start construction on a second SkyHouse tower next door.

Atlanta-based Novare Group had previously said it planned to build the second tower, but it hadn’t completed acquiring the land or arranging financing.

The company reached the halfway point in building the first SkyHouse location in October. It’s a 24-story, $63 million, 336-unit apartment building on a parcel bordered by 10th, Church and North Tryon streets that’s expected to be finished in mid-2015.

The second tower will be on a site directly to the south, bordered by Ninth, Church and North Tryon streets. A two-story motel, The City Center Inn, occupies the site. The motel was built in 1964, according to property records.

“We are pleased to have acquired the property and look forward to getting started on this second phase of SkyHouse Uptown next year,” said Jim Borders, president of Novare Group, in a statement. Mecklenburg County property records show SkyHouse Charlotte II acquired the parcel the motel sits on in early November for $8.6 million. Novare said it has arranged debt financing with Compass Bank, and construction will likely begin in mid-2015.

Developers have been racing to build apartment complexes in uptown, South End, Dilworth and other growing areas, driven by an influx of young professionals and the rebounding economy. More than a dozen apartment projects are under construction or planned in and around center city.

SkyHouse, which Novare is building versions of throughout the Southeast, is designed with such young workers in mind. “The towers appeal to the Generation Y professionals who want to live in urban infill areas close to business centers, night life, culture and public transportation,” reads a Novare description of the projects.

Batson-Cook Development Co. and Grubb Properties are working with Novare on the project.