Uptown’s 101 Independence Center for sale

An agent listing the 101 Independence Center for sale is pitching the idea of building street-level retail and a possible residential development, moves that could change the face of uptown’s best-known intersection.

The 20-story office tower at Trade and Tryon streets has been listed for sale by its owners with real estate firm HFF. Located at 101 N. Tryon St., the building houses about 565,000 square feet of office space and is 83 percent leased, with Bank of America as the largest tenant. Northeastern University opened a satellite campus in the building in 2011.

Ryan Clutter, Charlotte-based senior managing director with HFF, said the building comes with development possibilities. A new owner could build new street-level retail by removing the enclosed connection between the building and the adjacent Marriott hotel.

“There’s a great opportunity to really kind of enhance the property by putting in a retail plaza,” said Clutter. “It’s unique and rare to have an opportunity at Trade and Tryon. Those buildings sell from time to time, but not very often.”

And Clutter said tearing down the building’s adjacent parking deck could clear the way for a residential development, which would be a first at Trade and Tryon streets. The building also has an underground parking deck.

Uptown and the surrounding areas have seen a surge of apartment building, with about 2,200 units set to be completed next year. And economic developers have been promoting more street-level retail and uptown shopping options as a way to create a more vibrant center city.

The office building is currently owned by KBS and Gramercy Property Trust. A source with knowledge of the market said the owners are seeking $120 million.

HFF is also listing the office building at 129 W. Trade St. and the 525 N. Tryon St. building, distinctive for its pyramid-shaped top.

Uptown office tower sales have picked up in the past two years. One Wells Fargo Center, the Hearst Tower and the Fifth Third Center were all sold in 2012. New office towers are also planned uptown, including a 25-story tower called 300 South Tryon, a 27-story mixed-use building in place of the former Goodyear at Stonewall and Tryon streets, and a 19-story tower atop the parking deck next to the Westin hotel.