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Pepsi site in South End marketed as major redevelopment site

The Pepsi bottling complex on South Boulevard is being marketed as a potential major mixed-use site for redevelopment, adding to the building boom in South End.

Cushman & Wakefield Thalhimer is marketing the 5.2-acre property at New Bern Street and South Boulevard, as well as a 0.9-acre parcel a block north, at Poindexter Drive. Both sites are owned by Charlotte Bottling LLC, a company affiliated with privately held Pepsi Bottling Ventures.

“We think it’s the best last undeveloped parcel along the Blue Line,” said Bill Simerville, senior vice president of capital markets at Cushman. “This one has had a lot of eyes on it for a long time.”

The site is across South Boulevard from Sedgefield Shopping Center, which is undergoing a $190 million redevelopment to become a mixed-use shopping center anchored by a Harris Teeter. A few blocks north on South Boulevard, Publix is close to finishing its first South End store, which is part of a mixed-use development with an apartment complex.

A representative of Marsh Properties, Sedgefield Shopping Center’s owner, said the company plans to start demolition on the site in the second quarter this year. The Harris Teeter, along with other retail planned as part of the first phase of development, is expected to be complete in early 2017.

Simerville said the Pepsi site would be suitable for a “large-scale mixed-use retail, office (and) multifamily (residences) with structured parking.” The site’s proximity to a light-rail station makes it especially appealing, Simerville said.

“We feel like the timing’s good to get it out there,” he said.

Pepsi Bottling Ventures operates 21 plants to manufacture and distribute Pepsi-Cola beverages in the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic.

According to Mecklenburg County property records, the main Pepsi building was constructed in 1966 and totals almost 96,000 square feet. Pepsi Bottling Ventures acquired the property in 2013 from Bottling Group LLC, a company affiliated with PepsiCo in New York, for $7 million.

Pepsi Bottling Ventures didn’t immediately return a message Monday seeking comment about the site.

South End is the city’s most active apartment market, with hundreds more units set to be complete this year. A study late last year by MPF Research rated South End the fastest-growing apartment submarket in the nation, with an 82 percent increase in units since 2012. The area’s apartments had a 96.4 occupancy rate.

MPF Research concluded that South End’s emergence as a “feeder” residential area for workers to live close to uptown, combined with light rail and increasing retail options, are driving the area’s boom.

Developer Peter Pappas said his Terwilliger Pappas firm is evaluating the corner of Remount Road and South Boulevard, a block north of Poindexter, for another apartment complex. He is also trying to build a mixed-use development at Scaleybark Station, though the recession stymied those plans.

“The strong residential leasing activity over the last 12 months has prompted us to accelerate our plans on both parcels at Southline and Scaleybark,” Pappas said.

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