Neighborhood Theatre property in NoDa sold for $5.6 million

Scott Avett of the Avett Brothers dives into the audience during the filming of a music video at the Neighborhood Theater in 2009.
Scott Avett of the Avett Brothers dives into the audience during the filming of a music video at the Neighborhood Theater in 2009. JEFF SINER - jsiner@charlotteobs

Another cultural venue in Charlotte has been sold – but the new owners say they have no plans to demolish or make major changes to the structure.

A partnership led by Jon Dixon and Aaron Ligon of LCRE Partners completed the purchase of the Neighborhood Theatre on Monday for $5.6 million. They say they plan to invest in deferred maintenance on the 28,000 square-foot structure, which is located on about half an acre at 36th and North Davidson streets.

Other tenants include Cajun restaurant Boudreauxs, the Sanctury, bottle shop Salud and FUD at Salud.

In a statement, the new owners said the property “is rich in character but will benefit tremendously from professional leasing and management.”

“LCRE Partners plans to make capital investments to address deferred maintenance items and enhance the attractiveness of the property. There are no plans to demolish the property or make significant changes to tenants,” Dixon and Ligon said.

The area has seen major redevelopment in the past several years, with hundreds of new apartments in buildings such as Mercury NoDa and Crescent NoDa, under construction nearby. The Blue Line light rail expansion is expected to open next summer, ushering in more development.

David Morris and Dunn Mileham of Trinity Partners represented the seller, North Davidson Acquisitions. The company bought the property in 2007 – which also included the land where the Mercury NoDa apartments are now located – for $5.1 million. They sold the Mercury NoDa site to apartment developer Woodfield Properties in 2013 for just under $2 million, real estate records show.

The outside of the Neighborhood Theatre building won’t change significantly, the seller said.

“Fortunately for the neighborhood and Charlotte, the seller had the vision to ensure the integrity of the (Neighborhood Theatre building) façade via deed restrictions that prevent the property’s demolition,” said Morris, in a statement. “Dunn and I worked to find a new owner that specializes in enhancing and redeveloping structures to preserve and enhance the architectural integrity and authenticity of meaningful older properties.”

As redevelopment picks up around Charlotte, several high-profile music venues have shut down, raising fears among some local residents that the city risks losing its cultural heritage. Those include Amos’ South End, the Chop Shop in NoDa, Tremont Music Hall and the Double Door Inn.

The Neighborhood Theatre dates to 1945, when it opened as the Astor Theatre. It originally showed movies, until it closed in the 1970s. In the late 90s, the building was renovated and opened for live music venues. The building’s capacity is just under 1,000.

Mark Ethridge at Bellwether Enterprise represented LRCRE for debt placement, while Anthony Swainey at Bank of the Ozarks provided a first mortgage loan for the purchase.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo