Development

Stalled Wilkinson project near uptown being reborn with hundreds of new apartments

The Charlotte skyline from the empty lot Alliance Residential is developing on Wilkinson Boulevard (far right). The photo was taken near sunset on 10/15/12. (Mark Hames/mhames@charlotteobserver.com
The Charlotte skyline from the empty lot Alliance Residential is developing on Wilkinson Boulevard (far right). The photo was taken near sunset on 10/15/12. (Mark Hames/mhames@charlotteobserver.com Staff

An apartment developer is planning to build hundreds of new residences on the site of a long-stalled project on Wilkinson Boulevard, just west of uptown.

Alliance Residential recently filed a petition to rezone 10 acres at Suttle Avenue, now currently vacant, for up to 350 apartment units. Charlotte City Council will consider the petition and vote on it in the coming months.

Donald Santos, head of Alliance Residential’s Charlotte office, said the company is looking to build apartments at a “middle market” rent, targeting the underserved segment of the market between affordable housing and the luxury units that have dominated the city’s latest construction cycle.

“The West End is really hitting its stride, with great restaurants, interesting office and retail, and a unique character we want to embrace,” said Santos, in a statement. “Our goal is to reposition this former office park site into a cool residential project for the community and the city.”

Santos said the project doesn’t yet have a name. Alliance Residential could close on the site in the fourth quarter this year, if the rezoning is approved. Alliance is also planning a 275-unit apartment building at the corner of Tryon and Morehead streets near uptown. Another deal the company had been working on to build 264 apartments on Seigle Avenue fell through this summer.

The site is owned by Merrifield Partners, now MPV Properties. The real estate development firm had planned, before the 2008 crash and following recession, to develop a $250 million mixed-use project on the former Radiator Specialty Co.’s 40 acre site between West Morehead and Wilkinson. The plan called for 1 million square feet of buildings and up 2,000 residences.

The company developed an office building, which was leased first by the Charlotte School of Law and acquired by Mecklenburg County for $16 million in 2015. The rest of the site has sat mostly vacant since then.

Although the site has idled, development nearby has picked up in recent years. Bryant Park by Ryan Homes has delivered hundreds of new for-sale single-family and townhouses, with more under construction.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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