Development

The iconic Park-N-Shop store on Wilkinson Boulevard has a new owner

You’ve probably noticed its distinctive peaked roof on the way to or from Charlotte Douglas International Airport: The long-closed Park-N-Shop at 3512 Wilkinson Boulevard, once one of the most popular grocery stores in the city.

Now, property records show the building has a new owner. A company called Deneb & Pollux Design and Restoration paid $1.2 million for the nearly 0.8-acre site in a deal that closed in January.

Deneb & Pollux couldn’t immediately be reached for more information by phone or email. The company appears to be a luxury car rental service based in India, with incorporation records that show a U.S. address at a three-story apartment building in Williamsport, Penn.

So, it’s not yet clear what will happen to the store, although owners the Reid family said last year that they were talking with potential buyers who planned to demolish the structure. The sign atop the building was removed last year by a salvage company as part of a reality show.

Non-native Charlotteans might be wondering what the fuss is about a defunct grocery store. Here’s a description from my colleague Maria David about the history of Park-N-Shop, which was once the city’s premier grocery store, with 10 stores in the 1970s:

“Park-N-Shop holds fond memories for long-time Charlotteans, possibly due to some of (owner) Charles Reid’s crazy promotions described in an Observer story:

He became a local celebrity of sorts, sponsoring flamboyant promotions like one night's offer of watermelons for a nickel to customers who would come in their pajamas. Cars flooded Wilkinson Boulevard.”

The Wilkinson Boulevard store was Reid’s first in Charlotte, and Wilkinson Boulevard was the only four-lane road in the city when he opened the Park-N-Shop after the end of World War II.

Another piece of history: A pair of conjoined twins, Daisy and Violet Hilton, worked at the Wilkinson location’s produce department for years, becoming a piece of the city’s history. You can read a story about their history here.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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