Development

Coming to Charlotte’s North End: Up to 1,500 new apartments, 1.5 million square feet of office space

The Hercules Industrial Park is one of the drivers of development along Statesville Ave.
The Hercules Industrial Park is one of the drivers of development along Statesville Ave. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

Plans filed recently with the city of Charlotte give a window into how a New York-based developer intends to redevelop a historic warehouse and distribution center just north of uptown – and those plans are big.

ATCO spent $13.5 million to buy about 75 acres last year between Statesville Avenue and North Graham Street, formerly the site of a major Rite Aid distribution center and industrial complex. The company filed plans last week to rezone the site, potentially bringing a huge amount of creative office space, light industrial and craft production, a film studio, new apartments, shops, restaurants and a hotel a now vacant corner of the city.

ATCO plans to start by adaptively reusing the buildings on site, some of which date to the 1920s (Henry Ford once built built Model Ts at a plant there, and it was later used for a short-range missile assembly plant for the military). There are currently about 1.2 million square feet of vacant warehouse space on the site.

The rezoning would allow for the company to eventually tear down some of the structures – though the historic ones would remain – and extensively redevelop the area.

The development would take place in phases, and ATCO would start by redeveloping some of the buildings into creative office space. The company could partner with other firms to bring in developers outside its area of expertise, to handle future projects such as apartments.

At its full build-out, which would likely take a decade or more, the plans from ATCO could include:

▪ 1.5 million square feet of office space. That’s as much new office space as there is in the 48-floor Duke Energy Center.

▪ Up to1,500 multifamily residential units.

▪ Up to 300 hotel rooms (These would be subtracted from the residential units on a one-to-one basis, so each hotel room would mean one fewer apartment).

▪ 200,000 square feet of retail shops and personal services.

▪ Up to 80,000 square feet of restaurants, bars and other eating and drinking space.

▪ 65,000 square feet of light industrial use.

The development will be called Camp North End, a nod to the site’s former name, Charlotte Area Munitions Plant. Charlotte City Council will hold a hearing on the plans and vote on them in the coming months.

The area north of uptown, dubbed Charlotte’s North End, is on the cusp of a major redevelopment. In addition to ATCO’s plans, Heist is planning a new brewery, bakery and butcher shop, a Nashville apartment developer is looking to build 343 new residences, a new aquatic center is coming and development is continuing at Brightwalk.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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