It’s exit, stage right, for former Actor’s Theatre building

Demolition at the former Actor’s Theatre building on Monday, March 6, 2017.
Demolition at the former Actor’s Theatre building on Monday, March 6, 2017.

Workers have started tearing down the former Actor’s Theatre building on Stonewall Street to make way for the next apartment building in the fastest-growing stretch of uptown.

In addition to being a local mainstay on the live theater scene, the building was familiar to many airplane passengers (and Google maps users) for the “GO PANTHERS” message painted in white letters on its black roof.

Actor’s Theatre opened in the building in 2004. For almost three decades before that, the building was home to Reliable Music, a depot for musical instruments, sound equipment and personnel needed to run longtime Charlotte shows like JazzCharlotte, Festival in the Park, SpringFest and First Night. When the store closed in 2001, the Observer called it a “Charlotte institution.”

Charlotte-based developer Proffitt Dixon bought the site at 650 East Stonewall, totaling 2.6 acres with an adjoining city-owned parcel, for $8.6 million. The company is building 302 apartments, designed by Axiom Architecture, in a project called The Montage. The building will feature ground-floor retail space, and Proffitt Dixon expects the first apartments will be available there in late 2018.

Down the street, at Stonewall and McDowell streets, Proffitt Dixon developed the Presley apartments, the first new development in what’s become an avalanche of new construction on Stonewall Street. The wave is set to bring at least three new high-rise towers, more than 1,100 new apartments and more than 1 million square feet of new office space.

Here’s what other developers are planning on the south side of Stonewall Street, heading east from Bank of America Stadium:

▪ On the former site of the Observer, Lincoln Harris is building a major mixed-use development. They’re starting with a 30-story office building, and workers are already well underway digging its foundation.

▪ At the former Goodyear auto maintenance shop at Stonewall and Tryon streets, Crescent Communities is planning a mixed-use development, anchored by an office tower and called Tryon Place.

▪ The next block over, Crescent is building a Whole Foods-anchored development that will include 450 apartments and two hotels next to the Blue Line light rail, called Crescent Stonewall Station.

▪ A block off Stonewall Street, at 615 South College, a new 19-story office tower is just about finished and signing new tenants.

▪ Northwood Ravin last month kicked off a high-rise apartment development that will include 421 apartments and a 20-story tower. Workers are still clearing away a massive pile of earth to grade and level the site.

▪ BK Partners is planning to buy and redevelop the county-owned Bob Walton Plaza building as part of its Brooklyn Village plan.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo