New North End mega-development planned for Charlotte names its first tenant

Hercules Industrial Park
Hercules Industrial Park

Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas will be the first tenant at Camp North End, a new development that’s planning to adapt and reuse old industrial buildings north of uptown.

New York-based developer ATCO Properties & Management’s long-term plans for the 75-acre site between Statesville Avenue and North Graham Street call for up to 1,500 new apartments, a hotel, 200,000 square feet of shops and restaurants and up to 1.5 million square feet of office space. The company filed a rezoning request earlier this year to allow redevelopment of what’s now a vacant distribution center and former factory buildings.

Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas will lease about 30,000 square feet on the southern end of the site, near Graham Street. The organization, currently based at 201 South Tryon Street, teaches students in grades K-12 about financial literacy, the workplace and entrepreneurship, serving about 42,000 students a year.

“JACC has spent three years searching for our new headquarters location in Charlotte. Plans to join ATCO in Camp North End’s Graham Street building is not just a strategic relocation, but ultimately an alignment of our mutual visions for the future of our community,” says Sarah Cherne, the group’s CEO, in a statement.

ATCO paid $13.5 million for the site last year. Damon Hemmerdinger, co-president of ATCO, said Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas will help the new development fulfill its goal of becoming an economic driver for the area’s revitalization.

“They believe that bringing their programming into this part of the city will have a positive impact on people living in this part of the city,” said Hemmerdinger. He emphasized that the new facility will draw students and parents from diverse parts of Charlotte to the North End. “They make a lot of sense to me as a first tenant because they’re a destination.”

The new Junior Achievement facility will replicate the group’s popular JA BizTown, an “experiential simulation” for fourth through sixth graders. The facility will also include a JA Finance Park simulation facility meant for high school students and symposium space for larger educational events.

Charlotte City Council will hold a public hearing and vote on the rezoning proposal by ATCO in the coming months. A community meeting was held Monday night at the site.

There’s currently about 1.2 million square feet of vacant warehouse space at the site, which has been home to enterprises including a Ford factory, munitions dump and missile assembly plant.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo