Owner exploring development of Polk building site uptown

Plans could be afoot again for a new development at the site of the James K. Polk building uptown, a once-elegant structure that’s fallen into disrepair.

Preliminary plans submitted recently for review call for a six-story apartment building with ground-level retail and a parking garage.

The 2.8-acre parcel is owned by Crosland, a Charlotte-based development company. Crosland president Adam Ford said there aren’t any firm designs at this point.

“I don’t know that there is anything substantive to report at this point beyond that we like the site and there is a lot of momentum uptown and we continue to evaluate the right time to develop it,” said Ford, through a representative.

Crosland had previously planned to develop the site in 2008, before the real estate crash, into an eight-story, 400-unit luxury apartment building. The 500 West Trade building would have had two pools, street-level retail, rooftop terrace and a rock-climbing wall. The whole project was planned to be $100 million.

But the project fell apart, demolition didn’t proceed and the vacant Polk building still stands. The 113,000-square-foot former office building was constructed in 1925, and isn’t looking so hot these days. It’s surrounded by surface parking lots.

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