A plan to build hundreds of apartments wrapped around a parking garage in uptown Charlotte has restarted with a new design on a prominent site adjacent to the Blue Line extension.
The project, by Levine Properties, was delayed after the developer decided to redesign the building last year, adding more floors and apartments. First announced in 2015, it was planned to be a wood-framed apartment, five floors tall with 254 units.
The building will now total 11 floors of steel and concrete, completely wrapping the parking garage, with 428 apartments. The amount of ground floor retail space, initially planned at 900 square feet, will now total 4,200 square feet, leaving room for more shops and restaurants.
"We're really pleased," said Daniel Levine, CEO of Levine Properties. Architecture firm Perkins Eastman redesigned the building for Levine Properties. "We think it will be a far superior product."
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Completion of the building is now planned for early 2020.
The 1,300-space parking deck will be substantially complete in the next few weeks but won't be able to open to the public until some of the demolition work and construction for the new apartment building is complete, Levine said.
"We still have a little bit of work to do," said Levine. The company still owns more than a dozen undeveloped acres in First Ward, and Levine said their next focus could be on a planned office building next to UNC Charlotte's uptown campus. If there's pre-leasing interest from tenants for the building, that could be the next place Levine starts construction.
"We have a lot of opportunity," he said. "It's just a question of where the market wants to be."
Nearby, other projects are underway or planned soon, including a high-rise apartment tower by Lennar Multifamily. A public meeting is scheduled for Thursday to discuss the North Tryon Vision Plan, a design that should guide development along the northern stretch of uptown.
"I always thought First Ward would be a fantastic part of the city. It's happening faster than I expected," said Levine.