Development

Another tower is coming to change the Charlotte skyline

What’s rising at the old Observer site

The project being developed by Lincoln Harris and Goldman Sachs at the former Charlotte Observer site at Stonewall and Tryon streets now has a name: Legacy Union.
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The project being developed by Lincoln Harris and Goldman Sachs at the former Charlotte Observer site at Stonewall and Tryon streets now has a name: Legacy Union.

An 18-story office building is planned for South Tryon Street as part of the huge Legacy Union development, with consulting firm Deloitte as the anchor tenant.

It’s the latest in a flood of construction that’s transforming South Tryon and Stonewall streets. Located next to a 33-story office tower that’s under construction, the new building at 650 South Tryon Street is planned for completion in late 2020.

“We wanted to do something that was iconic in nature,” said Johno Harris, chief operating officer of developer Lincoln Harris. It’s the start of the second phase of a 10-acre, two-block development that will ultimately transform a big chunk of uptown land next to the Carolina Panthers’ stadium.

Lincoln Harris officials said they’re in talks with potential hotel, multifamily and retail developers for the rest of the site.

“We continue to have significant conversations with all types, whether that’s hospitality, or multifamily, or retail or even office,” said Harris. “There’s a lot of momentum and we’re excited about what comes next.”

The Legacy Union development is underway on the former site of the Charlotte Observer, which relocated two years ago to the NASCAR Plaza office tower two blocks away. Lincoln Harris and partner Goldman Sachs bought the site for $37.5 million. Planning documents filed with the city show it could ultimately total 5 million square feet of residences, shops, hotels, office space and restaurants.

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A rendering of 650 South Tryon, the new office tower planned for the Legacy Union project by Lincoln Harris. Courtesy Lincoln Harris

Deloitte will lease the top four floors of the 650 South Tryon building, accounting for about 90,000 square feet of space. The building will total 362,000 square feet, including retail space facing South Tryon that could be shops or restaurants.

Deloitte’s Charlotte offices are currently located across the street in the Duke Energy Center at 550 South Tryon.

“This move reflects an exciting new chapter in our rich Charlotte history,” said Theresa Drew, managing partner for Deloitte’s Carolinas practice, in a statement. “It also communicates our commitment to Charlotte and being part of an urban hub that is exciting, sustainable and livable.”

Harris said the retail space in the new building will total about 10,000 to 11,000 square feet. Although they’re looking at restaurants and other food and beverage operators — which have dominated retail along Stonewall Street and much of uptown — Harris said there could be enough development now to lure some other kinds of stores.

“We’re looking at everything,” he said. “You’re getting enough structure there to drive all types of retail, not just food and beverage.”

Bank of America is the main tenant at 620 South Tryon Street, the adjoining office building that’s under construction.

That building should be complete early in the second quarter of 2019, Harris said. The Deloitte-anchored building will include “executive parking,” but will also share parking with 620 South Tryon in an adjacent deck.

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Rendering of the planned tower at Lincoln Harris’s Legacy Union project. Hal Shute

LS3P is the architect, and a joint venture of Gilbane and Shelco is the general contractor. Brokers Ridr Knowlton and Campbell Walker, of Lincoln Harris, represented the developer in the deal with Deloitte.

The Deloitte building is the second new office tower announced for South Tryon Street in as many weeks. On Friday, Duke Energy announced plans to build a 39-story office tower on the vacant lot between the Gantt Center and St. Peter’s Church, which is used as an asphalt parking lot.

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And on the opposite side of Stonewall Street, Ally Bank is anchoring a 26-story office tower that’s under construction, developed by Crescent Communities. A 21-story, 381-room JW Marriott hotel is also under construction on that site.

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