The Charlotte skyline is in line for another makeover as work starts on new bank tower

A rendering of FNB’s new Charlotte tower.
A rendering of FNB’s new Charlotte tower.

Developers celebrated the groundbreaking Wednesday of the latest addition to the Charlotte skyline, a 29-story, $129 million banking and apartment tower beside BB&T Ballpark, adding to a boom in office buildings under construction on the south side of uptown.

Pittsburgh-based FNB Corporation, parent company of First National Bank, will be the building’s anchor tenant. The tower will also contain 196 apartments, 156,500 square feet of office space, 2,300 square feet of retail space, seven floors of parking and a pool deck.

The FNB tower at 401 S. Graham St. in Third Ward is the first mixed office and residential tower in Charlotte, according to developer Dominion Realty Partners.

“It provides height for the building without too much risk of too much vacant space,” Dominion Realty Partners CEO Andy Andrews said of the strategy of combining apartment dwellers and cubicle dwellers. “Quite frankly, I like staying in business. I don’t want to get too aggressive with too much speculation.”

Vince Delie, president and CEO of F.N.B. Corporation and First National Bank, said the bank will consolidate many of its regional operations in the new tower, including its regional leadership, small business administration lending, commercial banking, mortgage banking and builder finance.

“In many of the cities that we’ve expanded into, we’ve made the decision to go into the downtown business area because we’ve found that that’s the best way to support the overall city,” he said.

Dominion is building a similar 22-story tower in Raleigh, which will open in December 2019. Andrews said the Raleigh building office space is 65 percent leased already, and he hopes to replicate that success with the Charlotte tower.

Dominion is partnering with New York Life Real Estate Investors on the Charlotte project. It is expected to be ready for occupancy in late 2020.

There are now five office towers going up within a three-block stretch of uptown.

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Here’s the latest on some of the other projects:

  • Lincoln Harris is slated to complete a 33-story tower at the northeast corner of Church and Hill streets late this year. The building, on the former site of the Charlotte Observer, will be anchored by Bank of America.

  • Lincoln Harris is also building an 18-story office tower anchored by consulting firm Deloitte on South Tryon Street, planned for completion in late 2020.

  • Developer Crescent Communities is building a 26-story tower at Stonewall and Tryon Streets set to open in 2021. Ally Financial has leased a majority of the building, which will also house a hotel, shops and restaurants.

  • In December, Duke Energy announced it will build a 39-story office tower lot on South Tryon Street across from its Charlotte headquarters. The company said the project is expected to be completed in 2022.