Even more change coming to area near uptown after multimillion-dollar property sale

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The rapid transformation of an area north of uptown is continuing with the sale of property that will bring with it several hundred apartments as well as townhomes and a few single-family homes.

Tennessee-based real estate firms Neyland Apartment Associates and Stonehenge Real Estate Group Consulting bought the site at West 26th Street and Catalina Avenue, according to a release from Capstone Land Sales. A corporation affiliated with one of the firms purchased the site in late May for $6.6 million, property records show.

Plans for the development call for 295 apartments, 14 townhomes, carriage units and five single-family homes.

The site is not far from the 75-acre Camp North End project, where a developer is repurposing old factories and warehouses into offices and shops.

Ally Bank opened an innovation center there, where teams rotate through the space to do “rapid prototyping and design sprints for new consumer banking concepts,” the bank has said. Tenants like Free Range Brewing, Goodyear Arts and 704 Games have moved in or plan to as well.

The sale was done through a new federal program that is spurring more investment in the area. Created through the tax overhaul that Congress passed in 2017, Opportunity Zones give tax incentives to those who invest in property in particular census tracts.

The program’s goal is to spur investment in economically distressed areas, though its critics say it could hasten gentrification in already changing neighborhoods. In the 2019 revaluation, property values skyrocketed in communities close to uptown like Druid Hills, Tryon Hills and Lockwood, which are near the two developments.

In Charlotte, much of the west side is in an Opportunity Zone, as well as an area north of uptown that stops just short of NoDa.

A transformation

The firm that owned the land previously, Vision Ventures, also owned the Camp North End site, before selling it in 2016 to ATCO, the Camp North End developer.

“We are pleased to see our vision and the transformation of the North End corridor continue,” Paul Picarazzi, Principal at Vision Ventures, said in the press release.

The 12 acres sold to the two firms is the first phase of a project, which has 25 acres remaining. Vision Ventures said the rest of the project could include office, more residential or other mixed-use development.

The two developers are also partnering on the Stonehenge NoDa, a planned apartment building at Philemon Avenue and East Craighead Road.

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Danielle Chemtob covers economic growth and development for the Observer. She’s a 2018 graduate of the journalism school at UNC-Chapel Hill and a California transplant.