A Texas real estate company has purchased a former Walmart store in south Charlotte that it will transform into an office building, as developers across Charlotte look to repurpose shuttered big-box stores.
Texas-based Artesia Real Estate said in a press release Thursday that it will turn the Walmart store, near the intersection of South Boulevard and East Arrowood Road, into 115,000 square feet of office space. In the release, Artesia said it is targeting users such as a customer service center or back office support team. The company did not disclose the cost of the project.
Artesia purchased the site in June for $5 million, property records show. The previous owner, White Oak Real Estate Advisors, which bought the store in 2017, also had plans to turn it into an office and call center space, the Observer has reported.
As online shopping puts pressure on retailers, national chains have closed stores in Charlotte and across the country. In 2016, Walmart closed 269 stores nationally, which resulted in 16,000 job cuts, including at one store in the Charlotte region.
Those closures have left large, empty storefronts — and for some developers, an opportunity to reshape the buildings in creative ways.
Off of Independence Boulevard, a defunct Super Kmart was recently repurposed into a call center and office space. The Movement Foundation, affiliated with Movement Mortgage, opened a charter school on a former Kmart site on Freedom Drive.
This week, commercial real estate firm MPV Properties announced it had acquired an old Kmart in Concord to redevelop into entertainment and retail space.
In the release, Colin Brothers, founder and principal at Artesia, said the former store’s proximity to major highways, the airport and the light rail made the site attractive. He said the company specializes in finding “under-utilized” properties in areas where they expect to see rapid growth.
Artesia is also developing “Foundation Supply,” a project on North Tryon Street at the site of the former City North Business Center. After the company purchased the center, around 120 small business tenants were given a notice to vacate. Demolition on the property, which Artesia plans to convert to retail and larger office space, began last month, according to the release.
The firm expects to complete the Walmart project at the end of this year.