Development

Here’s a first look at big redevelopment plans for the Charlotte Transportation Center

Uptown Charlotte Construction Time Lapse

Watch construction vehicles and cranes in action during this time lapse video. Video by Todd Sumlin
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Watch construction vehicles and cranes in action during this time lapse video. Video by Todd Sumlin

Developers are seeking to build a hotel, office tower, apartments, condos and more on the site of the Charlotte Transportation Center in uptown, according to proposals obtained by the Observer through a public records request.

After receiving an unsolicited offer earlier this year from BPR Properties to redevelop the center, the Charlotte Area Transit System opened a competitive proposal process, which ended in July. The site is the main hub for city buses.

Crescent Communities, High Point-based BPR Properties and WPTP Brevard LLC submitted plans to redevelop the center, Krystel Green, a spokeswoman for the Charlotte Area Transit System said last month.

In a statement Tuesday, Crescent said it had withdrawn its proposal but did not immediately say why it had dropped out. The plans it initially submitted to the city called for a 300-room hotel and an office tower.

Here are more details on the remaining plans, which could reshape the 1990s-era bus facility in the heart of uptown. CATS has not previously said what the timeline for the project would be and did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

BPR Properties

In its proposal, BPR Properties said that it had submitted the unsolicited offer to the city to redevelop the site.

Its plans call for two towers: a 20-story office building and a tower with 22 stories of residential units and an 8-story hotel. The development would also include low-rise buildings with retail and residential units, including “affordable/workforce” housing.

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A site plan of BPR Properties’ proposed redevelopment of the Charlotte Transportation Center. Courtesy of the city of Charlotte

The developer also plans to build a public plaza running through the site, with an entrance to the underground bus station in the middle of the plaza.

BPR said in the document that there would be 431 apartments ⁠— 51 of which would be affordable. Fourteen of the affordable units would be studios, with an average rent of $500, 22 would be one-bedroom apartments with an average rent of $750 and 15 units would be two-bedroom apartments with an average rent of $1,000.

The rents for the other apartments would range from $1,500 for a studio to $3,500 for a three-bedroom. The plans also include condos on the top floor.

The total cost of the project would be around $284 million, BPR said. The developer plans to complete it in phases, with construction of phase one, which would include the “subsurface levels” like the underground bus station and parking deck, starting in 2021. The final phase would be complete by 2030.

A corporation affiliated with BPR also owns land adjacent to the transportation center where the Moxy Hotel is planned.

In an email, BPR President Birju Patel said the company first met with CATS and John Lewis, the agency’s CEO, in early 2018 and then gave a formal presentation last August.

BPR decided to include affordable housing in the proposal after meeting with the city’s Housing and Neighborhood Services Department, the city manager’s office, city council members and other officials, he said.

“We wanted to thoughtfully include items that were important to the city,” he said.

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BPR’s plans for the site, which include multifamily, a hotel, condos, office and retail. The plans also call for 51 affordable housing units. Courtesy of the city of Charlotte

White Point and DART

Charlotte developer White Point and its partner, Texas-based DART Interests, are proposing two options for the site’s redevelopment. The firms are asking CATS to donate the transit center property to an entity that would be controlled by the partnership. In return, CATS would license or lease the new transit facility at no cost.

Both options involve building towers but not housing. The partnership said housing, including affordable housing, may not be economically feasible on the site due to its complexity and the construction type, but that it will “monitor conditions” for opportunities to provide housing.

The firms also said it hopes to provide retail “targeted across all socioeconomic groups” when possible.

The partnership recently acquired land across the street from the center. The companies said this would give them the ability to provide a temporary site for the transportation center that would allow for “minimal disruption” of existing services. The site would be a location for future development that would be incorporated into the project.

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The first option White Point and DART Interests are proposing calls for a 20-story office tower, a hotel and ground-floor retail, with the bus facility on the ground floor. Courtesy of the city of Charlotte

The North Carolina Railroad owns the parcel behind the land that the firms recently acquired, property records show. But in its proposal, the firms said they have been having conversations for over a year with Norfolk Southern and the North Carolina Railroad, and that the parcel could be a site for potential development.

Plans for the first option call for a 20-story office tower, a hotel and ground-floor retail, with the bus facility on the ground floor.

In the second option, the partnership would build a 30-story tower and move the transit center one block to the southwest, to the site the firms acquired. Both options would create a “large-scale, mixed-use development” on the land the partnership acquired, the transit center site and around 1.7 acres that the firms said they have under contract to purchase at the southeast corner of Brevard and 4th streets.

The document estimates the first option would cost around $375 million, and the second would cost around $387 million.

White Point declined to comment on its proposal.

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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.
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