Development

World War II-era airport site in East Charlotte to become workforce housing

The site of an old airport will soon be home to hundreds of affordable housing units.  The new owner plans to build 288 units on the 28-acre site.
The site of an old airport will soon be home to hundreds of affordable housing units. The new owner plans to build 288 units on the 28-acre site. Courtesy of Capstone

The site of a 1940s-era airport will soon be home to hundreds of workforce housing units, brokerage firm Capstone said this week.

Indiana developer Pedcor Companies closed on the sale of the property last week for $3.8 million, property records show. Pedcor plans to build 288 units on the 28 acres about a mile from the intersection of Albemarle Road and East W.T. Harris Boulevard. The previous owner, K Sade Ventures, rezoned the site for multifamily use in 2018.

All 216 units in the first phase of the development will be affordable to those making 60% of the area median income, said Michael Byron, vice president of development for Pedcor Investments. He said he may build market rate units in the second phase, depending on how leasing goes for the first phase.

Reports in recent years from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the city have estimated the need for affordable housing in Charlotte to be between 24,000 and 34,000 units.

“This location serves perfectly as a project to meet the needs of our city’s blue collar workforce who either can’t afford or don’t want to pay for a newly-built, highly-amenitized home, but still want to live within a 15-minute drive of employment rich nodes of Uptown, Matthews, and Ballantyne,” Caleb Troop, a broker for Capstone, said in a press release.

Until the early 2000s, the site was home to the Grove Airport, built in 1941 as a commercial and municipal airport, according to the release. Its name was changed a few years later to Delta Airbase.

But the airstrip, airplane hangars, warehouses, workshops and other buildings in the facility are beyond repair, Capstone said.

Aircraft parts supplier Charlotte Aircraft Corporation also operated in the complex until last year.

The site also hosted a movie shoot for the upcoming film “The 24th,” about the all-black 24th U.S. Infantry Regiment and the Houston Riot of 1917. WSOC reported in June that the production company was looking for extras, and was filming in Charlotte, Salisbury and Concord.

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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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