Officials on Thursday celebrated the opening of the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association’s new $28 million headquarters building, the first part of a plan to reshape midtown.
The four-story, approximately 58,700-square-foot building off of Kenilworth Avenue is the first piece of a multi-phased plan from master developer Pappas Properties to build offices, including medical office space; retail and a hotel in the area around Pearl Street Park.
The new headquarters houses the Canopy MLS, formerly the CarolinaMLS, as well as the Canopy Real Estate Institute and the Canopy Housing Foundation, the association’s charitable group. Brenda Hayden, president of the association and Canopy MLS, called the opening of the headquarters a “journey realized.”
Personal injury law firm Tippens & Zurosky will also move into the building.
The development will also include 280,000 square feet of medical office for Atrium Health in two buildings. The first building, which topped out in August 2019, will house the Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute. Construction started on the second facility in May.
Peter Pappas, CEO of Pappas Properties, said the plan is for Atrium to move in by next fall. He said they’ve also already started pre-leasing for the next phase, a corporate office building. The plans also call for a third medical office building and a 150-room hotel, he said.
The firm will demolish the old association building on the site by mid-November, and the hotel will eventually take its place, Pappas said.
Pappas Properties has developed several well-known projects in the region, including the Metropolitan, Birkdale Village in Huntersville and Phillips Place in SouthPark.
The project also involves improvements to Pearl Street Park. In 2016, City Council approved a $4.4 million reimbursement agreement under which it would pay Pappas Properties for roads and a trail that are part of the park renovations.
“People enjoy working and living on open space, and so our development needs to relate well to that open space and be synergistic with it,” Pappas said. “That was a big driver in how we approached this particular opportunity.”
The park was part of what was once Charlotte’s largest African American neighborhood, called Brooklyn. The Second Ward High School football team practiced in the park, according to a county report.
In the 1960s and ‘70s, more than 1,400 homes, businesses, churches and other buildings were demolished in the neighborhood under the federal urban renewal program.
“The history of the park has gotten lost,” Hayden said. She said the development is helping revitalize some of that history.