Development

Grubb plans to build apartments, mixed-use development on Park Road site

Grubb headquarters, in their six-story office building at 4601 Park Road
Grubb headquarters, in their six-story office building at 4601 Park Road rlahser@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte-based Grubb Properties and Foothills Capital are looking to make a mark on the Park Road corridor: After their purchase of two office buildings, the companies are seeking to rezone 10.7 acres and bring apartments and a mixed-use development to the site.

Grubb Properties, along with partner Foothills Capital, has applied to change the site’s zoning from office to mixed-use development. That would allow other uses such as retail, a hotel and residential buildings, in addition to more office space, Grubb Properties said Tuesday.

Grubb Properties plans to put one of its Link apartment complexes on the site, near the busy Park Road Shopping Center and Montford Drive corridor. The Link apartment brand, trademarked by Grubb Properties, is aimed at attracting millennials who want to live in walkable urban environments.

Rachel Russell, vice president of real estate development at Grubb Properties, said the company could build up to 450 apartment units on the site. The Link development would be built in phases, with the first phase fewer than 300 units. The earliest Charlotte City Council could approve the rezoning plan request would be in January.

A Park Road complex would be the second Link-branded apartment complex in Charlotte. Last month, Grubb Properties announced plans to build a Link apartment complex along the new streetcar line in Elizabeth. The 550-unit complex would also include retail. Grubb Properties plans to start construction on the Elizabeth complex by the second quarter next year.

“As a resident of this neighborhood, I have already seen rapid change in recent years and it is evident that a lot more change is coming,” said Russell, about the Park Road site. “That densifying is going to happen ... Things are about to change.”

The company has met with adjacent property owners and is planning more meetings with the community soon. So far, Grubb Properties said, the company has received feedback on the need to make sure the extension of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway benefits the area, and the need to find a more comprehensive name and identity for the area.

Russell said the property includes three undeveloped pads suitable for buildings. Grubb’s rezoning request doesn’t include detailed site plans, she said, because the company wants to be flexible with future buildings to respond to market demand.

“We’re doing that intentionally,” said Russell. “If a large office tenant shows up, we’ll have the ability to build them a headquarters building.”

Grubb Properties and Foothills Capital have retained Urban Design Associates to help facilitate community meetings and planning. BB+M Architecture and Kimley-Horn, an engineering design firm, are also working on the project.

In September, Grubb Properties and Foothills Capital teamed up to buy the office building at 4601 Park Road, and in May, they bought the adjacent building at Park Road and Mockingbird Lane. Real estate records show they paid $9.7 million and $8.2 million, respectively, for the two properties.

Grubb Properties said it has started significant renovations on the buildings, including improvements to energy efficiency and upgrading common areas. Grubb Properties has moved its headquarters to the building at 4601 Park Road.

The area around Park and Woodlawn roads has already seen a fair amount of change. EDENS bought Park Road Shopping Center and has overhauled much of the retail area, bringing in new restaurants and renovating the center.

Spectrum Properties plans to tear down and redevelop the Abbey Place apartments at Park Road and Abbey Place, across from Grubb’s headquarters. Down the street, Pollack Shores is building a new apartment complex on Park Road at Cortland Road.

Elsewhere in Charlotte, Grubb Properties is also making big investments. The company purchased the Charlotte Chamber building on South Tryon Street and is a partner in the SkyHouse high-rise apartment towers being built on North Church Street.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

Searching for a name

Grubb Properties is seeking public input for a new name and identity for the Park Road corridor. You can take an online survey from Grubb here: www.surveymonkey.com/s/cltneighborhood.

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