Developer planning apartments for Freemason temple site

Randolph Road could be getting more apartments soon: A developer is examining the site of a Freemason temple located there for a new apartment project.

The Charlotte Scottish Rite Temple is on a 5.2-acre parcel south of Randolph and Sharon Amity roads. According to a letter sent to nearby residents in July, Dennis Richter of Richter Development and a realty company have an agreement in place to purchase the site.

“To accommodate our intended use, multifamily housing, the property will require a rezoning,” Richter wrote in the letter, obtained by the Observer. Richter held the meeting with community members to go over preliminary plans for an apartment complex on Thursday.

“As we understand it, the rezoning request would be for the purpose of accommodating the development of a 200 unit apartment community on the site,” the Randolph Park Neighborhood Association said in a message to members before the meeting.

Richter didn’t return messages seeking more information. Officials at the Scottish Rite Temple also didn’t return a phone call.

Charlotte City Council member Kenny Smith said he expects community opposition to the rezoning request, which hasn’t been filed with the city yet.

According to the temple’s website, the local group of Freemasons purchased the site in 1975 for $110,000. The temple cost about $2 million to build. The 35,000-square-foot building includes an auditorium that seats 900, offices, a library and a dining room and kitchen that can serve 650.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo