Development

Mint Museum apartment tower’s growth spurt finishes with ‘topping out’ Friday

Childress-Klein employees enjoyed the view from the 35th floor Friday. Construction on the Museum Tower apartments took a brief break as employees were treated to a lunch on the 35th floor on Friday, Mar. 11, 2016 to celebrate the fast-approaching topping out.
Childress-Klein employees enjoyed the view from the 35th floor Friday. Construction on the Museum Tower apartments took a brief break as employees were treated to a lunch on the 35th floor on Friday, Mar. 11, 2016 to celebrate the fast-approaching topping out. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

Uptown strollers who have been craning their necks for months watching the new Mint Museum apartment tower rise won’t have to look any higher: Officials on Friday celebrated the “topping out” of the tower as construction crews reached its tallest point.

The 394-unit, 43-story tower will open to renters this fall. Fred Klein III said developer Childress Klein hopes to wrap up construction in late November.

“We’re in the home stretch,” he said, speaking on the 35th floor. The tower was designed by architecture firm Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio and built by general contractor Batson-Cook.

The Mint Museum tower was originally planned to be condominiums, before the real estate crash and recession. Wachovia had planned the tower as part of the Levine Center for the Arts campus, along with the new office tower that is now the Duke Energy Center.

The Mint Museum was built in 2009 with the necessary structures in place to support a high-rise tower, but the tower itself was put on hold as the crisis deepened and Wachovia was eventually bought by Wells Fargo.

Childress Klein bought the air rights for the tower for $18.1 million last year in May and started construction on the high-rise, now apartments. The building will be uptown’s tallest new residential tower since the Vue opened in 2010. The Vue was initially a condo tower as well, but was converted to rentals after only 16 units sold and the lender foreclosed on the Chicago-based developer in 2012.

The Mint Museum tower isn’t the only such uptown project under construction. Two blocks away, Charleston-based Greystar is building Ascent, a 33-story tower that will total 314 apartments. That project is set to open in the first quarter next year.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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