Plans for Observer site redevelopment moving forward

The Charlotte Observer building at 600 South Tryon Street.crew
The Charlotte Observer building at 600 South Tryon Street.crew

Plans for reshaping the Charlotte Observer’s uptown site into a new mixed-use development are moving forward, according to a filing Wednesday with the city.

The preliminary plan for the 9.4-acre Observer headquarters site at South Tryon and Stonewall streets doesn’t give details, but it does indicate that the site will be a major mixed-use development. That means the site could include a wide range of property types, potentially combining uses such as apartments, shops, restaurants, hotels, offices and more.

Charlotte-based real estate company Lincoln Harris is under contract to buy the Observer’s headquarters site, which is owned by the pension fund of Observer parent company McClatchy. On Friday, a company affiliated with Lincoln Harris and Goldman Sachs closed on part of the property, purchasing 5 acres between Bank of America Stadium and Church Street for $11 million.

The rest of the purchase, including the main Observer building, is set to close by May 2. Johno Harris, president of Lincoln Harris, declined to comment Wednesday.

Mixed-use developments are reshaping parts of uptown nearby. Crescent Communities is developing a Whole Foods, 450 apartments and two hotel towers at the Stonewall Street light rail station. The company also plans to build an office tower, restaurants, retail space and a hotel across from the Observer at the site of a former Goodyear auto shop.

The Observer is moving its newsroom, advertising staff and administrative offices this month to the NASCAR Plaza office tower, two blocks away on South Caldwell Street. The Observer has leased three floors of office space formerly occupied by Chiquita, which left Charlotte after it was acquired by a pair of Brazilian firms.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo