Development

Redevelopment coming to busy but empty stretch of West Morehead

The corner of West Morehead and South Mint streets, with signage announcing space available to redevelop.
The corner of West Morehead and South Mint streets, with signage announcing space available to redevelop.

A Canadian developer has continued investing heavily in the West Morehead corridor, with public records showing firms affiliated with David Laren have spent almost $5.9 million acquiring old buildings near West Morehead and South Mint streets.

As I reported in February, Toronto-based Laren hopes to transform the partially disused, low-slung commercial buildings into upscale bars and restaurants. The location is appealing – at an interchange with I-277, across the street from Bank of America stadium, near booming South End and a slew of new apartments and office buildings.

Laren has continued acquiring property at the site, Mecklenburg County records show. In April, a company affiliated with him spent almost $1.38 million on a 0.26-acre parcel at 305 West Morehead St. In all, Laren now owns a block of 1.25 acres running along West Morehead.

In all, Laren’s firms have paid an average per-acre price of $4.7 million for the properties.

Marketing signs are up now that tenants such as Action Graphics have relocated from the buildings. Legacy Real Estate Advisors’ Adam Williams is listing the site.

“Retail/Restaurant space available,” a sign at the corner of Morehead and Mint announces.

Laren has said his ultimate plan is to redevelop the site with a mixed-use, high-rise building. But until that happens, he plans to turn the area into a much more vibrant strip near uptown.

“We envision a promenade of chic restaurants, lounges, sports bars,” Laren said earlier this year. “We want to bring sort of a New York, Miami flavor – some rooftop patios, really hip.”

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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