Flyover Friday: Charlotte's biggest developments up close
Join The Ledger and The 5 and 2 Project each week as we show you your city
|Sep 21, 2020|
Each Friday, starting on Aug. 21, we take you up close to a big and intriguing Charlotte development with a short, professionally produced video that takes you behind the scenes for interviews with developers and cool drone footage. The series is an independent editorial feature produced exclusively by The Charlotte Ledger in collaboration with The 5 and 2 Project.
We think you’re going to like it.
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New videos: New editions of Flyover Friday will be released in the newsletter and on this webpage each Friday for several weeks, starting Aug. 21.
Episode 1: Camp North End (Aug. 21)
Just a couple miles north of uptown, a series of old industrial buildings is being given new life. There are murals and restaurants, office space and shops, live music and film festivals.
It’s Camp North End, Charlotte’s biggest and most ambitious example of redeveloping old buildings for new uses. We take you inside that transformation by ATCO Properties and Shorenstein Properties.
Episode 2: Ally Charlotte Center (Aug. 28)
The Stonewall Street corridor uptown has seen a flurry of new buildings in the last few years. One of the most prominent, at the intersection with South Tryon Street, will be the new 26-story Ally Charlotte Center.
The outside of the building looks finished, and construction crews have turned their attention mostly to the building interiors. It will be home to the Charlotte operations of Ally Financial as well as the headquarters of Crescent Communities, which is developing the project. There will also be a 22-story JW Marriott hotel and restaurant/retail space designed to enliven the site, which is expected to open in the spring of next year.
Episode 3: Apex SouthPark (Sept. 11)
In a few years, SouthPark is going to look very different.
The old Colony apartments have been leveled, to be replaced by apartments and retail. A plan for a 15-story apartment tower on Fairview Road won approval this summer. There are plans for a park behind SouthPark mall — and for a three-mile greenway-like biking and pedestrian trail encircling the area, called “The Loop.”
In the middle of the action is a new development that’s almost finished called Apex SouthPark, a mix of 345 apartments, restaurants, retail, a Hyatt Centric hotel and — appropriately enough for Charlotte — a church.
We give you an exclusive look from the air and talk with Childress Klein’s Chris Thomas about the development — and where it fits into SouthPark’s future:
To give you a better sense of where this is, here’s a map:
In addition, The Ledger reported last month (subscriber-only) that the lineup of restaurants at the development includes Steak 48, Moon Thai & Japanese, Tiff’s Treats and Just Salad. There will also be a gourmet market and a few other restaurants that haven’t been announced yet.
Episode 4: South End (Sept. 18)
There’s no more dynamic spot in Charlotte than South End, and this installment of Flyover Friday takes you there. And you don’t even have to hunt for parking.
Once an area filled with mills and warehouses, South End today is known for its luxury apartments, hip restaurants and breweries and an increasing number of office towers. Throw in millennials zipping along the Rail Trail on e-scooters, Instagrammable murals, light rail and imaginative retail shops, and you have one of the more fascinating areas in the whole Southeastern U.S.
And it has all happened quickly: South End’s population density has increased by 22 times since 2000, according to figures from Charlotte Center City Partners. It’s expected to increase again by 60% in the next six years.
We enlisted the help of Clayton Sealey, widely known on social media as CLT Development, to guide us through where South End has been … and where it’s going.
We touch on a number of developments, including:
The RailYard by Beacon Partners, twin 8-story office buildings and retail
The adjacent Centro Railyard by Centro Cityworks and Ascent Real Estate Capital, a mix of micro-apartments with small ground-floor retail
The Square at South End by Beacon Partners, a 10-story office tower with retail, apartments and a park
The Design Center Tower by Childress Klein and Ram Realty Advisors, a 23-story office building that will be home to Lowe’s new tech hub plus retail
2151 Hawkins by Portman Holdings, a 16-story office tower with retail, a food hall and Sycamore Brewing on the ground floor
The Hawk by Ram Realty Advisors, a 13-story luxury apartment building
The Fulcrum by development company Fulcrum, 45 condos in a four-story building
Vantage South End by Spectrum Cos., a pair of 9-story office towers that will house LendingTree’s new headquarters, plus retail and a hotel
This is a fun one. Let’s do this:
And if you want to see where all this is …
Photo illustration of South End developments by Clayton Sealey
Many thanks to Clayton for his insights.
Season finale: UNC Charlotte (Sept. 25)
If you haven’t been on the campus of UNC Charlotte lately, you might be shocked at the building boom that’s taking place.
In the past year alone, the university opened a new recreation center and office of admissions, and work is happening now on a new 112,000 s.f. science center and renovations to aging buildings. A new conference center and hotel are being built on land adjacent to campus that’s owned by the UNC Charlotte Foundation, and the city’s light rail line now connects UNC Charlotte with its state-of-the-art Dubois Center at UNC Charlotte Center City. The adjacent University City area is also growing like gangbusters.
UNC Charlotte hit some big benchmarks in September: Its enrollment surpassed 30,000 students, and it became the second-largest university in the UNC system, outpacing UNC Chapel Hill. (N.C. State remained in the No. 1 slot.) UNCC students have been studying remotely so far this semester but will head back to campus in the coming week to start in-person classes Oct. 1.
In this final Flyover Friday of our first season, we head to the heart of the UNCC campus and talk to Kathryn Horne, the university’s director of planning, design and construction, about some of the biggest projects happening on campus and how the ever-expanding university plans for growth:
And that’s a wrap!
➡️ We’d love to hear from you about other areas around Charlotte you’d like to see by sky when Flyover Friday makes its return. Got an idea? Drop us a line!
Blooper reel (Sept. 4)
Departing from our usual format, here’s an embarrassing montage of outtakes from filming over the last few weeks.
Blooper reel 2 (Sept. 24)
‘Flyover Friday’ trailer — released Aug. 17:
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The Charlotte Ledger is an e-newsletter and web site publishing timely, informative, and interesting local business-y news and analysis. The content reflects the independent editorial judgment of The Charlotte Ledger. Any advertising, paid marketing, or sponsored content will be clearly labeled.