Sep 13, 2021 - Development

5 major developments changing west Charlotte

The Salt + Vinegar project on West Morehead Street. Rendering: Cline Design Associates

A stretch of west Charlotte just outside of Uptown is witnessing a wave of new development.

What’s happening: West Charlotte neighborhoods near uptown, like Wesley Heights and Seversville, are seeing an influx of investment, particularly in rehabbing old industrial buildings.

  • Tuckaseegee and West Morehead Street are experiencing some of the most dramatic changes.
  • Some of it is being driven by the Opportunity Zone program, a Trump tax break for developers designed to bring capital to communities that are under-invested in.

Yes, but: That’s also led to a surge in home prices in the area and concerns about gentrification.

  • In the census tract that includes Wesley Heights, for example, home values increased by an average of 72% in the 2019 countywide revaluation, according to an Observer analysis. The average increase in residential valuations was 43%, per the county.

Here are some of the projects shaping the area.

Salt + Vinegar

What’s happening: Charlotte developer White Point is repurposing an old potato chip manufacturing complex into offices and retail, including a new Legion Brewing location. Legion’s facility there is expected to open in early October, Axios reported recently.

  • Legion’s opening will be a catalyst for the development and the area, White Point principal Justin Trowbridge said in a statement.

Details: The project at 2001 West Morehead Street encompasses a total of 73,600 square feet across two buildings. That includes:

  • 46,100 square feet of creative office space.
  • Legion’s 22,300-square-foot facility.
  • A little over 5,000 square feet of retail.

The property dates back to the 1950s and originally housed a factory for Mitchum Quality Snacks.

White Point is developing Salt + Vinegar. Rendering: Cline Design Associates.

Lower Tuck

What’s happening: An Atlanta developer is transforming a collection of four warehouse buildings off Tuckaseegee and Thrift roads into offices and retail. It’s disorienting how different the landscape in that area is now.

Details: The $80 million project, which is being marketed as “Lower Tuck,” includes two properties on Jay Street, plus two on Gesco Street.

  • The first phase will have 260,000 square feet of office, showroom and retail space when complete.

Hank Farmer, a partner with developer Third & Urban, tells me the firm is putting the finishing touches on the project, like murals and signage.

What’s next: Third & Urban has made other acquisitions and is working on expanding its footprint in the area, Farmer said. But he declined to share specifics on future phases of the project.

The Lower Tuck project. Photo: Black Wednesday.

1900 West Morehead

What’s happening: In another adaptive reuse project, developer Beauxwright is revamping a 1957 building that once housed a vending machine manufacturer.

Details: The two-story building at 1900 West Morehead Street will house just under 36,000 square feet of office space.

  • The first tenant, BB+M Architecture, is slated to open its office there in November, Andy Lucas, a principal with Beauxwright, tells me.
  • It will eventually be able to accommodate four to six tenants, he says.
The development at 1900 West Morehead Street. Rendering: BB+M Architecture

Carless apartments

What’s happening: Grubb Properties won approval for a controversial rezoning last fall to build a carless apartment building in Seversville. 

Since then, the developer has been working on design development and construction drawings, says spokesperson Emily Ethridge. Construction is slated to start in the first quarter of next year, she says.

Details: The five-story, 104-unit complex will have only six parking spaces. And residents will have to agree in their leases that they will not buy a car.

  • The idea is that a developer will charge less for rent if they don’t have to build parking. Half of the units will be priced for those who make 80% of the median income.

Of note: It was touted as the city’s first car-free development, but as Axios reported in June, that wasn’t the case. Another carless apartment complex was already underway in Optimist Park.

Savona Mill

What’s happening: Atlanta-based Portman Holdings and its affiliate Portman Residential are planning to restore the 105-year-old Savona Mill.

Details: The former textile mill, on South Turner Avenue, will be transformed into office space. Portman Residential plans to build apartments around it. Marc Brambrut of Portman Residential said they plan to start construction next spring.

  • The mill portion will have 180,000 square feet of office space.
The historic Savona Mill is being repurposed. Rendering: Portman Residential
  • A rezoning filed this year for the property would allow for as much as 290,000 square feet of commercial space (including a maximum of 47,000 square feet of retail) and as many as 650 residential units.

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