May 16, 2023 - Development

New renderings: Developer breaks ground on transformative two-tower project replacing Midnight Diner

Queens Bridge Collective. courtesy of Goettsch Partners

Construction crews broke ground Monday on Queens Bridge Collective, a transformative development situated where Midnight Diner used to be, and where Uptown Cabaret currently sits.

Details: The roughly $700 million project at 1111 S. Tryon St. will include two towers: One 45-story, 409-unit high-end apartment tower, plus a 42-story, 700,000-square-foot office tower. Chicago-based Riverside Investment & Development is the project’s developer.

  • There will be 15,000 square feet of retail space at the ground level, and another 10,000 square feet on the rooftop.
  • That rooftop spot could be for “an awesome destination restaurant … with dramatic indoor outdoor views of Uptown,” Riverside chief operating officer Anthony Scacco tells Axios.

Why it matters: Queens Bridge Collective has begun construction at a time when plenty of other new development in Charlotte has slowed. On the heels of the pandemic, financing remains an enormous challenge across the construction industry.

  • “We’re just as bullish now as we were when we first identified the land,” Scacco says.

Yes, but: Nationwide, demand for office space has changed significantly as millions of employees continue to work from home. Employers have opted to either scale down their office footprint or relocate. The result is millions of square feet of empty office space — especially in outdated towers constructed decades ago in Uptown.

  • Instead, for employers still seeking office space, there’s been a “flight to quality,” meaning companies are gravitating toward new, sleek properties walkable to amenities such as restaurants, bars and breweries, and other entertainment.
  • That’s why a growing number of employers in Charlotte have moved from Uptown to South End.

What he’s saying: “Although there’s been a significant drop in demand for the broad majority of office space, almost the entirety of demand that remains is concentrated in best-in-class, best-amenitized, high-tech buildings that try to offer a value add to their employees,” Scacco says.

  • Riverside is in conversations with “multiple tenants of different sizes across many industries” for the office space at Queens Bridge Collective.
  • “There is significant caution in capital markets regarding office financing, but the good news is that there are several high-quality tenants looking for new space in Charlotte,” Scacco adds.

Timeline: Riverside completed its designs and received all of its associated approvals in April, and closed its financing Monday. The firm plans to deliver the residential portion of the property by mid-2025, and the office soon after that, according to Scacco.

  • The Uptown Cabaret building will be torn down in June. The business will not be a tenant in the new property, per Scacco.

Here are new renderings of Queens Bridge Collective, courtesy of Goettsch Partners:

Queens Bridge Collective in Charlotte
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