Apr 11, 2024 - News

An extension of NoDa: The place everyone will be that no one's ever been

Pass41 sign in front of a building with overpass in the background

Pass41 is among the first complete, new developments along Raleigh Street. Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

A developing area in northeast Charlotte is not quite NoDa, but it's not exactly Sugar Creek, either. It's a neighborhood that's going to have its own name.

Why it matters: Raleigh Street — north of NoDa and weaving under the Sugar Creek overpass — used to be lifeless industrial terrain. But it's gradually evolving into one of the coolest neighborhoods in Charlotte.

  • The area, near the Sugar Creek light rail station and parking deck, represents how infrastructure spurs change.
  • Developers are on pace to add over a thousand housing units, and thus thousands of residents, to the small street in the coming years.

Driving the news: The first phase of "The Pass," an 80,000-square-foot half-office, half-retail development by Atlanta-based Third & Urban, finished construction in late 2023. Fan-favorite restaurant Soul Gastrolounge is relocating there and will be a draw to the new neighborhood.

  • Currently, the area around The Pass is a bit of a ghost town, aside from daytime construction workers and a few passengers waiting for the light rail.

The intrigue: The construction on Raleigh Street is similar to what's happened in South End, where developers are readapting underused buildings into trendy apartments and retail.

  • "We love the idea that we're not displacing anybody ... because it's historically a very industrial area," Third & Urban co-founder Hank Farmer tells Axios.
  • It's riskier for businesses to set up shop here without much foot traffic yet, however. You may have already traversed the area when seeing a film at Independent Picture House, taking in a show at Black Box Theater or playing soccer at Charlotte FC's mini pitch.

More about each development in the works.

The Pass

Apartment rendering
The Pass apartments. Rendering: Third & Urban

Spanning 12 acres, The Pass will be a walkable district with housing and retail. Third & Urban bought the land in 2021 and has been executing its vision since then.

Pass41 comprises old buildings and new construction. It's poised to be a commercial anchor for the residential going up around it, Farmer says.

A few early tenants have been announced so far:

  • Pine, an event space by 828 Venue Management Company, is opening in the coming weeks.
  • Borderline Bar & Billiards is by the owners of The Degenerates.
  • Soul Gastrolounge is under construction and should open by summer.
  • Locker Room, a vintage sportswear shop, is open.
  • Once filled, Pass41 could house around five restaurants and five retailers.
Construction site and banner announcing 335 apartment units coming 2025
The Pass apartments construction. Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Across the street, Third & Urban, the developer behind Lower Tuck in west Charlotte, is putting up 335 apartments that'll open in 2025. Next to the five-story building, there's about an acre they could build on.

The 4212 Raleigh Street building, on the other side of the overpass, will be the third phase of The Pass. It will likely be some retail or entertainment space complementing the emerging linear park under the bridge.

Flywheel Group

Apartment construction site
Trailside NoDa construction site. Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Flywheel Group built Blackbox Theater and The Independent Picture House. Located at 4237 Raleigh St., it's where the developer houses its office. It's going to be home to a new coffee and cocktail lounge, too.

  • SoCo Group — founded by Kurt Sowers, who starred in "Joe Millionaire" in 2022 — is the contactor on the roughly 1,900-square-foot space. Construction should finish in the next 90 days.

Flywheel is finishing up the 330-unit Trailside NoDa apartments on East Craighead Road. It includes a few townhomes and a two-story standalone fitness center.

  • "It's really wellness-inspired and leaning in on the indoor-outdoor living," says Tony Kuhn, president of Flywheel Group.
  • People are already living in one building. The project will be fully finished in July.

Flywheel owns several other buildings and parcels around Blackbox Theatre, which could become for-sale townhomes or retail, Kuhn shares.

Abernethy Lofts

NRP Group construction site
Abernethy Lofts construction site. Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

The NRP Group, which built and sold Cortland NoDa, is developing the 392-unit Abernethy Lofts at the end of Raleigh Street.

  • The first units will be ready by October 2025. The entire complex should be completed in April 2026, NRP's vice president of development Jason Mochizuki tells Axios.
Abernethy Lofts rendering
Abernethy Lofts. Rendering: The NRP Group
Abernethy Lofts rendering
Abernethy Lofts. Rendering: The NRP Group

Indigo

Apartment rendering
Indigo. Rendering: Sutton Capital Group

Sutton Capital Group is building 326 apartments over 18 to 20 months neighboring the Sugar Creek parking deck.

  • This was supposed to be a mixed-use, adaptive reuse project, but the roof of the building would have taken considerable work to replace.

Charlotte Cross Trail

Construction will start this summer on a Cross Charlotte Trail stretch along Raleigh Street. It should be completed by December 2025.

The bottom line: A name for this district will emerge organically.

  • Several developers have tied their project names to NoDa, like Arris NoDa and Reve Noda Junction.
  • Kuhn tells me, for a while, Flywheel referred to the area as the Trailhead District.
  • Farmer acknowledges "The Pass" name may catch on, but they aren't forcing it.
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