Building N.C. 2021: The state’s new distinctive structures

 In November 2021

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Pandemic restrictions and work-from-home policies have limited traffic in North Carolina’s center cities, but construction of large buildings has continued at a crisp pace. That was particularly true for downtown Charlotte, where a half dozen office, condo and apartment towers have opened over the last 18 months. The eighth Building North Carolina awards highlight some of the state’s most impressive commercial real-estate projects completed between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, based on design, innovation and community impact.

BAILEY SOUTH

Winston-Salem


Developer: Front Street Capital, Winston-Salem
Contractor: Landmark Builders, Greensboro
Architect: Stitch Design Shop, Winston-Salem
Cost: $23 million
Size: 75,000 square feet


 

Situated between two smokestacks that helped power Winston-Salem for nearly a century and in the center of Innovation Quarter, Bailey South aspires to bridge the gap between the city’s heritage and future ambitions. The familiar smokestacks built in 1926 and 1946 frame a new six-story brick-and-glass building that encapsulates remnants of the original power plant. The development was built on a former parking lot, power substation and credit union. It now includes a six-story building that is 95% leased by tenants such as The Variable Marketing firm, Black Mountain Chocolate and three restaurants. Within the atrium of Bailey South, a hole was left open to one of the smokestacks and lights placed within it for passers-by to peek inside. The surrounding Innovation Quarter district is home to about 170 companies and their 3,700 employees and 1,800 Wake Forest University students. The development has nearly 2 million square feet of office, laboratory and educational space.

Bailey South developer Front Street Capital is a Winston-Salem-based company that has other real-estate investments in the Triad, Atlanta, Greenville, S.C., and Memphis. “Real estate continues to define what a community’s perception of itself is,” says Coleman Team, a Front Street Capital partner and the son of Managing Partner Robin Team, a veteran N.C. developer. “Bailey South is a dynamic and energy-creating asset intended to bring the community into Innovation Quarter … [and] give a glimpse towards where Winston-Salem is going.”

Variable President David Mullen says Bailey South can be a game-changer for downtown Winston-Salem and Innovation Quarter. “We wanted our fingerprints to be a part of it. It’s an incredibly special development from the overall building design to the design of our top two floors to the proximity of amazing outdoor spaces, restaurants and entertainment options,” he says. “It helps us attract incredibly talented people from across the country to join The Variable and fosters amazing collaboration and work-from-office options for our team.”

FITTS-WOOLARD HALL

N.C. State University Centennial Campus


Developer: State of North Carolina
Contractor: Skanska USA, Parsippany, N.J.
Architect: Clark Nexsen, Virginia Beach, Va.
Cost: $103.3 million
Size: 225,000 square feet


 

The completion of Fitts-Woolard Hall marked the final step in moving N.C. State University’s College of Engineering to the Centennial Campus. The building houses the departments of civil, construction and environmental engineering, as well as the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. The campus is set up as a research park aimed at mixing teaching, research and commercialization efforts at one of the nation’s most highly rated engineering schools.

Fitts-Woolard Hall has more than 100 classrooms and laboratories, most of them visible to passersby as part of the college’s commitment to putting “engineering on display.” Throughout the building, structural and mechanical engineering components are incorporated into spaces such as steel-plated stairs that span the four stories. Edward Fitts and Edgar Woolard are N.C. State graduates and retired corporate CEOs who gave a combined $25 million in 2018, marking the largest campus-building naming in university history.

Morton Barlaz, head of the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at N.C. State, says the buidling provides modern labs and classrooms that are equipped for state-of-the-art research and education.

“Our faculty are working on some of the most challenging problems around civil infrastructure and protection from natural hazards including earthquakes and floods. The new building enables this research with space for a broad range of experimental work involving our students.”

THE SQUARE AT SOUTH END

Charlotte


Developer: Beacon Partners, Charlotte
Contractor: Edifice General Contractors, Charlotte
Architects: Axiom Architecture & LandDesign, Charlotte
Cost: N.A.
Size: 158,500 square feet


 

The Square at South End is a 10-story boutique office building at a prominent intersection in what used to be called the Wilmore neighborhood. USAA, a large San Antonio, Texas-based financial services company, is leasing six floors as it expands in Charlotte. Several floors will have outdoor decks, while the sleek geometric lines of exposed brick and steel beams frame glass windows that provide views of South End and Charlotte’s center city. A two-story fitness center, coffee bar and rooftop restaurant are among the building’s amenities. The development team worked with Mecklenburg County to create a 1.5-acre park as a plaza. Plans call for an adjacent five-story, 120-unit apartment complex.

RIVERFRONT PARK

Wilmington


Developer: City of Wilmington
Contractor: Clancy & Theys Construction, Raleigh
Architects: Hargreaves Jones (landscape architects) New York; Sage and Coombe (pavilion architects) New York
Cost: $34 million
Size: 6.6 acres


 

Riverfront Park fulfills the Port City’s goal of providing a big open space for residents and visitors to enjoy along the Cape Fear River. The city bought the land in 2013 and is funding the park partly through a bond issue approved in 2016. The park features the area’s biggest concert venue, a 7,200-seat amphitheater sponsored by Live Oak Bank, a fast-growing Wilmington-based company. The park is among the first to earn Waterfront Edge Design Guideline certification, which involves ensuring protection of the natural shoreline through best practices by landowners and community members.

AMERICAN LEGION MEMORIAL STADIUM

Charlotte


Developer: Mecklenburg County
Contractors: Edifice General Contractors, Charlotte; Barton Malow, Southfield, Mich.; NJR Construction, Charlotte
Architect: Jenkins Peer Architects, Charlotte
Cost: $40.5 Million
Size: 9.8 acres, 9,500 seats


 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt dedicated the stadium in 1936 as part of the Works Progress Administration and to honor World War I veterans. It served as Charlotte’s principal stadium for generations before suffering from age and neglect in recent decades. Now the venue adjacent to Central Piedmont Community College’s downtown campus has been modernized to allow for football, soccer, rugby and lacrosse along with concerts and band competitions. Replicating the original style and design enabled the stadium to retain its historic landmark designation. Improvements included modern lighting, underground stormwater management, improved broadcasting capabilities, space for food trucks and an expanded press box.

GRAND BOHEMIAN

Charlotte


Developer: The Kessler Collection, Orlando, Fla.
Contractor: JE Dunn Construction, Kansas City, Mo.
Architect: Christian Sottile, Savannah, Ga.
Cost: $110 million
Size: 282,668 Square Feet


 

The 254-room, 16-story downtown Charlotte hotel is among the boutique hotels operated by the Orlando, Fla.-based Kessler Collection, which is a founding member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection of hotels. Its features include a rooftop bar, spa, 16,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and an Argentinian-inspired restaurant. Kessler financed the luxury hotel with capital raised under a federal program in which foreign investors commit to create a specified number of U.S. jobs.

Kessler has Bohemian hotels in Asheville, Charleston, S.C., Mountain Brook, Ala., Orlando and Savannah, Ga. It earlier this year became the first major U.S. vacation-oriented hotel operator to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment.

THE EDGE

Charlotte


Developer: Marsh Properties, Charlotte
Contractor: Samet Corp., Greensboro
Architect: BB+M Architecture, Charlotte
Cost: N.A.
Size: 263 units


 

The Edge is an apartment complex in Charlotte’s Sedgefield neighborhood about 3 miles south of the center city. Developer Marsh Properties, which has about a dozen other south Charlotte apartment developments, has owned the land for decades. Its name reflects its central location, with the property within walking distance of Harris Teeter and Publix supermarkets, the South End area’s dining and entertainment venues, and a light-rail station. The Edge’s architecture is inspired by a midcentury modern design that differs from many other new multifamily projects and was aimed at blending into the adjacent neighborhood. Its amenities include a saltwater pool, demo kitchen and roof terrace. Tenants choose from 12 floor plans available for lease ranging in size from 616 square feet to 1,445 square feet.

FOUNDATION SUPPLY

Charlotte


Developer: Artesia Real Estate Investments, Austin, Texas
General contractor: Barringer Construction, Charlotte
Architect: Redline Design Group, Charlotte
Estimated cost: N.A.
Size: 125,000 square feet


 

Texas developer Colin Brothers’ first Charlotte project involved rehabbing a century-old former factory in north Charlotte into a space for office, restaurants and co-working space. The building, which most recently had been used as a center for small businesses, was redesigned with tall windows allowing lots of natural light and larger office spaces. The building emphasizes its industrial roots with wood planking, steel barn doors and a concrete floor.

421 NORTH HARRINGTON

Raleigh


Developer: Kane Realty and Williams Realty & Building, Raleigh
Contractor: Clancy & Theys Construction, Raleigh
Architect: Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, Charlotte
Cost: N.A.
Size: 225,000 square feet


 

The nine-story office building is part of the Smoky Hollow multiuse development off Capital Boulevard that already includes apartments and a Publix grocery store. The work-live-play center is sandwiched between the Glenwood South and Warehouse District neighborhoods.

ALLY CHARLOTTE CENTER

Charlotte


Developer: Crescent Communities, Charlotte
Contractor: Brasfield & Gorrie, Birmingham, Ala.
Architect: Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, Charlotte
Cost: More than $100 million
Size: 750,000 square feet


 

Ally Financial anchors the 26-story skyscraper that is adjacent to a 22-story, 380-room JW Marriott hotel that opened in August. While Ally is based in Detroit, CEO Jeff Brown is based in Charlotte. An Ally affiliate bought the building from Crescent for $390 million in July.

400 BELLEMEADE

Greensboro


Developer: Front Street Capital, Winston-Salem
Contractor: Landmark Builders, Winston-Salem
Architect: West & Stem Architects, Winston-Salem
Cost: $27.5 million
Size: 112,000 square feet


 

The nine-story downtown office building overlooks First National Bank Field, home of the Greensboro Grasshoppers minor-league baseball team. The building’s glass panes were tested to resist the impact of a baseball. The anchor tenant is Greensboro’s Tuggle Duggins law firm, which can entertain clients on viewing decks overlooking the field.

VANTAGE SOUTH END

Charlotte


Developer: Spectrum Cos., Charlotte, and Invesco, Atlanta
Contractor: Rodgers Builders, Charlotte
Architect: LS3P, Charleston, S.C.
Cost: N.A.
Size: 326,800 square feet


 

LendingTree is the anchor tenant of the 11-story building at the tip of the South End area, just across Interstate 277 from Charlotte’s center city. A second, 286,000-square-foot building is expected to open in May. The project includes a courtyard with space for 700 outdoor seats, and plans call for a hotel atop the site’s parking deck.

UNION COUNTY EVENTS CENTER

Monroe


Developer: Union County
Contractor: MCT General Contractors, Monroe
Architect: Ted Richard Brown, Charlotte
Cost: $3.31 million
Size: 41,500 square feet


 

The special events center is a collaboration with N.C. State University, N.C. A&T State University and Union County Cooperative Extension. One goal is to promote the big agricultural economy of the south-central N.C. county and increase the farm-to-table supply chain. It’s next to the Union County Agricultural Center and includes a covered 24,000-square-foot arena.

650 SOUTH TRYON AT LEGACY UNION

Charlotte


Developer: Lincoln Harris, Charlotte
Contractor: Gilbane Building, Providence, R.I.; and Shelco, Charlotte
Architect: LS3P, Charleston, S.C.
Cost: N.A.
Size: 362,500 square feet


 

International accounting giant Deloitte is the anchor tenant of the 18-story building, which is the second tower on the 10.2-acre Legacy Union campus. The adjacent Bank of America Tower opened in August 2019, while a third 23-story office building has opened as the headquarters for Honeywell International. The sleek glass look of 650 South Tryon contrasts with the more traditional 33-story BofA Tower.

CONGDON YARDS

High Point


Developer: Business High Point Chamber of Commerce
Contractor: Landmark Builders, Winston-Salem
Architect: Louis Cherry Architecture, Raleigh; Barbour Spangle Design, High Point
Cost: N.A.
Size: 225,000 square feet


 

More than $40 million from the Earl and Kathryn Congdon Family Foundation has helped turn the former Adams-Millis Hosiery mill in downtown High Point into a center for entrepreneurship. The project includes offices, an event center, and a coffee and sandwich bar.

THE STITCH

Morrisville


Developer: CBRE, Dallas; and Equator Capital Management, New York
Contractor: Choate Construction, Atlanta
Architect: Gensler, San Francisco
Cost: $25 million
Size: 245,000 square feet


 

Formerly an outlet mall just off Interstate 40, The Stitch has become a hub for life sciences and innovation where San Francisco-based biotech firm Invitae will occupy office and laboratory space. The redesign includes new structural steel and roof life and “pays homage to the mall’s history while catering to current and future generations,” Gensler designers Brad Burns and Jessica Pearson noted.

HARNETT COUNTY RESOURCE CENTER & LIBRARY

Lillington


Developer: Balfour Beatty, Raleigh
Contractor: Dewberry, Fairfax, Va.
Architect: Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, Charlotte
Cost: $22.2 million
Size: 55,767 square feet


 

The completion of the project is a large milestone in the county’s decades-old plan to bring many services to the Government Complex campus in Lillington. The development will have access to the county library, Veterans Services, Memorial Park and many other county departments in the same building. The county courthouse and health and social services agencies are in adjacent buildings.

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