New 23-story office tower planned for South End

By Real Estate Editor, Charlotte Business Journal

Florida-based Stiles Corp. and San Francisco real estate firm Shorenstein Properties said late Wednesday they will develop a new office tower in South End.The companies acquired about 2 acres at the intersections of South Boulevard, East/West Boulevard and the East/West Boulevard Lynx Blue Line Station, where they will develop a 23-story, 385,000-square-foot office tower. The building will also include 11,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

The acquisition includes the buildings that currently house Tupelo Honey and The Manchester as well as an adjoining surface parking lot that's used for those restaurants. The seller was Browder Harris Group.

The two buildings and 2 acres included in the sale traded for $21.5 million, according to a source with knowledge of the deal — a sizable transaction even for booming South End, where new office towers are announced seemingly weekly.

The first of what may eventually become two towers onsite will be developed on the current surface lot and include parking.

Construction is expected to begin within the next year on the tower. Justin Siemens, president of Stiles' Carolinas office, said Wednesday that the developers are still in the design phase and are "weighing all of their options" as to whether they would break ground speculative or with an anchor tenant.

Earlier this year, the developer delivered 300 West Summit, a 64,000-square-foot office building along Summit Avenue, between Church and Mint streets. The building is at least 80% leased to a range of office tenants.

"We learned quickly what the demand is and we think with a location like this, it will only get better," he added.

Siemens said the developers are in conversations with The Manchester and Tupelo Honey. The plan is for those tenants to remain in place for the time being.

"Obviously, that's subject to change as we evaluate what we're going to do on the site," he continued.

Nashville, Tennessee-based firm Hastings Architecture has been appointed to design the office tower, but a rendering of the building was not immediately available.

Stiles and Shorenstein say there is potential to accommodate up to 1 million square feet in future phases, but it wasn't immediately clear what that development could include. Siemens declined to provide specifics about whether proposed future phases would include commercial or residential space — or both — saying the focus right now is on the first tower. The site likely couldn't bear more than two towers total.

In Charlotte, Shorenstein recently acquired the former Flex office building in the University area, where it plans to invest significant capital redeveloping and re-leasing that currently vacant building. Shorenstein is also a capital partner in the Camp North End project north of uptown.

Stiles and Shorenstein are also in a joint venture on The Main Las Olas, a mixed-use project in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that includes a 25-story, 360,000-square-foot office tower and a 27-story residential tower with restaurant and retail space.

There are a number of significant office projects in planning or development in South End. To name a few: The Spectrum Cos. and Invesco are developing two 11-story office buildings with retail space at South Tryon Street and Carson Boulevard, the first tower of which Charlotte-based LendingTree will anchor. Lowe's will lease 100% of the office space at a 23-story, 357,000-square-foot tower by Childress Klein and Ram Realty Advisors near the Design Center of the Carolinas. And Atlanta-based Portman will break ground on a 16-story office tower next to Sycamore Brewing on Hawkins Street by year's end.

Jessica Brown at Cushman & Wakefield is leasing the project by Stiles and Shorenstein. Rob Cochran, Jared Londry and Nolan Ashton at Cushman represented the seller.