Work is underway to transform four old warehouses in west Charlotte into offices and commercial space, the developer said Friday, part of a trend of refurbishing historic buildings.
Atlanta-based developer Third & Urban plans to spend $80 million on the redevelopment, which will have 260,000 square feet of creative office, retail and showroom space, the firm said in a news release. Construction started in July, and the company expects to complete the buildings next summer.
A corporation affiliated with a New York investment firm purchased the industrial facilities, located along Jay and Gesco streets near Tuckaseegee Road, in late 2019 and earlier this year for a total of around $23 million.
It’s part of an adaptive reuse trend, which involves breathing new life into an older building.
A number of older structures in the area around Seversville and Wesley Heights are being rehabilitated, including the nearby Savona Mill, an early 20th century mill off of South Turner Avenue that could house offices, residences and retail, according to plans approved by city council last year.
Marketing and communications agency Wray Ward also opened its offices on Thrift Road last month, in a repurposed 1950s-era industrial facility.
“All of a sudden, it feels like a lot is transforming overnight,” said Pierce Lancaster, managing partner at Third & Urban.
COVID-19 has hit the office market, as companies sent workers home in the spring, and many are delaying the return to the office. But Lancaster expects creative office space, which features more collaborative spaces instead of a standard cubicle setup, to be in higher demand as the market recovers.
Each space will have its own HVAC system, touch-free entryways and bathroom fixtures, as well as garage doors that can be rolled up to allow fresh air in, Lancaster said.
That gives tenants a “level of control” that isn’t available in a traditional office setting, he said.
“Remote work will certainly play a bigger role in the workplace today. But businesses will return to the office, and they will need office space and in-person environments,” he said.