If you think home prices have skyrocketed over the past decade, listen to this: Since it last sold in 2013, the price of the nearly 50-acre South End business park has jumped from $10 million to $110 million. Records show Florida-based Ram Realty’s consultant purchased the property near the intersection of I-77 and Clanton Road last month. For more information, Morning Edition host Marshall Terry talks to Tony Mecia from Charlotte Ledger Business Newsletter in our BizWorthy section.
Marshall Terry: Tony, I know property values go up over time. But another $100 million in less than a decade?
Tony Mejia: Yes, Marshall, that’s a pretty big increase for this business park near I-77 and Clanton Road. It’s called South End Business Park. I think it’s hard for you to say it’s South End. I mean, basically, it’s north of Clanton Road between I-77 and South Tryon Street. But yes, it sold for $10 million in 2013. Its owner changed the name from 77 Corporate Park to South End Business Park and invested in it, you know, made some improvements, then sold it last month because, you know, another 100 million Dollar. So that’s a pretty big increase.
Terry: So what is the plan for this attraction?
Mecia: Yes. So the new owners, Ram Realty Advisors, have filed a rezoning request with the city, and they’re not sure exactly what they’re going to do there — but they’re talking a mix of office, hotel, residential, retail, and commercial uses. some green space. It could certainly support a large number of apartments, with some marketing materials for the site saying earlier this year that it could have 1,500 apartments, 1.2 million square feet of office. So there are a lot of different possible uses there.
Terry: You just said that technically it might be problematic to call this part of town the South End. But is this just part of a trend in the South End pushing south, or are we going to see skyscrapers here, you know, about 6 miles uptown?
Mecia: Yeah, I think any time you have a popular area, everyone wants to rebrand themselves as that popular area. Whether it’s, you know, South Park or South End or wherever. But yeah, I mean, I do think you’ve seen that trend, you know, along South Avenue, along South Tryon. You know, there’s a lot of development around the Scaleybark light rail station, you know, in this area called “LoSo” or the Lower South End. So this is in that area, close to that area. I think, yes, in a few years, when it gets developed, I mean, the whole area will be called South End or LoSo. So yes, definitely a territorial expansion in that area of town.
Terry: I mean, with all these things going on in the area, does that help explain why the price of this property has gone up so much?
Mecia: I agree. I mean, a lot of developers see potential in South End. We all know the South End is growing and expanding. Land prices, they get very high. You know, 10 years ago, the idea of 1,500 apartment and office buildings on Clanton Road and I-77 probably wasn’t as appealing as it is today. So, yes, you’re seeing a significant price increase. Any developer paying that kind of price will want to put a lot of stuff on that lot.
Terry: OK Well, now for some retail news. Belk dropped its lawsuit against its former CEO. Remind us, why did they sue in the first place?
Mecia: Yes. Belk’s former CEO, Nir Patel, left the company not long ago, and he took some Belk employees with him. He’s becoming CEO of GameStop, and Belk claims he somehow inappropriately poached those employees. The Observer reported last week that Belk and Patel, along with some of the others involved, had reached a settlement in the lawsuit. We don’t know the terms of the settlement. These are all kept secret.
Terry: OK Alright, now switching to something we don’t usually talk about on BizWorthy, which is wildlife. The Ledger reported that some residents in south Charlotte were disturbed by fences that appeared to repeatedly impale deer. What happened there?
Mecia: Yes, a group of neighbors near the Enclave in the Providence development on the Pineville-Matthews Road Close to Davy Park in South Charlotte. They say there have been numerous incidents of deer trying to walk through the woods, through people’s yards, jump on these fences, and then have the misfortune of being impaled by the spikes on top of the fence. They said they had seen it several times, most recently last week. This is a very tragic situation. The homeowners’ association there, though, says replacing the fence is expensive, and it might not even prevent such incidents in the future. So there’s a bit of an impasse there, but certainly a disturbing situation for the deer and the neighbors who care about them.
Terry: Finally, if you’re looking to buy a Christmas tree this year, get ready for a sticker shock. Inflation affects Christmas tree growers like no one else. Tony, how much more have we talked?
Mecia: Yes. Last week WCNC spoke with a North Carolina forestry expert who said Christmas tree prices are expected to increase by 10% to 15%. They also spoke to some Christmas tree suppliers who said the same thing. I mean, like a lot of other businesses, they’re dealing with higher labor costs, higher fuel, transportation costs, all of that. So yes, you can expect to pay more for your Christmas tree, unless you have a reusable tree which is probably in your attic and you roll out every year. I think this price will remain the same.
Terry: Anti-expansion tree. OK Thanks, Tony.
BizWorthy is supported by the Sharonview Federal Credit Union, UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business and our members.
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