Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bissell to celebrate topping out

The Bissell folks are preparing for what might feel routine these days - a topping out celebration for their newest building.

The Bissell Cos. has been on an office-building spree in recent years, despite an economy that has stalled commercial projects or pushed fellow developers into bankruptcy protection.

The developer on Friday plans to be finished with the steel framework for the Woodward Building, a 10-story, 275,000-square-foot office building in Ballantyne Corporate park. The Woodward building is named for former UNC Charlotte Chancellor James Woodward and his wife. Bissell plans to finish it by the end of next year.

The development giant that created the SouthPark and Ballantyne communities has gone against the industry grain, adding buildings and boosting the park’s existing or planned space to more than 4.3 million square feet. Earlier this year, the company broke ground on two new 10-story speculative buildings totaling more than half a million square feet.

In September, the Charlotte City Council voted to voted to rezone 520 acres off Ballantyne Commons Parkway so the park can expand. That rezoning helps Bissell with its plans to add 1 million square feet of office space to the area.

Ballantyne Corporate Park has garnered national attention as the country’s largest speculative commercial project, meaning the office space is being built with no guarantee of future tenants. It also was named the 2010 International Office Park of the Year by the trade group Building Owners and Managers Association.

Bissell has announced or built 10 buildings in the past three years, eight of which are speculative.
There hasn't been much speculative building in recent years because lenders don’t want to make loans for such projects, which are seen as risky in today’s market.

Bissell has paid for its new projects using internal capital, the company says.

Bissell president and CEO Ned Curran has talked about how the new buildings will let Bissell attract corporations seeking larger, contiguous space, something that was lacking in the Charlotte market before the recent recession. Companies are also requiring shorter lead times, developers say.

This year, leasing activity at the office park continued to grow and is on track to end the year up more than 10 percent over 2010, the company says.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Very exciting!!