A company affiliated with Childress Klein Properties has bought a prime piece of uptown land, according to NAI Southern Real Estate, which helped broker the deal.
CK Mint Street, LLC bought 1.69 acres on Martin Luther King Boulevard near Bank of America Stadium last month for $3.5 million, according to property records and NAI Southern Real Estate.
NAI Southern Real Estate senior vice president Roger Cobb said the buyer is part of developer Childress Klein Properties and involved with multifamily projects.
“Multifamily is hot,” Cobb said. “They bought it, liked the price, loved the location and all that is expected to continue to happen in that area of uptown.”
“They are studying it, trying to figure out what to do,” he said. “It could be multi-family. It could be something different as well.”
NAI Southern represented seller South Church Street Property Holdings.
A representative with Childress Klein couldn’t be reached for comment late Thursday.
The land, which is currently being used as a parking lot, is adjacent to the proposed new minor league baseball park at the corner of South Mint Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard.
Developers once had grand plans for the Third Ward area, including building a 39-story condo-hotel. While development in Third Ward has slowed along with the rest of the economy, plans for the area still include a public park.
Charlotte’s multifamily sector has attracted interest from developers and investors recently. Lenders are still making loans to build apartment complexes and analysts expect the number of renters to continue growing.
Uptown could use more apartments, said analyst Engle Addington with Real Data, which studies the apartment market.
Currently, there are 2,000 units in uptown. The vacancy rate as of August was 3.4 percent, down sharply from roughly 25 percent in February 2010, according to the most current data available.
Some new apartment complexes were added to the uptown market in 2010. More than 600 new condominiums have also been converted to rentals in recent years as buyers have largely disappeared during the downturn.
Demand, however, has remained strong.
“Uptown is doing pretty well, even with all the condo conversions,” Addington said.
“(Complexes) were running some great specials, and a lot of people took advantage of that.”
Average rents have also risen, despite concessions landlords offered to fill units. In August, the average rent for a two-bedroom unit in uptown was $1,180, up from $2,010 in February.
“The apartment industry is on top of the bell curve right now, especially since other parts of the real estate industry are not performing all that well,” she said. “Vacancy rates are in a good place and forecast to improve even more.”
“Anything uptown is a good location,” she added. “You can’t go wrong.”