Thursday, January 24, 2013

Uptown Charlotte ready for a new office tower?

Charlotte's commercial real estate industry faced a unique challenge four years ago when roughly 3 million square feet of new office space came on the market uptown as the financial crisis was unraveling.

In its third annual State of the Center City report released today, Charlotte Center City Partners makes the case that uptown's office market has largely overcome that challenge and is outperforming peer cities.

In fact, Charlotte Center City Partners President Michael Smith says it's time to think about building a new office tower. Uptown is home to about 41 percent of Charlotte's existing office space.

"It's time to start having those conversations," he told the Observer.

Smith actually is already having conversations with developers, he said. But he declined to share details.

He did say future office development will likely look different that it did in previous decades. Banks once bankrolled much of the new office space. In the future, he said, look for private developers to pay for new projects.

Also, he envisions smaller buildings ranging from 200,000 square feet to 400,000 square feet because lenders are not likely to finance very large speculative buildings.  Office space is also likely to expand beyond Tryon Street with projects cropping up along or off Trade Street.

Click here to read the State of the Center City report.