Goodbye, Ballantyne golf course. Hello, new 25-acre town center with shopping, restaurants, parks and thousands of apartments.
“The goal is to set a new standard for sense of place while continuing to be an economic driver for the entire region,” property owner Northwood wrote in a statement explaining the plan.
Catch up: Over the past two decades, Ballantyne Corporate Park has grown from undeveloped farmland into the epitome of a suburban business mecca. Today, thousands of workers descend each morning on the 535-acre park to work in three- to 10-story office buildings, with manicured lawns out front and ample parking in the back.
Why now: As Charlotte grows into a more urban city, the new corporate headquarters of today are much more likely to be on city streets than isolated campuses. In response, new owner Northwood unveiled a massive plan over the weekend to transform 25 acres in the heart of Ballantyne into a dense, walkable, urban town center. It’s a major — but expected — investment by Northwood, which bought Ballantyne Corporate Park from the Charlotte-grown Bissell Cos. just over two years ago for $1.2 billion.
What’s planned: The Ballantyne golf course will eventually close and the land will be redeveloped. What’s currently the 18th hole and driving range will become the site of new mixed-use buildings with dining and shopping options along a new main street — plus thousands of apartments and townhomes. Northwood will also invest in sprucing up common areas from little-used grassy lawns into more inviting gathering places. They plan to build an amphitheater as a central spot for festivals and celebrations, plus install public art, water features and outdoor WiFi.
What’s next: This is just the first phase in Northwood’s plans for the 535-acre property. Over the next decade, continue to look for more density and investment. If you’re looking to dive deeper, here’s Northwood’s dedicated website to Ballantyne Reimagined.
Why it matters: Now we know that Northwood, the owner of both Ballantyne Corporate Park and The Ballantyne hotel, has a clear vision and concrete plans of a fresh Ballantyne with more density — giving it an eat, live, work, play setup. And although we’ll miss teeing it up at Ballantyne golf club, we agree with the plans. Don’t look now, but Ballantyne may be the new South End.
Renderings released by Northwood on Saturday depict a Ballantyne that’s nearly unrecognizable to car-bound commuters of today. Parts of the park that are home to office building islands today will become pretty darn close to downtown city blocks.