Charlotte developer Grubb pays $17M for Herrin site in NoDa and plans for apartments, retail, and offices

Charlotte developer Grubb pays $17M for Herrin site in NoDa and plans for apartments, retail, and offices
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Charlotte developer Grubb Properties has closed on its purchase of the Herrin Ice property on 36th Street in NoDa. Grubb plans to transform the sprawling industrial site near the light rail into a community with apartments, offices, and retail space.

The details: Grubb, the developer behind the carless apartment complex underway in Seversville, plans to break ground in February on the residential portion of the project, development director Eric Applefield says. A few details:

  • The project will include two buildings — one residential and one commercial.
  • The first phase of the multifamily will have about 300 apartments.
  • The commercial building will be 100,000-120,000 square feet. It’ll have office space and about 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail on 36th.
  • A parking garage onsite will have 600 spaces, which will the apartment and office users will share.

Grubb paid $17 million for the 10.5-acre property, county real estate records show. The developer first shared its plans to buy the Herrin site in early 2020.

The apartments: The multifamily building will be in the style of Grubb’s Link Apartments, an urban infill brand with locations throughout the Carolinas, including one near Montford. Grubb is orienting most of the apartments toward the new greenway and Philemon Road extension, which will eventually connect to 36th.

Offices: Will Partin, Grubb’s VP of commercial development, says Grubb is optimistic that there will be demand for office space after the pandemic. It might just look a little different. For instance, some developers are prioritizing private entrances and outdoor patios.

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“The timing of this has actually allowed us to take a step back and reevaluate what the future of office looks like as we come out of this,” Partin says.

[Related Agenda story: Longtime family-run Herrin Ice begins a new chapter as its NoDa property will be turned into apartments]

Why it matters: Since it opened in 2018, the light rail extension has spurred a flurry of new development in the areas around it, just like the original Blue Line did in South End.

An overhaul of the Herrin site is the latest in a growing list of transformative construction projects in NoDa:

  • The Community Builders, a national developer, is renovating the historic Johnston Mill on North Davidson and turning it into mixed-income apartments.
  • The Flywheel Group is developing an area called the Greenway District near the Sugar Creek light rail station. It’ll include multi-family housing, retail, and office space.

New construction has been making its way off the main stretch of NoDa on 36th out toward North Tryon. Nearby, at the corner of 36th and Benard, Aston Properties is renovating an old art gallery. It will be home to Amelié’s, which will relocate from Villa Heights.

Owners of Herrin Ice say in the company’s 91-year history, nothing has been harder on the business than Covid-19.

Pandemic impact: The longtime ice maker said in a statement that statewide pandemic restrictions have forced many of its main customers to close their doors. The result is “a huge negative impact on our business,” the family said. Still, they plan to operate in their current location as long as possible.

“We are still hoping to relocate and are still in negotiations on a new site. We are also exploring merger and acquisition options,” Herrin Ice owners said.

Rendering courtesy of Grubb Properties. BB+M is the architect on the project. 


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