Seventh and Tryon problems ran deep, records show

Seventh and Tryon problems ran deep, records show

Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

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Charlotte-based Truist Bank backed out as a major main office tenant at the Seventh and Tryon development, records obtained by Axios show.

  • That was one of the many challenges plaguing the failed mixed-use project proposed for a sleepy stretch of North Tryon.

Why it matters: Seventh and Tryon, a $600 million private-public partnership, would have invigorated a prominent corner of Uptown. In August, Mecklenburg County confirmed the endeavor was off because of “challenges in the development market.”

Zoom in: In a June 20 letter obtained by Axios, Metropolitan Partnership CEO Cary Euwer told county manager Dena Diorio that the “very complex” project faced several roadblocks. Among them, he listed, were “the unexpected exit of Truist as the anchor for the project, the COVID-19 pandemic and its unfolding impacts on the market for office space.”

  • Truist seriously considered Seventh and Tryon several years ago as a potential site for its Innovation and Technology Center. A Mecklenburg County official says it was their understanding the developer held a lease for Truist to occupy the office tower.
  • Instead, Truist built the 100,000-square-foot facility inside its corporate office at 214 North Tryon, formerly called the Hearst Tower.

Yes, but: In his letter, Euwer said they were able to overcome those hurdles. What the parties couldn’t get past was a contractual disagreement. Negotiations over the master development agreement ended, Euwer wrote, “with little explanation other than that there was some element (not identified) of our proposal that the stakeholders did not agree with.”

  • In emails with Diorio, the county’s director of asset and facility management Mark Hahn suggested much of the email was inaccurate.
  • “There should be no surprise on his part regarding the Stakeholder response,” Hahn wrote.

In a statement to Axios, Hahn did not expand on the disagreement. But he said the developer added “numerous” terms they could not accept. Metropolitan Partnership was on a June 15 deadline to execute a “mutually acceptable” agreement, Hahn said.

  • The relationship between the county and the developer ended June 16.

Catch up quick: Seventh and Tryon would have transformed 1.5 blocks — bordered by Sixth, Seventh, College and the Spirit Square area — into restaurants and shops, an office tower, residences, a plaza, cafes and parking.

  • Now the future of the corridor future is unclear. The county could find another route to execute the vision or sell the land.
  • Work on a new, 115,000-square-foot main library on the block is moving along.
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