Charlotte’s in a boom of apartments, there is no denying it. I’ve written several stories on Uptown apartment development, but I’ve avoided writing about South End apartment projects because honestly, they’re mostly uninspired beige monsters that add little to no character and are just eyesores.
That is about to change with the Design Center Apartment Tower (not the official name – tentative, uncreative name I made up).
What Is It?
RAM Realty Services, with architectural support from Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio is embarking on a massive 25-story (approx. 265 feet tall) 296 unit apartment tower at the intersection of Camden Road and Worthington Avenue in South End.
The project will include 56 studios, 168 one bedrooms, 52 two bedrooms, 18 three bedrooms, a 950 sqft amenity deck, 552 space parking deck and 1400 sqft of resident space on the 6th floor. The studios range from 578-657 sqft, one bedrooms from 764-866 sqft, two bedrooms from 962-1104 sqft and three bedrooms from 1441-2033 sqft.
The ground floor will consist of 2 retail spaces (presumably for restaurants) with one along Camden (approx. 4300 sqft) and one at the corner of Camden & Worthington (approx. 2700 sqft).
At the intersection of Camden and Worthington there will be an 800 sqft outdoor patio with some more patio space fronting Camden.
Why Do You Care?
I know exactly what people will think when they read about this: “We don’t need more apartments in South End”… “A tower in South End? That’s dumb.”
Let me set the record straight and elaborate on why this is a worthwhile project with 4 points.
(1) Ground floor retail. Camden is quickly establishing itself as one of the primary “stroll districts” in South End. With the addition of 1616 Center and Camden Gallery, there will be a ton of retail from where Camden splits from Tryon all the way down to the Atherton Mill. This building will not only add 2 large retail spaces facing Camden, but it will also have ample patio space. This will continue to make Camden a great place to walk and explore.
(2) Elimination of a surface lot for an extension of our skyline. South End already has 1 tower (The Arlington) with another 4 in the works (including this). This will not only help extend our skyline, but it will give South End some height beside mid-rise apartment complexes. The addition of skyscrapers to South End will help close the perceived gap between Uptown and South End.
(3) More apartments. I know you ask “But Jason, we have so many apartments under construction and planned why do we need more?” While I am inclined to agree we are hitting peak apartments, and especially peak luxury apartments, this project (as well as the many other apartment projects) will ensure the city can continue to grow. Charlotte has been one of the fastest growing cities in the United States for over a decade now and to ensure that growth will continue we need places for people to live. Yes, at first we will probably have an over abundance of apartments but as time goes on, we will be happy with all the supply we are building now.
(4) Impact this building has on the community. Tying it all together, more retail = more people walking around, more people = more retail, it all comes full circle. The added density will bring more people who need to eat and want to shop. Reaching this critical mass of people will ensure a growth of retail in South End and the surrounding area.
When Can You Use It?
Groundbreaking is rumored to be starting early 2016. I can’t accurately give a completion date at this time, but I would expect late 2017 or 2018.