Prior to 2003, the growing town of Harrisburg, just north of Charlotte in Cabarrus County, didn’t have an epicenter of commercial property. Sure, there were small pockets of retail and places to eat, including the Harrisburg Family House Restaurant, but the town lacked a real center of activity and congregation.
Rhea Greene knows that the Steel Yard at South End isn’t for everyone. Companies looking for cookie-cutter office space in the average high-rise or office park probably won’t quite feel at home at the Steel Yard, with its concrete floors and exposed masonry.
In the SouthPark retail market, with its massive mall and millions of square feet of other retail space, it takes something special to stand out. For SouthPark Mall, it’s the glamour and the couture shops. For other retail it may be the brand name, like Barnes & Noble.
Up north, at University Executive Park, Joe Franco usually tries to shave a few weeks off negotiations, in an effort to seal more deals. Franco, vice president in the Charlotte office of Cassidy Turley, which handles leasing at the 13-building park in northeast Charlotte, said when his firm’s employees line up a potential tenant, they try to “say yes to the deal.”
When the Carillon building first made an appearance on Charlotte’s skyline in 1991, Anne Vulcano said, it was considered out of the way.
When The Shopping Center Group took over leasing duties at Carolina Commons, which is about five miles into South Carolina, Darrell Palasciano knew the company needed to take it slow. The neighborhood shopping center, anchored by Harris Teeter, was built a few years ago to service the residents of Sun City Carolina Lakes, a massive active-adult community, and other residents of Lancaster County, said Palasciano, a broker in the Charlotte office of The Shopping Center Group.
For the majority of the 16-year-old building’s history, it has been almost completely occupied, said Jonas, a senior vice president with Jones Lang LaSalle, in charge of leasing the Fifth Third Center.
In terms of demand for office space, Downtown and SouthPark dwarf the North submarket, which paradoxically pays off for NorthPointe Executive Park. Northern Mecklenburg County is home to Northpointe, and John Ball, a senior leasing agent with Charlotte-based Trinity Partners, said, “There’s not as much deal velocity in that submarket” as in Downtown and SouthPark. “Landlords (in the North submarket) have to really get in there and make deals happen because you don’t know when the next deal might come through.”
Colonial Plaza, a grandfather in the SouthPark office submarket, has renovations older than some of the neighboring buildings with which it competes for tenants.
Derrick Taub thinks his company just bought the best location in town -- the town of Mint Hill, that is. Taub, vice president of Toronto-based Sierra Group, which this month bought the Mint Hill Festival shopping center for $2.5 million, said he thinks Sierra's first property purchase in the Charlotte market couldn't be better positioned in the town.