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Bissell nears completion on spec project

Also: More retail for Ballantyne; Revaluation mixed with breakfast

The Bissell Cos. is almost finished construction on an office building in Ballantyne in south Charlotte, one of the city’s fastest growing markets.

Bissell, a Charlotte real estate firm, expects to be done in April on the Calhoun Building, a speculative, 140,000-square-foot project, said Barry Fabyan, senior vice president and manager of office leasing services.

Charlotte-based Cox Schepp Construction is the contractor.

Construction started in September, Fabyan said. He declined to give the cost of the project.

The building, named in honor of Andy Calhoun, president and CEO of the Charlotte YMCA, is in Ballantyne Corporate Park on North Community House Road.

The six-story building is being built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold standards and will feature free structured parking, Fabyan said.

At Ballantyne Corporate Park, Bissell has built on a speculative basis as a result of continued demand from companies that want to be in Ballantyne, Fabyan said.

“Recent lease interest and activity makes us feel very good about bringing Calhoun into the market in late spring,” he said.

Retail project to open next month

Also in Ballantyne, Charlotte-based York Development Group has nearly finished Ballantyne Corners, a retail development featuring two buildings with a total of 41,000 square feet, said York owner Doug Baumgartner.

The contractor is Myers and Chapman in Charlotte. Baumgartner declined to give the cost of the project.

The first building, along Ballantyne Commons Parkway, was completed in August and is occupied by Skillets, a restaurant that opened in November. A second restaurant, Genghis Grill, is scheduled to open in May, Baumgartner said. The building’s third tenant is a small health food store.

The second building is along North Community House Road. It will house the 8,300-square-foot The Arts Center. Other tenants include Blackthorn Bistro, which will have a 1,500-square-foot rooftop bar, and Mystique Makeovers Salon, both of which are scheduled to open this summer, along with smaller tenants, such as yogurt shop, dry cleaner and pizza restaurant. Baumgartner said about 85 percent of the building is leased, with 6,000 square feet vacant and available.

Construction started in 2009 but faced delays because of the recession, he said.

“We questioned if we wanted to move forward, and we had to go through a reappraisal,” he said. “Everything slowed down.”

But Baumgartner said Ballantyne has proved a desirable location and The Bissell Cos.’ many office parks benefit retail space.

“Bissell looks at retail as an amenity to office space, and we look at office space and the daytime population it brings as a much-needed attribute for retail,” he said.

Commercial focus for breakfast

The Charlotte chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Products will play host to a breakfast event to discuss the 2011 Mecklenburg County revaluation and its impact on the local market.

The event, scheduled for Wednesday, is geared toward commercial real estate owners, developers, brokers, property managers and appraisers, said NAIOP meeting planner Kate Kaeli.

The event comes as commercial property owners begin receiving their revaluation notices, which the city started mailing last week.

Panelists and guest speakers will discuss the revaluation methodology and appeals process. There will also be a question-and-answer session.

Kaeli said Herndon, Va.-based NAIOP is expecting between 50 to 75 attendees. Panelists include Chuck Hicks, the county’s revaluation manager; Tom Derham, chairman of the Citizens Revaluation Advisory Committee; David Allen, partner at Trinity Partners; and Thomas Harris, owner of T.B. Harris and Associates. Chris Thomas, senior marketing principal with Childress Klein Properties, will facilitate the event.

The event will run from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Byron’s South End, 101 W. Worthington Ave.

To register, and for cost information, go to

Sam Boykin can be reached at [email protected].

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