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UPDATED: Bissell starts on Ballantyne spec office building

Bissell has launched construction on a speculative 287,507-square-foot office building in south Charlotte’s Ballantyne Corporate Park, and announced its intention to build more than 900,000 more square feet of office space in the future.

Dubbed the Brigham Building, the 10-story building now under construction at 11625 N. Community House Road will be the largest building in the park, by 2,000 square feet, and is slated for completion in November 2016.

“The timing is ideal to increase office inventory in Ballantyne,” said Bissell Chairman Smoky Bissell in a press release. “We continue to invest in Charlotte because we believe in our city’s ability to attract and retain strong businesses.”

Smoky Bissell named the building after Dr. Craig Brigham, an orthopedic surgeon who treated him for a back injury.

Bissell Development will oversee the project, working with architecture firm LS3P Associates and general contractor Rodgers Builders.

Rett Turner, vice president of leasing at Bissell, says the best-case scenario would entail a large company leasing the site. Next would be multiple tenants setting up shop there.

Asked if he had an ideal tenant in mind, Turner said “The one that pays the best.”

He said the new building will lease for between $32 and $34 per square foot, a premium above the current average of $26.50 per square foot at the park.

The Brigham Building will be built to LEED Gold specifications, and include top-of-the-line finishes and views that carry to uptown, T

The nearly 288,000-square-foot Brigham Building in Ballantyne is slated for completion by the end of next year.

The nearly 288,000-square-foot Brigham Building, now under construction in Ballantyne, is slated for completion by the end of next year.

urner said. It will feature a two-story lobby, glass exterior curtain walls, balconies on the third and 10th floors and structured parking, and will overlook the 12th hole of The Golf Club at Ballantyne.

Turner said several factors contributed to the company’s decision to build speculative space, including the park’s 5 percent vacancy rate.

“Smoky Bissell has faith in the region’s economy as a whole,” he said, “and market activity has remained consistently bullish over the last several years. Demand is still there.”

The second-quarter MarketBeat report from the Charlotte office of international commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield|Thalhimer is bullish on the South Charlotte office submarket, noting that few blocks of space are available there. Class A rental rates in the area, which include SouthPark, Park Road and Cotswold, average $30.66 pe

r square foot, the report says, above the county’s average of $25.77 per square foot.

As for the office market in general, the report says, “Supply constraints are expected over the next few years, barring any unforeseen economic events…leasing velocity is expected to improve, and incentive challenges are anticipated to be resolved in the near-term.”

Those market conditions have led Bissell to ponder its next phase of speculative development. Plans are in the early stages for a 150-room hotel and event space on the east side of the 535-acre corporate park. Next would come three 10-story buildings and one six-story building that would total more than 900,000 square feet. That would allow the company to market nearly 1 million square feet of office space for a corporate relocation or expansion, Turner said.

Ballantyne Corporate Park, with 41 office buildings, is home to major tenants including insurance giant MetLife, snack-food manufacturer Snyder-Lance and industrial conglomerate SPX Corp. The park has more than 4 million square feet of Class A office space and nearly 600 hotel rooms as well as restaurants and medical and retail space.


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