Some more great news about progress along Charlotte Avenue. Mt. Juliet based Commercial Realty Services has purchased the abandoned Hostess Bakery Outlet at 42nd/Charlotte and plans to do an adaptive re-use of the building into a very nice urban retail center, housing three to four tenants. CRS has done a lot of work in Mt. Juliet, specifically in the popular Providence development. I spoke with Will Tyner who is the lead on the project, and he was very gracious to answer my questions. See the details of our interview below.
First off, what about this section of Charlotte did your company find attractive that you felt compelled to invest in this property?
The thing we liked most about this property was its ease of accessibility. Being at the corner of 42nd Street and Charlotte Avenue you are really just a few minutes drive from downtown as well as the midtown/West End area. 42nd street also serves as a front door entrance to the Sylvan Park community which makes this location very accessible for that neighborhood.
What do you envision this portion of Charlotte looking like in five years?
We believe there is going to be a number of redevelopment opportunities along the Charlotte corridor over the next few years and that as the affluence and population of the area continues to rise you will see a demand for much more commercial space. The growth in the Sylvan Park, Sylvan Heights, and Nations neighborhoods are already creating demand for more neighborhood restaurants, retail, and other commercial uses.
Have you been in contact with Madison Mill about this project? Do you feel that Madison Mill will be there for the foreseeable future, or do you see that one day becoming mixed-use in light of the transformation taking place along Charlotte/Sylvan Park?
We have had some initial conversations with the owner of the Mill property and while we do think that ultimately this will be a great site for a large scale redevelopment I think it is unlikely that will happen in the immediate future.
Are you aware of any plans that HG Hill has for the properties that they own just down Charlotte near 40th Avenue?
We are aware of the assemblage that they have put together, but have not heard anything for certain in terms of their plans for the property.
Are you going to be demolishing the existing building or doing an adaptive re-use?
Our plans are an adaptive re-use of the existing building with a small expansion of about 1,000 square feet. However, as you will see in the building renderings there will be a complete makeover of the building into a very cool urban neighborhood retail center.
Will the parking lot still front Charlotte, or do you plan to bring the building to the sidewalk?
In using the existing building the majority of the parking will remain toward the front of the building. However, we are going to be adding a lot of elements to increase the pedestrian friendliness of the site and overall urban feel. We will also be completely remodeling the 42nd street side of the building to create and urban streetscape where the building does come all the way to the sidewalk.
What type of tenant(s) are you hoping to land and how many?
The plan is for a multi-tenant building with 4-6 tenants. Of those we envision a full service restaurant, coffee shop/café, specialty retail, and potentially even specialty office like an art studio.
I understand you presented at a recent Sylvan Park Neighborhood Association meeting about the project, how was it received?
At the front door to Sylvan Park we believe this project is going to be a great amenity for the residents of this neighborhood and we have tried to involve them in the process as best as possible. We have heard nothing but positive feedback from all the neighbors we have spoken with and the same was true at the SPNA meeting.
Are there any zoning issues that you are going to encounter with this project that will require a hearing?
Yes, we are requesting a change in zoning from Industrial (IR) to Multi-Use Limited (MUL-A). This allows us to do larger retail space, personal services, and other uses that we believe will better serve the community and that are more consistent with the community plan and growth along the Charlotte corridor.
When do you hope to break ground? And how long do you see construction taking?