Duke Energy Finds Buyers for 2 Uptown Properties

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Duke Energy announced Monday that it has sold two of its uptown properties as it consolidates space in anticipation of moving its headquarters to a new uptown office tower, Duke Energy Plaza. This is a rendering of the course from 2021.

Courtesy of Duke Energy

Two developers are expected to strike a deal to purchase two-decade-old Duke Energy-owned properties in Uptown and convert both into new office, residential and retail space.

The sales, announced Monday, come as Duke Energy is trimming down its real estate footprint before moving to new headquarters nearby next year.

Millennium Venture Capital, based in Berlin, Germany, will acquire Duke Energy’s property at 401 S. College St., according to a Duke Energy press release. MRP Realty, a Washington, DC-based developer, will purchase the 526 S. Church St. lot — eventually more than doubling its height.

The two sites have an estimated combined value of about $138 million, county records show, The Charlotte Observer reported in September. Duke Energy is not disclosing selling prices at this time, spokeswoman Caroline Portillo said.

The deals are expected to close later this year. Once that happens, Duke will be leaving 401 S. College.

The Charlotte-based energy company will have a presence at 526 S. Church through the end of 2023. This is to ensure there is enough space for employees as the new headquarters, Duke Energy Plaza, is under construction.

The 40-story tower on South Tryon Street will house about 4,400 Duke employees and contractors, the Observer reported in September. Work on the outside of the tower will be largely complete by the end of the year, Portillo said the observer. The interior work will continue until the employees move in next year.

Duke Energy has transitioned to a hybrid work plan, Portillo said.

Once Duke vacates the Church and College Street properties, it will grow from 2.5 million square feet uptown to 1 million square feet. The move will save Duke an estimated $85 million to $90 million over five years, Portillo said.

New residential tower planned

MRP Realty calls their project at 526 S. Church adaptive reuse development. The Duke Energy building is 12 stories, nearly 1 million square feet, and occupies 3.86 acres. It serves as the headquarters of Duke Energy.

According to Ryan Wade, MRP’s founding director, MRP plans to convert part of the existing building into 425 loft-style apartments. A new 14-story tower atop the existing office building will contain 125 luxury apartments, Wade said.

The project will include between 50,000 and 70,000 square feet of ground floor retail and 100,000 square feet of creative offices.

MRP will be collaborating with Charlotte-based Asana Partners on the retail space. There will be dining and beverage options, as well as other retail outlets, according to Liz Piccolo, an MRP spokeswoman. There are no confirmed tenants yet. Construction could start later in 2023.

The site is bordered by Stonewall Street, just steps from Bank of America Stadium.

“Uptown is where major employers are based and we believe Stonewall Street has a unique opportunity to become one of Charlotte’s premier retail corridors,” Wade said in a statement.

This would be MRP’s second project in Charlotte.

MRP is in a joint venture with White Point Partners and Barings, an investment management firm, to build a 24-story residential tower at 1728 South Blvd. in the south end.

German developer plans

The details of Duke’s South College Street development aren’t as concrete yet — at least publicly.

The Duke building there spans 2.3 acres and encompasses nearly 327,000 square feet of space.

According to Portillo, the German developer is planning a mixed-use development. The development includes luxury apartments as well as offices, retail and a hotel.

Attempts to reach MVC were unsuccessful on Monday.

Other uptown development

Further developments are planned or underway in the near future.

Building a $166 million 12-story residential tower in the area of ​​315 W. Morehead, St. Texas, Aspen Heights Partners plans to build 393 townhouses and apartment units.

The $600 million 7th and Tryon project will create offices, a hotel, apartments, restaurants and retail outlets around 6th and 8th Streets. The project is expected to be completed by mid-2025, the Observer reported in October.

There are also plans to build a new main library and refurbish Spirit Square. This project is expected to be completed by the end of 2025. The library, theaters and the 7th and Tryon projects will be linked by plazas, county officials said.

This story was originally published May 2, 2022 3:02 p.m.

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Gordon Rago reports on growth and development for The Charlotte Observer. He was previously a reporter at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia and began his journalism career in 2013 at Shoshone News-Press in Idaho.

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