Charlotte Adaptive Reuse Project Starts Phase 2

ATCO Properties & Management and Shorenstein Properties will begin construction on the Camp North End mixed-use redevelopment this month.

ATCO Properties & Management and Shorenstein Properties LLC are beginning Phase II of the 76-acre, 1 million-square-foot Camp North End adaptive reuse and redevelopment project in Charlotte, N.C., this month and expect construction at the mixed-use campus to be completed by early 2022.

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The second phase will add 120,000 square feet of Class A office space and approximately 15,000 to 20,000 square feet of retail to the live-work-play hub in the city’s North End Smart District. The plan includes two adaptive-reuse buildings at 201 Camp Road and 701 Keswick Ave., along with construction of new multifamily units and a parking garage. The project team, including S9 Architecture and BB+M Architecture, is also in the planning stages for several other buildings on the site, which will feature the renovation of the historic Ford Factory. Once a manufacturing plant for Model T and Model A cars, the former factory dates back to 1924 and was recently designated as a local historic landmark.

Now one of the largest adaptive reuse projects in the U.S., the Camp North End site was also home to a U.S. quartermaster depot during World War II and was converted to the Charlotte Area Munitions Plant during the Cold War. The site was also used by the U.S. Army to assemble Gama Goat vehicles. In June, the developers announced they had completed the adaptive reuse of the Gama Goat Building at 1801 N. Graham St. and began leasing the space as a creative office property.

In addition to the Gama Goat Building, which has been awarded a two-star Fitwel Community Design Certification, Phase I involved the leasing of 70,000 square feet in buildings facing The Boileryard and The Mount, two of the project’s districts. Phase I, which included completion of the site’s main retail thoroughfare, Keswick Avenue, was done by summer. All four food stalls at the Keswick Avenue section were fully leased by that time, with tenants like La Caseta, Bleu Barn Bistro, SARU by Bow Ramen and Plant Joy. Other retail tenants in recent months include used bookstore That’s Novel Books, specialty paper goods shop Good Postage, plant shop GROW, Leah & Louise restaurant, gourmet bakery Wentworth & Fenn, taproom Free Range Brewing, specialty cocktail company Black Moth Bars, dessert stand Popbar and boutique fitness center bloc, which leased space at the Gama Goat Building.

Health and wellness

Plans to revitalize the former industrial site began in earnest in May 2018 when ATCO formed a joint venture partnership with Shorenstein. Damon Hemmerdinger, co-president of ATCO, said in a prepared statement that beginning Phase II was a milestone in the team’s efforts to redefine the modern work environment, to enliven the commercial center of the North End and create a place where creativity and innovation thrive.

Matt Knisely, managing director at Shorenstein, said in prepared remarks the Phase II announcement is a testament to the initial success of Camp North End. He said they look forward to expanding the offerings at the site and to continue doing it safely.

In August, Tommy Mann, ATCO development director, told Commercial Property Executive the project had always been planned with a special focus on health and wellness. He noted that some of the design elements at Camp North End are particularly appropriate and welcome now for companies looking for safe spaces for their employees during and after the pandemic. The buildings are all single story and office spaces have multiple entrances directly to the outdoors. There are no common lobbies, no elevators and no shared restrooms. Each office space has its own self-contained HVAC system that lets in 20 to 30 percent more outside air than a typical office tower.

Camp North End was one of the first four developments in North America to receive Fitwel Community Certification from the Center for Active Design. Other health and wellness offerings at the site include ample outdoor amenities including a quarter-mile covered walking loop, bike storage, community gardens and public art.

A Cushman & Wakefield team comprising Jessica Brown, David Dorsch and Grant Keyes are the exclusive leasing agents for the property’s office component.