Charlotte Commercial Real Estate Wrap-Up – July 2020

Centene plans $1 billion East Coast headquarters. KKR buys Amazon property for $84 million. Here’s our July list of Charlotte must-reads.
Centene, East Coast headquarters in Charlotte, N.C.Image courtesy of Centene Corp.

Even as the city experienced a significant uptick in new coronavirus cases in July, Charlotte’s commercial real estate sectors saw a sizable share of activity during the past month. Developments moved forward, even as many commercial tenants had to operate at reduced capacity. Investment activity was muted, though one sizable industrial deal highlighted continuing interest in well-positioned, stable distribution centers, even in uncertain times. Although health officials reported fewer new COVID-19 cases toward the end of the month, the longer-term effects of the pandemic on Charlotte’s economy may not be felt for some time. Catch up on our July selection of Charlotte must-knows:

1. DEVELOPMENT – Centene to invest $1 billion in new offices.

After conducting a comprehensive evaluation process, the company settled on Charlotte as the location for its new regional headquarters. The campus—expected to create 6,000 new jobs—will encompass several office buildings, a data center and Centene Tech University. The development will be built in four phases, the first of which is slated for completion in the second half of 2022. The site is located along Governor Hunt Road in University Research Park.

2. DEAL – KKR pays $84 million for Kannapolis Amazon facility.

The company paid $260 million for two Amazon-leased properties encompassing 2.5 million square feet in the Charlotte and Chicago markets. Morgan Stanley sold the 1.1 million-square-foot fulfillment center near Charlotte, public records show. Capital One originated a $42.7 million acquisition loan for the deal. Delivered in 2018, the building is located on 90 acres at 6500 Davidson Highway.

3. PEOPLE – CBRE strengthens tenant representation team.

The firm’s Charlotte office hired John Christenbury to serve as senior vice president in its occupier services group. He is a multi-million dollar producer and has represented several Fortune 500 companies. Christenbury’s client list includes Verizon, Lend Lease, Citizens Bank and UBS, among others. Before coming to CBRE, he worked as a director at Cushman & Wakefield for six years. Christenbury holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

4. LEASING – Commercial Credit Group moves headquarters to 19-story tower.

The company relocated its operations to New York Life Real Estate Investors’ 405,000-square-foot office building at 525 N. Tryon St. The firm is moving from 227 W. Trade St., a 476,000-square-foot property owned by KBS Realty Advisors. During its 10 year tenure at its previous location, the firm grew from 17 to 80 employees and sought additional space. The financier will join existing tenants Bank of America, Regus and Frontier Capital at the 1998-built tower in downtown Charlotte.