The Bowl at Ballantyne is getting filled up.
Construction of a 6-acre park that follows a stream is expected to be finished by the fall. A new pedestrian bridge that will connect people from the park to a dining and retail area is done, except for some final landscaping touches. Work on an amphitheater continues.
Newly-released renderings this week of the 20-acre project in south Charlotte show what’s to come this summer: vertical construction of a 26-story apartment tower that will have 350 units plus seven free-standing, low-slung retail buildings.
Developer Northwood Investors LLC already announced one big tenant signing a few months ago. Olde Mecklenburg Brewery will anchor the mixed-use center with 14,000 square feet of indoor space and a 7,000-square-foot patio dining.
The developer is in talks with other tenants, including more food and beverage plus health and service-related businesses, said Jonathan Stewart, vice president of leasing for Northwood Retail.
The Bowl will feature more than 90,000 square feet of retail. A second apartment tower will be built in a second phase of the project.
Six new roads will provide better connectivity to the area, including the park, Stewart said. Two of those roads — Upper and Lower avenues — are planned to extend out to North Community House Road.
“The Bowl is really to introduce a main street component to Ballantyne,” Stewart said.
The site is expected to open next year.
The Bowl is one part of a greater redevelopment project dubbed “Ballantyne Reimagined.” Northwood Investors purchased a massive, 535-acre corporate park for $1.2 billion in 2017 — what marked the single largest transaction in Charlotte’s real estate history, The Charlotte Observer has reported.
Ballantyne is a 2,000-acre community whose business park has over 4 million square feet of office space and includes such companies as Brighthouse Financial, Wells Fargo and TIAA.
Upon purchasing the corporate park, Northwood envisioned a more urban, walkable community complete with apartments, office and retail.
The plans come as major corporations look to trendy, walkable areas like South End for corporate relocations.
Emphasis on retail
In the latest renderings, the site for the new Olde Mecklenburg Brewery can be seen in one corner with a large outdoor patio space. Other low-slung retail buildings will be along the street close to the apartment tower.
The idea is to bring greater density to Ballantyne, Stewart said, similar to what’s happening in South End.
Denser residential and office development has existed in Ballantyne over the years, Stewart said. But as you head down Route 521 into South Carolina, the area feels under served by retail.
“We have a lot of those pieces that you want to see around cool retail projects,” Stewart said. “But there’s never been an emphasis on bringing retail to Ballantyne.”