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June 2024 CREW Charlotte Luncheon “Reimaging Vintage Office Design”
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June 2024 CREW Charlotte Luncheon “Reimaging Vintage Office Design”

June 2024 CREW Charlotte Luncheon “Reimaging Vintage Office Design”

Submitted by Ashleigh Mellon, Geo Hydro Engineers

At the recent CREW Charlotte June luncheon, attendees were treated to an insightful discussion led by James LaBar of Center City Partners. The focal point? Maximizing the potential of vintage Uptown office space. Rooted in a recent community-wide design competition, the conversation aimed to ignite creativity around existing office buildings in Uptown Charlotte, with the overarching goal of bolstering Uptown as a regional asset brimming with diverse destinations and economic activities.

The panel, comprising representatives from the two winning projects – Brooklyn & Church by Asana Partners/MRP Realty and 301 South College Street by Progressive Companies/Childress Klein – brought forth innovative approaches and future-oriented visions.

Reed Kracke of Asana Partners unveiled the Brooklyn and Church project, an ambitious endeavor involving the conversion of office towers into a mixed-use space blending retail and multifamily units. This transformation, complemented by the construction of a new retail building, promises to infuse 55,000 square feet of retail space into the area, fostering a vibrant “downtown neighborhood” ambiance and enhancing walkability within the coveted Brooklyn Village East West Corridor.

Ryan Doherty of Progressive Companies and Amy Clement of Childress Klein delved into their design concept for 301 South College, emphasizing the aim to inspire future possibilities for the project. Their proposal revolves around activating the street level with an array of retail outlets, restaurants, and entertainment venues, while also leveraging the presence of the light rail to create a dynamic experiential space.

The broader context of the discussion touched upon the evolving nature of downtowns nationwide, transitioning from traditional Central Business Districts to more dynamic Central Activity Districts. This shift brings with it a set of challenges, particularly concerning vintage assets predominantly constructed before the turn of the millennium. However, the panelists and attendees alike recognized this as an opportunity to spearhead revitalization efforts and transform Uptown Charlotte into a thriving, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood.

In essence, the CREW Charlotte luncheon served as a catalyst for meaningful dialogue and forward-thinking initiatives aimed at reimagining Uptown as a vibrant urban hub. By harnessing the potential of vintage office spaces and fostering collaboration among stakeholders, the vision of a revitalized Uptown Charlotte as a bustling epicenter of activity inches closer to reality.

 

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