One of the largest new projects we are excited about is Ballantyne Reimagined. This enormous project will transform 535 acres of Ballantyne and turn it into a true destination. The entire property has one owner, Northwood Investors. The property was purchased for $1.2 billion in 2017 in the largest real estate deal in Charlotte’s history. The plan has come together since that time and is already underway.
The property is currently the home of Ballantyne Corporate Office Park. Right now it looks like a typical office park with office buildings and parking lots. There is a golf course providing green space, but it is not very community friendly. That is all about to change.
In a super ambitious plan, Northwood is revamping the entire property to be a walkable district with retail, townhomes, apartments, trails, greenspace, an 8-acre park, and a 2,000-seat amphitheater. This follows the trend of people demanding walkable neighborhoods like SouthEnd and South Park.
Northwood Investors has been behind many fantastic projects in the Charlotte area such as Blakeney, the Vue building, Latta Arcade, parts of McLean, and many more. They also have projects in other states and a few countries around the world in their portfolio. This gives them the experience to tackle a project of this scope. And Ballantyne is perfect for this revitalization as the area is a major economic driver.
The first step after acquisition of the property, Northwood applied for rezoning for the corporate park. The rezoning came through in June with approval by City Council. Construction is underway right now on an 11-story office building expected to be complete in the spring.
Other parts of phase 1 will include 1,030 residential multi-family units, 300,000 square feet of retail with a possible grocery store on North Community House Road, 200 hotel rooms, the amphitheater, and parks and greenway. This phase should take around 5-6 years to be fully completed.
Phase 2 of the project should add an additional 1,030 multi-family units as well as 300 townhomes with an additional 400,000 square feet of office space. There is also a proposal for 3 transit stations on the light rail to service the area. This would connect Ballantyne more fully with the rest of Charlotte and would provide transportation to the airport as well.
In the promotional materials from Northwood, they have created a motto for the development which is Connect, Delight, Entertain. These are the goals of the revitalization. They envision a place where you can maximize the quality of life with a grand vision of the future of place. The main principles they are adhering to are walkability, mixed uses, quality architecture and public/civic spaces, transit orientation, connectivity, home style mix, clustered living, and sustainability. The guiding design principles for the project are advancing urbanity, outdoor lifestyle, health and wellness, discovery, integration, and authenticity.
However they word it for promotional communications, we are excited about this project. Ballantyne has long been in need of a reimagining and this should spur additional development in the area.