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Andyc545

Design Center Tower

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I was just reading the online print of the Charlotte Business Journal and to a surprise, an article was published in regards to a possible 20+ story tower to be used for residential, hotel, or both with ground floor retail and is under consideration by a firm called Ram Development Co. The location is to be part of the 3 building complex that houses the Design Center businesses and Pike's along Camden and Worthington in Southend. I believe the site right now is a surface lot and would be adjacent to the East/West Blvd Station. The highlight of the article is about filings with the NC Dept. of Enviro and Natural Resources as the site may be contaminated.

Honestly I don't know how much realism is in this plan as it makes no sense to me given the time and the lack of success with condo sales, high priced rent rates for apartments, and even hotel vacancies, but I thought it was worth posting. It may be something that is beginning to be planned and will wait to be built in a few years when hopefully the economy picks up. Worth generating some talk about even if this doesn't get off the ground. Has anyone heard anything further about this tower; I don't remember this ever being talked about in past topics, and if so, Mods- feel free to move this thread or combine with one of the Southend threads. Figured it was deserving of its own topic as it sounds like as large of a plan as the 1200 S. Blvd Harris project.

The article can be found here.

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I've been pretty busy lately, but I can post some renderings of this tomorrow afternoon.....it is actually planned as a 20 story apartment tower along Worthington and a 9-10 hotel tower in a separate building fronting West Blvd. The hotel is super sexy.

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Hmmm...well if atlrvr says it's sexy, well....LOL.

Not sure what the state of the housing market will be once the residential tower is completed (if it ever gets built), but it does seem to be a bit ambitious in this environment.

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Not sure what the state of the housing market will be once the residential tower is completed (if it ever gets built), but it does seem to be a bit ambitious in this environment.

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I believe the site right now is a surface lot and would be adjacent to the East/West Blvd Station

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Correct. I actually go to the UPS store there 1x a week to mail off stuff. I'd be upset if they took that away!!!

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I've been pretty busy lately, but I can post some renderings of this tomorrow afternoon.....it is actually planned as a 20 story apartment tower along Worthington and a 9-10 hotel tower in a separate building fronting West Blvd. The hotel is super sexy.

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How have you let a super sexy building escape the postings here on UP!? Look forward to seeing some renderings. I was very cautious when posting this as I would have taken this as a joke if it weren't posted in a respected newspaper.

From the sounds of it, it appears to replace just the surface lot across from I believe it's a catering place in the Design Center building that corners Worthington and Camden. Replacing this lot is critical in making the Camden strip more urban and a more walkable district as it's one of the last remaining bare spaces along Camden.

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Ok....here are the renderings. I tried enlarging them so they lost a little clarity, but they give a good idea of the design.

The apartment tower will be between the existing Camden Row building (where UPS is) and Worthington and almost the entire length of the block down Worthington almost to Hawkins. The hotel will go long-way down West Blvd. from the western edge of Camden Row almost to Hawkins. I believe there is a small building at the corner of West and Hawkins that remains. The parking deck is in the middle of the block.

Site overviews that include the existing Camden Row retail/office strip.

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The rest of the renderings distorted when I uploaded them (making them look short and wide)...sorry, but you guys can get the idea.

20 story apartment tower.

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Super sexy 50's retro-modern hotel. (Primarly faced in brick with the bottom 2 floors glass) :)

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Views of the entire complex from different street perspectives (again distorted making them look squater and wider than they really are.)

From Camden Rd.

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From Worthington Ave. (not too badly distorted)

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From West Blvd. (also not too badly distorted)

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Thanks for uploading these!

I think the 50's retro thing is pretty disgusting. Those designs do not age well. A trip to any large college campus will have examples of it. That said, I really like the general layout of this project. This looks like it will be a great infill project overall. Minus the 50's hotel. This is a great example of what can be done with parking lots.

As always, I'll hold my final opinion until its done, but this one looks promising!

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What's the odds of both this and the Harris development happening? Southend will have two hotels?

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Interesting. WAY different that what Tony Pressely had planned for that location a few years ago. I'm not sure if I like it or not.

Except for that 50's thing. Not.

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I was digging the design of the hotel until I saw the brick--at least it looks like brick. Now I do love brick, as it is a quality building material, but it doesn't go with that design at all.

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I'm not a huge fan of the hotel either, but I'll reserve judgment until more detailed renderings are released. I do like how the parking deck is hidden between the buildings though. The apartment building is kind of like Ashton but with much more glass. It's actually kind of nice. I wonder how much of the uptown view it will be blocked from Ashton?

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A comment about the brick- I'm surprised there's not more of it. SouthEnd has a major brick theme to it.

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^Even though it's dominated by a huge pink glass tower! So the question is, if SE has a brick theme, is it important to continue that theme in the future - or is a mix of materials more interesting? What's worth more: a coherent theme, or an interesting mix?

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I really like the hotel! I love the 1950s look, its something that charlotte does not have a lot of. I think a better rendering would suit it much better! The entire complex is a step in the right direction for me. Who knows maybe there'll be a southend skyline one day!

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Thats a great question. I think that its important for architecture to acknowledge its surrounding environment. I'm not suggesting that the whole thing needs to be brick, but at the very least it should have SOME brick in it. I'll point to Metro10 West and that project over at Central & The Plaza next to the PM Library (name escapes me), both of which chose to ignore their surroundings entirely, and thus stick out like sore thumbs.

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I may be remembering wrong, as the last time I heard of this project was years ago. But I thought I read that demolishing the design center was part of the overall plan. I hope this option has been discarded. It's a great funky cool building inside and out.

I like the renderings. Another hotel is needed in Southend. The motel behind Uptown Cabaret can't have all the sexy to itself :lol:

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I may be remembering wrong, as the last time I heard of this project was years ago. But I thought I read that demolishing the design center was part of the overall plan. I hope this option has been discarded. It's a great funky cool building inside and out.

I like the renderings. Another hotel is needed in Southend. The motel behind Uptown Cabaret can't have all the sexy to itself :lol:

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I like the design of the hotel and apartment complex, but I too am not a fan of the hotel being brick. It actually looks really cool in white in the first few renderings shown, maybe stucco or some other light colored material would suit this design better.

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I'm a big fan of the apartment or residential component. I like how they incorporated the brick, but really brought a lot of glass and provided a mild change to the area that doesn't make it out of place. It really brings a statement for the area. The hotel- not a fan of the style but I would take it. The 50's style is a bit distinguished and unique for Charlotte, especially S. End, even though I find the stlye hideous.

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