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Each week, WFAE's "Morning Edition" hosts get a rundown of the biggest business and development stories from The Charlotte Ledger Business Newsletter.

Sales price balloons for Charlotte business park

South end business park.JPG
South End Business Park
Google Maps

If you think home prices have skyrocketed over the past decade, listen to this: The price for the nearly 50-acre South End Business Park jumped from $10 million to $110 million since it was last sold in 2013. Records show Florida-based Ram Realty Advisors bought the property near the intersection of I-77 and Clanton Road last month. For more, Morning Edition host Marshall Terry talks with Tony Mecia of the Charlotte Ledger business newsletter for our segment BizWorthy.

Marshall Terry: Tony, I know property values go up over time. But $100 million more in just under a decade?

Tony Mecia: Yeah, it's a pretty big increase, Marshall, for this business park near I-77 and Clanton Road. It's called the South End Business Park. I think you'd be a little bit hard-pressed to say that it's South End. I mean, it's basically, you know, north of Clanton Road between I-77 and South Tryon Street. But yeah, it previously sold for $10 million in 2013. And the owner of it changed the name from 77 Corporate Park to South End Business Park and made a few investments in it, you know, made a few improvements and then sold it last month for, you know, $100 million more. So that's a pretty big increase there.

Terry: So what are the plans for this spot?

Mecia: Yeah. So the new owner, Ram Realty Advisors, had put in a rezoning request with the city and they're not exactly sure what's going to go there specifically — but they're talking about a mix of office use, hotel, residential, retail and some green space. And it could certainly support a whole lot of apartments that, some of the marketing materials for the site said earlier this year, said, it could potentially hold 1,500 apartments, 1.2 million square feet of office. So there are a lot of different possible uses there.

Terry: And you said a moment ago that it might be, you know, questionable to call this part of town South End, technically. But is this just part of that trend of South End pushing farther to the south, or are we going to see skyscrapers here, you know, some six miles from uptown?

Mecia: Yeah, I think anytime you have a popular area, everybody sort of wants to rebrand themselves as that popular area. Whether it's, you know, South Park or South End or wherever it is. But, yeah, I mean, I do think you've seen that trend, you know, move down South Boulevard, down South Tryon. You know, you have a lot of developments around the Scaleybark light rail station, you know, in the area that's becoming known as "LoSo" or Lower South End. So this is sort of in that area, close to that area. And I think, yes, in a few years when this gets developed, I mean, that whole area is going to be called South End or LoSo. So yeah, definitely a territorial expansion for that area of town.

Terry: And with all of this going on in that area, I mean, does that kind of help explain why this, this price jumped so much on this on this property?

Mecia: I think so. I mean, a lot of developers have seen the potential of South End. We all know that South End is growing and expanding. Land prices, they are getting very high. You know, 10 years ago the thought of building, you know, 1,500 apartments and office towers there on Clanton Road and I-77 might not have been as attractive as it is today. So, yes, you're seeing a huge jump in the price. And any developer who pays that kind of a price is going to want to put a lot of things on that land.

Terry: All right. Well, on to some retail news now. Belk dropped its lawsuit against its former CEO. Remind us, why did they sue in the first place?

Mecia: Yeah. Belk's former CEO Nir Patel left the company a while ago, and he took with him some Belk employees. He was becoming the CEO of GameStop, and Belk was alleging that, that he sort of improperly poached those employees. And The Observer reported last week that Belk and Patel and some of the other people who were involved reached a settlement of that lawsuit. We don't know the terms of that settlement. Those are being kept private.

Terry: All right. Well, switching gears now to something that we don't normally talk about on BizWorthy, and that is wildlife. The Ledger reports that some residents in south Charlotte are upset over a fence that appears to be repeatedly impaling deer. What's going on there?

Mecia: Yeah, a bunch of neighbors near the Enclave at Providence development, which is on Pineville-Mathews Road near Davie Park in south Charlotte. They're saying that there have been repeated incidents in which deer trying to cross through the woods and cross through people's yards, jump up on these fences and then sadly get impaled on the spikes on the top of these fences. They say they've seen it multiple times, most recently last week. It's a really tragic situation. The homeowner's association down there, though, says that to replace the fence would be very expensive and that it might not even prevent, you know, future incidents like this from happening. So a little bit of an impasse there, but certainly a troubling situation for deer and for the neighbors who care about them.

Terry: Finally, if you're looking to get a Christmas tree this year, brace yourself for sticker shock. Inflation is affecting Christmas tree growers like everyone else. How much more are we talking here, Tony?

Mecia: Yeah. Last week WCNC talked to a forestry expert with NC State who said you can expect your Christmas tree prices to go up between 10 and 15%. They also talk about a number of Christmas tree vendors who said the same thing. I mean they're dealing, like a lot of other businesses, with higher costs for workers, higher costs for fuel, transportation, all that stuff. So, yes, you can expect to pay more for your Christmas tree unless you have a reusable tree that maybe is in your attic that you roll out every year. That price, I think, is going to stay the same.

Terry: An inflation-proof tree. All right. Thanks, Tony.

Support for BizWorthy comes from Sharonview Federal Credit Union, UNC Charlotte's Belk College of Business and our members.

Marshall came to WFAE after graduating from Appalachian State University, where he worked at the campus radio station and earned a degree in communication. Outside of radio, he loves listening to music and going to see bands - preferably in small, dingy clubs.