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    The Charlotte Observer: Uptown's newest office tower is getting ready to make its debut

    October 28, 2016

    by Ely Portillo

    At the corner of Third and South Tryon streets, Spectrum Properties’ Maxwell Hanks has gotten used to leading groups of prospective tenants on tours of Charlotte’s newest office high-rise, 300 South Tryon.

    The building will see its first occupants by mid-summer, with anchor tenant Barings scheduled to start moving into the top nine floors around July or August. Other tenants will also be able to move in around the same time, Hanks said, leading a tour through the “double A, brand-spanking new” building that will feature floor-to-ceiling glass, open floor plans, connectivity to the adjacent hotel under construction, 410 below-ground parking spaces and a linear park running between Tryon Street and Romare Bearden Park.

    There’s still about 370,000 square feet of space left to lease in the building, which is priced at $35 to $36 per square foot. Hanks said he’s seeing good interest from potential tenants, though about two-thirds are local prospects and one-third are relocation prospects. Ideally, Hanks said he’d like to see those proportions flipped. House Bill 2, the state’s new LGBT law, has brokers like Hanks concerned that out-of-state prospects are staying away from North Carolina.

    Hanks said the building’s open floors allow tenants to maximize density, and in some cases they are looking at floor plans with less than 100 square feet of space per employee.

    At the construction site, about 500 workers are still welding, hammering and pouring concrete at a steady pace. A year ago, the whole site was a 45-foot deep hole in the ground. Now, the building sails more than 26 stories high. Workers positioned the 10,000-pound air chiller units on the roof last week, completing a major part of the vertical construction.

    Developers broke ground on the $300 million, 25-story office tower in December 2014. It took general contractor Balfour Beatty about a year – and 20 explosive blasts – to dig up and clear 110,000 cubic yards of dirt and rock to create the foundations and below-ground parking.

    The building is anchored by the firm formerly known as Babson Capital Management (now Barings). The building, which totals about 630,000 square feet, still has its lower floors on the market.

    Next to Brevard Court and Latta Arcade, 300 South Tryon was the first post-recession uptown office tower to break ground: Prior to that, the last new uptown office towers opened in 2010, when the 48-story Duke Energy Center and 32-story 1 Bank of America Center were completed.

    Also included in the project: A 217-room Kimpton hotel, on the side of the site facing Church Street and overlooking Romare Bearden Park. Featuring an upscale restaurant, rooftop bar and event space, the hotel is expected to open in October 2017. It’s Kimpton’s first hotel in Charlotte. The company is also developing another hotel in Dilworth.

    On the ground floor, 300 South Tryon and the Kimpton will feature several restaurants and cafes for passersby and tenants. The linear park, running along Third Street, will be about 40 feet wide, and will reduce Third Street to two lanes (One lane is closed now for construction). Hanks said he’s talking with several restaurant tenants, but they haven’t signed leases yet.

    The hotel and office building are connected by a passageway, with conference rooms and a ballroom that tenants and guests can use.

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