EpiCentre sale creates opportunity in Uptown Charlotte - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

EpiCentre sale creates opportunity in Uptown Charlotte

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

It is over 300,000 square feet of opportunity, according to city promoters, and it is up for grabs again - EpiCentre is listed for sale on a Dallas-based commercial real estate firm's website.

The young complex first changed hands in 2010 when its developer, Afshin Ghazi, lost control during a messy foreclosure.

An investment group then bought EpiCentre's $94 million construction loan, spending another $23 million over the past two years to spruce the place up.

Michael Smith of Center City Partners says the recent improvements at EpiCentre - including moves to make it more family friendly - have secured it as an important draw uptown.

"They've done a great job of adjusting the mix of tenants," he says, "with service, and entertainment and hospitality."

But there is a big opportunity that still hasn't been tapped here or anywhere else uptown.

"We've got almost two million square feet of retail in uptown Charlotte, but the mix is so heavily leaning towards food and beverage," Smith says.

At EpiCentre Thursday, we found people who said they'd visit more often if there were more boutiques and a department store.

Smith says big name retail is the last thing uptown Charlotte is really missing.

"It's kind of the last frontier for creating this great urban center," he says. "It makes us a better destination. It strengthens us as a central business district. And it also just serves the residents of this community realm by creating a complete offering."

A summary of the offering online does not list a price for EpiCentre, but Smith is hoping whoever buys it has vision.

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