The future of the Excelsior Club is still up in the air

The future of the Excelsior Club is still up in the air

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The work occurring at 921 Beatties Ford Road appears to be shrouded in secrecy. Metal containers are on site at the Exclesior Club, along with "no trespassing" signs.

It's unknown if what's happening at the Excelsior Club is demolition or new construction, but one thing clear is that Mecklenburg County has yet to
issue any permits to approve the work.

Dr. Dan Morrill, of the Historic Landmarks Commission, and his organization will have say over what ultimately happens to the property.

"If somebody files for a demolition permit, the Historic Landmarks Commission could impose a delay of demolition for up to 365 days," Morrill said. "Clearly, the ball is in the owner's court."

Earlier in 2017, Attorney James Ferguson, who owned the club for the last 12 years, acknowledged the property was in foreclosure and that the club's future was dim. At that time, Ferguson told reporters, "The challenges of renovation and upgrading proved to be too great for the resources available to us."

While Ferguson and his family put their best faces forward, a compelling paper trail at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse lays out a narrative that
showcases the club's recent hard times.

One order states that the foreclosure proceedings were moving forward.  Nearly two weeks ago, there was word that the club was in default and ended up in the hands of State Representative Carla Cunningham. The club was owned by Carla Cunningham's late husband Pete Cunningham.

Founded in the mid-40s by Jimmy McKee, who passed away in 1985, the Excelsior Club was the center of social and political activity.

With the club's future in the air, any changes will come with great scrutiny.

"If they're going to make material alterations to the building, they're gonna have to get design and review approval from us," Morrill said.

In recent weeks, an appraisal has been done and completed, which will be shared with county officials.

The appraisal would determine if the club lives on.

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