CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The owner of the Excelsior Club received a bit of good news Thursday.
State Rep. Carla Cunningham owns the Excelsior. She inherited it from her late husband, Rep. William “Pete” Cunningham who owned the club for nearly 20 years. The club’s real estate broker, Steve Robinson, says there is an investor in California who is interested in buying the Excelsior Club. He confirms the club is now under contract. The asking price is $1.5 million. Robinson would not say how much the offer was, but did say the investor’s primary inclination is to preserve the Excelsior Club.
“It shows what I’ve always said,” Charlotte At-Large Councilman James Mitchell said. “That’s a valuable piece of property, but I would still like to have city council have our options presented on June 27th.”
Mitchell wants city, county and other local entities to purchase the Excelsior Club. He is chair of the city’s Economic Development Committee. That committee will meet on June 27 at the Government Center to discuss options concerning the Excelsior Club. He is inviting the public to come and show city leaders their support for Charlotte’s first Black club. Mitchell is not letting the fact the building is now under contract deter him from fighting for it.
“Until the deal is sold,” Mitchell said. “I think we need to stay and show our commitment that we want to preserve that historical site on Beatties Ford Road.”
The At-Large City Councilman believes the government would be the best owner for the building.
“I think when you have a private investor,” Mitchell said. “You always have to be careful - will they engage the community. Will they involve the community of what should go there that would benefit the community. Typically a private investor wants to know a return on his investment and so I will be a strong advocate. I’m not going to take my foot off the pedal.”
The club recently made it on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Most Endangered Places List. Many hoped by making that list an offer would be made to save the building. There has been discussion about the asking price of $1.5 million. Some wonder if that is too much considering the cost to get the building back up to code.
“I think we can put together a very competitive and fair price,” Mitchell said. “Do I think it will be $1.5 million - I don’t think we will get there, but I think we can make a compelling story that it needs to be in the hands of government and government is going to take care of the citizens.”
The real estate broker says he will meet with the California investor on the first of July.