Historic Excelsior Club under contract again after other efforts have fallen through

Historic Excelsior Club under contract again after other efforts have fallen through
Before it shut down in 2016, the Excelsior Club on Beatties Ford Road was an exclusive social club for African American professionals. (Source: Courtesy of New River Brokerage via The Charlotte Observer)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (The Charlotte Observer) - After the fate of the Excelsior Club was up in the air for months, the historic landmark is under contract again, the broker for the property said Friday.

Steve Robinson, a broker for New River Brokerage, said the prospective buyer signed a contract Friday for the club, a landmark in Charlotte’s African American community for decades before it closed in 2016. The building is designated a historic landmark by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission.

He declined to identify the potential buyer, or provide any details on the closing date or price. But he said the potential purchaser is expected to make an announcement in the next few weeks.

“I think that the general public and the city of Charlotte is going to be really excited to see what is planned for this property,” he said.

Robinson didn’t say how the building, which is in disrepair, might be preserved.

“My understanding is that (the) Excelsior is going to endure,” he said.

The news comes after several efforts to save the club, owned by state Rep. Carla Cunningham, fell through.

In October 2018, Mecklenburg County Commissioners voted against a proposal to save the property.

Last year, Cunningham filed paperwork that would have allowed for the club’s demolition, but the Landmarks Commission delayed the demolition date by a year. That delay expired in June, though Cunningham told the Observer then that she had no intention to tear it down.

The building was listed for sale in April for $1.5 million.

The club was added to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of the 11 most endangered historic properties in the country in May.

Cunningham previously told the Observer that she had rejected a new offer from the county as well as an offer from a group led by former state senator Joel Ford because they weren’t close enough to her asking price.

A California buyer was under contract to buy the property, Robinson told the Observer in June, but later backed out of the sale.

This time, Robinson said, he’s “much more confident” the sale will work out.

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