Centro Cityworks, Ascent Real Estate Capital to begin construction on South End apartments

Centro Cityworks and Ascent Real Estate Capital will develop 132 apartments and 7,300 square feet of ground-floor retail space at 222 West Blvd.

By Ash­ley Fahey 
Real Estate Edi­tor, Char­lotte Busi­ness Jour­nal 

Two Char­lotte real estate firms are prepar­ing to break ground on their sec­ond apart­ment project in the South End area after clos­ing on the land Thurs­day after­noon.

Cen­tro City­works and Ascent Real Estate Cap­i­tal paid $4 mil­lion for a por­tion of the land at 222 West Blvd., in the Wilmore neigh­bor­hood, accord­ing to Meck­len­burg Coun­ty real estate records. They will devel­op 132 apart­ments and 7,300 square feet of ground-floor retail space in a project called Cen­tro Square. It’s part of a larg­er mixed-use devel­op­ment, The Square at South End, led by Bea­con Part­ners. The project is the sec­ond for David Fur­man’s Cen­tro City­works and Ascent Real Estate Cap­i­tal, which devel­oped Cen­tro Rai­l­yard on Win­nifred Street. The apart­ments and retail space wrap a park­ing deck for the res­i­den­tial units and Bea­con’s office com­po­nent, sim­i­lar to what will be built at The Square.

Bea­con last sum­mer broke ground on a 10-sto­ry build­ing at The Square, which will include about 150,000 square feet of office space. Bea­con is also work­ing with Meck­len­burg Coun­ty Park and Recre­ation to build the 1.5‑acre Wilmore Cen­ten­ni­al Park as part of the over­all project.

Jon Dixon, man­ag­ing prin­ci­pal at Ascent Real Estate Cap­i­tal, said Cen­tro Square will include about 90 stu­dio apart­ments, two-bed­room units and town­house-style rentals that will face what will become Wilmore Cen­ten­ni­al Park.

Centro Square is part of the larger mixed-use development, The Square at South End, led by another Charlotte firm, Beacon Partners.

The Cen­tro Rai­l­yard project includ­ed small­er-than-aver­age stu­dios in the 400-square-foot range. Dixon said the stu­dios at Cen­tro Square will also be on the small­er side, between 400 and 467 square feet.

Con­struc­tion on Cen­tro Square will begin next week, with an expect­ed unit deliv­ery in about 18 months, Dixon said.

The ground-floor retail space at Cen­tro Square will offer small­er com­mer­cial spaces to pro­vide com­par­a­tive­ly afford­able options in what’s become pricey South End.

Dixon said both the apart­ments and retail space at the Cen­tro Rai­l­yard project are almost ful­ly leased. Ten­ants that have signed on at Cen­tro Rai­l­yard include Hex Cof­fee, olpr., The Cac­tus Club, CLT Bou­tique and Glo­ry Days Appar­el.

Par­tic­u­lar­ly post-Covid, peo­ple are much more con­scious about the cost of the rent,” Dixon said of the retail space. “There are real­ly no oth­er options at this price range in South End.”

Aaron Ligon at Ascent Real Estate Part­ners will lease the retail space at Cen­tro Square. Axiom Archi­tec­ture is the project archi­tect. Edi­fice is the gen­er­al con­trac­tor. Atlantic Union Bank is the lender.