South Park Office Space for Rent
If there’s one thing Charlotte’s SouthPark neighborhood is known for locally, it’s high-end shopping. This city-within-a-city is anchored by SouthPark Mall, a nearly 1.8-million-square-foot retail complex unrivaled in scale throughout the Carolinas – and the tenant that gave this neighborhood its name.
Despite its reputation as a hub for shopping, South Park is also home to roughly 18,000 people and is among the more popular areas for businesses to set to up offices in Charlotte.
Companies with headquarters here include the United States’ largest steel producer Nucor, Southern certified public accounting firm Dixon Hughes Goodman, and Coca-Cola Consolidated – the nation’s largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola products, not to be confused with the Coca-Cola Company based in Atlanta.
South Park Office Space | Lease Data and Trends
For a relatively small section of Charlotte – nearly six miles that includes some or all of several smaller neighborhoods – SouthPark manages to make plenty of room for office space. Depending on where you draw the lines, SouthPark has nearly 5.7 million square feet of office space across about 100 buildings.
Class A office space makes up more than 3.2 million square feet of South Park’s inventory, going for slightly under $31 on average. The 1.2 million square feet of Class B space carries an average rent of nearly $25 per square foot.
Class A office space appears to be in higher demand in the SouthPark submarket with about 10 percent of this inventory vacant and available for leasing. Meanwhile, Class B office space in South Park features a near 14 percent vacancy rate. South Park’s stock in both categories is unlikely to change much soon, with no new spaces opened or under development as of early 2018.
What Our Brokers Say About South Park Office Space
With a mix of retail, business, and residential space throughout the neighborhoods that comprise the South Park submarket, office space in this area varies considerably.
On the one hand, some spaces on the market are small collections of a handful of business condominiums surrounded primarily by suburban homes.
On the other hand, South Park also includes large corporate centers that are popular near malls, such as the Capitol Towers complex, where specialty chemical manufacturer Albemarle expanded their headquarters by more than 140,000 square feet earlier this year. These short, wide towers with small green spaces around the mall offer a hybrid-like alternative to skyscrapers of Uptown and the sprawling corporate research parks of University City.
Although SouthPark is one of the more expensive places to rent office space in the Charlotte area, higher prices are not so surprising considering the competition between retailers, businesses, and housing developers for real estate in this heavily trafficked, relatively wealthy section of the city. Still, many employers see the value of locating in SouthPark, as about 40,000 people come here for their jobs.
The mall and the smaller shopping centers that have grown up around it offer all of the essential shopping, dining, and entertainment for the neighborhood, though these options are more mainstream than you would find in a place like NoDa.
SouthPark Mall is anchored by the typical box stores like Macy’s and Neiman Marcus with about 150 other shops and restaurants across ithe property, including some popular dining options like The Cheesecake Factory and McCormick & Schmick’s.
Kitty-corner to SouthPark Mall is Phillips Place with even more shopping and dining options, plus amenities such as several apartment buildings, Whole Foods Market, a cinema, a pet hospital, a medical campus a little further east, and a library north of that.
The small Symphony Park on the northwest corner of the SouthPark Mall grounds offers a bit of green space amid the parking lots and serves as the venue for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra’s summer pops concert series.
While smaller parks are scattered throughout the various neighborhoods that make up South Park, the biggest is Mecklenburg County’s 124-acre Park Road Park, which has fields and courts for numerous sports, concession stands, walking trails, and a small pier onto its 4-acre lake.
Getting Around South Park
Generally speaking, living and working in South Park requires a car.
While the area is less than six square miles, it is made up of small neighborhoods with meandering roads nestled between major traffic arteries. Although individual complexes and shopping centers have plenty of sidewalks, bike lanes are more difficult to come by, and public transportation is also relatively sparse.
However, the City of Charlotte announced plans early in 2018 to change that, specifically by creating a three-mile “Cultural Loop” around the mall that would connect a few of the most popular spots in South Park and Barclay Downs. With an initial public investment of about $500,000, the $10 million project fueled primarily by private funding calls for companies along the loop to pitch in by building plazas, parks, and public art on the path.
Although it’s unclear when the project will start or finish, the loop would connect Piedmont Row west of SouthPark Mall, run eastward to Phillips Place, then up north to the Morrison Regional Library, and then back around to the beginning.
South Park Neighborhood History
The area that is now South Park and SouthPark Mall was almost entirely farmland just 50 years ago, specifically part of the 3,000-acre farm once owned by North Carolina Gov. Cameron Morrison; his 14,000-square-foot, Tudor revival Morrocroft Mansion, built in 1927, still stands just north of the mall and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Despite local misgivings about the viability of a shopping center on farmland, South Park opened in 1970 with several key anchor tenants, including Belk, which is the only founding anchor tenant still there.
The mall expanded and added new high-end retailers in the 2000s and earned the infamous title as America’s most congested shopping center during Black Friday weekend in a 2011 study.
Despite many malls in the United States struggling to survive in the era of internet shopping, SouthPark Mall seems to be defying that trend with continued interest from retailers looking to open locations in the mall or at one of the shopping centers nearby. With the mall thriving, the area around is likely to also thrive in the years to come.