Founded eight years before the American Revolution and named for King George III’s queen, today the city of Charlotte offers an idyllic combination of quaint southern charm with the dynamic urbanism of one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas of the 21st century. Considered a top choice for college graduates seeking employment, Charlotte boasts one of the most highly educated workforces and ranks among the top ten cities in the U.S. with best employee engagement. It’s no wonder that businesses of all sectors and sizes thrive in The Queen City.
As the site of Bank of America’s headquarters and the Wells Fargo’s east coast hub, Charlotte has the impressive standing as the third largest banking center in the U.S. after Manhattan and San Francisco. With more than 240 companies operating in the energy sector alone, the city earned the name “The New Energy Capital” of the U.S. in recent years. Home to the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte is also a leading center for the racing technology and motorsports industries.
Notable companies that occupy office space in Charlotte include Microsoft, Krispy Kreme, Coca-Cola, Ensemble Health Partners, Curtiss-Wright, Duke Energy, Nucor, Sonic Automotive, RSC Brands, and Sealed Air Corp.
Charlotte Office Space | Average Asking Rent per Square Foot
|Office Space for Lease||Class A Office||Class B Office|
|South Park – Barclay Downs||$32||$27|
Office Space | Charlotte, NC Lease Data & Trends
Charlotte office space inventory is 2/3 Class A assets, with the city-wide average asking rent for these spaces hovering just above $30 per square foot compared to the Class B average of $21 per square foot. The market price for Uptown Charlotte office space trends a few dollars above these averages. Rents have risen steadily over the last few years and are expected to keep going up, with Class A office space in Uptown expected to soon jump above $40 per square foot, making now an excellent time to a longer-term lease to protect against future volatility and price jumps.
More than 3 million square feet of inventory, the vast majority of which is Class A, is currently under construction throughout the Charlotte metropolitan area. Half of the new construction is located in Charlotte’s suburban neighborhoods, and suburban vacancy rates are projected to drop as demand for up-and-coming neighborhoods increases. Mixed-use developments like The RailYard and The Refinery are both scheduled to be completed before 2020, further transforming the city into an urban mecca and continuing to attract millennial professionals to the area.
Office Space for Rent | Charlotte, NC Popular Neighborhoods
A quarter of all Charlotte’s office space inventory, or approximately 22 million square feet, is located in Uptown. As Charlotte’s city center, the Uptown submarket has the highest average asking price of $31.33 per square foot, which is expected to increase with the addition of 1.5 million square feet of new office space currently under construction. Uptown is divided into four “wards” that converge at the intersection of Trade Street and Tyron Street. The first and fourth wards are predominantly residential, while the second ward functions as Charlotte’s government center and the third ward is home to many financial, engineering, and creative offices as well as Gateway Village and the Johnson and Wales University campus. Most of Uptown is pedestrian- and bike-friendly, but many still drive their cars to get around using the I-277 loop. Uptown offers effortless work commutes via bus, trolley, or the LYNX Blue Line.
Barclay Downs is a residential community that overlaps in its southeast corner with South Park. The neighborhood attracts both young professionals and families, who enjoy a laid-back vibe while still having convenient proximity to Uptown. The neighborhood is located above the intersection of Fairview Road to the south and Park Road to the west, with Barclay Downs Drive running north to south straight down the center. Most residents in Barclay Downs choose to drive to work.
Companies looking at office space in South Park will find plenty of options in mixed-use developments, as long as they are prepared to pay rent that is nearly as high as the Uptown average. The upscale SouthPark Mall is at the center of the neighborhood and contributes to its identity as a retail destination. Commercial tenants in the area include SeedSpark, AmWins, SunTrust, VelocityCloud, Adhesion Wealth, and Alpek Polyester. The SouthPark Community Transit Center provides easy public transit around Charlotte, and bus routes 19, 20, 29, 30, and 57 serve the neighborhood.
Ballantyne Corporate Park is an all-inclusive community that covers 2,000 acres south of Charlotte and is recognized as one of the most successful mixed-use communities in the U.S. The submarket has over 4 million square feet of Class A office space (primarily corporate parks) that leases to commercial tenants such as Curtiss-Wright, Babcock & Wilcox, Premier Inc, SPX, Brighthouse Financial, and ESPN. Leading industries in Ballantyne include transportation, engineering, communications, technology, education, accounting, healthcare and wellness, business and professional services, real estate, and insurance. Ballantyne is approximately a 20-minute drive south of Uptown Charlotte.
NoDa (North Davidson)
NoDa is Charlotte’s arts and entertainment district and has a low vacancy rate of 2.9%, in part due to its vibrant location just two miles north of Uptown and affordable rent of $21.46 per square foot. The neighborhood was once a textile mill town, and old factory buildings (many painted with murals) have since been converted into office spaces, galleries, and places to gather. The recent completion of the LYNX Blue Line extension with three NoDa stations makes commuting to and from Uptown a breeze.
Myers Park is a historic neighborhood located between South Park and Uptown. Old homes and even older trees line the picturesque streets, and Queens Road, Providence Road, and Kings Drive serve as the main roads to get around the district. Carolinas Medical Care has two complexes in Myers Park, making the area ideal for companies in the healthcare and medical technology sectors. Myers Park is also home to the campus of Queens University of Charlotte. When not driving, commuters can get to their destination via six different bus lines in the area.
Commercial tenants can expect to pay around $22.00 per square foot for office space in University City. Northeast of Uptown, this submarket is named for the presence of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, which is known for its reputable Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC). The University Research, Executive, and Innovation Parks make the neighborhood very popular among data and research businesses, business and medical professionals, and local entrepreneurs. Twenty Fortune 500 companies have regional offices in University City. Most commute to work by driving along University City Boulevard, W.T. Harris Boulevard, I-85, and U.S. 29.
The southeastern suburb of Matthews has nearly 300 thousand square feet of office space available to lease at an average of $19 per square foot. Once a quiet rail town, transportation, trucking, and machinery remain as leading industries in the area. Current commercial tenants include Family Dollar Stores, Harris Teeter grocery, and Pokertek, a gaming device manufacturer. Matthews is a 25-minute drive from Uptown along either E. Independence Boulevard or Sardis Road.
Getting Around Charlotte, NC
While some neighborhoods are reasonably walkable, public transit, or bike-friendly, it’s generally more accessible to get around Charlotte via car. Most people drive to work with an average commute time of less than 30 minutes. Uptown is circled by the John Belk Freeway and the Brookshire Freeway, while I-85 and I-77 cross through the city’s center. Other major thoroughfares in Charlotte include Charlotte Route 4 and Independence Freeway.
Less than a 20-minute drive east of Uptown Charlotte is Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), ranked as the sixth busiest airport in the U.S. Charlotte Douglas is a major international hub and routes a lot of air traffic from American Airlines, Air Canada, and Lufthansa. Common business flight destinations include Atlanta, Washington, D.C, Chicago, and New York.
For those without a car or who don’t want to deal with traffic, there are a growing number of efficient public transportation options. CATS (Charlotte Area Transit System) operates all mass transit in Charlotte and the greater Mecklenburg County, including the LYNX light rail system, historical trolleys, and various bus routes. The city is currently developing Gateway Station, which will expand public transit to include the future LYNX Purple Line as well as additional Greyhound and Amtrak services.