March 2014

  • Mar

Resolution Media Leads Growth in Occupancy at the Design Center of the Carolinas

March 20, 2014

Four New Tenants Join Expanding DCC Tenants for More than 20,000 Square Feet Leased

CHARLOTTE, NC— The Design Center of the Carolinas is enjoying a healthy rebound in occupancy as four new tenants have leased space and two have expanded in the historic South End office complex. Owner Ram Realty Services announces the addition of Resolution Media, Core States Group, The Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy and All Nations Coffee. At the same time, existing tenants Balfour Beatty and ettain group are expanding.

The gathering place for creativity and an inspiring environment for innovative businesses, the Design Center (DCC) is the symbolic heart of South End with its iconic water tower. Peter Katz, CCIM of Coldwell Banker Commercial MECA represented DCC in all of these transactions.

The Design Center is a three-building complex, of which two are historic. Resolution Media has leased 9,259 SF in the Plaza Building. An Omnicom Media Group company, Resolution is a digital marketing agency and one of the largest search agencies in the world. The company manages more than $1.2B in media investments, with more than 600 specialists in 60+ offices worldwide. Resolution’s international network delivers digitally-integrated, full-service solutions in the areas of search, social, local, mobile, behavioral and content marketing. Resolution Media was represented in the transaction by David Dorsch of Cassidy Turley.

Also joining the Design Center family, Core States Group has leased 2,525 SF in the Courtyard Building. Core is a fully integrated engineering, architecture, and project management firm known for its ability to tackle tough project challenges on a regional and national basis. Tom O’Brien of Cresa’s Charlotte office represented the tenant in the transaction.

The Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy (CCCSA) is leasing 2,053 SF. The newly founded CCCSA serves as a place where members of all ages and skill levels can learn and enjoy the royal game of chess. The CCCSA also sells basic chess supplies and has an open library of over 200 books. The CCCSA serves as an educational hub for chess in the Charlotte area, offering programs year ‘round.
All Nations Coffee has opened a 500 SF coffee shop in the Courtyard Building lobby, providing artisan-roasted Fair Trade Coffee to tenants and the general public. Balfour Beatty and ettain group have added an additional 6,030 SF to their existing presence at the Design Center. Balfour Beatty is a major national construction firm and ettain is a staffing and consulting group specializing in information technology.
“The announcement of these leases represents the most significant multi-tenant growth in DCC’s occupancy since 2010,” said Phil Heath, vice president of asset management. “Ram has a long-term commitment to the Charlotte market and this level of interest further validates our confidence in the improvement of the local office market and the continued desirability of DCC as the office hub for forward-thinking businesses.”

  • Mar

Old Chicago Pizza to introduce new prototype in Chapel Hill

March 6, 2014

By Amanda Jones Hoyle, via Triangle Business Journal

It’s a new day for Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom.

The Colorado-based restaurant group will be rolling out its newest restaurant prototype in the Carolinas for the first time on Monday when it opens at the 140 West Franklin complex in Chapel Hill.

The Franklin Street restaurant is expected to be the company’s launching pad for expansion in both Carolinas and across the Southeast over the next few years, says Will Powers, Old Chicago’s senior director of marketing, who is in Chapel Hill this week preparing for Monday’s unveiling to the public.

“We first opened this prototype at one of our restaurants about a year and a half ago in Minnesota, and this will be our prototype for every future Old Chicago going forward.”

The new style, he says, puts an increased focus on craft beer.

The 6,800-square-foot Chapel Hill restaurant, he says, will feature the restaurant’s new interior tavern-stye design and menu, and it will also have 110 different beers available for patrons. About 25 of those beer options will be available at its 36 beer taps at the bar.

“We try to develop a lot of partnerships with local brewers, and we get a lot of exclusives,” Powers says.

The average ticket, Powers says, is about $23, or about $12.50 per person. The restaurant will also employ about 80 people. General manager Jeremy Andrews was relocated from an Old Chicago restaurant in Green Bay, Wis., to open the Chapel Hill location.

Powers says the company has not yet signed a lease for a second location in the Carolinas, but he expects more locations to be announced soon. While the Chapel Hill location will be corporate-owned, Old Chicago also has a franchise program.

Old Chicago formerly operated a location in Wake Forest, but that location was shut down several years ago.

While the restaurant officially opens to the public on March 10, it also will hold a grand opening event on March 20 that will help raise funds for Farmer Foodshare, a nonprofit group in Chapel Hill that connects hungry families with local farming communities.