Recent News

  • Aug
    25

140 West Franklin Finalist for ULI Award

August 25, 2014

Earlier this year, the Triangle Business Journal recognized 140 West Franklin with its Best Mixed-Use Project Award. Now the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Triangle Chapter has announced the mixed-use project as a finalist for the J.W. Willie York Community Influence Award. The award is presented to companies and projects that make exceptional contributions to the creation and vitality of thriving communities in the Triangle Region. The award ceremony will be held on September 25 at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

140 West Franklin is located in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill adjacent to the University of North Carolina. The development was a collaborative effort between Ram and the Town of Chapel Hill. While multiple competitive bidders pitched concepts for the 1.73-acre parcel, Ram was chosen because its vision fully aligned with the Town. Today the finished development comprises 139 residential units – including 18 affordable housing units – as well as 26,000 square feet of ground floor retail, two levels of underground parking, and a public art installation by Mikyoung Kim entitled Exhale. As part of the transaction with Chapel Hill, the Town purchased the first level of underground parking to replace the 161 surface parking spaces that were removed to make room for the development.

To date, 129 of the 139 units have closed (93%) and the ground floor retail is over 70% leased. Retail tenants include Old Chicago Pizza and Tap Room, Lime Fresh, Gigi’s Cupcakes, Spicy 9, Gentlemen’s Corner and the Eyecarecenter.

“North Carolina is an important market for us,” says Ram Chairman Peter D. Cummings. “We admire the emphasis on quality education and the balancing of environmental preservation and economic development. We are committed to finding additional opportunities like 140 West Franklin.”

  • Aug
    19

Coral Reef Commons Project Updates

August 19, 2014

During the past month, representatives of Ram have met with the Fish and Wildlife Service on three occasions. The Service and Ram have agreed on a protocol for onsite surveys of certain endangered species and habitat at Coral Reef Commons. The Service and Ram are working collaboratively to balance environmental preservation with job creation and economic development in South Miami-Dade.

Surveyors will be on site commencing August 20 and will likely be working through much of September with a focus on two endangered species: the Florida bonneted bat and the Bartrams’s scrub hairstreak butterfly. The bat was listed last November and the butterfly is scheduled for listing next month. A second butterfly, the Florida leafwing, is also scheduled for listing although there have been no sightings of this species in the vicinity of Coral Reef for several years.

Ram has also continued to meet with Miami-Dade County regarding the project. Even though the butterfly is not to be listed until next month, Ram has assured County representatives that no clearing or construction would occur until the open issues are resolved with the Fish and Wildlife Service, regardless of the timing of the listing.

STATEMENT FROM FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICES 7/24/2014

VERO BEACH, Fla. – A team of biologists and others from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s office here met with representatives of the company planning to develop a portion of pine rockland property recently purchased from the University of Miami into a commercial and residential development called “Coral Reef Commons” near Zoo Miami.

The July 22 meeting, which was the first between the Service and the company–Ram Realty Services of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.–was a preliminary exchange of information. Ram presented information about the history of the land at the project site and the status of their development project, while the Service sought to educate Ram about currently protected plant and animal species believed to reside on the site and those that could be protected soon under the Endangered Species Act.

No decisions about the project were made at the meeting. However, both parties agreed to share more information over the coming weeks and to work toward a more formal, detailed meeting in early August.

“We appreciate Ram’s willingness to meet with us and to open lines of communication,” said Larry Williams, the Service’s Florida State Supervisor for Ecological Services. “We’re looking forward to working with Ram, Miami-Dade County and the University of Miami to find a workable solution that balances the need for economic development and protecting this value habitat and any imperiled species that depend on it.”

Peter D. Cummings, Chairman of Ram Realty Services, said, “Until we resolve any potential issues with the Service, Miami-Dade County and the University of Miami, we don’t plan to do anything on the property other than by-hand removal of exotics under the terms of our county permit.”

STATEMENT REGARDING CORAL REEF COMMONS 7/18/2014

Ram Realty Services received the Fish & Wildlife Service’s letter within the last 48 hours and we are reviewing their recommendations carefully. We plan to meet with Service authorities over the coming weeks to discuss the timing and scope of their desired survey. We will take no action that disturbs the natural environment before resolving the Service’s concerns.

We have collaborated with the Miami-Dade Department of Environmental Resource Management and members of the environmental community to create a thoughtful plan for protecting and maintaining preserve areas on the property in perpetuity, including the present and future removal of invasive species. Our enforceable permit to develop the site outlines this plan in detail.

The environment will be a valuable asset for the community we plan to create at Coral Reef Commons and scientists from Zoo Miami, Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden and the Institute for Regional Conservation are already in the process of relocating vulnerable plant species.

  • Jul
    8

Real estate notebook: Apartments coming to Boca, West Palm

July 8, 2014

By Paul Owers, via Sun Sentinel

Ram Realty Services says it’s on schedule to deliver two Palm Beach County apartment complexes in January.

The Mark at Cityscape in Boca Raton and Alexander Lofts in West Palm Beach will fill needs in what has become a tight rental market in recent years.

The 208-unit Mark project is at the southeast corner of Federal Highway and Palmetto Park Road. Pre-leasing is due to start in September.

Rents will range from about $1,400 to $2,900. More than 300 people have added their names to a VIP list at cityscapeboca.com.

Meanwhile, the 85-unit Alexander Lofts has a list of more than 40 interested renters at alexanderloftswpb.com. Palm Beach Gardens-based Ram is renovating a former Southern Bell headquarters at Fern Street and South Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach.

Leasing also is scheduled to start in September. Rents will start at about $1,200. Artist Tristan Eaton recently completed a 7,000-square-foot wall mural that pays tribute to Alexander Graham Bell.

  • Jun
    30

New apartments, park planned in Hollywood

June 30, 2014

By Susannah Bryan, via Sun Sentinel

Sheridan Stationside Village was meant to be a $500 million village with restaurants, shops, a hotel and 1,050 condos extending from the Sheridan Street Tri-Rail station at Interstate 95 all the way to Taft Street.

The project, stalled by the recession, never broke ground.

A new plan coming before city commissioners in November calls for a $60 million Spanish-style apartment complex with 17 three-story buildings. Renters would pay $1,400 to $1,900 a month for one-, two- and three-bedroom units, said Hugo Pacanins, vice president of Ram Development Co.

The Sheridan Station project, a joint venture between Ram and Pinnacle Housing Group, is slated for 22 acres now occupied by two trailer parks that sit on the west side of I-95 and stretch from south of Sheridan Street to Taft Street.

If commissioners give the green light, construction would begin in March 2015 and wrap up by October 2016, Pacanins said.

The neighborhood would also gain a 6-acre city park with a pond, fitness equipment, pet stations and a playground. A coral rock house that has been on the property since the 1940s would remain standing and become part of the park.

Originally built in the 1920s as a wooden house, the historic structure was later moved, remodeled and encased in a limestone facade. The house is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, records show.

“There will be a beautiful park and the coral house will stay right where it is,” Commissioner Linda Sherwood said. “It will be a very nice project.”

Sherwood said she is thrilled to see a revised project finally get under way, even if it has been downsized.

For nearly a decade, Hollywood officials had been hearing about Sheridan Stationside Village, a joint venture between the state Department of Transportation and developers Pinnacle and Ram. The 40-acre project would have merged the state’s 18-acre park and ride lot at Sheridan Street with the developer’s 22-acre parcel.

Now, the parcels will be developed separately. DOT officials still plan to pursue a mixed-use project to help boost ridership on Tri-Rail, said agency spokeswoman Barbara Kelleher.

To make way for the apartment project, more than 100 mobile homes at the Okomo and Colony trailer parks will be demolished.

With dozens of residents moving out in recent years, only 66 families remain, according to Pacanins.

Dozens of oaks, some planted a century ago, surround the home of Michael Miller, who has lived in Okomo since 2009.

It’s a nice place,” Miller said, looking around at the quiet, tree-lined streets. “We hate to see it go.”

When Brian Kowalski moved into Okomo eight years ago, he was told the place would be torn down in a couple years. But with the economic downturn, the closing kept getting delayed.

Now there’s finally some action,” he said. “People are starting to realize it’s finally going to happen.”

Kowalski wondered how many oaks would have to be destroyed to make way for the new apartment complex.

The developer has promised to preserve as many trees as possible. Some will be destroyed, but Pacanins could not say how many.

“We actually put the buildings where we would have the least impact on the existing trees,” he said. “The majority of the trees are staying in their current location.”

Hollywood is asking residents to help brainstorm ideas for the new park and the historic house during a 7 p.m. meeting July 8 at the David Park Community Center, 108 North 33 Court.

 

  • May
    21

Fifth Annual Highest Design Contest Winner Selected for Water Tower

May 21, 2014

Charlotte, NC – The Design Center of the Carolinas (DCC) and Ram Realty Services announced the winner of the 5th annual Highest Design Contest on Friday, May 9, 2014. The winner was selected by public voting in social media. The Highest Design Water Tower Art Contest puts the winning artist’s work on display on the highest canvas in town, a 125’ water tower, and awards the winner a $1,000 check. This year’s theme was “High Five to South End,” allowing artists to share what they love about living, working or just visiting South End. Online voting ran from March 31 – May 2, 2014.

The Highest Design Contest featured 20 entries this year from artists giving South End a “High Five.” The DCC and Ram Realty Services supported Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for the fifth year with the winning artist selecting a school in need from a list of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to champion. In addition to the artist winning $1,000, Ram Realty Services along with Family Dollar, Staples and Binders will make donations of art and creative supplies to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School championed by the winning artist.

20 exciting works of art were submitted this year from local artists in Charlotte’s design and arts community, from businesses such as advertising agencies, photography studios, graphic design firms, printing companies, architectural firms as well as arts programs at local universities and community colleges. Leigh Anne Zeitouni was selected as the winning artist through public voting.

Leigh Anne graduated magna cum laude from NC State University in the Fall of 2012 with a Bachelors degree in Graphic Design. Since then she has been working as a graphic designer in her hometown of Charlotte. In addition to her full time job as in-house graphic designer on the marketing team for Sales Performance International, she also works as a freelance designer. Recently she was honored with a 2014 Silver ADDY award for her design work on an integrated campaign project in collaboration with The Plaid Penguin, brand experience firm in Charlotte. She stays active within her community as a member of the Charlotte chapter of AIGA and continues to work as an aspiring and passionate designer.

The winning piece this year, Artistry Meets Artisan, in the Leigh Anne’s words depicts the progression and celebration of the historical, retro side of South End, in juxtaposition with the artistic and cutting edge side. The artwork will be replicated onto a large horizontal vinyl canvas and installed on the Design Center of the Carolinas water tower in June.

The Leigh Anne’s artwork will appear on the Design Center of the Carolinas water tower for a twelve-month period. Leigh Anne and her selected CMS school, Reedy Creek Elementary, were honored in a special ceremony May 9 at the Design Center of the Carolinas in Historic South End. Art and creative supplies will be delivered to Reedy Creek Elementary in September.

High Five 2014.jpg
  • May
    20

Five new retailers, restaurants open on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill

May 20, 2014

By Amanda Jones Hoyle, via Triangle Business Journal

Chapel Hill’s diverse Franklin Street thoroughfare has added five new street-level businesses in the past month, adding to the street’s eclectic entertainment, eating and shopping options.

The new Gentlemen’s Corner menswear store that opened in April at the 140 West Franklin building is hosting a “grand opening” event today showcasing its selection of Peter Millar merchandise. Chris Knott, founder and creative director for Raleigh-based Peter Millar, will be on-site to meet with customers.

The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership is also reporting that four other shops have opened along Franklin Street, including two new women’s boutique shops: Sophie & Mollies Boutique at The Courtyard building at 431 West Franklin Street, and Fedora at 151 E. Franklin Street. The Fedora store in Chapel Hill is the company’s sixth location in the state.

The DSI Comedy Theater has also completed its relocation to 462 W. Franklin Street from nearby Carrboro.

And, Spicy 9 Sushi & Asian Restaurant has opened for business at 140 West Franklin Street.

  • May
    12

New tenants sign, existing tenants expand at Charlotte’s Design Center

May 12, 2014

By Will Boye, via Charlotte Business Journal

A few new tenants have signed leases at the Design Center of the Carolinas, the three-building office complex in Charlotte’s South End.

Resolution Media, a digital marketing company, has leased 9,259 square feet in the Plaza building, and Core States Group, an engineering, architecture and project-management firm, has leased 2,525 square feet in the Courtyard building. And the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy has leased 2,053 square feet at the Design Center.

In addition to the new tenants, Balfour Beatty and ettain group have added 6,030 square feet, growing to 33,865 square feet and 17,885 square feet within the Design Center, respectively.

The three-building Design Center of the Carolinas totals 166,000 square feet and has 18,000 square feet remaining for lease.

Peter Katz of Coldwell Banker Commercial MECA represented the landlord, Ram Realty Services. David Dorsch of Cassidy Turley represented Resolution Media, and Tom O’Brien of Cresa represented Core States Group.

  • Apr
    17

Central Plaza Shopping Center Trades for $7.3M

April 17, 2014

By Thomas Wojehowsky, via CoStar Group

Saglo Development Corporation purchased the Central Plaza Shopping Center at 3201 Central Ave. in Saint Petersburg, FL from Ram Realty Services for $7.265 million, or about $97 per square foot

The 74,600-square-foot retail center was constructed in 1957. The multi-tenant building is located at the corner of Central Avenue and 34th Street North in Pinellas County. It was 92 percent occupied at the time of the sale.

Mark Gilbert, Adam Feinstein, and Mitchell Halpern of Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.’s Miami office represented the seller. The buyer handled the sale in-house, and has retained RMC Property Group of Tampa to handled leasing at the center.

  • Apr
    15

15 days, 600 cans of spray paint – LA artist puts his tag on downtown West Palm’s Skyline

April 15, 2014

Through wind, rain and long dawn-to-dusk days, L.A. mural artist Tristan Eaton persevered to put his artistic tag on downtown West Palm’s skyline.

by Carlos Frias, via Palm Beach Post

To understand the scope of the mural, you have to squint your eyes to realize the ant atop that six-story building is actually a man raising his arms in victory.

Tristan Eaton set out to leave his mark on the West Palm Beach cityscape. And in 15 days, the Los Angeles artist did just that, turning the side of the historic 1926 Meridian building at 326 Fern St. into a six-story canvas for one of his larger-than-life urban murals.

“The Spirit of Communication” is a surrealist portrait of Alexander Graham Bell, a tribute to Southern Bell’s former regional headquarters here. But it will soon be christened the Alexander Lofts, 89 New York-style urban apartments set to open this year.

It is by far the largest, most ambitious mural Eaton, 35, has ever done, his bold and colorful artistry covering most of the 7,000 square feet of formerly neglected red-brick wall facing east. And it was done entirely by hand with 600 cans of acrylic spray paint.

“If people enjoy it and cherish it, it’s an amazing feeling,” Eaton said. “What I’m doing now feels like the most important work I’ve done in the body of my fine art.”

This piece, like all of Eaton’s ambitious murals, had its challenges.

He baked. In the mornings, the sun blasted him until noon. His arms are a mural in themselves, a patchwork of sunburn and farmer’s tan, and flecked and splashed with a rainbow of colors he shared with the wall.

It rained. He and three artists who assisted him were washed out for most of two days that forced Eaton to reschedule his return flight to Los Angeles. Other times, they were slipping and sliding nearly 50 feet above the ground on metal scaffolding. Fortunately, the paint dries quickly.

It swayed. The pair of scaffolding he and his team were using for the first time undulated as much as five feet from the wall as winds off the Intracoastal picked up. It’s a precarious way to earn $35,000.

“We’re up there riding the rails, surfin’ it. It’s crazy, man!” Eaton said.

And he improvised. Because of delays, two of the artists who were assisting Eaton had to leave early for other projects, leaving only him and good friend Shane Jessup to paint the last two days.

The result is Eaton’s unique signature on the downtown skyline, a style he has been perfecting since he was a teenager illustrating ads with his father at one of his grandfather’s weekly Michigan newspapers.

Eaton’s life, like his murals, looks grand and complex from a distance. But viewing the details up close makes the whole look that much more impressive.

An artistic childhood

Artists transform a West Palm garage into two gorgeous, seven-story cathedrals of street art
Eaton learned early on that living a creative life is not a pastime, but a calling.

His mother, Gillian, was a Welsh-born member of the Royal Shakespearean Company when the theater group came through Los Angeles and she met Randy Eaton.

Although Randy Eaton’s father and grandfather were both buttoned-up newspaper men who had served in the Michigan state legislature, Randy was a dogged creative spirit. His résumé reads like a typical Los Angeles type: photographer, B-movie director, producer, television commercial actor, model and Montana horse wrangler.

They raised their two boys, Matt and Tristan (Randy had a son from a previous marriage, Rob) in Los Angeles, with Gillian taking Tristan with her to the La Jolla Playhouse for rehearsals. He haunted the wings for hours while his mother acted with Hollywood stars like Phoebe Cates and Kevin Kline just after he had done “Silverado.”

“Whatever they didn’t have in money, they made up for in enthusiasm and support,” Eaton said. “I feel really lucky for the upbringing I had.”

When he was just 3, Gillian witnessed him drawing just a portion of a foot going off his sketch pad. When she asked him what it was, he said it was a giant stepping off the page.

“It always astonished me the way he looked at the world,” she said.

The family moved to London so Gillian could act on the stage, and his father opened a blues club. But when Tristan was 16, his father had a stroke.

Gillian was left to support the family on her income from acting alone. So Randy reached out to his old contacts at the Michigan Press Association, who gave him a job as a newspaper freelance artist, and the family moved to Detroit.

Tristan began working with his father at the newspaper drawing copy for ads but also doing graphic design work for a host of companies. And by the time he enrolled at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, he was already paying the bills with money from his art.

His professors were so impressed by his talent, they recommended Eaton for a job designing action figures for Fisher-Price. For the next two years, he designed whole lines of fantasy toys — wizards, centaurs — and one called Rescue Heroes based on first responders after 9-11.

“Detroit opened my eyes to what the art world can be,” he said.

Meanwhile, he was unwittingly preparing to paint atop tall buildings. He and his friends would set out “urban exploring,” climbing water towers and billboards where they hung their feet off the edge talking into the night.He was never daunted by heights.

“Those survival instincts are very deep inside you and they come out. But I don’t think I ever had them,” he said.

He moved to New York with a five-year plan: If he couldn’t make it as an artist in five years, he would move back to Detroit.

In year four, he co-founded ToyRobot. He designed a series of collectible art toys that became all the rage, especially among collectors of pop culture such as Jay-Z and rapper Pharrell Williams. Its Dunny and Munny lines are among the most collectible and the Museum of Modern Art has several of Tristan’s art toys in its permanent collection.

He spun that into his own toy and art project, Thunderdog Studios, which he ran with the help of his dad and brother Matt, a New York painter and art gallery owner. The work kept coming as he designed ads for a host of huge companies, including Nike’s Jordan brand, depicting surrealist black-and-white images of the likes of NBA superstars LeBron James, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul.

He designed a line of namesake laptop covers for Dell computers and unique logos for Toyota’s Scion line of cars.

He even was chosen to model for famed photographer Annie Leibovitz in her series of Gap ads.

Commercial success let Tristan explore. And in 2009, while walking through the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn — “a tough, rough, goddam neighborhood,” Gillian Eaton called it — he saw a blank canvas: the wall of a oppressive-looking apartment building that longed for color. So Eaton called the property owner and asked if he could paint the building.

Eaton broke form, from lines and graphic art to the modernistic portraiture that would become his signature. What emerged was the first in Eaton’s style of modern surrealism in “4 Horse Women of the Apocalypse.”

“It gave me the confidence to move forward and explore my talent,” he said. “You have to put a flag in the ground for what you want to do, who you want to be.”

The mural was that calling card.

It led to his iconic mural of the Statue of Liberty on the corner of Mulberry and Canal streets which he painted in 2012 for the Little Italy Street Art Project. From there, it was Art Basel, and praise from the international community.

His work is still displayed in the Wynwood art district in Miami, and he will return to South Florida to paint Miami’s well-known Marine Stadium in September as part of a revitalization project.

And, of course, he caught the attention of Peter Cummings, chairman of RAM Realty, which owns several projects around the country including the drab Meridian in West Palm Beach, which they bought for $5.25 million.

“That wall sort of begged for some kind of artistic treatment,” Cummings said. “When I saw the work Tristan had done, I said, ‘He’s the guy.’ ”

A monstrous job

To make the Bell mural come to light, they waited for a darkness that never came.

Eaton had hoped to project the image — which he sketched by hand and modified digitally — onto the building at nighttime. But the surrounding city lights were too bright. So they scaled the light poles surreptitiously and taped over lights with cardboard to plunge the Meridian into temporary darkness.

Beginning on March 10, they outlined the entire image in gray spray paint, creating a sort of paint-by-numbers sketch they would spend nearly two weeks filling in.

It’s a monstrous job so Eaton enlisted help. He brought in his friend Jessup, who paints trains on the West Coast; New York’s Jason Pulgarin, whose art class Eaton addressed years ago; and Scott Johnson, a Miami native living in New York who happened to be down helping his girlfriend move.

The four switched from an all-night schedule to all-day, painting until it was too dark to see, usually 8 p.m. They stood for most of the 12-hour days, stopping only occasionally to rest their arms and legs after “surfing” the rigs which swayed from the wall. Some days, they got soaked, waited out the rain on the rigs, and continued on.

“I still have sea legs,” Jessup said.

Sure, they thought about falling.

“But we were tethered to the building. If we fell off, we’d just dangle there, chillin’ until someone came to get us down,” Eaton said.

Sometimes, they just sat on the scaffolding to rest, listening to music, watching the ocean, feeling the breeze scented in acrylic paint.

“There are these really perfect moments,” Eaton said.

Dance hall reggae, rapper Big Daddy Kane and surf rock flowed from the rigs along with the chaca-chaca-chaca of spray-paint cans. (“It’s the big, funky beats that energize me for painting,” Eaton said.)

Neighbors stopped by to watch the image emerge. RoseAnn Maiorano, who lives in the nearby St. James Residence, an independent living apartment with the clearest view of the mural, stopped by daily to take pictures and to watch the men work through her binoculars.

“Look at the lines, the shapes the … everything! This is awesome,” she said. “The guy is a genius.”

Marilyn Hetherton, who also lives in the building, grew up five houses from the president of BellSouth in South Orange, N.J., and likes that the painting captures art and history.

“I had mixed emotions at first because I thought it was going to be like those ‘EM@’ paintings. But I’m liking it more and more as it goes up,” she said. “If your choice is this or a red brick wall, it seems like a pretty good idea.”

By noon on March 25, Eaton knew they would finally finish. Just after 7 p.m. with the sky still bright, Eaton rode the rig to the top for the last time, climbed off and raised his hands in celebration.

Back on the ground, his clothes, iPhone and watch spattered in paint — “All my stuff gets sacrificed to the paint,” Eaton said — his arms and neck glowing red with sunburn, he stood back to appreciate the finished work.

“Feels really damn good,” Eaton said, looking at the work with his hands on his waist, a cigarette hanging from his lip. (He’s trying to quit.)

He notices a few areas he might have done differently, never completely satisfied, like any artist. “I could be forever noodling with it.”

There is even one misstep that became part of the piece. Look closely and you can see a mouse pointer just below the collar of the woman in blue. It was on the laptop screen when they projected it and Shane and Eaton decided to leave it in as a joke.

It’s a tip of the hat to the art gods, like flubbing a line at rehearsal before a big show. It’s a reminder of the work that went into creating what will become an icon in downtown West Palm Beach.

“The camaraderie of that, the ups and downs. We shared a lot of laughs, overcame some obstacles and that’s cool,” Eaton said, “Because we did it all together.”

‘THE SPIRIT OF COMMUNICATION’
Artist:Tristan Eaton, of Los Angeles

Where: The eastern facing side of the Meridian building, 326 Fern St., downtown West Palm Beach.

HOW BIG IS IT?

Some numbers:

7,000 — the square feet the mural covers

4 — the number of artists it took to complete the work

15 — days it took to complete the project on March 25

600 — cans of acrylic spray paint used to create the mural

35,000 — dollars RAM Realty paid Eaton to create the work.

 

  • Mar
    20

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.”