Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Duke moves to Tryon Street

In case you have not been paying attention, big changes are underfoot at the Cultural Campus on South Charlotte. The project is rapidly coming together with the Bechtler Modern Art Museum looming eerily over it’s plaza, just in front of the Knight Performing Art Center. The new home for the Mint Museum is starting to look recognizable, and the Harvey Gantt Afro-American Cultural Center is also beginning to look like a museum, and less like an idea.
The big news this past week is that Duke Energy will be moving its corporate headquarters into about 500,000 sq ft of this tower. This brings up several interesting possibilities for the changing nature of our city...First, no offense to Shaw or Meineke, but a major non bank corporation now has a headquarters on Tryon Street. Far from bad news or a surrender, this is great news, we are diversifying! Second, what will happen to some of the existing Duke facilities in the downtown area? Well, if you grant me some poetic license for a minute, what would you think if the Duke Data Center on the corner of College and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard moved over to the current Duke Energy site, and we then had another parcel that could become the second headquarter hotel site for our growing Convention Center? This is pure speculation on my part, but it seems to make perfect sense to me!
The only downside in this change is that the condo’s that were to be part of the overall development have been put on hold.
As this Duke Energy Center Campus continues to completion, the remake of the Stonewall corridor is becoming visible. The NASCAR Hall of Fame has placed the final infrastructure beam last week, and the remake of Caldwell Street into a two way street, and the new interchange from I 277 to South / Caldwell Boulevard is almost complete. Big growth will continue in this corridor.

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