New Renders: Metropolitan Refresh To Start Soon After COVID-Related Delays

The refresh of the Metropolitan Mall in downtown Charlotte will begin soon, with completion expected sometime this summer.

Why is this important: Like many other projects around Charlotte, the pandemic has altered the timeline for the renovation of the Metropolitan, a premier shopping center that opened in 2008. Northwood, which also owns and renovates Ballantyne, bought the Metropolitan and the land that surrounds it in 2020.

Driving the news: As part of the Metropolitan project, the first new tenants, Open Rice, recently announced their intention to move into Vivace’s massive (7,500 square foot) former space.

Rollback: We reported nearly a year ago that the mall’s new owners, Northwood Investors, are planning a development refresh which will begin in 2021. Currently it is in its permitting and tendering phase, and construction will start after that.

The goal is to wrap up the improvements by the middle of the year, according to Jonathan Stewart, vice president of leasing at Northwood Retail.

“Like so many businesses, these delays were caused by physical delays, weather constraints and the lingering effects of COVID in general,” Stewart told Axios via email.

Details: Expect cosmetic upgrades. That means “warming up the overall vibe, improving entrances and improving signage,” according to Stewart. Construction won’t affect buyers too much, but there will be some hurdles as heavier construction begins.

Additionally, buyers can also expect a handful of new tenants.

  • Last year, West Elm closed its 13,000 square foot store at the Metropolitan. It was the retailer’s first in North Carolina, and it was one of the Metropolitan’s first tenants when it opened.
  • Northwood Retail has yet to sign a new tenant for the space. But there are “strong prospects in the categories of entertainment use and furnishings,” according to Stewart.
  • The owners have two other current leases which they will announce soon.

“We are looking to fill in the gaps and update the merchandise lineup with a range of daytime and nighttime restaurants and gastropubs, as well as health, beauty and wellness offerings,” Stewart said. .

Check out some new renders of what the mall will look like after the redesign. These are courtesy of Northwood Investors.

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