While the several blocks on and surrounding the South Tryon Street area of downtown are undergoing major redevelopment, there's lots of action elsewhere, too.
Even as Wachovia earns headlines for its burgeoning compound, Bank of America, which dominated downtown development in the 1990s, is not staying quiet on the north end. The bank needed a high-class place for visiting execs and clients to stay, so it's building a Ritz-Carlton right across College Street from its headquarters. The seventeen-story, 150-room hotel is scheduled to open by the end of next year. BofA is also building a new office tower on the same site; it will reach thirty-two floors. And across College, the bank is remaking Founders Hall, adding ground-level retail.
Across Trade from the Ritz is Afshin Ghazi's EpiCentre, a flashy collection of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues that uptown observers hope kick-starts a retail economy. "I really hope that clicks and works well," says urban strategist Michael Gallis, "because that's what we'll need in the next phase." Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s nightclub Whisky River is already open, with more to follow. Next door, one day, will be condo high-rise 210 Trade.
Elsewhere along Tryon, The Pursuit Group is working on two boutique condo projects, The Trust and Encore. The latter will rise above a renovated Carolina Theatre at North Tryon and Sixth streets. And scattered around downtown, still more condos are in the works, as well as a mixed-use project called Brooklyn Village and a new Second Ward Park, both of which will essentially replace the old Marshall Park.