Once a downtown Charlotte hotspot, Epicenter future uncertain after owner default


CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – There is an uncertain future for what was once a shining jewel in Charlotte’s crown.

The Uptown Epicenter has been struggling to do business lately, so much so that most of the stores inside the mall are gone, and now we learn that the center has defaulted on its $ 85 loan. millions of dollars.

About two-thirds of the Epicenter’s stores have disappeared, turning the mall into a virtual ghost town. And that leaves a lot to wonder if homeowners are going to be able to weather the storm or sink like a rock.

“I really think it’s a disaster,” said a Charlotte resident known as “Lady”.

“Lady” says she has seen the queen city grow a lot.

She remembers when there were no skyscrapers or busy intersections. In fact, her father helped build some of the towers in Uptown Charlotte.

This is why what is happening at the epicenter along College Street is so upsetting to her.

“When they first built this building, there was so much enthusiasm for this building. But now, just to see him sorry like that, it’s crazy, ”“ Lady ”said.

The Epicenter has opened its doors to rave reviews, touting a new concept in Uptown Charlotte stores and restaurants. It was also a popular place for university and professional sports gatherings.

But these are not the good old days.

In fact, for the direction of the epicenter, things appear to be heading towards the cliff.

“Lady” believes that the increase in crime in and around the mall may be a factor in keeping the crowds away.

“It was a very good, profitable building until the crime started to happen,” she said.

And factors like the pandemic may also have sealed the mall’s fate.

On Tuesday in court, the Epicenter issues were discussed, including the default on an $ 85 million loan.

“Everything is closed there, there is no restaurant to eat, it’s sad, like the city of Charlotte is collapsing,” said Tiera Caldwell.

And as legal maneuvers continue to determine the fate of the mall, those who have visited the epicenter hope for the best and will remember the epicenter in better times.

“They bumped into each other,” Caldwell said. “It was live and direct, but now it’s like a dead building.”

The group that now controls the Epicenter will meet with the remaining 50 tenants in September to determine how stable they are to move forward.

According to the report, on July 16, a “receiver” was appointed to take control of the property and attempt to recover the assets and manage the property. The recipient is collecting a lot of documents and information.

The other tenants are trying to determine the financial health of the companies.

The Epicenter is moving forward simultaneously with a possible foreclosure and is trying to find a remedy with the lender on its money problems, according to the report. Any foreclosure on the property would impact the businesses there

Right now, 31% of the property is occupied, while 63% is vacant, according to the trustee.

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