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Top 25 Stories of 2023

Charlotte Business Journal

December 26, 2023

These stories dominated Charlotte’s business headlines this year.

No. 20: A more urban, walkable Ballantyne on the way with major project.

The Bowl at Ballantyne has been on a leasing spree in 2023. That project — part of the overall Ballantyne remake being undertaken by Northwood Investors — includes restaurants, shops and apartments.

Northwood acquired Ballantyne Corporate Park in 2017 for more than $1 billion. The firm unveiled in 2019 an ambitious vision to transform Ballantyne into a more urban, walkable community. Now those plans are starting to take shape.

The first phase of The Bowl is set to deliver by year end. It includes up to 70,000 square feet of retail, as well as 350 apartments. The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery was announced as The Bowl’s anchor tenant in 2022, with 14,000 square feet for the brauhaus, 7,000 square feet for patio dining and another acre for an outdoor biergarten. A spring 2024 opening is targeted.

This year has brought a rush of new tenant announcements for The Bowl. Ward Kampf, president of Northwood Retail, told the Charlotte Business Journal he’s not surprised by leasing momentum at The Bowl. “Ballantyne was 545 acres of all office with hotels, and we saw a huge a huge void (in retail).”

The first phase retail is 80% leased. The tenant mix includes national, regional and local businesses.

“Our tenant lineup reflects a high-caliber mix of national brands and signature homegrown concepts, and we look forward to announcing several additions that will further elevate south Charlotte’s culinary scene soon,” says Lauren Britt, leasing manager, Northwood Retail.

Restaurateur Sam Fox has signed on to bring North Italia and Flower Child to The Bowl. His Fox Restaurant Concepts has more than 50 restaurants nationwide.

Longtime Charlotte chef Jim Noble has snagged space for two concepts: Rooster’s Wood Fired Grill and Bossy Beulah’s Chicken Shack.

The Bowl has also attracted Harriet’s Hamburgers — named one of Yelp’s top restaurants in the Carolinas— which is poised for growth here. New coffee concept Fly Kid Fly is the latest offering by Hex Coffee Roasters and the Durban Group.

Other tenants include North Carolina-based Arrow – Cuts & Shaves and fast-growing fitness chain Solidcore as well as Honeysuckle Gelato and Drybar. All are slated to open in 2024.

A second phase at The Bowl is expected to add another 25,000 square feet of retail space and an additional apartment tower.

There will be a flurry of openings at The Bowl at Ballantyne in 2024. Leasing announcements will help round out the project and set the stage for phase two.