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Huge Riverwalk industrial building destined to be a part of new retail distribution?

Ken Elkins, Senior Staff Writer
Charlotte Business Journal

A Florida developer is venturing into the Charlotte market for a joint venture with a Rock Hill company for a $25 million speculative industrial building. McCraney Property Co. of West Palm Beach is partnering with Riverwalk developer, the Greens of Rock Hill, for the 507,500-square-foot shell building, which is already under construction. Its site is in the Riverwalk Business Park.

McCraney Property Co. of West Palm Beach is partnering with Riverwalk developer, the Greens of Rock Hill, for the 507,500-square-foot shell building, which is already under construction. Steven McCraney, president and CEO of the Florida company, brings an interesting idea to Charlotte as storefront retail fights ecommerce around the nation.

“Warehouses are the new retail,” McCraney says in a recent telephone interview.

He expects ecommerce to continue to grow beyond the current national market share of 10% of retail. Distribution centers will soon become a hugely important source of consumer goods, he predicts. Charlotte has an important role in that transformation, McCraney says.

“I see it becoming a distribution hub,” he says. “It is where America is growing.” McCraney’s family isn’t new to Mecklenburg County. Parts of his family once lived in Charlotte. He’s based in West Palm Beach.

McCraney, the company and the CEO, are proponents of having speculative space available in a community.

“If you don’t build it, you can’t lease it,” he says.

The Riverwalk building — called Logistics 77 @ Riverwalk — is scheduled to become available for the next phase of construction by year end, says Mark Mather, manager of the Greens of Rock Hill.

Mather would prefer a single tenant in the building but it was designed to accommodate more.

With 2.5 million square feet of industrial, office and distribution space built or under construction, Riverwalk Business Park is filling up. The 315-acre park has enough space for another 700,000 square feet of buildings available, primarily located near its Celriver Road entrance. That’s about 67 acres left.

Intercon Building Co. of Charlotte is the general contractor on the project with Warren Snowdon at Foundry Commercial in Charlotte in charge of leasing at the shell building.

Snowdon says the Riverwalk shell building is the largest under development in the Charlotte market. It should lease quickly in York County, where the industrial market is exceptionally tight, he says.

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