Charlotte’s EpiCentre is finally moving forward with a new name and vision

Developers are hopeful that changes will help the space once again become a sought destination.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The EpiCentre, located in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, has recently been one of the focal points for redevelopment in a rapidly growing and changing Queen City.

However, moving forward with any plans for redevelopment has not been easy. The 302,324 square-foot site’s future has been up in the air for over the past year, with reports outlining struggles the once “shining jewel” of Charlotte faced.

An announcement Tuesday from CBRE Group, Inc., a commercial real estate company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, to WBTV News’ QC Life detailed what’s next for the space centrally located between Trade and Fourth Streets on College Street.

First, the EpiCentre has been renamed Queen City Quarter.

CBRE said in the announcement that the updated name is inspired by Charlotte’s nickname, “The Queen City.”

Next, Queen City Quarter will undergo several “significant” overall repairs, including maintenance to the courtyard, parking garage, patios, and roof expected to be completed by the end of the year. Developers also detail in the announcement that all public staircases and escalators will be renovated, along with new landscaping, lighting, and benches.

Ultimately, CBRE Property Management will lead overseeing the management of Queen City Quarter.

Developers are hopeful that all of the changes to the former EpiCentre, which originally opened in 2008, will help the space once again become a sought destination.

“Queen City Quarter will transform the heart of Charlotte’s iconic Uptown into a vibrant corporate and family-friendly hub,” said Compie Newman, managing director of CBRE’s Charlotte office. “It offers a unique destination with new ownership and a new vision that will hopefully attract the finest amenities to the city’s urban core.”

How did we get here?

In June 2021, the owner defaulted on an $85 million loan before the property went into receivership. Fast-forwarding almost a year to March 2022, the property began foreclosure after an order from a judge.

By August, roughly two-thirds of the shops at the EpiCentre had been shut down, making the destination a virtual ghost town and the future was uncertain.

After a few months of no updates, a date for the foreclosure was officially unveiled in December 2021. The date was set for June 2022 and it was said that property improvements were already underway. At the time, 30.6% of the EpiCentre was occupied, according to the N.C. Business Report.

On March 15, 2022, a judge issued an order to officially begin the foreclosure. Two months later in May, the EpiCentre was set to go up for auction but was postponed until July due to “good and sufficient cause,” a court document wrote.

When the auction finally took place in July, only a couple dozen people came and there were no higher bids than the ownership group set at $95 million. This kept the EpiCentre under the same ownership group, leading to Tuesday’s change.

Matt Chandler

Matthew Chandler

Matt Chandler is the Digital Content Manager for WBTV News. Matt is originally from Huntsville, Alabama, and joined the WBTV News team in May of 2017.