Vue leases 70 units, plans Sky Lounge bar up top

Vue leases 70 units, plans Sky Lounge bar up top


by KERRY SINGE / The Charlotte Observer

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 23 at 12:09 PM

The Vue has leased 70 apartments since this summer, when the uptown high-rise's new owner converted 392 condominium units into rentals.

"We have had overwhelming interest from people wanting to be uptown and to live in the one-of-a-kind Vue high-rise," said David Ravin, president and chief executive officer of Northwood Ravin, which manages the property. Northwood Ravin also is an affiliate of Northwood Investors, which purchased the Vue at foreclosure auction in June.

"We are seeing interest actually accelerate into the fall as people become aware the building now has luxury rental options," Ravin said.

Nearly 60 residents currently live in the building, alongside 16 condo owners. The Vue was built as for-sale luxury condominiums but struggled to close sales after construction finished in fall 2010. The former owner later defaulted on the loan.

(Click here to take a trip inside The Vue)

Northwood Ravin is also building out several spaces that had been left for future penthouse expansion.  The firm is remodeling the sales center in the building and plans to begin outdoor additions on the eighth floor pool deck this winter.

The company is also building the Sky Lounge on the 50th floor. Work has been permitted and is expected to be finished by New Year's Eve, Northwood Ravin says.

The Sky Lounge will be 3,800 square feet on the Vue's top floor and include a bar and lounge seating overlooking Bank of America Stadium and the new Knight's ballpark.  The lounge, which will be available to residents and guests, will also have a demonstration kitchen and dining room, entertainment room with piano bar, private game room, meeting and conference rooms and a wireless business center with private seating areas overlooking uptown.

These amenities join features already available including 24-hour concierge and security, heated junior Olympic-sized pool and sundeck, and health club with yoga room.

"We really wanted to provide top notch amenities to match the top of the line finishes of the units themselves," Ravin said. "The private Sky Lounge on the 50th floor is really something no one else can offer in Charlotte."

Rent for the units, which range from 650 square feet to 3,586 square feet, is between $1,100 and $5,800 a month.

The conversion to rentals marked the end of two years of uncertainty and legal squabbles for the building.
In 2010, the Vue was lauded as one of the few proposed uptown high-rises that made it up out of the ground despite a crippling recession and weak housing market.

The former developer said he would never lower the luxury-level prices nor convert the building to rentals. Condos started selling in the mid-2000s from just under $200,000 to more than $2 million.

Many would-be buyers lost deposits when they either decided to walk away or couldn't secure financing to complete a sale.

Charlotte's apartment market, meanwhile, has been booming and developers have announced scores of new multifamily projects for the area. Northwood Ravin is actively involved in other local apartment complexes.