CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Epicentre, a once-thriving entertainment hub stretching the entirety of a Charlotte city block, will be auctioned off as a result of its bankruptcy, court documents obtained by WCNC Charlotte Monday confirmed.
In an auction scheduled for May 12 at 10 a.m., the highest bidder will walk away as the owner of the complex.
The Epicentre was built in 2008 on the site of the old Charlotte Convention Center. It grew into a popular nightlife spot.
“When I was younger there was a lot of businesses a lot of people come and go but It’s been closed down for a long time now," Charlotte resident Caniyah Asbury said.
Matt Ragona, the original architect for the site and current operator of Ragona Architecture & Design, said his team sought to create an urban town center utilizing the negative space as outdoor public spaces.
Ragona told WCNC Charlotte in March he feels the bottom portion of the Epicentre can be reimagined for new uses.
When the Epicentre entered receivership in August, court filings revealed much of the Epicentre is empty; more than 63% of the hub's venues were empty at the time. The Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram social media accounts for Epicentre have been dormant since 2019. Their last posts celebrated the ringing in of 2020.
The property will be sold "as is" with any needed repairs becoming the responsibility of the new owner.
WCNC Charlotte spoke to those who live, work, and play in Uptown to learn what new ideas they'd to see.
“Definitely clothing store cause there’s nothing like that," Asbury said.
“Throw a good book store in there I’d be happy," Charlotte resident Tom Owen added.
“Definitely a good café because we don’t have many," Uptown employee Carolina Moilanen said.
After its heyday, the Epicentre became a growing source of concern for Uptown Charlotte crime.
The economics of the Epicentre were further strained by a scaled-back Republican National Convention in 2020, which brought significantly fewer people to Uptown Charlotte than originally planned. As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to keep officer workers and tourists home, the Epicentre and its remaining businesses continued to struggle.
The Epicentre property is located one block from the Charlotte Transit Center, featuring direct access to Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) buses and blue line light rail. It is also near the Spectrum Center, home to the Charlotte Hornets and other events.
A new owner will need to decide what to do with the space, which was once full of restaurants, bars, and clubs despite a later effort to convert some of the units into office space.