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Epicentre expected to remain with current lender after auction

The Epicentre, once a thriving hub of entertainment in Uptown, will likely stay in the possession of the bank that foreclosed on the property.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Uptown Charlotte's Epicentre will most likely stay in the possession of the bank that foreclosed on the property when no bids were placed at Tuesday's auction, WCNC Charlotte's Lexi Wilson learned. 

Over a dozen bidders were at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse when Epicentre went to auction at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, but the only bid was for $95 million, and it was from Deutsche Bank Trust, the bank that foreclosed on the property. 

“I thought it was over the top,” Duncan Anderson said. 

Anderson and a group of investors had plans to refurbish and relaunch the property. But Anderson is not calling it quits just yet. 

Any interested buyer now has 10 days to put in an upset bid of 5% over $95 million, otherwise, Epicentre will remain property of Deutsche Bank Trust. 

Now, they're debating if they'll come up higher. 

“We have 10 days to make another offer, so we have to go back to the table and see if it makes sense," Anderson said.

According to North Carolina law, each time an upset bid is filed, a new 10-day upset bid period begins. According to Mecklenburg County’s website, after all upset bid periods are completed, the highest bidder is notified and will need to pay the balance to complete the sale.

There are still questions on what Deutsche Bank will do with the Epicentre. WCNC Charlotte reached out to the company for more information but the investment bank had no comment. If there are no other bids, the soonest Deutsche Bank can take ownership would be Aug. 22. 

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The original sale was supposed to be in May, but the substitute trustee postponed the auction moments before it began. 

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Once a hub for nightlife in Uptown, the Epicentre struggled to attract visitors for years before going into receivership after the owner defaulted on an $85 million loan.

Despite the uncertain future, the owner of the Tailored Smoke cigar lounge said he's optimistic the property will rebound with new ownership. 

"I'm confident that the traffic will pick up again," Gray said. "There will be new businesses in here again, and I want to be a part of that. I worked really hard to get here and I don't want to just give it up."

Meanwhile, for businesses like Epic Times Jewelry Store, who will close their doors at the end of the month, the auction was a little too late.

“We've kind of tried to work and do the best we can with what we had," owner of Epic Times Jewelry Store, James Mack said.

The Epicentre was opened in 2008, conveniently positioned near the Spectrum Center and public transit with the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS). While it became a popular nightlife spot, the hub was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, including a scaled-back Republican National Convention in 2020 and businesses struggling.

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Contact Lexi Wilson at lwilson@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. 

WCNC Charlotte is always asking "where's the money?" If you need help, reach out to WCNC Charlotte by emailing money@wcnc.com.

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