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A Pineville developer announced Thursday it has begun the long-awaited renovation of a nearly 60-year-old office tower, a landmark in east Charlotte for years before falling into disrepair.
Gvest Capital said in a press release it will demolish the interior of the historic Ervin Building but preserve the exterior. The seven-story high-rise will include office space as well as a rooftop bar. The plans also call for tearing down a single-story building on the site.
The building along Independence Boulevard opened in 1964, according to a report from the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. It bears the name of Charles Ervin, one of the most prolific developers in the region, including in Charlotte. His firm, The Ervin Company, constructed many subdivisions in Charlotte, and was once located in the east Charlotte tower.
The tower has housed a variety of other tenants over the years, and more recently, it was known for containing a number of LGBTQ businesses, according to the report.
The lobby of the repurposed tower will include historical information about Charles Ervin. In addition, Gvest said it will paint a mural on the site depicting Dorothy Counts-Scoggins, the first Black student to integrate Harding High School, and other elements of Charlotte’s history.
The redevelopment has been years in the making, and Gvest first had the property rezoned in 2018.
In a recent interview, Charlotte City Council member Matt Newton, who represents the area, said the project helps symbolize a “return to the heyday of Independence Boulevard.”
“Those of us in east Charlotte, we have a fond nostalgia for that building,” he said. “There are so many people that wrote that building off, so many people over the years that said just tear it down.”
Newton said he hopes the building will be part of a wave of investment in the Independence Boulevard area, especially with the proposed LYNX Silver Line.
“This revitalization is going to provide certainly the catalyst for revitalization along the corridor,” he said.
Richard Gee, vice president of Gvest, said in an email that construction should wrap up in about a year. The project will have around 30,000 square feet of office space when it is complete.