Major renovations continue at downtown Charlotte’s Trade West, formerly 129 West Trade Street, as longtime local restaurant, King’s Kitchen, signs 10-year lease renewal

Taylor Nunnally

Charlotte, North Carolina – October 23, 2019 – Since Somerset Properties acquired Trade West (formerly 129 West Trade) in August of 2018, the Pennsylvania real estate firm has been hard at work improving and repositioning the 15-story, 153,498 SF property by investing at least $10 million into the downtown Charlotte office building.

The building’s transformation kicked off with a renaming of the asset from 129 West Trade to Trade West, along with completed renovations of a new training room and conference center that also includes a separate catering kitchen. Somerset hired Redline Design Group to update the exterior façade to include an updated main entrance, street-level retail exteriors, and second floor glass curtain walls.

A complete renovation of the lobby includes an updated main entry featuring a security desk with large-format, polished white porcelain panels on the walls along with a felt-feature wall, all while preserving the original Carrera marble located around the elevators and original stonework around the columns. Tenants can also expect an open, Wi-Fi-enabled tenant amenity lounge complete with Canteen food service, collaborative seating and gathering space, and televisions.

Major plans are in place for the second-floor space at Trade West, a 14,590 SF full-floor availability that is sure to be unlike any other in downtown Charlotte. With a new, undulating glass curtain wall on the exterior, the vacancy will be upfitted with 18-foot ceilings and large windows that offer fantastic views of the activity at the major intersection, while keeping the building’s original elements such as exposed brick, terrazzo flooring and a vintage bank vault room intact.

The property sits on a 0.4 AC parcel on the corner of South Church and West Trade Streets, one block from the center of the city at Trade and Tryon. It’s home to Charlotte classic, King’s Kitchen, a nonprofit restaurant owned by well-known chef Jim Noble, serving southern-inspired cuisine from Carolina farms focused on a mission to benefit city’s homeless. The restaurant recently renewed their lease through 2029. The ground-level location will not go untouched in the redevelopment, as Somerset has planned a retail expansion that will enclose the patio with a new sliding glass partition system to allow for street activation allowing for additional interior and exterior seating for all-weather dining. Ownership expects to make additional announcements regarding new retail this year as the renovations wrap up.

Trade West’s transformation is happening just as the Grand Bohemian finishes up construction, positioning Trade and Church streets as an unbeatable activated destination in downtown Charlotte. The 15-story, 254-room luxury hotel is directly across the street from Trade West and will include on-site amenities like Starbucks, fine dining, a rooftop bar, an event terrace, spa and courtyard.

Trade West is positioned along the CityLYNX Gold Line, a 10-mile streetcar system that is an integral part of the 2030 Transit Plan and is being constructed in phases. Phase 1 opened for service in 2015 and Phase 2 is currently under construction. Phase 2 will extend the current streetcar segment by 2.5 miles on the east and west ends of the line, creating a stretch of 4 miles from the Charlotte Transportation Center to French Street, and east one-half mile along Hawthorne Lane from Novant Presbyterian Hospital to Sunnyside Avenue.

Current notable tenants at Trade West include Boston National, Tower Legal, and the General Services Administration. Trinity Partners’ Jennifer Kurz and Chase Merkel handle office leasing duties on behalf of the owner.

“The building has such great bones and couldn’t be in a better location. All it needed was dedicated owner to invest in its potential.” Kurz said. “The renovations are unique and thoughtful, especially on the second floor, with the 18’ ceilings and exposed brick. It’s a great opportunity for a company to do something different with their space. We’re looking forward to wrapping things up and watching this block really flourish.”

Somerset was initially attracted to Trade West’s smaller, more flexible floorplates of about 9,000 SF on the upper floors, which allow a smaller to medium tenants to have a more prominent presence with the potential for their own reception lobby. This is Somerset’s first Charlotte office acquisition, and the firm has invested in other North Carolina markets including Raleigh and Greensboro.

“We are very excited to expand our North Carolina presence with our first acquisition in Charlotte and we look forward to participating in the vitality and growth of the City,” said Anthony Brady, President of Somerset Properties. “We are confident that our transformation of one of Charlotte’s first skyscrapers with neighbors like the Grand Bohemian will make a terrific home for tenants looking for a boutique building among Charlotte’s larger, corporate headquarters buildings.”

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About Somerset Properties
Somerset Properties is a full-service real estate company that operates in the eastern United States.  Our principals have been successfully developing, operating, and investing in commercial real estate projects for over thirty years.  Since 1996 we have been building real property solutions for our clientele of investors and property owners. In addition to being real estate investors, Somerset Properties provides a full complement of services for properties we own and properties we manage on behalf of other third-party landlords.  Whether it is leasing, property management, construction management, asset management, or financial analysis we use the latest technology, an attention to detail, and a collaborative approach that the large national firms don’t offer.

About Trinity Partners
Trinity Partners is a full-service commercial real estate firm serving corporate users and institutional owners throughout the United States, with 10 service lines ranging from landlord and tenant representation to property management and investment sales. They are known for our entrepreneurial spirit, best-in-class performance, and respected team of commercial real estate professionals, who are directly responsible for the company’s success and collaborative culture. The firm currently leases and/or manages more than 20 million square feet of office, industrial, mixed-use, and retail space across the region through their four offices in Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, and Columbia and Greenville, South Carolina.