There won't be a formal groundbreaking, but work is scheduled to begin next week (the week of May 22) on redevelopment of the old Carolina Theatre in uptown Charlotte. The Foundation for the Carolinas is leading the project, which includes a 20-story hotel.
Workers will begin by removing the small landscaped park at North Tryon and Sixth streets, where the theater lobby once sat. Within a few weeks, they'll start restoring the theater's old facade and removing lead paint inside.
Foundation for the Carolinas CEO Michael Marsicano said the foundation has raised most of the $44 million it needs to restore the building, which is next to its headquarters.
"We will take it back to the elegance of the 1920s. And Charlotte has very few historic buildings, so this will be an ambassador building," Marsicano said in a recent interview.
The Carolina Theatre opened in 1927. It hosted Vaudeville shows, films and concerts including Elvis Pressley before falling into disrepair and shutting down in 1978. The foundation bought the building from the City of Charlotte for a dollar in 2013.
The foundation's board will vote this month on a deal with investors to develop a 252-room hotel on top of the theater. Australian investment group SB&G will own the hotel. Another company, Valor Hospitality Partners, will operate the hotel under the InterContintental brand.
The hotel could cost about $60 million, putting the whole project at more than $100 million, says the foundation’s Laura Smith.
She says the 950-seat theater and hotel are expected to open in 2019.
Carolina Theatre at Belk Place web page on the Foundation for the Carolinas website, FFTC.org