600 South College Street Ely Portillo
600 South College Street Ely Portillo


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Historic uptown building sold for millions to new developer

July 18, 2017 10:39 AM

A nondescript building with a colorful past on Stonewall Street has been sold to a Charlotte-based developer for $6.4 million, real estate records show.

Asana Partners bought the half-acre property at Stonewall at College streets in a deal that closed Monday. The three-story, gray building is currently occupied by the James McElroy & Diehl law firm.

Asana managing partner Sam Judd said the firm is still exploring uses for the building, but it’s expected to include a retail component. Charlotte-based Crescent Communities has long been planning to develop Tryon Place, a mixed-use project anchored by an office tower, on the rest of the block between South Tryon and College streets.

Asana has been on a buying spree since it was founded in 2015 by three former executives from shopping center owner and developer Edens. The new firm has spent almost $85 million acquiring prominent properties in South End and Elizabeth, including the Design Center of the Carolinas, the former Phat Burrito building and the former Southend Interiors building. The company plans to renovate the buildings and lease them to shops, restaurants and creative office tenants.

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The building dates to 1902, though it was built in multilple stages and subsequent owners added more floors, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission.

According to the commission, Charles Black advertised his livery stable with daily notices in the Charlotte News throughout 1905, pointing to an earlier age when horses dominated uptown: “WANT A DRAY? I have all kinds of wagons for doing all kinds of light or heavy drayage and give careful personal attention to all orders. I make a specialty of moving and packing household goods. Phone 105, C. A. Black, Corner Stonewall and College, Streets and Southern Railway.”

Officially called the Query-Spivey-McGee Building, the site has since served as stables, several seed and feed stores (Charlotte Feed and Gin, Scott Feed Company), an auto repair shop, a mattress and upholstery company and a gardening supply company. Query Spivey McGee operated as a feed, seed and gardening store in the location through the mid-1980s, even as uptown grew up into an ever-larger collection of skyscrapers around the low-slung building.

The building was then converted to office uses.

“Better converted into an office building than razed, but how do you preserve that gloriously evocative smell of feed and seed?” Observer columnist Lew Powell lamented in 1985, after the shop’s closure.

A partner at James McElroy & Diehl couldn’t immediately be reached for information about where the firm plans to move.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo