CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Home improvement retail giant Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) has unveiled plans for Design Center Tower, a 23-story office tower in Charlotte. Development costs are estimated at $153 million, according to theCharlotte Observer.
The 357,000-square-foot building, which Lowe’s is referring to as a global technology center, will fill a vacant parking lot in Charlotte’s bustling South End, about 1.5 miles southwest of the city center. The plot is adjacent to a Lynx light rail station as well as the city’s Rail Trail system of walking/biking paths.
The developer, a joint venture between Childress Klein and RAM Realty Advisors, plans to break ground on the Design Center Tower this August, with Lowe’s moving in by late 2021. Lowe’s will occupy the top 15 floors of the building. The ground floor will feature 20,000 square feet of retail and restaurants.
North Carolina is contributing $54 million in state incentives for the project, to be paid over 12 years based on Lowe’s meeting job creation and investment requirements, reports the Observer.
Lowe’s expects to bring 2,000 high-paying tech jobs to the building, 1,600 of which will be new and 400 of which will relocate from the company’s headquarters in nearby Mooresville, the Observerreports.
The purpose of the tech center will be to serve “as the epicenter for the team Lowe’s is hiring to help modernize its IT systems and build future retail experiences,” according to the company. Jobs will include software and infrastructure engineers, data scientists, analysts, architects, user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) professionals, and artificial intelligence and machine learning engineers. The average salary for employees in the building will be more than $117,000, according to the company.
“Locating our new facility in the heart of Charlotte, the state’s largest metropolitan area, will enable Lowe’s to attract top technology talent and foster collaboration with our teams in our nearby Mooresville headquarters,” says Marvin R. Ellison, Lowe’s president and CEO, who joined the company in July 2018.
“This team will create technology solutions that will accelerate our commitment to becoming a best-in-class, omni-channel retailer and strengthen our associate and customer experiences,” adds Ellison.
The Charlotte Plaza in uptown Charlotte will serve as the interim home for the Lowe’s tech center, with the company occupying 200,000 square feet of office space on floors three through 10.
In December, Lowe’s announced plans to invest more than $500 million annually through 2021 toward the company’s technology transformation. The company’s stock price closed at $99.36 per share on Thursday, June 27, up from $96 one year ago.
— Jeff Shaw