Northwood Office is Adapting and Expanding 535-Acre Ballantyne Office Campus for a Post-COVID-19 World
As one of the largest owners and operators of office space in the Charlotte market, Northwood Office is focusing on what office users want — safety, quality, productivity, flexibility and a sense of community. The firm’s largest asset is Ballantyne, a 535-acre campus featuring 4.4 million square feet of Class A office space situated in the heart of a 2,000-acre community.
Ballantyne is home to 17,000 employees and 300 companies. While the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the landscape for office space, Ballantyne is well-positioned to deliver what employers need in the current environment.
“The benefit of working close to home is more appealing than ever, and Ballantyne’s location near the Carolinas border and public transportation options make it accessible for everyone,” says John Barton, president of Northwood Office. “However, Ballantyne’s hallmark is its abundant open space. Always our differentiator, its value takes on a whole new level in a post-pandemic world.”
Northwood Office’s priority is the safety and well-being of its customers and team members while also maintaining its buildings at the highest level. The company assembled a task force to prepare and adapt for a phased re-entry to office buildings.
New operational procedures underway include ample signage instituting social distancing, safe elevator use and other preventive reminders, implementing personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements for employees and vendors, HVAC enhancements, touchless entryways and hand sanitizer stations.
Enhanced cleaning services consist of a greater focus on sanitizing common area spaces and surfaces, increased cleaning of entrance doors, lobbies, restrooms and elevator interiors, and more frequent, thorough cleaning and disinfecting of stairwells and handrails.
“As our customers are phasing back to the office, we are doing everything we can to ensure we continue to provide a safe and healthy workplace environment,” says Tom Pizzo, executive vice president of Northwood Office.
This applies to product under development as well. Construction is on schedule at 13146 Ballantyne Corporate Place, Northwood’s first development project since acquiring most of the Ballantyne portfolio in 2017. The 328,000-square-foot, 11-story Class A office building will deliver in March 2021.
The team has implemented a variety of changes to ensure the project meets standards in a post-COVID-19 environment. Efforts include installing automatic door operators with wave plates on all core restroom doors and all exterior doors, except the loading dock. The building will feature hands-free products in the restrooms, automatic hydration stations on all floors and wall-mounted hand sanitizers throughout the common areas.
Restroom layout changes include increasing width between sinks to five feet on-center and installing dividers between sinks to control water droplets. All HVAC SWUD units will have MERV-13 air filters as well.
One of the project’s signature features, a top-level amenity floor, is being configured to address social distancing and will feature furniture with washable fabrics. The amenity floor will include a rooftop terrace, fire pit and 14,500 square feet of versatile space. The main level will include a 2,500-square-foot fitness facility, as well as planned retail and dining.
Targeting LEED Silver certification, the property will feature 10 stories of Class A office space with 32,000-square-foot floor plates. The project also features an adjacent 16-story residential tower and five-story mid-rise building comprising 212 luxury apartment homes, in partnership with Northwood Ravin.
“This project exemplifies what we continue to strive to do at Ballantyne — provide an amenity-rich location that offers features that improve quality of life while demonstrating a high-quality standard for future development,” says Barton.
Northwood was intentional about its latest project’s location. The property is right across the street from the core of Ballantyne Reimagined, its master plan for the next phase of development within Ballantyne.
Ballantyne Reimagined is Northwood’s renewed vision to create a more urban, walkable environment.
The amenity-rich destination will feature an authentic mix of retail, dining, entertainment and housing options that will be complemented by open spaces.
As more residential is introduced, employees can live where they work. In addition, a 2,000-person amphitheater will offer a gathering space for performances, wellness events and farmers markets.
Ballantyne will build on its existing network of more than 19 miles of walking paths and six miles of bike lanes with a connection to the greenway. The community will feature 100 acres of parks, offering a convenient link to the natural environment.
“Access to talent, recruitment and retention continue to be priorities for our office customers,” says Barton. “With the added benefits of increased walkability, enhanced programming and enriching amenities, Ballantyne will become an even more desirable place for work and beyond.”
— By Christina Thigpen, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Northwood Office