CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — What’s in a name? More importantly, is it enough to change the perception of a once popular entertainment spot in the heart of Uptown?
The Epicentre has seen a rough few years, dealing with everything from the pandemic shutdown to a rise in crime.
It opened in Uptown in 2008 with a promise to bring crowds of people, to new restaurants, bars, clubs, and a movie theater. High-profile crimes, though, and stabbings began to add up, and keep people away.
Tuesday, the Epicentre was a lot quieter than years ago, but the new owners renamed it “Queen City Quarter” in hopes of shaking that reputation and transforming the complex into an enjoyable and safe spot for Charlotteans.
“You rebrand it and give it a new vision,” said Compie Newman, Managing Director at CBRE, the commercial real estate company in charge of marketing, leasing, and property management of the complex. “Our vision is that this will become corporate and family-friendly and we are getting good leasing interest already.”
Currently, the former Epicentre is 30% occupied, and commercial real estate company CBRE will be intentional about its new tenants.
“The late-night scene here is not something that we’re going to pursue with this change,” Newman said. “We do envision the courtyard behind me having some performing arts and maybe some of the tenancy might be directed there,” he continued, “so, you can see from that, from where this property has been, that’s going to be a really positive direction.”
CBRE has contacted Charlotte Mecklenburg Police about enhanced safety measures including adding security cameras.
“It’s more than just enforcement. It’s about lighting, thinking about activating the space,” said James LaVar, Senior Vice President of economic development at Charlotte Center City Partners.
In the next year, visitors will see significant improvements to the patios and roof, the parking garage, and the courtyard.
“The quality of the infrastructure of the place has been a challenge going forward,” LaVar said, “so a lot of the things that CBRE will be working on with the owners is about upgrading that infrastructure, everything from the surface that you walk on to the stairs to getting rid of the escalators.”
As the old signs come down, new ones are going up advertising a new vision for the 300,000-square-foot piece of real estate in the heart of Uptown Charlotte.
“We’re really excited about the new name and logo,” said Newman. “I think I’ll be saying QCQ a lot.”