CHARLOTTE-Dennis Richter, president of Richter & Associates, will be breaking ground shortly on Latta Pavilion, a challenging, $45-million, three-acre, mixed-use project in Dilworth, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. The project will comprise 150 apartments, 100 condominiums, 28,000 sf of office and 20,000 sf of retail. Completion is scheduled for 2002.

Richter first spotted his dream parcel about three years ago. The only structures on the site were small, dilapidated shops. The developer envisioned a mix of residential, office and retail.

The project has been a struggle from the start, but Richter refused to be discouraged. Talks with Texas-based Whole Foods Market as an anchor tenant collapsed. With no retailer signed, Richter concentrated on bringing more residential units into play.

He turned to local developer Clay Grubb to become a partner in the project. There were 10 land parcels that had to be acquired and four leases that had to be bought out. Richter also needed the support of the neighborhood and enough financial partners to keep the deal alive.

His strategy in working closely with neighborhood groups would pay off later.

Rezoning would be another issue but not nearly as difficult as acquiring the land, which was not going to be inexpensive. The purchase price for the 10 parcels was $4.2 million or $34.50 per sf.

The proposed residential units, ranging from 600 sf to 1,700 sf, will rent for $975 to $2,300 per month. Condominiums will sell for $170,000 for 700 sf to $300,000 for 1,400 sf. The 13 penthouses will sell for $400,000 for 1,600 sf to $650,000 for 2,350 sf.

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