CHARLOTTE-Despite a winning bid of $15.2 million for a 3.3-acre uptown parcel, Pennsylvania-based LCOR is out of the running to redevelop the 27-year-old former convention center site at Trade and College Streets here. LCOR couldn’t convince the city it had the financial strength to do the job.

Council members voted 9 to 1 to end talks with the developer. The are placing the land on hold until a 550,000-sf office tower being developed by Lincoln Harris across the street is completed.

LCOR’s bid equates to $4.6 million per acre or $105.74 per sf. Spectrum Properties’ competing bid of $12 million equates to $3.64 million or $83.47 per sf. Both are lofty land prices in a submarket where prime dirt is in short supply, brokers say.

Mayor Pat McCrory has suggested the city tear down the 27-year-old building, landscape the area and let it serve as a park while the property is up for sale. Other ideas are utilizing the site as a public aquarium, athletic facility or a transportation hub.

While the city decides how to handle the site’s marketing, another uptown deal is brewing. That scenario involves selling and redeveloping 11 acres of county property on North Tryon Street and six acres of nearby city-owned land. The City Center 2010 plan calls for a village-type development that would support the surrounding cultural district.

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