Uptown’s Vue finding its niche in luxury rental market

The Vue has leased 70 apartments since the summer, when the uptown high-rise building’s new owner converted 392 condominium units into rentals.

“We have had overwhelming interest from people wanting to be uptown and to live in the one-of-a-kind Vue high-rise,” said David Ravin, president and chief executive officer of Northwood Ravin, which manages the property. Northwood Ravin is an affiliate of Northwood Investors, which purchased the Vue at foreclosure auction in June.

“We are seeing interest actually accelerate into the fall as people become aware the building now has luxury rental options,” Ravin said.

Nearly 60 rental residents currently live in the building, at Fifth and Pine streets, alongside 16 condo owners, the company says. The Vue was built as for-sale luxury condominiums but struggled to close sales after construction finished in fall 2010. The former owner defaulted on the loan.

Northwood Ravin also is finishing several spaces that had been left for future penthouse expansion. The firm is remodeling the sales center in the building and plans to begin outdoor additions on the eighth-floor pool deck this winter.

The company also is building the Sky Lounge on the 50th floor. Permits have been issued and work is expected to be finished by New Year’s Eve, Northwood Ravin says.

The Sky Lounge will be 3,800 square feet on the Vue’s top floor and include a bar and lounge seating overlooking Bank of America Stadium and the future Charlotte Knights ballpark.

The lounge, which will be available to residents and guests, also will have a demonstration kitchen and dining room, entertainment room with piano bar, a private game room, meeting and conference rooms and a wireless business center with private seating overlooking uptown.

Amenities already available include 24-hour concierge and security, a heated junior Olympic-size pool with sundeck and a health club with yoga room.

“We really wanted to provide top-notch amenities to match the top-of-the-line finishes of the units themselves,” Ravin said.

“The private Sky Lounge on the 50th floor is really something no one else can offer in Charlotte.”

Rent for the units, which range from 650 square feet to 3,586 square feet, runs from $1,100 to $5,800 a month.

Future was unclear for years

The conversion to rentals marked the end of two years of uncertainty and legal squabbles for the building.

In 2010, the Vue was lauded as one of the few proposed uptown high-rises that made it up out of the ground despite a crippling recession and weak housing market.

The former developer said he would never lower the luxury-level prices nor convert the building to rentals. Condos started selling in the mid-2000s from just under $200,000 to more than $2 million.

Many would-be buyers lost deposits when they decided to walk away or couldn’t secure financing to complete a sale.

Charlotte’s apartment market, meanwhile, has been booming and developers have announced scores of new multifamily projects. Northwood Ravin develops and manages other local apartment complexes.

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