South End’s hippest offices are overflowing with #workperks.
With 4.5 million square feet of office space and another 1 million under construction as of 2022, South End is one of the hottest places to work in the country. Adjacent to Uptown, situated along the LYNX Blue Line light rail, and bustling with restaurants, breweries, bars and fun things to do, South End has it all when it comes to being a cool place to work. And these businesses jumped on the opportunity to integrate themselves into the innovative and creative culture of the neighborhood, offering amenities within their four walls that are just as cool as what's available when employees step outside. Take a look at these cool office spaces in South End. Who knows? Maybe one of them will be your next place of employment!
LendingTree, the country’s largest online lending marketplace, recently moved its headquarters from Ballantyne to South End. The 176,500-square-foot office spans six floors of one of the two 11-story towers that make up Vantage South End. The design of the space took place during the pandemic, which allowed the designers (Redline Design Group and Kelley Vieregg Design) to take into consideration the future needs of the workforce. When it comes to work perks, LendingTree is known for creating a space and culture that puts employees first.
Each of the nearly 800 employees have their own work stations (with the option to be a standing desk) plus 64 conference rooms, a variety of other collaboration and flex spaces, a workout room with a Peloton bike, wellness/meditation areas, libraries for a quiet/private workspace and rentable books, a game room, a sound-proof music room, suites for nursing mothers, a creative studio, multiple outdoor patios including a rooftop terrace, and more. There are bar areas with free beer, wine and cold brew either on tap or in fridges on each floor, and parking is free for all employees. The office features local artwork, custom murals, greenery, comfortable furniture with fun fabrics, and many custom touches that make it feel like a home away from home.
It’s just a short walk to the Carson Boulevard light rail station and popular happy hour spots like Charlotte Beer Garden and Hoppin’. More retail and restaurants will be opening on the lower levels of the tower in the near future. If you happen to visit a friend who works there, take a picture in the green throne in front of their Instagram wall. Just like they treat their employees, visitors are treated like royalty too!
Lowe’s Global Technology Center
This 23-story, 357,000-square-foot Design Center Tower on Worthington Avenue is home to the global tech hub for nearly 2,000 Lowe’s employees, who occupy the top 15 floors. It serves as the epicenter for modernizing Lowe’s IT systems and future retail experiences. Designed by architecture firm Little Diversified, the building features amenities that today’s workers want: outdoor workspaces, flexible workstations, dining options, hangout spaces in the lobby, rooftop seating with a skyline view and more. Ground floor retail just outside of the tower includes shoe store Allbirds, popular Tex-Mex restaurant Superica, fast-casual restaurant and provisions shop Salted Melon Market & Eatery, and coming soon: Outdoor Voices and Brown Bag Seafood Co.
Krispy Kreme Office
Located at 2116 Hawkins Street, the 32,000-square-foot 1900s refurbished warehouse is home to Krispy Kreme’s global product and innovation center as well as a 4,500-square-foot retail shop on the front of the building, which also has the popular 24/7 doughnut vending machine. OKW Architects leaned heavily into workplace design elements that represent the joy, comfort and nostalgia associated with the 80-year-old brand’s sweet signature products.
Nearly 120 employees (or Krispy Kremers as they call themselves) in marketing, development, HR, finance and operations now work out of the modern, open floor plan space. Tech-forward work stations, meeting pods (with a “Not Now” sign instead of “Hot Now” above for privacy), doughnut patterned wallpaper, and high-tech A/V and lighting systems are a pleasing juxtaposition to the beautiful brick walls, exposed ductwork, wooden beams and original hardwood floors in the historic building. The Krispy Kreme testing kitchen is also located here, and customers who visit the South End shop may get the chance to try limited edition recipes and experimental flavors.
Dimensional Fund Advisors
The Austin-based mutual fund company chose Charlotte as its East Coast headquarters several years ago and was one of the first to break ground on a major office development in South End. The nine-story, 282,000-square-foot angled building is located at the corner of South Tryon Street and Camden Road and features modern design, green space, and colorful and inspiring art throughout the property. Employees can dine in the on-site cafeteria, an outdoor eating space with a view of Uptown, or walk to closeby favorites like Blacow Burger, Early Girl Eatery, Condado Taco, Flower Child and Wooden Robot Brewery.
The RailYard is one of the hottest mixed-use developments in South End. While it pays homage to the neighborhood’s rail history and industrial past, its contemporary design and modern-day amenities were built for the future. Major companies like insurance giant Allstate, professional services consultants EY, digital solutions provider Parsons, management consultants Slalom, financial services corporation Moody’s and coworking office WeWork, among others, have found a home in one of the two eight-story towers. The north tower is exclusively leased by Allstate. In the south tower, the EY office features the organization’s newest EY wavespace™ and Design Studio, which offers cutting-edge tools and technology to help clients transform their digital customer experience.
The RBA Group led the architecture and design of the space, focusing on what they call “lifestyle design,” which is geared more toward residential trends than corporate offices. The unique environment offers flexible, comfortable indoor and outdoor workspace options rather than the typical blocked open office floor plan. The building also features rooftop terraces, a fitness center, indoor and outdoor bike storage lockers (a nice benefit for those who are interested in bike commuting), ride-sharing drop-off lanes and free parking for employees.
The courtyard area between the north and south towers, which is called The Yard, offers space to hangout, listen to live music, or grab something to eat or drink. There are several ground floor retail and culinary tenants for employees to enjoy: North Italia, STIR, Rhino Market & Deli, Orange Theory Fitness and Bishops Salon. Right inside the courtyard is Grand Central, which offers flexible communal space that’s accessible via a 40-foot rollup door creating an indoor/outdoor gathering area. Whether it’s to work, play or do a session in the EY wavespace™, The Railyard will not disappoint.
Tell us about your experience working in South End and share photos of your workspace tagging @SouthEndCLT and using the hashtags #SouthEnd and #SouthEndRising. Learn more about growing your business in South End here.