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BECO South?s Chris Epstein (here by the Eiffel Tower  last week) didn't enter the Charlotte market with blinders on. He anticipated taking two years to hammer the company's first local investment into shape. It didn't take that long. Chris will elaborate at Bisnow's July 15 Charlotte State of the Market event at the Charlotte Westin Hotel. (Join the party and register now!)

BECO South's Chris Epstein at the Eiffel Tower

It was only about a year ago when Rockville, Md.-based BECO paid $41M for the former IBM campus (200 acres, plus about 2M SF of existing space) in Charlotte's University area. It then launched into more than $30M in renovations and improvements. At the time, Chris characterized the investment as a ?distressed property.? But then again, that's just BECO?s game. Now called Innovation Park, the development has surpassed BECO?s expectations to such an extent that Chris moved to Charlotte to establish BECO South. ?We came to Charlotte in the midst of the economic turmoil under way nationally,? he tells us. ?We have big plans for Innovation Park and we've attempted to demonstrate that our actions back our plans.? BECO has signed 200k SF of new tenants, including Siemens, Classic Graphics, and an expansion by nuclear services company Areva NP. Hear more of Chris' insights this Friday (July 15)  at oure Bisnow Breakfast and Schmooze. Register today!

Beacon Partners' Pete Lash

The strength of the Charlotte market may well be industrial space, but investment in solid properties of all types comes in a close second, Beacon Partners' Pete Lash tells us. Pete, a Beacon founder with Ed Weisiger Jr., started the Charlotte-based development company in 1989. (Pete will also be among Bisnow'spanel of experts at the July 15 Charlotte State of the Market event and look; here's another chance to register.) The former Olympic handball player serves as Beacon?s president and managing partner, overseeing the company's development and acquisition business. He tells us current market conditions are ?treading water,? having personally witnessed no growth in office development and leasing. (Except for Ballantyne, he adds. Can we get an ?Amen??) But that doesn?t mean Charlotte isn't appealing to investors, Pete says. ?If a piece of property goes up for sale in the Carolinas, you?ve got 15 bidders.?