When we first heard about the Station House development in NoDa by the now-open Sugar Creek light rail station, The Shed Amphitheater was the only source of activity in November 2017.
Jay Tilyard, former owner of The Chop Shop music venue in NoDa, was spearheading the excitement at this pop-up concert and event venue at 600 E. Sugar Creek Road. Hundreds of people were showing up.
Tilyard stumbled upon the outdoor space thanks to an invitation from Tony Kuhn of Flywheel Group, which owns the 50,000-square-foot Station House building and the nearby 100,000-square-foot Trailhead building that are under redevelopment. Flywheel Group has envisioned Station House as part of a campus at the Sugar Creek Station stop, with the Trailhead development as its counterpart.
The Sugar Creek light rail station finally opened (with the rest of the LYNX light rail extension) in March 2018, which means more people can actually get here with ease.
Now, at the end of August, The Shed is no longer alone in this new, full-of-potential, entertainment campus. Here’s what’s going on at Station House and Trailhead developments:
The Shed at Station House: This amphitheater venue continues to host pop-up festivals and events. Next up is the inaugural Stonewall Rainbow Run hosted by Stonewall Sports Charlotte on Sept. 8. This LGBTQ and Ally 5K walk and run (and after party) will raise funds for PFLAG Charlotte, Veteran’s Bridge Home and CMPD Animal Care and Control. “The property owners are trying to keep the space active and vibrant through the construction phases of Station House,” Tilyard said in an email. “The Shed is a space for pop-up outdoor events of all types, and current plans are that it will remain that way indefinitely.”
Charlotte Art League at Station House: After more than two decades in South End, the CAL got bumped out of its home by development in February 2018. They are now back — in NoDa — and are bigger than ever. Their new home at Station House is 9,400 square feet (1,000 square feet larger than their Camden Road home), and can accommodate 27 artist studios, a theater production space and about 70 wall spaces for displays of work. Executive director Cindy Connelly expects the artist studios to be filled by Sept. 1, with a grand opening to follow soon after. (We’re ready for the party.)
Nick Napoletano at Station House: This local artist, who is growing in recognition for creating murals that move, has studio space in Station House. What will be more eye-popping though, is the work he’s doing to activate the entire campus (Trailhead included) with art. Will it be murals? Installations? We can’t wait to find out.
Trailhead: To transform this space, Flywheel Group is in talks about a rock climbing gym, food hall and creative office opportunities. For the overall campus, the group is also in talks with coworking groups, and brewery and bar retail groups. Kuhn said he anticipates that within the next month, the campus will acquire new tenants.
In the meantime, Kuhn said he hopes to start seeing a lot of art activity around both Station House and Trailhead.
“It creates kind of a multifaceted, cohesive space where people can experience both music and other artistic forms,” Napoletano said of the campus.
Why this campus approach? “We think that it’s more powerful together when you start to consolidate different types of people,” Kuhn said. “…It’s just kind of the magic of an urban space.”