Heart of Albemarle Hotel sold to Concord developer

The Heart of Albemarle Hotel was sold earlier this month to a Concord-based development company, which plans to create apartment units.

After about a decade of ownership, Chuck Nance sold the property for $1.75 million on Oct. 15 to Albemarle Real Estate Development, according to real estate agent Bryan Maples, who represented both the buyer and seller.

The plan is for the the company to create 103 360-square-foot apartment units along with 4,500 square feet of commercial space. The company is looking to appeal to the many Pfeiffer University students looking to move into the downtown area in order to be close to the Center for Health Sciences building.

“We wanted to assist Pfeiffer as much as we can by making the units available,” Maples said.

The construction and renovation of the property, which is budgeted to cost around $2 million, will begin in about three weeks, Maples said, and should be complete by next spring.

“It’s mainly a big clean-up job. There’s actually not a ton of construction,” Maples said. “It’s mainly a renovation of the property.”

Renderings of what the new Albemarle apartments will look like. Photo courtesy of Bryan Maples.

There is also the possibility, Maples said, that Albemarle Real Estate could lease the commercial space along with some of the residential units to Paul Peters, founder and executive director of the nonprofit group Nehemiah Project Covenant of Love.

Maples said the name of the new apartment complex should be decided sometime next week.

Albemarle Real Estate has also purchased the old Lowder building at 120 King Ave. It is looking at converting the property into about 16 apartment units, Maples said.

The Heart of Albemarle had been the center of a legal showdown for several years between Nance, who purchased it in 2012 with his wife Jennifer, and the city.

Albemarle Police visited the property 79 times from 2014 to 2017 “in response to complaints of criminal activity, including assaults, sales of narcotics, and solicitation of prostitution,” court documents claim.

In March 2017, the Nances received a notification from the city that their property was being used in a manner that was illegal. 

Chuck Nance evicted all tenants and closed his business to resolve the situation 28 days after the notice was delivered.

In early August 2017, four months after the hotel closed, the city’s outside legal counsel filed a lawsuit against the Nances alleging their property constituted a public nuisance. 

In May 2018, Stanly County Superior Court ruled in favor of the Nances, stating the city did not follow the proper channels by allowing the Police Department to move forward with the lawsuit. According to a statute cited by the court, a city can bring a nuisance complaint against a member of the community, but only after a resolution on the matter has been approved by the city council.

Later, the three-judge panel for the North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s ruling. The case was appealed and ultimately made its way to the North Carolina Supreme Court last spring, where it was dismissed.