Despite speculation that South Carolina-based web marketing firm Red Ventures was behind the recent purchases of two blocks of land at the intersection of Johnston Road and Providence Road West, it appears the purchases are unrelated.
While Red Ventures does have money invested in York Development Group, which currently owns a 12.5-acre parcel of land at the intersection, the company was not part of the decision to purchase the land, according to sources close to both companies.
The intersection is less than three miles north of Marvin in Union County.
The recent purchase of 7.5 acres of land connected to the York Development plot by another group, which is also affiliated with Red Ventures, sparked rumors that the marketing firm, which has been increasing its presence in Charlotte and Fort Mill, South Carolina over the past year, had plans to expand to Ballantyne.
The relation between the two is simply a coincidence, said Charley Leavitt, senior vice president of Jones Lang Lasalle, a real estate firm representing York Development’s rights at the current site.
“As far as I know, (Red Ventures) was not involved in the decision to buy that land,” Leavitt said.
Officials with Red Ventures also denied any direct involvement with the purchase of the land, which sits directly across from Ballantyne Town Center, a Publix-anchored shopping center that opened within the last year.
“Our campus is in Indian Land and that’s where we plan to expand in terms of employee space,” Maghan Cook, spokesperson for Red Ventures, said. “There are no current plans that I’m aware of to open any new space in Charlotte.”
In June, Red Ventures opened a third, 180,000-square-foot building on the Indian Land campus and announced plans to bring 1,800 new employees in by the beginning of 2015.
The land recently purchased in Ballantyne sits only 3 miles from the current Indian Land location.
As for the land at the corner of Providence Road West and Johnston Road, York Development plans to have it rezoned for retail space before building a 120,000-150,000-square-foot complex that will include retail stores, a hotel and a bank.
Bank of North Carolina has already committed to building a branch at the site, Leavitt said.
York Development is a Ballantyne-based development group that owns multiple properties in the area, including the Five Guys site near the Johnston Road and Ballantyne Commons Parkway intersection and retail developments on North Community House Road.
It is still unclear what is planned for the smaller piece of land between the York Development parcel and Dixie Hills Drive.
Red Ventures has opened one campus in Charlotte’s University area after leaving for Lancaster, South Carolina in 2009. They recently announced plans to expand that campus to 580 employees over the next five years.
Technology firm Silver Lake announced this month that they would invest $250 million in Red Ventures, making the marketing firm a billion-dollar company.
In 2014, Quantum Workplace, an independent leader in measuring employee satisfaction, named Red Ventures the “Best Place to Work” in Charlotte.
Leavitt credited stories like that with the quickness for the reason many were quick to jump to conclusions about the company’s plans for Ballantyne.
“It just becomes a better story when Red Ventures is involved,” Leavitt said. “But the company is not involved with the York development.”