The developers behind the Charter Square office building in downtown Raleigh announced Monday that they have completed their purchase of the property from the city of Raleigh.

The closing allows construction of the 11-story, $63 million building at the south end of Fayetteville Street to begin. The building is expected to open in about 13 months.

“We are all extremely proud to announce the Charter Square ground breaking and look forward to another essential addition to downtown Raleigh,” said Andy Andrews, CEO of Raleigh-based Dominion Realty Partners, in a statement.

Dominion’s equity partner on the project is Prudential Real Estate Investors. The 243,000-square-foot building includes 9,000 square feet of retail.

Dominion took over the project after the previous development group was unable to pre-lease enough space in either of the towers to secure financing. That group paid the city $5.28 million for a 1.75-acre site in November 2008. The group also constructed a 550-space underground parking deck on the site, which the city purchased for $25.5 million.

The city bought back the land from the previous development group in October.

Dominion paid $6.3 million for the land under the deal it struck with the city. The site is atop a city-owned underground parking deck, and Dominion gets access to 583 spaces in the deck and has a 30-year option to purchase the entire deck. The deal also gives Dominion a two-year option to buy the north side of the original Charter Square site, where a second office tower is planned.

The city will pay Dominion $500,000 to build a public walkway through the site connecting Fayetteville Street and Wilmington Street.

HDR Engineers, CBRE, JDavis, Eschelon Hospitality and Dominion have announced plans to lease space in the new building. Dominion is also hoping to land the law firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, which has been evaluating the possibility of moving from the Wells Fargo Capitol Center in downtown Raleigh for about a year.

The law firm, which is seeking to lease between 45,000 and 50,000 square feet, has narrowed its list of possible destinations to four, including its existing building, Charter Square, developer Gregg Sandreuter’s Edison office building planed for the corner of Martin and Wilmington streets, and Kane Realty’s 18-story tower at North Hills.

Staff writer David Bracken

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