The Ford Factory, water tower, and Boilerhouse were designed by Albert Kahn (of Detroit architecture fame) and completed in 1924 after only 9 months of construction work. This Ford plant employed 500 Charlotteans and manufactured 231,066 cars and trucks from 1924 to 1932.
The US Army purchased the Ford Factory in June 1941, then went to work building another million square feet of warehouse space across the 76 acre site. At the peak of WWII activity, the Charlotte Quartermaster Depot employed 2,500 civilians and 80 Army officers processing everything from typewriters to uniforms, all of which were distributed to the basic training camps in Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. The active community life of QMD staff was well-documented in the monthly "Tarheel QMD News", two editions are preserved for reading in the CM Library Carolina Room.
The Army remained on site through the Cold War, ultimately hiring over 1,500 personnel from Charlotte to build Nike Hercules Missiles, Honest John XM50 Rockets, Nike Ajax missiles, and Gama Goat vehicles between 1953 and 1967.
Eckerd/Rite Aid used the site as a Distribution Center for east coast store locations for over 40 years. During that time, the City of Charlotte, Mount Vernon Asset Management, Vision Ventures, Charlotte Housing Authority and LandDesign partnered with residents to develop a vision plan for the North End corridor. In 2016 Rite Aid built a new facility in Spartanburg, SC, and made available 1.3 million square feet of industrial buildings.
ATCO purchased the property in December 2016 and began work on the largest adaptive re-use project in Charlotte. Since then, Camp North End has reopened to the city as a community hub for creativity and innovation where thousands of people come to work or spend time every day.
With 3 Million square feet of development planned over the better part of two decades, the mix of office, retail, restaurants, public spaces, events, hotels, and residential development are adding up to a vibrant urban neighborhood center.