CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Atlanta-based Batson-Cook Co. has begun construction on the Hearst Tower in downtown Charlotte, N.C. The Keith Corp., Charlotte, N.C., and the Charlotte office of Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co. are developing the 47-story, 900,000 sq. ft. tower for Charlotte-based Bank of America. With a cost of $200 million, the building is slated for occupancy by third-quarter 2001.

Hearst Tower is about 90% preleased, with Bank of America taking approximately 400,000 sq. ft. and New York-based Hearst Corp. slated for 160,000 sq. ft., with an option for 200,000 sq. ft. Local law firm Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman has preleased 157,000 sq. ft.

The precast and architectural aluminum-clad office building will rise above an 11-story, 1,500-space parking structure. Atlanta-based Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart and Associates Inc. is the project's architect.