When James Funderburk told me that 510 Queens was once called the ugliest building on Queen’s Road, I had a hard time seeing it. The modern lines, the way the top curls up like a smile — everything about it appealed to me.
Of course, I was seeing the “after” version — after Funderburk and his husband, Jim Hock, remodeled it. I saw it after the hipster house numbers were on display, flanked by lanterns and accompanied by modern turquoise string chairs. And after Nico Amortegui, the Charlotte-famous artist whose work you already know, completed part of the mural that will cover three sides of the 10-unit apartment building.
But this is no ordinary apartment building. Think Airbnb meets corporate housing meets swanky guest suite, and you’ve just about got it. Funderburk and Hock are the owners of The Home Collection, which leases 45 apartment units in Dilworth, Elizabeth and Myers Park. You can stay for as short as one night or you can rent it more like a traditional furnished apartment, staying for months or even a year or more if you’d like.
Grandparents stay at The Home Collection when visiting for the weekend. Traveling doctors stay a few days a week, in town for work, returning to the same units each time — a home away from home. Film crews stay when in town producing movies. Staying here is like having a home with no commitment. Each unit at 510 Queens has a living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.
And now, with a new mural, the exterior definitely stands out, to those who know Charlotte neighborhoods especially. Are we really still in Myers Park? Funderburk said this may be the neighborhood’s first mural, and I couldn’t think of another one myself.
When they bought it five years ago, Funderburk said it needed a lot of work. “A lot of people thought it was the ugliest building on Queens Road. And now, I think it’s one of the prettiest.”
As cool as the outside is, you’re going to want to see what it looks like on the inside:
In the living room of a 510 apartment, you’ll find a comfortable sofa, flat-screened TV, desk and an accent chair you’ll want to steal (but please don’t). The open-concept apartment opens into a dining table with seating for four and and open kitchen. Some of the units have two entrances.
You’ll find all the supplies of home here — such as a fully stocked kitchen with items including English muffins and coffee, spaghetti noodles and sauce, even a garlic press.
Each unit has one bedroom, filled with all the comforts of a luxury apartment, down to the bed’s 400-thread-count linens.
You can also expect luxury in the modern bathroom, with thick Egyptian cotton towels.
Furniture and decor
Funderburk sources furniture, decor and tchotchkes from all over. His favorite local spots to shop are The Sleepy Poet, Clearing House on Central Avenue, and Goodwill and Salvation Army. He’s even found pieces on the side of the road. A lot of the furniture is from IKEA, Amazon or Rooms to Go.
Each unit is individually filled with local artwork.
There’s a piece of art in one unit by Charlotte artist Al Fincher that shows the Elizabeth neighborhood around 1900, a view from Elizabeth College (now the location of Presbyterian Hospital). Funderburk found it for a few dollars at Sleepy Poet.
A colorful piece hanging over one of the beds is by Charlotte artist Jerri Tuck, in collaboration with Micah Gaugh.
Fun fact: There’s also a paint-by-number in every apartment.
But Nico’s work takes front and center, displayed prominently over the couches of each unit. If a guest enjoys the artwork, Funderburk will even drive them to Amortegui’s studio so they can buy some for themselves.
Funderburk and Amortegui go way back — in 2001, the artist worked at one of Funderburk’s clothing boutiques. A couple of years later, he was doing construction for one of Funderburk’s apartments, and one day, he showed up with a painting. “It was beautiful, and I bought it from him for the apartment we were working on,” he said. “Subsequently, I’ve bought over 50 paintings from him now.”
Check the gallery at the bottom for more images.
510 Queens Road
Exterior mural by Nico Amortegui
Part of The Home Collective