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kermit last won the day on March 9 2014

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  1. ^ I am sure it could be done, but I am equally sure that CSX would be unwilling to contribute a penny to the job. Given train speeds in the area and the number of other grade crossings on the line, I am sure CSX considers the crossing to be low-risk, so this would need to be a city-funded project. I don’t remeber the topo there well but I suspect that it would be much cheaper to build Central over the tracks instead of digging a trench for the railroad. Unfortunately the new apartments at the Beaver (plus the Beaver Preservation Society) would make a Cemtral overpass much more difficult (and bad for urbanism).
  2. kermit

    Elizabeth Projects (7th St, Elizabeth Ave, etc)

    I feel weird. Is it possible that their are some council members who understand the need for densification and are willing to support projects that make Charlotte more urban? I am both surprised and pleased!
  3. kermit

    New High Point Stadium

    If it aint the Chairmen then I am gonna boycott.
  4. kermit

    Savona Mill, Lakewood Trolley, Greenway

    I dunno, I like to hope that they city might make some tiny, incremental expansions after Phase 2 as they happen to find neighborhood improvement funds, developer interest, conduct big streetscape projects or decide to use TIF financing. I could imagine a developer at Barnhardt coughing up a half mill plus ROW as part of the $5 million (?) necessary to extend to Plaza and Central. I could see the city bundling a short extension from French st to Washington Heights / Northwest School of the Arts with streetscape work ($3 mill (?) if the bridge over the Brookshire is good). The Savona Mill tracks would also fit into this category of expansion — although a new branch would likely trigger the need for additional vehicles. If they coordinate projects well streetcar extension could be done on the cheap since the big expenses (vehicles, maintenance facility and foundational electric) will all be paid for in Phase 2. (This is just more dreaming and I am only FMAing the numbers)
  5. Well said. There is much to be gained from hosting and little to loose that insurance cant fix. If the donald should declare Charlotte to be a nice place or a well run city (he did complement North Korea after all) then that might help reduce some of the hate we get from the NCGA — Mark Sanford getting primaried on tuesday certainly ended any republican pushback against their leadership. If the convention goes badly its hard to see our relationship with Raleigh or Washington getting any worse.
  6. kermit

    Savona Mill, Lakewood Trolley, Greenway

    Btw, cltbwimob’s sketch map of streetcar spurs shares more than a little resemblance to Boston’s green line (although much shorter)
  7. kermit

    Drinking Beer in Charlotte

    CBJ reports that Triple C has partnered with a distributor for expansion into York and Lancaster. Does this mean that they are now exempt from the 25,000 barrel limit? (They are still producing less than 10,000 barels so its not a necessity). Are their any other local brewers who have hired distributors? I kinda suspect that Unknown has, I have seen their beers down in the Wilmington area frequently.
  8. kermit

    New Panthers Stadium in 2022?

    It was before I arrived in Charlotte so you all should provide whatever corrections necessary. Before the Panters arrived the site was a scrapyard. The city did minimal remediation when the fields were built (I believe they trucked out a few feet of soil and replaced it with non-contaminated) since the practice field use didn’t require much work. IIRC the limited remediation means that uses that would create more exposure (like residential) would require more cleanup or perhaps just no ground floor uses. It was a longgg time ago so I am fuzzy on details.
  9. kermit

    New Panthers Stadium in 2022?

    CBJ has an interesting article today that mentions the Panthers practice fields are likely to move. They speculate (without much evidence) that they are likely to end up in York County — which they say will be problematic for the state due to income tax assesment determinations. I am intrigued by what could become of the Cedar street facilities, the site is contaminated so residential is (I think) unlikely but there is certainly an opportunity to make the area much more intensively utilized.
  10. kermit

    Savona Mill, Lakewood Trolley, Greenway

    ^ The route is quite similar to the Sugarhouse streetcar in Salt Lake. That was a two mile, mostly single track, existing dedicated row streetcar. It cost a bit over $50 million to build out (incluidng three (?) modern vehicles). The Savona to Cedar street route would be slightly cheaper due to fewer grade crossings, but some cash would need to be spent to connect it to the existing streetcar route at either Cedar or Graham — not sure what that stretch of street-running would cost. This would honestly be a perfect TIF project. TLDR, in terms of money this could happen very quickly, if GL phase 2 ridership is decent then federal funding should be possible but would slow the project. Per cltbwimob’s suggestion, the current end point at State street is kinda weak. Extending it over to Freedom drive (and using the existing city-owned lot at the old freedom mall as a park and ride) would certainly be a more sensible terminus. But the stretch from State to 85 would probably more than double (triple?) costs a phased approach would delay the expenditure.
  11. kermit

    New Hotels in/around Uptown

    FWIW: I am in the process of organizing a small (about 250) uptown conference in the fall of 2019. Its still early in the hotel negotiations process but so far I am shocked by the lack of meeting space availability (particularly given our flexible dates).
  12. kermit

    Savona Mill, Lakewood Trolley, Greenway

    I agree completely. It would be a relatively cheap proposition since nearly all of the ROW is in place and owned by the state. The only trick would be the underpass under the NS tracks by the stadium (its still there but is heavily used for Panthers' peds) and getting up the hill from there to Graham street -- I think these issues can be solved without much effort but a Cedar street to Gateway routing would also solve the problem. I have long thought the Savona Mill / Berryhill area is ripe for Southend-like development (and there are now plenty of $400,000+ houses in Seviersville to fuel investment). Such a Goldline spur would also pair nicely with a sister spur down Kings drive to CMC and East blvd.
  13. kermit

    Savona Mill, Lakewood Trolley, Greenway

    ^ its all about the speed of the vehicle. This track is considered to be Class 1 (the worst) by the FRA, meaning that passenger speeds cannot exceed 15mph. The combination of slow speeds and a lack of connection to the larger rail system means there are very few rules or restrictions governing its use. For example, class 1 track does not require crossing gates at roads (summit, grandin and walnut). Upping speeds to 30mph (class 2 track) would be an entirely different ballgame. Basically derailing at 15mph is not a big deal.
  14. Denver is probably the best example in the US. Six lines, 12 years, about $6.5 billion (ish). Believe it or not Federal funding for transit has expanded this year thanks to the incompetence of republican budget negotiators. $3-4 billion local dollars are possible with either a regional funding mechanism (unlikely I think) or using a 30 year bonding strategy combined with a new dedicated tax. Unfortunately any new revenue source will require the approval of the NCGA (even if they don't contribute a penny), this is unlikely to happen until we have a regime change in Raleigh. IIRC Dallas built the largest LRT system in the US without any state contributions. The growth generated by rail is more a product of real estate cycles (plus the mood of financial markets) and zoning than of rail technology. While MARTA has the capacity to carry orders of magnitude more people than our LRT it has had relatively little impact on Atlanta landuse. This was partially due to when the system opened (during the era of people thinking that auto-oriented sprawl was cool), and partially due to Atlanta not changing any zoning to allow or encourage higher density development in station areas. This has all begun to change over the past 5-10 years, but its still very slow going in Atlanta. (TLDR: heavy rail has more potential, but it takes MANY years for landuse to change enough to take advantage of its higher capacity).
  15. kermit

    SouthEnd Midrise Projects

    The townhouse market is the developer sweetspot dujour (replacing apartments). There is huge unmet demand for intown residential (see all of the handwringing about the local real estate market such as in the observer today) and some developers have figured out that townhouses are a sure bet for awkward infill parcels. A shortage of housing is gonna be the thing that shuts down the urban boom -- this (e.g. high prices) is what stalled growth in New York, San Francisco etc.). Lets not let that happen to Charlotte. We need more townhouses (thousands more) soon! Wilmore will see a few dozen around West and Mint soon. The Gold District may see a few. Bryant Park and Charlotte Pipe (any hope of them selling this cycle?) could be the home to several thousand new townhouses.