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Everything posted by QCxpat

  1. Links to 2 articles written by Dr. Thomas W. Hanchett, formerly staff historian at the Levine Museum of the New South, concerning the development of Charlotte's 4 Wards: (1) http://www.cmhpf.org/educationneighhistcentercity.htm (The Center City: The Business District and the Original Four Wards) (2) http://www.cmhpf.org/educationneighhistcentercity.htm (The Growth of Charlotte: A History) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Also, links to a 2-part series written by Clayton Sealey at CharlotteFive, re: what we can learn from Denver, Austin, and NYC. (1) https://www.charlottefive.com/what-charlotte-could-learn-transit/ ("Charlotte is way behind on mass transit and walkability. Here's what we can learn from Denver and other big cities.") The first part of the series appeared on 01/30/2018, and focuses on transit, biking infrastructure and the pedestrian experience. (2) https://www.charlottefive.com/what-charlotte-can-learn-culture/ ("Charlotte may not have Austin's culture scene or NYC's urban landscape -- but shouldn't we aspire to? ") The second part of the series appeared on 01/31/2018, and focuses on the arts scene, urban landscaping and park land.
  2. Oh! I misread your very fine story in CharlotteFive "The 22 Major Development Questions Charlotte Faces in 2018," dated 12/18/2017. Questions (17) said: "In addition to Polk, there are plans submitted to the city for a project by Dominion Realty Partners at 401 South Graham, a 35-floor office tower for Duke Energy, and Lennar's 'Market 42,' in First Ward. What will these high-rise buildings look like?" I mistakenly thought that "a 35-floor office tower for Duke Energy" was a description of the 401 South South Graham Street site. Now, I see that it's 3 separate high-rise buildings. Sorry, and THANKS for setting me straight.
  3. Just a couple of questions: (1) How it is that Duke Energy has the need for so much office space -- both a proposed 35-floor office tower at 401 South Graham Street as well as possibly a major office tower at 521 South Tryon Street (currently, a surface parking lot between St. Peter's Catholic Church and the Harvey B. Gantt Center)? (2) Is the term "DEC2" a reference to the surface parking lot at 521 South Tryon Street, or to something else such as the new Legacy Union Tower? Thank you.
  4. FWIW, Pubix Super Market Charities sponsors free admission Wednesday evenings, 5:00 - 9:00 P.M., at both locations of the Mint Museum (Uptown and Randolph Road). Also, here's a link to Ely Portillo's story in the Charlotte Observer regarding development along the North Tryon corridor, including the 10 Tryon office building with the Publix grocery store. Link: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/biz-columns-blogs/development/article103051157.html
  5. "My Letter to the Future Owner of the Panthers, from the World's Biggest Fan," at Charlotte Five by @ricky_davis_fan_21 dated January 12, 2018. Link to letter: https://www.charlottefive.com/letter-future-ownership/ Great letter! Standing up proud for Charlotte.
  6. Both Burlington and Charlotte share the nickname, the "Queen City." Just 12.7 miles south of Burlington lies little Charlotte, VT, pop. 3,754. Both Charlotte VT & NC were named for Sofia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Queen of England and wife of King George III. The highly walkable, historic, retail saturated and restaurant laden Church Street Mall in downtown Burlington makes it one of New England's most urbane and appealing towns to walk around in. Charlotte, VT, town hall -- Pop. 3,754 Church Street Marketplace, Burlington, VT -- Pop. 43,552
  7. “But I do know that about ten times as many people find their lives dull, and unnecessarily dull, as ever admit it; and I do believe that if we busted out and admitted it sometimes, instead of being nice and patient and loyal for sixty years, and then nice and patient and dead for the rest of eternity, why, maybe, possibly, we might make life more fun.” ― Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt Charlotte has long mistaken her population ranking (currently 17th largest in the USA) for a city's cultural ranking. There's no question but that Charlotte's an enviable commercial success story, and yet she comes across to many visitors as bland, boring and "vanilla." @ricky_davis_fan_21 brilliant two-part series in Charlotte Five (above) is a great place for Charlotte to begin turning this image around. And, it would help if every now-and-then, Charlotte were to let go of her staid Presbyterian roots for a little while and, as Sinclair Lewis recommends, just have a little fun.
  8. @SydneyCarton said: "In my ten years in NC, I have lived in nice suburban areas (Myers Park and Chapel Hill), so haven't really seen poverty." * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Tar Heels Living in Poverty in 2017. The poverty rate in North Carolina in 2017 was 15.4%. NC's total pop. was 10,273,419, of whom 1,582,107 live in poverty. (1) Charlotte: Below the poverty level 16.8%. Total Pop. 842,051, of whom 141,465 live in poverty. (2) Raleigh. Below the poverty level 16%. Total Pop. 458,880, of whom 73,421 live in poverty. (3) Durham. Below the poverty level 19.2%. Total Pop. 263,016, of whom 50,499 live in poverty. (4) Greensboro. Below the poverty level 19.3%. Total Pop. 287,027, of whom 55,396 live in poverty. (5) Winston-Salem. Below the poverty level 24.8%. Total Pop. 242,203, of whom 60,066 live in poverty. (6) Chapel Hill. Below the poverty level 20.7%. Total Pop. 59,246, of whom 12,264 live in poverty. Links: (1) https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/NC/AGE275210 (US Census Bureau, NC Quick Facts) (2) http://www.city-data.com/poverty/poverty-Chapel-Hill-North-Carolina.html (Poverty rates in Chapel Hill) (3) https://www.forbes.com/sites/maggiemcgrath/2016/01/06/63-of-americans-dont-have-enough-savings-to-cover-a-500-emergency/#2db41b7a4e0d (Forbes 01/06/2016 -- 63% of Americans Don't Have Enough Savings to Cover a $500 Emergency)
  9. When you look at a city, it’s like reading the hopes, aspirations and pride of everyone who built it.”  Quote by architect, Hugh Newell Jacobsen.  

  10. Quotation of the Day: Risks for Cities in Sweetening Amazon’s Pot - N.Y. Times 01/26/2018 "There are no incentives for those of us who are already here. Why should the richest man in the history of the world get money to open his business?” Gina Schaefer, who owns a dozen hardware stores in the Washington area, faces competition from Amazon. CreditAndrew Mangum for The New York Times Jeff Bezos is now the richest person of all time. That should put an Amazon smile on his face. The Amazon CEO's net worth reached $105.1 billion Monday, according to Bloomberg's billionaire tracker. That eclipses the record previously held by Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Forbes, the other major tracker of the net worth of the world's richest, put Bezos' net worth at a mere $104.4 billion. Links: (1) NY Times (01/26/2018) https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/26/todayspaper/quotation-of-the-day-risks-for-cities-in-sweetening-amazons-pot.html (2) @CNNTech (01/09/2018) http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/09/technology/jeff-bezos-richest/index.html
  11. Photo of Parking Garage in First Ward by @KJHburg Surely, Daniel Levine's vision for First Ward and Charlotte has got to be better than this immense eyesore. Link: https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2017/02/15/daniel-levine-explains-his-big-vision-for-first.html (Charlotte Business Journal, "Daniel Levine Explains His Big Vision for First Ward," Charlotte Business Journal, 02/15/2017). Unfortunately, this parking deck in First Ward's "Levineland" is an unmitigated aesthetic blight. It should be redesigned, or completely removed, because it sits along a prominent portal into the heart of Charlotte where thousands of residents, visitors and students traveling on the new LYNX Blue Line Extension from UNCC or NODA into the Center City will see it as their first impression of the Queen City. The design of this parking garage violates the core values and spirit of Charlotte's 2020 Vision Plan, which states: "Center City's physical environment -- its streets and sidewalks, parks and plazas, art and amenities, and buildings, facades and skyline -- greatly affects community interactions and shapes the daily lives of residents." (Chapter 3: Placemaking and Urban Design, p. 31.) "When designing new parking, ensure that it is pedestrian-friendly, context sensitive and adds to the urban fabric of Center City. Special attention to parking design must be paid to facilities located on high-value streets and blocks where pedestrian movements are most prevalent. Parking facilities in these locations should be integrated as a part of buildings and maintain an active facade with occupied space and integrated building architecture. Regardless of location, all parking should be designed to be safe and attractive, and it should include interesting details that make a positive contribution to the experience of Center City. New parking facilities should incorporate green building design practices whenever possible." (Chapter 3: Integrated Transportation Network at p. 108). "Encourage integration of parking into new development, wrapped parking structures with active ground floor uses, and shared parking solutions, especially in higher-density areas. Any surface parking lots should be highly landscaped and located between or behind buildings to prevent fragmentation of the urban fabric. Entrances to parking structures or lots should not be located along pedestrian-oriented streets." (Chapter 4: Overarching Design Principles; Parking Design at p. 111). Link to the Charlotte Center City 2020 Vision Plan: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0bc9olj9x94nvkl/2020 Vision Plan.pdf?dl=0 Last month (12/07/2017), Emily Harris, a columnist at Charlotte Agenda, wrote: "(5) At the very least: A cool garage" "You’ll hear some of the more mindful urban planners and architects in the city complain about Charlotte’s “cars behind bars.” "They’re right. We should have retail and restaurants at street level. Street life makes a city buzz. Apartment and condo buildings’ ground floor parking lots are squashing one of the best shots at vibrant street life." "Until that starts changing, could the garages not be completely depressing to look at?" "Steal this idea:" "I love the Santa Monica Civic Parking Garage, which made Architectural Digest’s 2017 list of the 13 most colorful buildings in the world." Santa Monica Civic Center Parking Garage / Moore Ruble Yudell Link to the Agenda story: https://www.charlotteagenda.com/111176/charlotte-apartments-bland-2018-developers-steal-5-ideas-cities/ The intent of Charlotte's 2020 Vision Plan was to "facilitate the continued creation of a viable, livable, memorable and sustainable Center City." (Chapter 5: Overarching Priorities at p. 157). The new parking garage at Brevard and 11th Streets makes no effort to live up to the aspirations, core values, recommendations or standards envisioned in the Charlotte Center City 2020 Vision Plan. Simply put, this stark and oppressive parking garage is a deep affront to anyone who loves the City of Charlotte.
  12. Emily Harris at Charlotte Agenda said it best: "Charlotte’s new apartments are routinely called bland, beige or even reminiscent of Soviet barracks. In many cases, that reputation is well-earned." In a related story, also written by Ms. Harris, that appeared in Charlotte Magazine (entitled "Fighting Back Against Ugly Buildings in Charlotte"), Ms. Harris writes: "LET'S JUST ADMIT Charlotte’s architecture is not that good,” architect and planner Tom Low says. He’s standing in front of a roomful of people at the Levine Museum of the New South one October evening, clicking through a slide show of examples that support his point." "Members of the audience sit around tables, jotting down notes or listening silently as he delivers this diagnosis. No one speaks up to disagree with him." "They know Charlotte has recently been taken over by self-replicating mutant apartment buildings that are frighteningly beige and banal, with only the occasional flourish of glued-on-looking corrugated metal. No one is stopping these mutants from spreading." “Charlotte’s known nationally—internationally—among developers for being a place where it’s easy to build,” UNC Charlotte Prof. Emeritus David Walters (formerly Director of UNCC's Master of Urban Design Program) says. “Top developers don’t want to come here. There’s no appreciation for good work. How can they protect their investment? Their investment isn’t protected; they can build something wonderful and someone else is allowed to put up a concrete wall across from it.” Link to Charlotte Magazine story (click open link in new tab): http://www.charlottemagazine.com/Charlotte-Magazine/December-2015/Fighting-Back-Against-Ugly-Buildings-in-Charlotte/ N.B.: The rap on Charlotte's reputation for building new apartments which many architects view as bland or "beige" is, of course, bad. Sorry, if I misplaced this. Perhaps it should have gone in the thread for "Perception of Charlotte Nationwide." Thanks.
  13. Emily Harris at Charlotte Agenda has 5 smart ideas for what to do about Charlotte "beige." Idea No. 3. Fresh Building Shapes. A crazy donut-square like 325 Kent in Williamsburg, Brooklyn 325 Kent in Williamsburg, Brooklyn – this is also the cover image of the story, via 325kent.com. Link to the Agenda story: https://www.charlotteagenda.com/111176/charlotte-apartments-bland-2018-developers-steal-5-ideas-cities/
  14. Park National Corp. in Newark, Ohio, has agreed to buy Charlotte-based bank New Dominion. The merger means Charlotte will soon be down to one bank headquarters (BOA). Link to Charlotte Observer story (click open in new tab): http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/banking/article196111549.html Excerpts from the Observer (01/23/2018): "In the past year, three Charlotte-based banks – Capital Bank Financial, Park Sterling and Carolina Premier – have been acquired by other banks. That leaves Bank of America, the nation’s No. 2 U.S. bank with about $2.3 trillion in assets, as the only bank still headquartered in the city. Wells Fargo is based in San Francisco but has its biggest employee base in Charlotte after buying Wachovia in 2008." "'Local decision-making will continue to stay here,' New Dominion CEO Blaine Jackson, who joined the bank in 2011 as chief financial officer, said in an interview. These recent deals are a sign that outside banks, such as Park National, want to take advantage of Charlotte’s strong market, Jackson said. 'They (Park National) love the metro strategy,' he said, 'and the growth opportunities that Charlotte can afford.'” N.B.: Wasn’t sure if this story belonged in “good news report” or “bad news report,” but put it in good news b/c CEO said that local decision making will stay in Charlotte, and the acquiring bank made glowing statements regarding Charlotte as a growth opportunity.
  15. Growth of STEM jobs in Charlotte is 3rd highest among the 53 Million plus US metros. Excerpts from Forbes Magazine story, below: "The third tech turning, now in its infancy, promises greater dispersion to other markets, some with strong tech backgrounds, some with far less. In the last two years, according to numbers for the country’s 53 largest metros compiled by Praxis Strategy Group’s Mark Schill based on federal data and EMSI’s fourth-quarter 2017 data set, the STEM growth leader has been Orlando, at 8%, three times the national average. Next are San Francisco and Charlotte (each at 7%); Grand Rapids, Michigan (6%); and then Salt Lake City, Tampa, Seattle, Raleigh, Miami and Las Vegas (5%)". "Charlotte, another new high-flier, also takes advantage of lower costs, a revived downtown area and ties to the financial service industries. The real estate firm CBRE named the city its top "momentum market" in 2016 based on its tech-talent growth rate from 2010 to 2015 (74.7%). It was followed by Nashville, with a 67.9% rate; both outpaced the Bay Area, at 61.5%." Metros with the Most STEM job growth: 3. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia MSA. 2015 jobs: 60,493. 2017 jobs: 64,543 9. Raleigh MSA. 2015 jobs: 53,957. 2017 jobs: 56,522. Link to Forbes article (click open link in new tab): https://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2018/01/11/techs-new-hotbeds-cities-with-fastest-growth-in-stem-jobs-are-far-from-silicon-valley/#39a02568bed1
  16. Agree with @kermit that Raleigh and Charlotte should try to cooperate, but it seems doubtful that the historic rivalry and animosity between the 2 will end anytime soon. One of the finest recent academic works about Charlotte contains the following put-down made by the Raleigh News and Observer: "Charlotte is overwhelmingly ... average," charged the Raleigh News and Observer in 1987. "It is a fine, rich, upstanding city. It just isn't much of a fine, rich, upstanding Southern city. It has all the quaint Southern appeal of Des Moines." And then the ultimate insult from the cross-state rival, pinpointing the greatest fear of all: "Charlotte's raging inferiority complex, as witnessed by its overwhelming need to boost its image, comes about because nobody else pays much attention to it." See Graves, Wm. and Smith, Heather A., eds., Charlotte, NC, The Global Evolution of a New South City ("Searching For Respect: From 'New South' to 'World Class' at the Crossroads of the Carolinas," p. 25), (Athens, Univ. of Georgia Press, 2010). Link: https://books.google.com/books/about/Charlotte_NC.html?id=Ji5mow2MXY0C&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button#v=onepage&q&f=false Don’t think this old lovers’ quarrel is going away anytime soon.
  17. Andrew Dunn, Editor-in-Chief at Charlotte Agenda, says that "Charlotte's leaders owe us answers on Amazon miss." Link to Agenda story: https://www.charlotteagenda.com/114654/charlottes-leaders-owe-us-answers-amazon-miss/
  18. It's a really beautiful building and reminds me of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis (elegant and iconic). Would love for Charlotte to have such an exquisite and memorable building. Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gateway_Arch The Gateway Arch is a 630-foot (192 m) monument in St. Louis in the U.S. state of Missouri. Clad in stainless steel and built in the form of a weighted catenary arch, it is the world's tallest arch, the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, and Missouri's tallest accessible building.
  19. The Charlotte UP board has a deep and very impressive bench of gifted and talented members. The A Team: @ricky_davis_fan_21 (Visionary, Dreamer, Artist) , @KJHburg (Historian, Archivist, Artist), @kermit (Polymath and Ethicist), @ah59396 (Philosopher and Folk Humorist), @Cadi40 (Incurable Cockeyed Optimist), and @CLTranspo (Environmentalist, Sustainability and Transit Expert). And many, many others! With a little crowd-fund sourcing, it's possible our "A Team" could've made us real contenders. Just interesting to contemplate, what if.
  20. Heartily agree with @KJHburg regarding Apple and Charlotte. Curiously, Charlotte Center City Partners (CCCP) and the numerous civic, urban planning, artistic , environmental and community organizations that contributed to the Charlotte Center City 2020 Vision Plan almost appear to have foreshadowed Amazon's decision about Charlotte. Specifically, Chapter 3 of the Center City 2020 Vision Plan concerns the development of an "Applied Innovation Corridor" beginning in South End, extending through Uptown and "North End", and linking onward to the UNCC campus. The 2020 Vision Plan recommended that Charlotte incentivize small start-ups rather than pursuing large mature tech corporations like Amazon. The 2020 Vision Plan stated, in part: "In particular, Center City should be poised to accommodate the needs of fast-growing young companies in Charlotte, rather than focusing on attracting mature large corporations from elsewhere. These small start-ups with growth potential are the seeds of a home-grown strategy key to innovative economies." (Charlotte Center City 2020 Vision Plan, Chapter 3: Transformative Strategies, Applied Innovation Corridor Recommendations, p. 47) See link to the Center City 2020 Vision Plan (click open link in new tab): https://www.dropbox.com/s/0bc9olj9x94nvkl/2020 Vision Plan.pdf?dl=0
  21. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 15, 2018) Forbes Magazine article entitled "Where African Americans Are Doing the Best Economically 2018" finds Charlotte the nation's 6th best metro area out of 53 Million Plus metros. The top 10 cities: Tied for 1st place: Washington, DC, median household income $69,246 and 48.3% home ownership rate; Tied for 1st place: Atlanta, median household income $48,161 and 44.7% home ownership rate; 3rd place: Austin, median household income $49,871 and 42.5% home ownership rate; 4th place: Baltimore, median household income $53,231 and 44.6% home ownership rate; 5th place: Raleigh, median household income $49,433 and 41.3% home ownership rate; 6th place: Charlotte, median household income: $42,108 and 41.6% home ownership rate; 7th place: San Antonio, median household income $46,754 and 44.3% home ownership rate; 8th place: Houston, median household income $47,588 and 41.4% home ownership rate; 9th place: Miami, median household income $40,239 and 45.0% home ownership rate; 10th place: Richmond. median household income $43,265 and 48.6% home ownership rate. Link to Forbes article at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2018/01/15/the-cities-where-african-americans-are-doing-the-best-economically-2018/#2e18d2651abe
  22. @KJHburg Your 2 recent posts (a brisk walk down Tryon on 01/06, and a visit to the Levine Museum of the New South on 01/07) filled me with a sense of pride and happiness about the City we love and cherish, Charlotte. The photos capture visually, artistically, and spiritually what Hugh Newell Jacobsen conveys in words:
  23. With enormous gratitude to @KJHburg for his magnificent photos which inspire UPers day-after-day. Tremendous work! Tremendous art! Link: https://www.google.com/search?q=gratitude+symbol&oq=gratitude+symbol&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.3590j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 (Gratitude symbol)
  24. On the 1st day of 2018, let's proudly say of Charlotte what Lewis Mumford once said regarding the mission of a city: The "... supreme office of the city in history" is to augment, to the highest degree possible "... the illumination of consciousness, the stamp of purpose, the color of love" and "... magnification of all the dimensions of life." How lucky we are to call the Queen City home! Quotation: Mumford, Lewis, The City in History, Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects, Chapter 18: Retrospect and Prospect, Harcourt, Inc. @1961. Photo Credit: (Right click open link in new tab ) https://www.google.com/search?q=images+of+charlotte&oq=images+of+charlotte&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.3383j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 (Images of Charlotte) https://www.google.com/search?q=happy+new+year's+images&oq=Happy+new+year's&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l5.10239j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 (Happy New Year's Images)
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