southernnorthcarolina

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About southernnorthcarolina

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  1. southernnorthcarolina

    Providence Road Development

    As a follow-on to the massive amount of development on Providence at and south of the 485 interchange (and don't get me wrong; I am pro-development, despite the traffic challenges posed), it is striking what happens at the county line. Literally a few hundred feet south of the leading edge of development roaring down Providence, you cross Six Mile Creek, and enter Union County and the town of Weddington (my domicile, as it happens). Weddington, along with nearby Marvin, is a "paper town," incorporated for the sole purpose of preventing annexation of the area by Charlotte (now a moot point, as involuntary annexation is no longer legal). Weddington collects only token property taxes, provides no services, depending on the Union County Sheriff's Department for law enforcement; volunteer fire departments for fire protection; and some Union County water and sewer (but most residents are on well and septic); County and State for road maintenance; and residents pay their own trash haulers. The only thing the Town of Weddington does (Town Hall open MWF, 9-1, the way government ought to be) is collect taxes, enforce such regulations as signage, and codify and enforce zoning regulations. And the last of these is key. Weddington is essentially all large-lot (one acre and more) residential, with only one small retail center which pre-existed the incorporation of the town. So almost no retail, and zero small-lot residential, multi-family, office, hotel, or manufacturing. And that's not likely to change any time soon, if town forums and polls are any indication. So, development comes to a screeching halt at the county line. I wonder how long the situation will last, given the boom just north across the county line, and development-friendly Waxhaw to the south.
  2. southernnorthcarolina

    Providence Road Development

    For those worried about traffic jams along Providence in the vicinity of I-485, consider the following: • Most of the single-family, multi-family, and hotel space in Rea Farms is not yet complete, or occupied. A majority of the retail is up and running, but my impression is that most of the office space is yet to be occupied. The "old" shopping center fronting Providence will be torn down and redeveloped, adding to the traffic count. • At Waverly, a second office tower has been topped out. Is the first office tower fully occupied? What's the occupancy percentage of the condos, apartments, townhouses and single-family houses? More traffic to come. • At Providence Farm, adjoining Waverly's north side, the apartments are nearing completion, but are not yet occupied. Retail to come. • There's a substantial amount of developable land remaining in the vicinity. There's a very nice site between Providence Farm and 485, plus vacant land wrapping around behind Providence Farm and Waverly. Does anyone know the status of the Ardrey Kell Road extention to Tilly Morris Road? • There's a smaller, but very developable piece of land is at the SW corner of the Providence/485 interchange, at Allison Woods Drive. Providence Road needs to be 6-laned out to Weddington, at least. By yesterday!
  3. southernnorthcarolina

    Crescent Stonewall Station

    Oh, my God. Designed by a committee whose members hated each other, I have to assume. "A physician can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only plant ivy." -- Frank Lloyd Wright This monstrosity is going to need a lot of ivy.
  4. southernnorthcarolina

    Bearden Park in Third Ward, Uptown Charlotte

    If memory serves, AutoPark was built by the developers of NCNB Plaza (the all-glass '70s building, tallest in Charlotte at the time) to meet the demands of tenants. The on-grade/below-grade garage on the back half of NCNB Plaza's lot wasn't sufficient; it was intended for the building's "executive parking," plus parking for the Radisson (later Omni) Hotel. More parking had to be available for the building's tenants. In fact, I believe AutoPark was a zoning requirement, to meet the regulation that x number of parking spaces had to be provided for every thousand square feet of office space. Could AutoPark be expendible now? Perhaps, given the massive amounts of parking spaces which have been added, and are in the process of being added. It's no longer the highest and best use for the land it occupies.
  5. southernnorthcarolina

    Re-naming Charlotte Streets

    I'd like to see the Rea Road/Colony Road mess straightend out. When roads get extended, as both of these have been, you often get confusion. Rea Road now intersects Providence Road twice (north of NC 51, and again in Weddington, well south of I-485), which I'm sure causes confusion. If it were up to me, I'd continue the Colony Road name all the way from Myers Park, through Piper Glen, across I-485, through Blakeney, to Weddington, where it ends (for now; it will soon be extended across Providence to NC 84). Rea Road would be much shorter, extending from Providence to Colony.
  6. southernnorthcarolina

    Charlotte Photo of the Day

    Can't be torn down? I'm not buying it. It wouldn't be easy, but money talks (and I mean the certainty of exponentially greater property tax revenue for the city and county), and combined with the promise to incorporate some of the historical architectural materials into a new arcade, and they're on the way. Status as a historical landmark or whatever the proper designation is can cause delays and red tape, not to mention pearl-clutching from the Hysterical Society, but at the end of the day, it's private property.
  7. southernnorthcarolina

    Charlotte Photo of the Day

    Not sure how this subject got into the photo of the day thread, but I'll play along. The building in question was originally the Mutual Savings & Loan Building, with Mutual occupying the ground floor. Later, the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce took the first floor. For many years earlier, the Charlotte City Club was on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Word was it was chosen as "neutral teritory," with many influential members being associated with the two big Charlotte banks of that time, NCNB and First Union. Fast-forward to the present. It's an obvious tear-down. Nobody's going to shell out 30 large for a building of that size in order to renovate it. I suspect they're thinking bigger, as in buying the Latta Arcade and Brevard Court, and tearing them down, too. This would be met with a great deal of caterwauling from the preservationists, but the Latta Arcade is in pretty rough shape, and is sitting on too valuable a site for such a small structure. They could win a lot of public relations points by then building a larger two- or three-story retail arcade running the length of the block from Tryon to Church, with an office tower on top of it, and two or three levels of underground parking below it. South Tryon is a coveted address. Make no small plans for this site.
  8. southernnorthcarolina

    First Ward Urban Village / North Tryon Vision Plan

    Painting a brown building white -- a great metaphor for gentrification, no? But seriously, I think the old Barringer is expendible. Built in 1940, and clumsily added onto in 1950, it gets no points for antiquity. And it's ugly. No detail other than the heavy-handed and incongruous stonework on the first two floors. Take it down, and along with it, the small building fronting on 7th which serves, I think, as a police substation. You have a beautiful block for the development of something spectacular, just a block removed from the concentration of office towers in the first two blocks of North Tryon, and a link between the cultural district (new library and associated development; Discovery Place; Spirit Square; Carolina Theater; ImaginOn; Levine Museum; and more) and the coming First Ward Village. Beautiful views of and from a new tower, over the midrise Transamerica Square, Discovery Place, and I'm guessing a relatively low-lying new library development. How about this block for a BB&T/SunTrust tower? The Hal Marshall site some have suggested seems a bit too far removed from the mainstream, but a signature development on the Tryon/7th/College/8th block could be the catalyst for more growth up North Tryon.
  9. southernnorthcarolina

    BB&T-SunTrust - New Charlotte Headquarters

    Oh, dear. Quite the melodrama here for Atlanta. You'd think General Sherman had reappeared. Maybe they could make a movie out of the situation: Gone With the Wind II. Some dialogue samples: Atlanta, muttering to itself: "It ain't fittin. It just ain't fittin." Atlanta, growing more concerned: "Charlotteans! Charlotteans in Atlanta! How did they ever get in?" Georgia General Assembly: "As God is my witness, I shall never impose regulations on banks again!" Atlanta, realizing all is lost: "SunTrust, if you go, where shall I go? What shall I do? SunTrust: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Yes, the plot neeeds a litle fleshing out. But I see possibilities here.
  10. southernnorthcarolina

    210 Trade | EpiCentre

    Waffle House -- where every customer's name is "Hon."
  11. southernnorthcarolina

    Economic Development - Expansions and Relocations

    I'll bet you're right. The merger could be great news for the owners of BB&T Center, or it could be a disaster. Good points about BB&T Center: terrific location as the hub of Overstreet Mall; ample parking with excellent vehicular access and egress via tunnels under College Street. Defects: 1970s aesthetic; poor ground floor presence; three huge, difficult to lease floors which extend over the parking deck -- 60,000 SF each. The three big floors were built for Southern Bell (later BellSouth), the dominant tenant until they built their own building. Though it was not widely known, BofA took most of the space BellSouth vacated, including at least two of the big floors (maybe all three -- not sure), for its "back office" space. I'm guessing that BofA will move out, into Legacy or elsewhere, but BB&T Center might offer them a deep discount on the big floors, in recognition of the fact that there aren't many potential tenants who need that kind of space.
  12. southernnorthcarolina

    CATS Long Term Transit Plan - Silver, Red, Airport Lines

    The shuttle could be a streetcar, but as I see it, it would still need a separate track. Let's say the shuttle has three stops: Gateway, The Square, and the Blue Line. One car, back and forth, maybe 10-15 minutes for a round trip. What happens when the Gold Line Trolley wanders in from Eastland, bound for Johnson C. Smith? Somehow, the shuttle would have to get out of the way. You could have a siding, I suppose, but a parallel track would be better. If the Silver Line were routed down Trade, you'd have three parallel rail lines -- all the more reason to close Trade to vehicles other than transit and emergency vehicles. Under this scenario, I'd also close two blocks of Tryon to vehicles other than transit -- 4th to Trade to 5th. And consider depressing the three tracks about 10 feet below grade in the first block of West Trade, with pedestrian crossings above, and take advantage of the slope in the first block of East Trade, where the tracks would return to grade. Boarding at The Square stop wound be midway between Tryon and College. As I said on another thread, making downtown streets pedestrian only is dicey. It has failed in numerous places due to a deadening effect -- notoriously in Raleigh's Fayetteville Street Mall. But if done in a small area, in places which are already densly developed, and enlivened by trains and trolleys, it could work. The paired one-way streets of 4th and 5th, and College and Church, could pick up the traffic load of Tryon and Trade.
  13. southernnorthcarolina

    CATS Long Term Transit Plan - Silver, Red, Airport Lines

    The shuttle would logically need to follow a part of the Gold Line route, but I'd think it would need a parallel track to keep the way clear for the longer trolley trips. Same applies for the Silver Line. Even if they routed it from Gateway, down Trade, then left to the Blue Line track before branching off toward Independence, it sems to me you'd still need a separate track for the shuttle.
  14. southernnorthcarolina

    CATS Long Term Transit Plan - Silver, Red, Airport Lines

    Of course, whether the city bus transfer point remains in its current location, or is moved to Gateway, it will be adjacent to some rail, but not all of it. It seems to me better by far to have quick connections to the Red, Silver, and Gold Lines, plus Amtrak, plus Greyhound, than to be adjacent to only the Blue and Gold Lines. They might want to wait until they're sure there will be a Silver and/or Red Line before they move the city bus facility. Whether the city bus facility is moved or not, some form of shuttle between the Blue Line and Gateway would seem to be a requirement.
  15. southernnorthcarolina

    CATS Long Term Transit Plan - Silver, Red, Airport Lines

    I note that the Charlotte Transit Center will be closed for the week of the NBA All-Star game, as it was for the 2019 Democratic National Convention, and will be, I assume, for the 2020 Republican National Convention. During the All-Star Game week, city bus transfers will take place at a surface lot on 7th Street. If the existing Transit Center is not suitable for special events (concerns about congestion, crime, street people, whatever), why is it deemed to be OK during other times? The current location makes little sense. The city bus center should be moved to the Gateway Center. Some passengers will still need to get from the Blue Line to Gateway, but the tunnel idea floated a couple of months ago is absurd. Close Trade Street to vehicular traffic between the Blue Line and Gateway, and run a shuttle (free to people who hold Blue Line tickets) up and down Trade Street. This could be trolleys on tracks parallel to the Gold Line, or an automated people mover, or open-sided buses. I assume the City and/or County owns the land under the CTC. Selling it to a private developer could go a long way toward paying for an addition to the Gateway Center to accommodate city busses. Get rid of the Transit Center, and the land under it, and both it and the surface lot across 4th Street from it become two of the most valuable parcels in town.