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Plaza-Midwood Projects (Central, Commonwealth, The Plaza)


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Lets define even more...they did a large parking lot along the main two roads with a store set-back behind it instead of building up on the road like the rest of the streetscape even after the neighborhood requested it. Would it really hurt the business for CVS to have done so, no, was it easeir to build their some old model that they build everywhere else? Sure. I don't think anyone argues the needs for a pharmacy and store at the location, just the way they built it. Same with Eckerds at East/South.

I'm in total agreement! However, until the City of Charlotte gets out of its 1970s mindset and changes the current zoning laws that continue to allow such suburban style development in urban areas, far too many businesses will take the easy way out and build this way. This CVS, the Eckerd in Myers Park and the one at the corner of South and East, the absolutely tragic Bojangles at 3rd and Charlottetowne, the Blockbuster at East and Kenilworth all come to mind as perfect examples. While I would love to think that businesses would be more conscientious about the wishes of a given neighborhood when considering how to build, the reality is that far too many of them won't do it unless REQUIRED to. So, while I point the finger of blame partially at CVS for its Plaza-Midwood site, I have to put most of the blame on the city.

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Just looking at the aerials and realizing how much  opportunity  for a truly dense "neighborhood/downtown/entertainment" district their is being wasted. I know we still need parking because transit he

Steel going vertical around the post office Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Mural on the side of The Nook apartments finally going in (Mat Moore)  

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Something to note as folks bash CVS:

The company is opening a store connected to new dorms at the College of Charleston, one of only a couple they have in that market. Their spokesperson said in local media there that it was part of a strategy of locating in walkable, urban neighborhoods.

So they've listened, apparently, to complaints from the past, or at least that's how they're marketing now, elsewhere.

That won't change our Central Avenue or South Boulevard stores, but it's intriguing to consider what their site plan might look like in downtown Charleston, which I think is known for strict urban planning rules. Or maybe that's just the historic district, and I don't know whether that extends to the College of Charleston.

It might indicate what can be done when local authorities are strong.

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I am a cofc alum and the entire campus falls under the BAR. So I am not surprised that CVS adjusted their plans. Charleston has history it needs to protect for quality of life purposes for residents and the tourism industry. It's a harder to sell to CVS to be responsible in Charlotte which is a new sprawly city that has a government that only half heartedly supports walkable development and won't enforce anything. CVS knows it can get away with the inferior product like we have on Central Ave.

Edited by voyager12
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I found this bit of information interesting:

Flaherty & Collins is the fee developer for Woodfield Investments' The Elizabeth apartment complex on Hawthorne. F&C is the developer of 210 Trade. They are also apparantly going to fee develop apartments in Ayrsley which should start within the next couple of months.

EDIT....Speaking of which, is there any noticable work on either The Elizabeth or Faison's condo deal across Sunnyside? Photos anyone?

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I found this bit of information interesting:

Flaherty & Collins is the fee developer for Woodfield Investments' The Elizabeth apartment complex on Hawthorne. F&C is the developer of 210 Trade. They are also apparantly going to fee develop apartments in Ayrsley which should start within the next couple of months.

EDIT....Speaking of which, is there any noticable work on either The Elizabeth or Faison's condo deal across Sunnyside? Photos anyone?

Hmmmm........I know there is a Woodfield lurker on this board. I think can safely say that he'd want it to be clear that Flaherty and Collins is just building Woodfields deal, not developing it.....

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My mistake.....I looked back and see now that they are billing themselves as a "fee contractor" as opposed to a "fee developer"......."fee contractor" is a funny term for them to use, since that is typically what a contractor does, but I guess it distinguishes it from their typical midwest deal where they are the develper and builder.

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While not in Plaza Midwood I thought this question made the most sense here since it's not too far away. I passed by Citiside today and it does not seemed to have lived up to it's potential.I think the idea was to generate a revitalization of the area with walkable townhomes and condos. I don't think they ever sold out and the crime rate in the area seems to be have deterred many buyers. Citiside residents that did buy in have had to deal with sometimes violent crime. Neighboring properties don't seem to have benefited from Citiside and the whole development just seems rather empty and odd.

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While not in Plaza Midwood I thought this question made the most sense here since it's not too far away. I passed by Citiside today and it does not seemed to have lived up to it's potential.I think the idea was to generate a revitalization of the area with walkable townhomes and condos. I don't think they ever sold out and the crime rate in the area seems to be have deterred many buyers. Citiside residents that did buy in have had to deal with sometimes violent crime. Neighboring properties don't seem to have benefited from Citiside and the whole development just seems rather empty and odd.

It truly is in a neighborhood on its own. There are many foreclosures in Citiside, homes that are not foreclosed are sitting, and I do not think that the homes there will truly start appreciating (at least steadily) until and unless the Eastland Mall project gets underway. Charlotte was smart to hire a ULI committee for direction...does anyone know the logistics of the future endeavor (that being: "Eastland Mall")?

Edited by Myrtle
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While not in Plaza Midwood I thought this question made the most sense here since it's not too far away. I passed by Citiside today and it does not seemed to have lived up to it's potential.I think the idea was to generate a revitalization of the area with walkable townhomes and condos. I don't think they ever sold out and the crime rate in the area seems to be have deterred many buyers. Citiside residents that did buy in have had to deal with sometimes violent crime. Neighboring properties don't seem to have benefited from Citiside and the whole development just seems rather empty and odd.

I admire their vision and decision to build in this area, but the location is really tough. That general area has always been rough and still is.

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Hmmmm........I know there is a Woodfield lurker on this board. I think can safely say that he'd want it to be clear that Flaherty and Collins is just building Woodfields deal, not developing it.....

You are correct sir! And a fine job of building they are doing...so far.

^they've broken ground, started moving dirt, and done some work with some utilities near the road (completly destroying the root system of the street trees that they were making a gesture to save by the way)

We will save the trees, Conformity's arborist will make certain of it.

I found this bit of information interesting:

Flaherty & Collins is the fee developer for Woodfield Investments' The Elizabeth apartment complex on Hawthorne. F&C is the developer of 210 Trade. They are also apparantly going to fee develop apartments in Ayrsley which should start within the next couple of months.

EDIT....Speaking of which, is there any noticable work on either The Elizabeth or Faison's condo deal across Sunnyside? Photos anyone?

Stay tuned, we will begin going verticle next week.

Edited by aptman
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Yes, it's exciting to see the big crane and heavy equipment around the construction site and feel the condo rattle with each new load of gravel dumped, but as a neighbor directly across the street from the Woodfield Elizabeth project there are a couple of concerns I hope will soon be addressed by the developer.

First, I'd like to know the the point(s) of ingress and egress from the apartments. The Hawthorne Avenue side that lies adjacent to the bridge was the former driveway for Party Reflections. Is this also to be the entrance into the parking deck? I am concerned that the addition of 200+ vehicles could pose some logistical nightmares for those vehicles traveling & turning on Hawthorne Lane. For one thing, the sight line is limited for those traveling toward Central Avenue. The city has also recently reduced the number of lanes and added additional on-street parking (a good thing), but I wonder if the developer's plan takes this into account. Next, I'd like to know something about the streetscape planned for the development along Hawthorne Lane. I think this corridor is important, as it visually links the 2 "halves" of Elizabeth and it connects to Central Ave., Plaza/Midwood and Commonwealth.

I guess the bottom line is this: do neighboring homeowners or the general public get an opportunity to preview or offer input on these plans? Or is it the developer's world and we just live in it? I didn't live here when the rezoning occurred, but I do know the property was sold after the original plans to develop were scrapped. I'm not an "insider," just Josie Q. Public, so I'm just asking.....

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fz dogmom, I'll give my best shot at explaining, but aptman or Conformity could probably cover this better.

They are developing it under by-right zoning, which means as long as the conform to the parameters of the zoning already in place, there is really no formal chanel for the public to review the proposed development. This has been the standard for the most part until recently, as more urban projects have needed deviations from zoning code and either required full rezonings, or more typically now, conditional rezoning. Under a standard rezoning, most zoning classifications do not require site plans to be submitted with it. This means the public still might not have an accurate perspective of what could be built. The rezoning petitioner IS required to hold a neighborhood meetings, but often don't have to give specifics beyond saying what they "could" build. The neighborhood has the opportunity to weigh in at the public hearing, but often their input is limited due to the lack of information presented to them.

A conditional rezoning is more restrictive, and requires a "good faith" site plan to be submitted with the rezoning for city staff and neighbors to review. This gives everyone opportunity to make suggestions, and usually the plans are revised several times before the city council approves the rezoning. A conditional rezoning usually has a small amount of latitude that the develop can alter their plans, but any significant changes have to be submitted via a site plan amendement (S.P.A.). Which is similar to a rezoning process (though I believe some or all SPA's can be given administrative approval).

To answer your question more specifically about the Woodfield apartment project. I know the original development plan by a different developer had ingress/egress from Sunnyside only, while it did have pedestrian access from Hawthorne. I would hope that is still the case. While there is no opportunity for the public to review what the driveway will look like, it does have to recieve Charlotte Dept. of Trans. (CDOT) approval, in which I believe they consider volume of traffic, sight lines, and distance from intersections. I doubt they would be able to get a private drive off of hawthorne to serve this large of development under the city guidelines.

Hope that answers some questions, and like I said, there are probably a few other forumers that can give more specific information regarding this particular project.

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Thanks, Atlrvr!

I appreciate the lesson in zoning. Besides enjoying reading the posts, I'm learning something here! This project, as I understand it, was originally intended to become condominiums, and my fellow neighborhood condo residents and I were somewhat concerned when we learned these were to be apartments instead. We've heard, however, that they will be well-constructed and nicely designed. I hope this is the case, and I hope those who are in the know will soon fill the rest of us in on the streetscape and traffic access plans.

It seems I read a while back on one of these threads an impassioned plea for apartment housing in a city that seems to have condo-mania. And when one walks around the Elizabeth 'hood (as the babydog and I often do) it appears one strength of this great old neighborhood was its inclusion of mixed housing styles and sizes. So don't think my concerns are just about the end-use here, but more about preserving the strength, value, and visual appeal of the Elizabeth neighborhood as it marches closer toward Central Ave. and The Plaza. The babydog and I think it's one of the neatest places to live in Charlotte, and we'd like for it to continue to riff on its eclectic, progressive character without succumbing to boring boxiness.

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Yes, it's exciting to see the big crane and heavy equipment around the construction site and feel the condo rattle with each new load of gravel dumped, but as a neighbor directly across the street from the Woodfield Elizabeth project there are a couple of concerns I hope will soon be addressed by the developer.

First, I'd like to know the the point(s) of ingress and egress from the apartments. The Hawthorne Avenue side that lies adjacent to the bridge was the former driveway for Party Reflections. Is this also to be the entrance into the parking deck? I am concerned that the addition of 200+ vehicles could pose some logistical nightmares for those vehicles traveling & turning on Hawthorne Lane......

For a number of reasons, including your concerns about direct access to Hawthorne, we placed the garage entrance on Lamar.

The streetscape for the entire area is governed by the Sunnyside Pedscape & Land Use Plan, which can be found on the planning dept's web site...

http://www.charmeck.org/NR/rdonlyres/e4onk...sedJan05Web.pdf

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I think it's wonderful more apts are being built on this site instead of condos condos and more condos. I can't stand the elitist gut reaction many homeowners have when dreaded apts are proposed near them. Not all tenants are model residents and neither are all property owners. I live in one of the few remaining affordable old plexes in Dilworth and we need MORE affordable apts in city neighborhoods not less if we are going to preserve the diverse mix that makes city living so vibrant.

Edited by voyager12
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I'm glad to hear that the deck is going to be accessed off of Lamar.....that should prevent any traffic affecting Hawthorne, plus it allows easy incress/egress from Central.

Has anyone heard if the industrial building across Lamar from the Woodfield site was ever purchased? I believe it went on the market last year, but hadn't heard if it got snapped up?

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Good lookin' new avatar, atlrvr!

Thanks for the update, aptman. And (yay) I think the access will be a good thing for all.

As I said in a prior post, condo-mania has its grip on uptown, at least. I remain convinced that thoughtful, forward-thinking planning that takes into account a vertical, and not just horizontal, socioeconomic community, is the real deal.

It's also conducive, to my way of thinking, when nurturing a "creative class" without artificial inducements. Apologies to Richard Florida.

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An ad has run several times in CL promoting "Elizabeth Court" townhomes. Repeatedly a sentence has been left in that says : "Numerous upgrades can be chosen by the purchaser so the homes can be designed for people who have the most discriminatory tastes". Now is it just me or is there a contextual difference between how "discriminatory tastes" and "discriminating tastes" comes off? I am thinking the latter sounds correct.

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An ad has run several times in CL promoting "Elizabeth Court" townhomes. Repeatedly a sentence has been left in that says : "Numerous upgrades can be chosen by the purchaser so the homes can be designed for people who have the most discriminatory tastes". Now is it just me or is there a contextual difference between how "discriminatory tastes" and "discriminating tastes" comes off? I am thinking the latter sounds correct.

Neither is correct in my opinion. I think it should be "discerning tastes".

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Ohmigosh, I had to see it to believe it. And there it was, in this week's CL, just as voyager said. Although "discriminating" is technically ok, it's a probably a poor word choice. IMO, it would be well-advised to steer clear of any word with "discriminate" as its root, especially in a real estate advertisement, as the word "discriminatory" actually connotes an illegal practice.

Who writes this stuff anyway? Worse, who edits?

Discerning.... yes, something the writers of the ad needed to be prior to submitting this ad. Hope they subscribe to UP!

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