Jump to content

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


Seeker

Recommended Posts

I just walked down Central Ave. with my dad close to Nova's Bakery and it was... unfortunate. This place has a lot of potential but its car-centric design will be the biggest challenge to the community for decades to come. TLDR at bottom.

 

I noticed immediately that the 40-45 MPH traffic produces a great amount of noise pollution, particularly from trucks. It was difficult at times to hold a conversation with dad. Sidewalks are placed so close to the road so you maybe just a few feet from a 2,000 pound automobile going past you at lethal speeds. In a few locations, dining tables on the curb were empty, probably a result of the traffic. The bricks do not help. 

 

I almost forgot to mention this was about 2:30 - 3:00 PM on Tuesday. I need to see it on the weekends.

 

With few exceptions, most shops are designed with cars in mind, meaning front-side parking. Biggest offenders are 1703 Central Ave and places like the Midwood Smokehouse. Harris Teeter is another. It's great that there is a local grocery store but it's so large and takes up a whole block while greedily using half of the space for surface parking. Apparently, the community had a to compromise with the developer on how the structure was built. I am absolutely terrified what the original design the developer had. I'm sure it could have been worse. Overall, just a lot of asphalt.

 

Architecturally, there are some great gems in the area. The Soul Gastrolounge building is quite charming as is The Diamond. Some of the newer developments though leave me scratching my head. The Nook has a decent front facade but I cannot for the love of me understand the side facing the dairy queen. Seriously, what the hell?

 

The yellow modernist apartments next to the lovely Zada Jane's Cafe aren't necessarily ugly but it's completely out of place in the historic neighborhood. First floor parking and it's choice of using those steel bars for the front facade make it imposing to pedestrians.

 

The second biggest challenge to the community is the shopping center with the Family Dollar. That is a textbook strip center. Though I see it's potential. That parking should one day be turned into street facing 2-3 story shops. It would be quite glorious. Until then, it's a parking crater where half of the parking spots are empty. Central ave. doesn't provide any safe pedestrian crossing there anymore.

 

TLDR; Alot of work to do before Plaza Midwood becomes a great neighborhood. Traffic on Central needs to heel to the community by possibly closing down one of the lanes and hopefully that streetcar will come in a few years. Traffic should drop to around twenty five miles an hour. Newer shops should try to add to that 'main street' where the Bakery is. Finally, plant some street trees next to the section with Noda's bakery, it will help slowdown traffic and shield shoppers from the heat.

I agree with you on just about everything, but surprisingly, that strip mall isn't really a textbook strip center in that it wasn't built to be one. While it may look and function as a textbook strip center today, it actually is quite old and was originally a warehouse. It was built by a leading architect in the city at the time and it has great brick work. It is just overlooked because of the huge terrible parking lot and the stucco facade that was added to the front.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


The tax parcel information for the strip center at 1334 Central (where the Family Dollar is located) show it being constructed in 1959.  There is an adjacent parcel of land to the southwest of the strip center on which the former Cole Manufacturing was located.  That parcel does have a two story building that was designed by Louis Asbury, a prominent Charlotte architect.  The Asbury designed building was built in 1912.  

 

I don't remember what was on the property before the strip center and its acres of asphalt parking.  Looking at old maps of Charlotte, pre-1949 and pre-independence Boulevard, the maps show Clement bisecting the property and continuing north of Central (where the Smokehouse is located).  I do remember the second incarnation of an A&P was located on the parcel that is now a CVS.   The old A&P building suffered fire damage in the mid 1960's and was demolished.  The third incarnation of the A&P was in the strip center.  And the three story Charlotte Casket Company factory was located on the north side of Central next to the CSX line.

 

Anyway, a polite description of the strip center and its ocean of asphalt would be 'unaesthetic'. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites



Feelings are mixed about these developments. Downtown Charlotte desperately needs more people living but the scale of a lot of these projects worry me, especially developers who take up entire city blocks. Midwood is up in arms and while there's NIMBYism afoot, some of the folks there could make a buck out of it. What are the renting laws in the neighborhood and has anyone mentioned the 'missing middle'?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Feelings are mixed about these developments. Downtown Charlotte desperately needs more people living but the scale of a lot of these projects worry me, especially developers who take up entire city blocks. Midwood is up in arms and while there's NIMBYism afoot, some of the folks there could make a buck out of it. What are the renting laws in the neighborhood and has anyone mentioned the 'missing middle'?

There aren't any specific renting laws in PM that I'm aware of.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by missing middle unless you're referring to the parking lot  at the Family Dollar. No plans for that. It's a viable shopping center that definitely isn't going anywhere.

 

I'd love to see them do something with the parking lot, but that would seriously screw over the businesses there, so I'd be shocked to see anything built there any time soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ That's going up on the Tommy's parcel? Well damn. If that's how all this development had been going in the first place, we wouldn't have this problem.

It is mind blowing to me that people got so pissed off about this great looking project (can we kill the wing on top though please?), but completely ignored rezoning for The Venue and the Gibson.

 

I personally think this project looks great.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ That's going up on the Tommy's parcel? Well damn. If that's how all this development had been going in the first place, we wouldn't have this problem.

Yup... Its one of the the best looking developments in the city. There are some decent apartment projects, that look nothing like what is going up in Southend under construction in Plaza Midwood. People say "Everything looks the same" but i can unequivocally say that very few of these apartments look 

 

• 1305 Central looks more like something built in Nashville than SouthEnd. 

1305central*1200xx856-482-0-11.jpg

• Levine Apartments isn't the worst ever and it has decent scale.

1spdo7.So.138.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My worry is that 1305 will end up getting washed out like NOOK did.  Imagine all those materials as hardy board siding, and then a last minute color change to brown, dark brown, umber, and bronze.

Yea. I'm pretty worried about that myself. I was scared as hell when Quarters Morehead stayed Beige for three weeks. Also, Camden Gallery was supposed to be fun colors, but at least they still have a quality project from what I can tell so far. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.