dubone

Optimist Park / Belmont Revitalization Projects

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i drove down n davidson st today and noticed that the warehouses at 15th and n davidson (i believe they are owned by tuscan, but i'm not sure about that) are seeing some activity.  One has been painted purple, and the barbed-wire fence around it has been removed.  There is also a sign on the other one that indicates that Cre8tive Group (or something like that) is going to be coming to the other building.  If arts groups can start going into places like this in optimist park, it can really create the foundation for post-industrial employment for the area.

Hunter Wrecker is a good member of the community... but i can't wait until the wrecker services are gone from north davidson street.  it is just so ugly and shocking to see all those post-accident cars behind chain-link fence and barbed wire.  Quite the contrast to first ward uptown. :)

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The big warehouse on the N Davidson, 16th, Caldwell block is owned by Tuscan and is being used as the storage place "Urban Stash." I think that is the only building there owned by Tuscan. http://www.urban-stash.com/

The website gives the impression that they are open, but I don't think they are yet.

Cre8 Group is facing 15th and they design concrete (like concrete floors). http://www.cre8group.com/

It looks to me like there is something in the building right beside Cre8 Group, but I'm not sure.

I will also by very happy if that wrecker service gets the heck out of there. He is occupying so much valuable land!

Was there anymore progress on Opt12? I hope it's done before December.

Edited by f0xym0p

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thanks for the links and the updates.

I didn't drive down caldwell, so i didn't see any progress on opt12 or the other tuscan projects but now i'm curious, so i'll probably do that today :).

urbanstash is an interesting concept, and if they can get some revenue stream for those properties to be maintained, that will be a major boost. It is a shame, though, that tuscan wasn't able to move more agressively on residential for that area, as that is what is called for in the Optimist Park Neighborhood Plan. Perhaps when all the other projects are online around Caldwell, momentum will start shifting back toward Davidson Street and this area.

I believe that the wrecker service's land was part of the corrective rezonings, so at least it isn't zoned I2 anymore.

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opt12 and Duncan Gardens have both broken ground. I was up there two weekends ago and they had cleared the lot for DG and surveyed and laid out the footings for opt12.

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opt12 and Duncan Gardens have both broken ground.  I was up there two weekends ago and they had cleared the lot for DG and surveyed and laid out the footings for opt12.

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Do you know if they are going to knock down some houses for Duncan Gardens? There is a house right behind where the DG sign is and it seems like they would have to knock it down and maybe some others along Caldwell also.

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i think they are tearing down the existing buildings on the land, but i'm not sure.

Has anyone heard anything more on Alpha Mill? They were supposed to start at some point this summer. (" Construction is expected to begin in the spring/summer of 2005 with occupancy in 2007" http://www.crosland.com/apartments/under_development/ )

It will be a big boon for the area, as it is historic, has interstate visibility and will be 160 units, which is will be a sizeable population increase for this area.

Urban_Infill.jpg

More renderings of the design is available on the Narmour Wright site, too:

http://www.narmourwright.com/projects/html/alpha_mill.htm

alpha_mill2.jpg

alpha_mill3.jpg

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Alpha Mill is at 12th and Brevard just north of Brookshire Freeway, and just east of the rail corridor that will be the NE Light Rail line.

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I noticed that there is still a for sale sign on the mill. I hope that doesn't mean anything as I am eager for this conversion to get underway!

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we're still in the developer's timetable for construction, and i'm sure there are lots of complicated aspects to the project, given that it is a brownfield and an historic building adaptation.

I agree, though, i am anxious for it to begin, because if crosland can't make it work, i fear that no one will bother trying again.

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Oh, well that rail corridor in that area is a lil grity, especially with the Brookshire Freeway bridges looming over high above, no sidewalks on 12th Street. Then there's where Parkwood Ave begins creating a weird situation with Brevard Street.

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Oh, well that rail corridor in that area is a lil grity, especially with the Brookshire Freeway bridges looming over high above, no sidewalks on 12th Street.  Then there's where Parkwood Ave begins creating a weird situation with Brevard Street.

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Very true. I believe that they were working with the city to maybe convert the rail corridor at least to a pedestrian walkway, and to return much of optimist park back to square-block gridded street patterns (versus the parkwood avenue diagnal zigzags that break up the neighborhood). I believe the city plans to make those changes, but funding and timing are still question marks.

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Do you know if they are going to knock down some houses for Duncan Gardens? There is a house right behind where the DG sign is and it seems like they would have to knock it down and maybe some others along Caldwell also.

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No more homes are going to be removed for this project. The development is not on one contiguous piece of property. There is a small piece at the corner of 15th and Caldwell, which is separated from the larger portion by that house right behind the sign.

The small portion has a single building on it with 4, one bedroom units. The larger portion has 4 buildings. 2 of the buildings, on 15th, have one and two bedroom flats. One others are two bedroom townhouse style, 4 units each.

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Wow, that's odd. I wonder how the people in those houses feel about the new development. I've read quotes from the neighborhood association president welcoming it, but I wonder what the residents actually think.

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I think the immediately adjacent neighbors are welcoming the appreciation in value. The developer couldn't or wouldn't pay what they were asking... or so I'm told.

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The evident of construction on Duncan project can be seen from Parkwood Ave, however that old run down apartment on 16th is still there. The property values will go up as the NELRT project speeds up in a few years as the 16th Street station is a block away.

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Yeah, I went over there last night and saw they had cleared the land on Parkwood. The framing is on the ground for Opt12 and all the pipes are sticking out.

There was a handwritten combination "Coming Soon/Wet Paint" sign on the building on 15th beside Cre8 Group. I believe the sign said it was Harris Transportation, but I can't remember for sure.

Oh, and I posted the wrong website for Cre8 group, it should be http://www.cre8groupe.com/

Not only will the LRT be a block away, but the greenway is a block away also.

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Oh, and I posted the wrong website for Cre8 group, it should be http://www.cre8groupe.com/

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kinda funny that both cre8group and cre8groupe do concrete work. :)

the stuff that cre8groupe makes are really cool. they are the kind of fixtures you say "you have GOT to go see the bathroom in this place".

Hopefully their presence will help get some of those more interesting fixtures in the projects that go up around uptown, etc.

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Yeah, plus I noticed that the number on cre8group.com is a 704 number, so maybe they are the same.

That stuff on the website is so awesome. Opt12 is going to have concrete floors so I'm hoping cre8group will design them! I would love to have a countertop like that too.

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well, i believe it is now a certainty that the rail yards will move from Optimist Park to the airport. congress has appropriated more than half the total money need to make the shift, according to the observer.

http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/business/12273353.htm

I have written this many times, but i think the single act of moving the rail yards will have major impact on the area between downtown and university city. There are major industrial and frieght operations in this area now, which create a serious impediment to residential or commercial growth in the huge section of the urban grid. Hopefully the feds can also eventually appropriate some brownfield redev funds, too, for the area as that will certainly be needed.

Once the major industrial magnets have relocated to the airport, growth can begin to reclaim the area by branching out from the northeast transit stations, uptown neighborhoods, and the noda neighborhood.

The infrastructure is there to support a major population: 3 freeways, 2 rapid transit lines, extensive grid network, greenway, historic industrial facilities that are attractive enough to redev, no political opposition to density.......

(EDIT: and i'd love for the area to be called "North End" :)...sorry MB)

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Not to be a downer......but after looking through the RFPs we had here and talking to some people at the city, the only thing for certain to move is the multi-modal yards......this would be the 40 acre piece they refer to in the article. The remainder of the rail yards would stay......at least for now.

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So the intermodal facility isn't actually the rail yards, it is land adjacent to the rail yards? do you know what blocks specifically the 40 acres are, then?

Well, although that isn't as good as i thought a minute ago.... in the spirit of optimist park, i'll say once intermodal operations leave, N-S may not see a need to have the yards.... Also, although it would be important for the area to get rid of the yards, because they prevent east-west traffic flow in the area.... there is much more land dedicated to the freight tracks than there are dedicated to the freight trains... As much larger facilities are built near the airport, many of the companies currently dedicated to trucking around there would likely begin scouting larger facilities closer to the new intermodal facility, 485, and Garden Parkway. Over a decade, the trucking-related land could be mostly gone, and even if the rail yards remain, there could still be a major redev of that land.

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Its very tough, tough as pulling teeth from chickens, to get railroad companies to give up ROW such as that.

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yeah...but we are just talking about the yards rather than the through lines... the culdesac/deadend tracks are there for trains to stop... but if they aren't lifting freight off to go to trucks, or at a station (both the passenger stations and the intermodal transfer facilities will be moving to better locations), then you don't need all those anymore. The single/double tracks for moving trains through there would remain indefinitely no matter what happens.

you might be right, that they won't give it up the extra area... but it just seems like they'll be unneeded once the other facilities leave, so they'd be abandoned.

Are there any examples of this sort of transition in other cities? I'm sure it is a very common thing for freight operations to move from old parts of cities to newer areas... what have the railroads done with the older yards? orulz, do you know?

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