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So I live about a mile from the mall, and the new Suntrust regional center is just being thrown up there so quickly.  It will look interesting once its done.  I do agree that there should be some sort of public transit (besides busses) going to the mall area.  In Minneapolis they have just one LRT line but it ends inside the mall of america.  I do realize that MOA is much larger than South Park as I spent 7 hours in the thing and still did not get to see everything, but being that South Park is the largest in NC (and arguably within 250 miles) and retail is so sluggish to catch on uptown, you would think with the influx of people to the South Park area on a daily basis, there would be a big enough need for it.    

 

I was just in Minneapolis this past weekend...amazing city. Really...they have every major mall anchor downtown there is...gap, victoria secret, apple, marshalls, target, sacs 5th ave, maceys, I could go on and on...etc...they have all this downtown with mall of america a few miles east. I do think Charlotte could support these things uptown. The uptown pop might not be like minneapolis...but you guys do have light rail in one direction at least to take people up town...and they will go in larger number with mall type retail uptown. I believe with a doubt Charlotte is ready. Everytime I go there it amazes me. Raleigh on the other hand....ugggg...this city sucks. We stand no chance ever with all the government building killing any chance of a real downtown.

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I was just in Minneapolis this past weekend...amazing city. Really...they have every major mall anchor downtown there is...gap, victoria secret, apple, marshalls, target, sacs 5th ave, maceys, I could go on and on...etc...they have all this downtown with mall of america a few miles east. I do think Charlotte could support these things uptown. The uptown pop might not be like minneapolis...but you guys do have light rail in one direction at least to take people up town...and they will go in larger number with mall type retail uptown. I believe with a doubt Charlotte is ready. Everytime I go there it amazes me. Raleigh on the other hand....ugggg...this city sucks. We stand no chance ever with all the government building killing any chance of a real downtown.

Minneapolis is awesome...one of my favorite cities. They do have a ton of retail downtown, but a lot of it is in inside urban malls. They have many more skywalks than we do between buildings, and I did notice while walking down Nicollette Mall (not a shopping mall, but a street) that most businesses seem to be in atriums of office buildings instead of street front. Don't get me wrong, Minneapolis is way ahead of Charlotte in downtown retail, but I think we can do better!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Demolition of the Maersk site should begin soon. Most notably:

 

 

JLB plans to sell that half of the property to an office developer, and Schlosser says interest has been strong.

 

So there are now speculative office discussions in Bollywood and Southpark but not in uptown? (Portman aside). There is something not right about this. Where, o where has the 'transformative project' gone?

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/real_estate/2013/07/demolition-of-maersk-building-soon.html

Edited by kermit
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There are at least 3 Office Projects in the works downtown.

Demolition of the Maersk site should begin soon. Most notably:

 

 

So there are now speculative office plans in Bollywood and Southpark but not in uptown? (Portman aside). There is something not right about this.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/real_estate/2013/07/demolition-of-maersk-building-soon.html

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^ Portman, 'transformative' (which is awfully quiet) and what else? I have lost track.

Grubb, on the rest of the SkyHouse Land, Knights Office/Hotel (though not actually that much Office), and there is one other that I'm waiting to hear more about. 

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Demolition of the Maersk site should begin soon. Most notably:

 

 

So there are now speculative office discussions in Bollywood and Southpark but not in uptown? (Portman aside). There is something not right about this. Where, o where has the 'transformative project' gone?

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/real_estate/2013/07/demolition-of-maersk-building-soon.html

I had thought Lincoln Harris was partnering with JLB to develop the office component. May have thought wrong. 

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I agree 100%, SouthPark is a big enough regional economic draw, both for Business and Retail as well as a large enough population center that there should be rail. I think the obvious choice would be a rail spur off the Blue Line down Tyvola to Fairview, There is certainly enough room in the median of most of fairview and part of tyvola. I would imagine the roadblock would be expanding the road between Londonderry and Farmbrook. Too many easements would have to get purchased, as its a very residential road. Welcome to Urban Planet!

 

Running light rail down Tyvola through the residential section wouldn't be as difficult as you might think. I wrote a bit bout this in another thread. It could be done with somewhere around 17 SFH acquisitions, many of which are rentals. These are not the most valuable houses in the city, especially given that they are directly facing Tyvola. Even at a rather generous $300,000 each, the cost of acquisitions comes to $5 million. Peanuts compared to the whole cost of such an extension.

 

The end result would be about a 120 foot right-of-way for Tyvola with two traffic lanes, bike lanes, sidewalks, and a landscaped median with light rail in the middle. Left turn lanes and a traffic signal could be provided at Seacroft and Wedgewood, and a station at one or the other if the neighborhood requested it.

 

The real challenge/expense is branching off the blue line, bridging over the freight line, and coming back down onto Tyvola. You would have to rebuild a segment of the blue line to do this. The same challenge also applies for a a Woodlawn/Park route, plus the vastly greater expense associated with property acquision there.

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Running light rail down Tyvola through the residential section wouldn't be as difficult as you might think. I wrote a bit bout this in another thread. It could be done with somewhere around 17 SFH acquisitions, many of which are rentals.

 

The problem with doing a spur is it doesn't do much.  Yes a dedicated right of way cuts time, but to South Park it will cut maybe 5-6 minutes off the travel time, on Tyvola anyway.  I think right now the best idea would be to create a route 60a from Tyvola station to South Park, in which with it combined with route 60, and a bit of a rejigger of route 16 (extending it to southpark) matches the frequency of the train.  The question then is would it capture enough new riders to make it worthwhile?

 

The next step would be making from Tyvola Station to South park quazi BRT (pay before entering), then full BRT (seperate ROW), then light rail maybe (though I'd rather see more connections to South Park first).

Edited by DEnd
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The problem with doing a spur is it doesn't do much.  Yes a dedicated right of way cuts time, but to South Park it will cut maybe 5-6 minutes off the travel time, on Tyvola anyway.  I think right now the best idea would be to create a route 60a from Tyvola station to South Park, in which with it combined with route 60, and a bit of a rejigger of route 16 (extending it to southpark) matches the frequency of the train.  The question then is would it capture enough new riders to make it worthwhile?

 

The next step would be making from Tyvola Station to South park quazi BRT (pay before entering), then full BRT (seperate ROW), then light rail maybe (though I'd rather see more connections to South Park first).

 

 

I disagree completely.  The most important thing that it does (which I think you are missing) is offer a way for someone to get to South Park from Uptown, Southend (and eventually NoDa and points North) without a car or a lot hassles of traffic/parking and with the idea that when they purchase a ticket once they are set.

 

Knowing you can grab the light rail and needing to switch trains  is far from as much a mental hassle as taking the train to the bus - which really is a non starter in many people's mind.  Hell - People who live near points of the existing Blue Line can do that now in most cases  - and the bus being BRT is not going to affect that perception.

 

As the city's mass transit system eventual grows up into multiple rail lines, people have to understand that most transit riders of rail lines don't expect a single ride if they go from Point A to Point B when those two points are not in a straight line. It's not the one seat ride that matters so much as knowing that the mode of transit remains the same the whole journey and you can get there on the same rail ticket.

 

I do understand a point you make about does a Tyvola to South Park spur serve enough purpose/riders.  I would honestly think it does, but I do agree with an earlier post Dubone once made that it really should be a line in itself running from South Park connecting with the Blue Line at Tyvola, looping up to the airport and then into the CBD.     This would give the line more function, and solve the issue of connecting the airport to the city.

 

Lastly - I'm not arguing btw (in spite of this long post) that we should focus or even bother with that spur at this time.  I think we have more pressing mass transit needs, and I think it would completely kill and future chances (and they are small now to begin with) of major retail returning to the CBD.

Edited by Urbanity
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I disagree completely.  The most important thing that it does (which I think you are missing) is offer a way for someone to get to South Park from Uptown, Southend (and eventually NoDa and points North) without a car or a lot hassles of traffic/parking and with the idea that when they purchase a ticket once they are set.

 

Knowing you can grab the light rail and needing to switch trains  is far from as much a mental hassle as taking the train to the bus - which really is a non starter in many people's mind.  Hell - People who live near points of the existing Blue Line can do that now in most cases  - and the bus being BRT is not going to affect that perception.

 

As the city's mass transit system eventual grows up into multiple rail lines, people have to understand that most transit riders of rail lines don't expect a single ride if they go from Point A to Point B when those two points are not in a straight line. It's not the one seat ride that matters so much as knowing that the mode of transit remains the same the whole journey and you can get there on the same rail ticket.

 

I do understand a point you make about does a Tyvola to South Park spur serve enough purpose/riders.  I would honestly think it does, but I do agree with an earlier post Dubone once made that it really should be a line in itself running from South Park connecting with the Blue Line at Tyvola, looping up to the airport and then into the CBD.     This would give the line more function, and solve the issue of connecting the airport to the city.

 

Lastly - I'm not arguing btw (in spite of this long post) that we should focus or even bother with that spur at this time.  I think we have more pressing mass transit needs, and I think it would completely kill and future chances (and they are small now to begin with) of major retail returning to the CBD.

 

I agree about the rail-bus transfer barrier. I am a frequent rider of public rail transit all over the country but I will walk a -long- way to avoid getting on a bus. If a bus transfer is required for me to get someplace in Charlotte then I will choose driving every time (well sometimes I'll actually do bikeshare to Memorial Stadium instead of driving)

 

An urban myth I have heard for many years was that Southpark was the second largest business district in North Carolina (I think that was dubunked here last year but I am not sure). Regardless the veracity of the statement SP has roughly the same amount of office space as Ballantyne and a great deal more multifamily and retail space. If the spur terminates in SP then running the end of it in a one way loop around the area would provide transit access to a tremendous number of origins and destinations. 

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Of course ridership is low. Who wants to pay for LRT & Bus?

- Southpark has direct buses to uptown

- You'd have to wait not only for the bus but light rail

- Buses to uptown from Southpark aren't very crowded & rather pleasant

Now of you do the SouthPark to the airport, then you have some major linking that makes sense on top of I'm sure a connection wouldn't be that big of a deal or just stay on that LRT to uptown.

Edited by AirNostrumMAD
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According to the CATS Countywide Transit Services Plan, Route 60 is already on the chopping block, specifically east of LYNX to South Park. If Tyvola can't even sustain a bus, it's not a good corridor for rail.

 

The point I'm trying to make is that the service level shouldn't be for Tyvola, it should be solely to link Tyvola Station to the South Park CTC, yeah there might be a couple of stops in between. I don't actually care how it's done, but South Park CTC needs that service frequency to the blue line to really be viable. It's also a first step to getting a South Park-airport connection and maybe eventually a light rail line, especially if we can get a corridor identified and direct anticipated growth to be able to take advantage of that corridor.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Better yet, where the hell is that last image in the article supposed to be?

I was wondering that myself... I'd take that in southpark... along with the historic building...

 

I just realized what it was... Its Ghazi's failed Catalyst Project in Milwaukee, A more interesting, but less ambitious project that was the same idea as 210Trade/Epicentre. 

Edited by Guest
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