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Legacy Union (former Charlotte Observer redevelopment)


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17 minutes ago, Miesian Corners said:

The entire project was bad from the beginning. Giant parking garage, sloppy architecture, and poorly integrated into its surroundings. It's the Dallas North Tollway in 1984.

This is a controversial opinion that I completely agree with. The only building I like on these two large blocks is the Deloitte tower and even it fits better in South Park or Ballantyne.  The integration might be worse than the architecture. Imagine building a new headquarters like Honeywell and having the back bordered by a mega-garage and the front bordered by pedestrian hostile Mint.  

My biggest question though: if there aren't enough people to support retail, why do they keep building towers (not that I'm complaining)?  The economics of this are as mystifying to me as cryptocurrencies...

Edited by JBS
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Im glad people are putting their opinions about Legacy Union here. I do fee l like it just isn't "all that" of a project. The Deloitte building  is the best, but I feel like this project should still at least have one large hotel facing BOA Stadium, and some housing. I hate seeing so many office buildings side by side with no option to have foot traffic outside of the 9-5 timeframe. The biggest problem is the connectivity to South End, which makes this little part of uptown essentially a dead-zone. ***And yes I know that most of the workers aren't in there and the retail isn't fully occupied. 

Edited by j-man
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30 minutes ago, j-man said:

Im glad people are putting their opinions about Legacy Union here. I do fee l like it just isn't "all that" of a project. The Deloitte building  is the best, but I feel like this project should still at least have one large hotel facing BOA Stadium, and some housing. I hate seeing so many office buildings side by side with no option to have foot traffic outside of the 9-5 timeframe. The biggest problem is the connectivity to South End, which makes this little part of uptown essentially a dead-zone. ***And yes I know that most of the workers aren't in there and the retail isn't fully occupied. 

It's not fully built-out, maybe they'll put a hotel there in the future. But they can't really redo the pedestrian experience/architecture/parking garages at this point. It's not going to get better.

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1 hour ago, CLT2014 said:

It all comes down to execution in Uptown to win market share and get people to spend time there outside of 8AM to 5PM for work. With the drop in foot traffic, we have seen people only want to be in Uptown when forced by their employers, but not so much on their own time. There IS competition in the city and metro area for people's time and dollars outside of special events at the stadiums or performing arts venues. The retail options and amenities need to be top notch in Uptown to bring the whole city together and entice people to the metro's hub by choice rather than just work (which will be 3 - 4 days a week only for many firms.... not the best group for retail to target).

Legacy Union has done little to add interesting spaces or retail storefronts to compete with other options, even ones that don't have the inherit charm of historic architecture. 

Blakeney Shopping Center -> varied storefronts and textures, different setbacks, different awnings, lighting options, spaces for outdoor dining, pots with plants, et... 
image.thumb.png.d0dd673ef1114ca178a0bbfe9b3321c2.png

 

Meanwhile in the heart of the city, Legacy Union put up this??? Completely flat facade, air conditioning vents / harsh metal everywhere, every retail spot looks the exact same, no shade, no sense of place, no pots w/ plants, no lighting options, et.... 
image.thumb.png.103429404966e48f80d251b8c9847050.png


If a suburban shopping center 15 miles outside of the city center can get something as basic as awnings and different textures.... certainly Legacy Union as a prime development in the very heart of the city could have done more to say "Hey, it is actually worth it to live and be Uptown. It IS more interesting than the suburbs....." Instead Legacy Union manages to make  Blakeney Village shopping center look "cool." Oh... and shocker... Blakeney has people at it on a Friday night at 5PM and the retail is full.

Amen and Amen

And by the way, what if we could take those varied storefronts with varied textures that you cite in Blakeney, and make them the actual ground-level, street-scape interaction for an actual high-rise?  Has anyone seen that done with new construction?  

Edited by RANYC
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5 hours ago, CLT2014 said:

It all comes down to execution in Uptown to win market share and get people to spend time there outside of 8AM to 5PM for work. With the drop in foot traffic, we have seen people only want to be in Uptown when forced by their employers, but not so much on their own time. There IS competition in the city and metro area for people's time and dollars outside of special events at the stadiums or performing arts venues. The retail options and amenities need to be top notch in Uptown to bring the whole city together and entice people to the metro's hub by choice rather than just work (which will be 3 - 4 days a week only for many firms.... not the best group for retail to target).

Legacy Union has done little to add interesting spaces or retail storefronts to compete with other options, even ones that don't have the inherit charm of historic architecture. 

Blakeney Shopping Center -> varied storefronts and textures, different setbacks, different awnings, lighting options, spaces for outdoor dining, pots with plants, et... 
image.thumb.png.d0dd673ef1114ca178a0bbfe9b3321c2.png

 

Meanwhile in the heart of the city, Legacy Union put up this??? Completely flat facade, air conditioning vents / harsh metal everywhere, every retail spot looks the exact same, no shade, no sense of place, no pots w/ plants, no lighting options, et.... 
image.thumb.png.103429404966e48f80d251b8c9847050.png


If a suburban shopping center 15 miles outside of the city center can get something as basic as awnings and different textures.... certainly Legacy Union as a prime development in the very heart of the city could have done more to say "Hey, it is actually worth it to live and be Uptown. It IS more interesting than the suburbs....." Instead Legacy Union manages to make  Blakeney Village shopping center look "cool." Oh... and shocker... Blakeney has people at it on a Friday night at 5PM and the retail is full.

Yep there needs to be paradigms shifts that reflects the attractiveness of Downtown San Francisco, Midtown Atlanta, Brickell part of Downtown Miami, Philadelphia City Center, and various parts of Washington with regards to become more 24 hour places. That means building more mixed use mid-rise and high-rise developments that includes residential and/or hotel components along with ground-level commercial uses (retail, restaurant, and or allows some after-hours gathering places including bar/lounges and smaller live music venues).  They can continue to attract major HQ offices within these developments, but they have got to mix things up a bit more, literally.

This will activate the streetscape beyond the stretch of Uptown along North Tryon. This is how and what Charlotte needs to focus upon because that's what's going to bring in more people into Uptown who don't work there outside of the events at the BOA Stadium, Spectrum Center, etc.

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There simply isn’t anything in Uptown post 5pm on a weekday that you can’t do in other parts of the city. That is why it is embarrassing at this point that there still is no shopping district, or zoo, or aquarium anywhere in or around Uptown. There are various examples of how any of those three solutions are destinations in their own right that flood foot traffic in city centers all around the country.

Edited by TheOneRJ
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53 minutes ago, TheRealClayton said:

Nobody is building these things in 2022 without significant state funding and incredible amounts of philanthropy. Charlotte has a dearth of #2, and the state doesn't spend money on or care about cities. 

Crypto is a grift for the most part. (read this https://www.amazon.com/Attack-50-Foot-Blockchain-Contracts-ebook/dp/B073CPP581) and retail is leasing pretty well  uptown outside of this project. Ally is essentially full, and soon retail will stretch and connect from Ally, down Tryon to Vantage (just wait). 400 South Tryon is getting a fast casual French Rotisserie chicken place, and One Independence Center is leasing pretty nicely. If you don't create a destination and a visual value proposition people just won't lease your space. 

OK, that's a good update.  I love Tryon Street in Uptown, and believe some great place-making has been done there.  It's like walking through an urban garden.  To bring out the suburbanites, should we rename Uptown, "Tryon Gardens" or "The Tryon Promenade?":tw_relaxed:

Edited by RANYC
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The retail in the Deloitte tower that faces the plaza feels like it already needs a retrofit and it's not occupied yet! It could have been more like the Truist (Hearst) Plaza but instead feels cold and monolithic.  That was all new space 20 years ago and has such better first floor character. 

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On 12/14/2021 at 10:54 AM, TheRealClayton said:

Like I said, walk around the building. Notice how close those spaces are from back of curb (so no patio space, except maybe a row for 3 two-tops), and how rarely they are not shrouded in shade ( you are either in the shade of the buildings, or the giant over street connection.) There's also no at grade pedestrian crossing from the building to the parking deck, you are forced to use the tube. 

Any reason they can't blow out those windows and pull a Daily? 

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4 hours ago, TheRealClayton said:

getting a fast casual French Rotisserie chicken place

Poulet St Hubert? I kid.

Poulet St Hubert is a longtime chain of rotisserie chicken in Québec, particularly Montréal. It is necessary to go to the suburbs for their locations but if in town give it a try. One will see the people of the city rather than tourists, the chicken is rather good by fast food standards and it is a flavor and experience of the region no one mentions in travel guides.

https://www.st-hubert.com/

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  • 1 month later...
27 minutes ago, atlrvr said:

The new tower just received it's grading permit.

There is retail at the Tryon/Stonewall corner as well as the Tryon/interior courtyard corner.  Office lobby smaller and accessed mid-block along Stonewall and from the courtyard.

Can you post the plan or a link to it?

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33 minutes ago, atlrvr said:

The new tower just received it's grading permit.

There is retail at the Tryon/Stonewall corner as well as the Tryon/interior courtyard corner.  Office lobby smaller and accessed mid-block along Stonewall and from the courtyard.

Oh wow, this is delicious.  Love me some walkable corner retail.  Thanks for sharing.

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