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300 North College - Residential tower at 6th and College in First Ward

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Wanting to tear down pre-WWII buildings because a club is not currently cool is sort of exactly why we don't have much left here, and why we will end up with yet another sterilized development that will turn this corner from a place that actually brought people uptown for nightlife long before it was popular.  There are so many lots that are developable before this site, but obviously the owners of the land now want to sell out for big money, so they are request images as part of marketing the land to someone who will do something with it.

 

I'm hoping it fizzles out and we just get projects elsewhere for a while.  

I know, I changed my thinking on my original comment. This block does add some character (and a need for certain demos) and there are a billion other sites to develop on.

Edited by Jayvee

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I look at these aerial pictures and I absolutely DO NOT want this project to happen. I don't want to lose these small scale retail/restaurant/bar spots. Too many other places a residential tower could go.

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I swear, when I first heard about this, my jaw dropped.   The spaces are leased, the restaurants and clubs have stayed in business, the buildings are relatively good looking.  

 

In 1-2 blocks away there are development sites already prepped as parking lots just waiting for development. 

 

It says a lot about the ease of tearing down buildings in this town that it gets marketed and sought for redevelopment before the dozens of acres of surface lots nearby.

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Now I will say, I don't think we've really heard too much, if anything, on this project lately. It could be dead in the water and we are getting worked up for nothin!

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^ I don't think anyone questions the motive for selling, or the desire for someone to build on this location... But it is a set of bars that successfully contributes to street activity and preferring that construction happens elsewhere when we have no financial ties to the project is easy.

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^ I don't think anyone questions the motive for selling, or the desire for someone to build on this location... But it is a set of bars that successfully contributes to street activity and preferring that construction happens elsewhere when we have no financial ties to the project is easy.

Agreed. I'm not naive to the realities of building on this site vs. another several blocks away, just lamenting the impending loss of a certain element of uptown character that will not be coming back, since there are no other accommodating spots for it. All retail spaces included in this tower will be more expensive and while there's always potential for something great, it will likely be limited to the usual range of uptown options by that high rent. 

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Someone is still pursuing this property...not sure if its still Tivoli, but there is several bits of anecdotal evidence to suggest it is still moving forward, that these new images seem to confirm (unless it died, and they are now just taking pictures to re-market the site, but I believe the pics might be for rendering it into the skyline).

 

The arguement "well there are lots of surface lots nearby" makes me cringe.  First, this is a prime high-rise location....look at The Mint or Woodfield Graham to see the density you get in a B+ location instead of an A location....secondly, if those lots were for sale at a reasonable price, it would follow reasoning that development would be going there instead.  No developer says...."hey, I'd rather tear down some buildings as opposed to build on a surface lot" if all else is equal, given the time delays and uncertainty what they may find under the buildings.

 

Also, the seller is the operator of Cosmos and the club f/k/a Mythos and the others as well I believe....I mean, the guy wants to sell his own property and stop running his own clubs, its not like these clubs are getting kicked out but the building owner.  Do they really deserve historic register status just because they were built prior to 1950? 

 

We can lament the loss of things that are old, but clinging to a brick box that's primary  visual interest is the signage added in the last 20 years seems to be missing the point.  If it is replaced by a building that has an equal urban streetwall, it sounds like a net win in my opinion.  If it makes you all feel better, maybe the developer will spend $100 on a plaque that says "Here Atlrvr had a 1/2 price martini on some random Wednesday in 2001"

Preach brotha preach!

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Cities have to have character too, not just density. These buildings have character, and so I would *prefer* them to stay.  I don't believe they are historic, but this stretch of buildings and the bars/clubs that have been in them were almost entirely the only nightlife downtown Charlotte had for a while.

 

Obviously this is all coming from the owner and not a developer saying "this is THE spot I want to build".  And if the owner is determined or wants to retire from the club business, then that is what is going to happen.    

 

But this is how dozens of acres of surface lots were created and leveled much of the city and they're still waiting for their pipe dream magic towers to spring up.  The recent uses of their property had passed their primes, someone got older or died and wanted to sell out, and in order to help draw the interest in redeveloping for modern high density uses, they tore down the vintage buildings and paved parking to make some easy money in the interim and drew up concept plans of big new urban renewal ideas for the land.   But when the buildings get torn down, regardless of whether they were 'historic', the area starts to seem less urban and less of a place to be, and no interesting restaurant or bar or shop can go into a building that is not there, and then the area stagnates.  If someone was not there with all the pieces to make redevelopment happen, or something shifts in the market, then it stays in a semi-permanent hiatus like all the other sites.  That scenario makes me cringe.  

 

If someone has all the pieces together to buy this land to build a high rise, then they have the pieces together to build one at other suitable places.  That is what I would prefer.  

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Cities have to have character too, not just density. These buildings have character, and so I would *prefer* them to stay.  I don't believe they are historic, but this stretch of buildings and the bars/clubs that have been in them were almost entirely the only nightlife downtown Charlotte had for a while.

 

Obviously this is all coming from the owner and not a developer saying "this is THE spot I want to build".  And if the owner is determined or wants to retire from the club business, then that is what is going to happen.    

 

But this is how dozens of acres of surface lots were created and leveled much of the city and they're still waiting for their pipe dream magic towers to spring up.  The recent uses of their property had passed their primes, someone got older or died and wanted to sell out, and in order to help draw the interest in redeveloping for modern high density uses, they tore down the vintage buildings and paved parking to make some easy money in the interim and drew up concept plans of big new urban renewal ideas for the land.   But when the buildings get torn down, regardless of whether they were 'historic', the area starts to seem less urban and less of a place to be, and no interesting restaurant or bar or shop can go into a building that is not there, and then the area stagnates.  If someone was not there with all the pieces to make redevelopment happen, or something shifts in the market, then it stays in a semi-permanent hiatus like all the other sites.  That scenario makes me cringe.  

 

If someone has all the pieces together to buy this land to build a high rise, then they have the pieces together to build one at other suitable places.  That is what I would prefer.  

 

I really agree with this.  We frequently complain about the unique venues of Raleigh versus Charlotte.  One of the things that I think has made this work is actually the lack of big business in downtown Raleigh which keeps rents low(ish).  For example, retail in their Skyhouse building starts at $25 per square foot.  That is probably their prime rate for retail downtown.  I can't pull up something comparable on loopnet but I would imagine it would be around the $35 range, nearly 50% higher.  We need to keep buildings like this that provide a lower barrier to entry for entrepreneurs.

 

My problem is how to do this. I am not sure government protection (i.e. zoning) should be used for non-historic buildings (though will these be historic in 50 years?), but I am not sure the free market will do it.  I am torn.

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GIS data says the Cosmo's building on the corner was built in 1936. That's historic enough for me, especially by Charlotte standards. 

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Rules for historic buildings are not going to save these buildings.  It is a weak case, even if they are pre-war and mildly interesting.   Charlotte has managed to level buildings that are of actual historic value, architectural value, and listed on the national registry.  Even Hotel Charlotte was torn down in 1988 for Carillon while a horrible low rise motel stayed standing directly next door for almost 2 more decades.   

 

 

But I will lament their passing, especially if they get sacrificed for surface parking and end up staying that way for years.

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Pure insanity.

 

Built in 1925, we had THIS historic old building.

 

Then 8-10 years ago, someone added a few windows, and signs, and lights, and then we had THIS

 

But it was demoed by a develp 5-6 months ago, and now everyone is excited we are going to get THIS

 

...............

 

Charlotte has been around since the mid 1700's....if THIS is where we are drawing the line as far where we say "no more" to historic destruction, then I'm in ever greater favor of the comment made in the coffee house that we should celebrate our lack of history, and aspire to be the most modern city in America.

 

...............

 

Finally, before I get off my soap-box, Cosmos does fine lunch business (I guess, haven't been in a few year), but College St between 6th and 7th has < 5% (unofficial estimate) the foot traffic that College between 5th and 6th does at all hours of the day except 10pm-2am.

 

That block south has 2 office buildings and hotel, with ground floor retail and building ingress/egress with substantial density, and it is a pretty lively block from 7am to midnight....post 1980's construction and all.

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This site is across from the potentially remake of Spirit Square and the Library.  Prior to the recession, there were plans about to put the library on the corner of 7th and College, and the current Library site becoming a mixed use hotel/residential/office complex wrapping around Tryon, Sixth, and partway on College.  Anyone remember that?  I think David Furman was digging around that area.

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OMG so modern. Look at the solar! When did we pave over the parking lots with trees? Why are trees taking up so much space in that city?

 

I'm sorry, but there is nothing historical about those buildings that should warrant saving them. 

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OMG so modern. Look at the solar! When did we pave over the parking lots with trees? Why are trees taking up so much space in that city?

I'm sorry, but there is nothing historical about those buildings that should warrant saving them.

True, but aren't there better spots for residential/hotel development? Just yesterday I'm sure several parcels just became super attractive to develop. Bank of America has their land for sale.

I say that from the perspective of a pedestrian, not as a seller or builder. I don't really care who benefits most monetarily from real estate transactions

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Honestly, I like the dense development Charlotte has going for it. The skyscraper sprawl of Atlanta where you build a skyscraper 15 blocks away surrounded by surface lots really kills the pedestrian experience. If anything, keeping development concentrated like this will enhance the overall experience as it adds more feet to the sidewalk below. 

 

I think it is also a safe bet to consider there will be retail at the base of this building. It may not include some of the same bars and clubs that have already had their run in Charlotte, but that's always an option. 

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The only issue is that this is the central location for the young clubbing partiers. As I said earlier, while not my favorite crowd, it would still be removing this group from Uptown. I'd prefer our center city to have something for everyone.

Truth be told, I know it's a moot point. The location is very valuable and it will be sold for what I'm sure will be an awesome project, most likely with restaurants and bars at the base (but hopefully shops). Lol and no one would blame the current or future owner for acting in there own interests.

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I still think this is a landowner begging for a project.  There is no project lined up to be awesome.  And if it were to go here, it would be in lieu of going in somewhere else.   

 

It is a zero-sum game in the short run.    An office tower here means no office tower at 7th and Tryon or on Grubb's land at 10th and Tryon.  There is limited market capacity.   The historic nature of these buildings is a red herring.   The point is they are actively used low rise buildings with some character, and there are lots of development parcels available that are a drain on the city.   

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