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cltbwimob

The River District

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^^^Not a big fan at all.  I had really high hopes for Dixie-Berryhill.  I had envisioned an office/residential/hotel component similar to Rosslyn or Crystal City(in Arlington, VA) on the river near I-85 and Wilkinson with perhaps access to an extended airport transit line.  For the southern region, I had hoped for industrial and warehousing space to take advantage of the rail yard.  Under my vision, there would also be a "mega site" reserved for a future aircraft manufacturer to set up shop.  

In short, I had hoped to see high density office/residential/hotel development in an area that could take advantage of the highway, a future transit line, and the river while industrial space would be focused around the rail yard.  Instead it sounds like what will happen is that a carbon copy of surface lot infested Ballantyne with no hope of access to transit will emerge (in the area that should be reserved for industrial uses) which will undoubtedly put pressure on other office submarkets such as uptown and Southpark and completely negate any chance of building a high density urban center a la Rosslyn or Crystal City.

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The biggest thing of interest to me is that Lincoln Harris is teaming up with Crescent.... The interesting part being I have always been wondering if they would collaborate on their uptown parcels. Surely there are synergies to be had between their two developments that would be mutually beneficial.

 

The second exciting part is I think Lincoln Harris and Crescent are understanding urbanity. Even in suburban settings. I think they would actually support getting mass transit out to their development. Imagine how amazing it would be for both Crescent and Lincoln Harris for their development to be connected to the airport... and uptown to their Stonewall projects.

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Ugh, cutting down more tress and nature. Just leave it the way it is, I love walking through all the forest along the Catawba. 

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Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, cltbwimob said:

^^^Not a big fan at all.  I had really high hopes for Dixie-Berryhill.  I had envisioned an office/residential/hotel component similar to Rosslyn or Crystal City(in Arlington, VA) on the river near I-85 and Wilkinson with perhaps access to an extended airport transit line.  For the southern region, I had hoped for industrial and warehousing space to take advantage of the rail yard.  Under my vision, there would also be a "mega site" reserved for a future aircraft manufacturer to set up shop.  

In short, I had hoped to see high density office/residential/hotel development in an area that could take advantage of the highway, a future transit line, and the river while industrial space would be focused around the rail yard.  Instead it sounds like what will happen is that a carbon copy of surface lot infested Ballantyne with no hope of access to transit will emerge (in the area that should be reserved for industrial uses) which will undoubtedly put pressure on other office submarkets such as uptown and Southpark and completely negate any chance of building a high density urban center a la Rosslyn or Crystal City.

Is anyone paying attention. They are preserviving 40% of open space. That cuts the land nearly in half. They are proposing 30% more office space than Ballantine, the same amount of retail and about 500 less housing units on half the developable land. That makes it way more dense than Ballantyne

but yes, this move, will kill a competing sub market eventually, I just hope it isn't an important one. 

Edited by ricky_davis_fan_21
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The shoreline through this entire plot of land is already occupied by houses (one of my friends' place included)...what are they planning on doing there? Will there be a buffer between the development and lakefront houses, or will it come right up to those lakefront streets, or should they be expecting buyout offers? A new mountain bike trail is also currently being built through that area, which has some amazing terrain for it, that I guess may be short-lived.

Selfish personal connections aside, I think this is an odd choice for such a development given the constraints of the infrastructure there and its isolation due to being walled off from the rest of the city by the airport. I hope it is heavily weighted towards West/485 with lighter uses towards the river, but they keep mentioning building around Dixie River Rd, which is about as tiny a country road as you can find in Charlotte. 

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If they pull it off look for eastern Gaston (beyond Belmont) to finally explode with growth. The other interesting thing to watch will be how much Harris / Crescent push for transit. I really hope they can avoid some of the huge mistakes of Btyne.

the other big question out here is schools.

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Posted (edited)

Put me first in line to drop some cash on a waterfront condo with a view of the Allen Plant Steam Station. So beautiful. 

powercoalallen*750xx516-290-5-0.jpg

Edited by CLT2014

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, ricky_davis_fan_21 said:

Is anyone paying attention. They are preserviving 40% of open space. That cuts the land nearly in half. They are proposing 30% more office space than Ballantine, the same amount of retail and about 500 less housing units on half the developable land. That makes it way more dense than Ballantyne

but yes, this move, will kill a competing sub market eventually, I just hope it isn't an important one. 

A little more office and a little less housing-probably similar to Ballantyne in terms of overall square footage but on half the land making it about twice as dense as Ballantyne.  Even so, looking at Ballantyne, I think something that's twice as dense would still have a high probability of turning out to be suburban misuse of land.  So much of Ballantyne is dedicated to surface parking, it would probably need to be 3-4 times as dense as it is today before it even began to resemble an urban land form.  Plus these guys, for all the beautiful things they propose in Uptown are still building/proposing suburban developments on the perimeter like there is no tomorrow...Providence Rd and 485, Knights Fort Mill redevelopment, now this.  Thanks but no thanks to LH and Crescent.  I hope this proposal dies on the vine; the opportunity cost of this to the the community at large is much too high.

Edited by cltbwimob

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Posted (edited)

It's not even surface parking, but car reliance in general. If they had any indication that they had considered transit access, I would feel warmer toward the plans. As it is, that whole side of the county has really lousy access. CATS runs a bus to the premium outlets, but that's about it.

Edit: The more I think about it, the more I believe that's a pressure point that we can ask our various city representatives to push on. The challenge is that any planning would have to be bus-oriented, they couldn't be asked to guess at rail plans that have never even been thought of. Even still, a clear idea about local and express bus routes would go a long way toward suggesting that they are in the mindset of helping reduce car reliance.

Edited by tozmervo
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I like this project and I would contend it helps urban sprawl. First it is higher density and just because there is no transit there now (it is vacant land) doesnt mean there would be no transit in the future. It is much higher density than Ballantyne as others pointed out and most of these office buildings would be taller like the newer ones at Ballantyne. In fact Lincoln Harris proposed 12 story buildings along I-485.  Crystal City VA where my dad worked for many years is not the example I want to see it. It is far too bland and no enough green space. This proposal sets aside 40% towards open space. As for helping urban sprawl  would you rather see massive office development further out from the urban core like in Rock Hill or way down US 521 into Lancaster county. The airplane noise believe it or not is minimal since the runways go north and south and this area is not over a flight pattern like the Premium outlets are. I have driven this area and it is amazing how few houses or anything is in that area and it is quiet. As the Charlotte market grows this does not necessary kill any other office markets either. Ballantyne will always be a great area with it high end housing and golf, the University area has a huge employers and even the Airport submarket has large tenants anchoring it like soon to be completed Sealed Air campus. This is a 20 year project it will be built over time just as Ballantyne was and is still.  I would rather see one large owner or owners have a master plan for an area than a piecemeal development. 

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Posted (edited)

One wild card is schools for a new development like this that is being compared to Ballantyne. Obviously lots of new schools will have to be built to serve this community and the developer would support that construction, but there will still be the "first mover effect." The first people that move in the neighborhoods will probably be going to existing schools (like West Meck High or Olympic) and the elementary schools in that area by the airport aren't highly rated. In Ballantyne, the existing schools in South Charlotte were already highly rated for the numerous homes built before 2006 when Ardrey Kell opened and the area got its own high school - ranked among the best in the city. If you moved into Ballantyne in 2001 and were told your neighborhood would attend Providence or South Meck High until Ardrey Kell was built - your "backup" if Ardrey Kell isn't built is still a good school.

In this area by the airport, most of the schools have average or below average test scores and parents analyze this stuff like crazy. Most of this land is zoned to West Mecklenburg High currently. I don't think people buying expensive new houses are going to be the first to move into a neighborhood attending West Meck High until their promised high school is built. The Palisades is still waiting for their "own" high school and middle school and this new development has lower property values still today compared to neighboring Fort Mill with highly ranked schools. In the Palisades, a home with similar size to a house in Fort Mill is running at a $50k - $150k discount, largely due to schools.

The question potential homebuyers are going to be thinking is "If I'm going to have a 30-45 minute drive to Uptown for work, why should I pick this neighborhood over Ballantyne, Fort Mill, South CLT, and Union County?" .... because most people that live in the suburbs REALLY care about schools.

Edited by CLT2014
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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, CLT2014 said:

Put me first in line to drop some cash on a waterfront condo with a view of the Allen Plant Steam Station. So beautiful. 

powercoalallen*750xx516-290-5-0.jpg

Can't tell if you are being sarcastic or not -- I would truely enjoy that view.

if you squint (alot) it looks sorta like this: https://no.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battersea_Power_Station. And people pay a fortune to live across from it.

Edited by kermit

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1 hour ago, tozmervo said:

The challenge is that any planning would have to be bus-oriented, they couldn't be asked to guess at rail plans that have never even been thought of. 

Not sure I agree here (disclaimer, I am not in the development industry). I don't think it would be unreasonable at all for Harris et al. To sit down with CATS and the airport and sketch the most likely ROW for rail from the airport and potentially on to Belmont. Harris and the airport could then easily set aside that space for eventual construction. Such a decision would also have the positive effect of increasing political support for this routing of an eventual west line. With thoughtful design (e.g. Grenway alongside the ROW) such a plan might not even be disruptive to development.

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Posted (edited)

32 minutes ago, kermit said:

Not sure I agree here (disclaimer, I am not in the development industry). I don't think it would be unreasonable at all for Harris et al. To sit down with CATS and the airport and sketch the most likely ROW for rail from the airport and potentially on to Belmont. Harris and the airport could then easily set aside that space for eventual construction. Such a decision would also have the positive effect of increasing political support for this routing of an eventual west line. With thoughtful design (e.g. Grenway alongside the ROW) such a plan might not even be disruptive to development.

You're right. I've been back and forth on this and at the end of the day we're talking about just carving out a ROW easement through the area

Edited by tozmervo

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Posted (edited)

41 minutes ago, kermit said:

Can't tell if you are being sarcastic or not -- I would truely enjoy that view.

if you squint (alot) it looks sorta like this: https://no.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battersea_Power_Station. And people pay a fortune to live across from it.

As I grew up in early 80s London, let me say Battersea is not what it is like today. People are paying thousands to live inside Battersea, when it's completely redeveloped. But on the upside, at least it's saving a historic building. We could learn a lesson from that.

EDIT- Well, I grew up just outside of London.

Edited by Piedmont767
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13 minutes ago, Piedmont767 said:

As I grew up in early 80s London, let me say Battersea is not what it is like today. People are paying thousands to live inside Battersea, when it's completely redeveloped. But on the upside, at least it's saving a historic building. We could learn a lesson from that.

EDIT- Well, I grew up just outside of London.

You're right and I used to go to the Battersea Fun Fair and the Hammersmith Pallet. The power plant on the Catawba is a minor obstacle that can be worked around. Fishing is usually good near a power plant where the how water is emitted. However, I never wanted to eat fish caught at Battersea.

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Posted (edited)

Mary Newsome late of the CO and now the Charlotte Urban Institute mentioned yesterday that there is a ridge between the east and west border of this property and that means sewage and treated water must use pump stations. This is an example of the expense of infrastructure that must be borne. More expenses than just this certainly and who pays for installation and maintenance?

This issue was mentioned in the CO story in a brief and non-specific way.

I mistrust the developers and their definition of "open space". One may assume it means untouched space left as it is today. They may mean large grassy areas within eventual private property. Open≠forested/natural

 

Edited by tarhoosier

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1 hour ago, tarhoosier said:

Mary Newsome late of the CO and now the Charlotte Urban Institute mentioned yesterday that there is a ridge between the east and west border of this property and that means sewage and treated water must use pump stations. This is an example of the expense of infrastructure that must be borne. More expenses than just this certainly and who pays for installation and maintenance?

If the developer is good, the city and county will pay for the install and maintenance. Usually the developer will pay for installation and then maintenance is provided by the county (those who connect in are paying fees and those fees pay for maintenance). 

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Here is a plan obtained by WSOC-TV and it shows some general areas of where things will go in the new River District.  

Here is the article from Channel 9

http://www.wsoctv.com/news/local/plans-unveiled-for-massive-residential-retail-development-in-west-charlotte/187194353

This development will be big and will probably be talked about for years (and need its own category LOL)

Riverdistrictdevelopment plan 2_1459351053950_3410045_ver1.0_640_360.jpg

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8 hours ago, Piedmont767 said:

Ugh, cutting down more tress and nature. Just leave it the way it is, I love walking through all the forest along the Catawba. 

I've heard Charlotte been called the City of Trees. Boating down the Catawba River is always nice with all the trees!

With the idea of the development, will it be secessful? West Charlotte, especially between the Airport and Belmont isn't what people think of for a new development.

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51 minutes ago, CLT704 said:

I've heard Charlotte been called the City of Trees. Boating down the Catawba River is always nice with all the trees!

With the idea of the development, will it be secessful? West Charlotte, especially between the Airport and Belmont isn't what people think of for a new development.

It isn't now, but it could be. The river will be a big draw.

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7 minutes ago, Silicon Dogwoods said:

It isn't now, but it could be. The river will be a big draw.

Most of Cornelius was a cow pasture 20-30 years ago. Nobody thought it would someday be a thieving town.  Both Charlotte and Atlanta have had the titles "City of Trees."  At one time, they were our source of keeping cool before air conditioning. I would love to see the river developed so we can have a river walk sort of place like many other cities. I certainly hope that  is what is planned as well.

 

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10 minutes ago, Silicon Dogwoods said:

It isn't now, but it could be. The river will be a big draw.

Honestly, its Charlottes only NATURAL geographic draw. We should have been taking advantage of that for year. A Riverwalk with shops and restaurants and houses and offices, would be amazing.

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23 minutes ago, ricky_davis_fan_21 said:

Honestly, its Charlottes only NATURAL geographic draw. We should have been taking advantage of that for year. A Riverwalk with shops and restaurants and houses and offices, would be amazing.

...and the lake isn't even natural at that. ;-)     I remember back in the 70's there was a cool proposal to dam up Sugar Creek from Freedom Park up to 4th Street or so and create a "river walk".  

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Posted (edited)

I could even see a second CBD along the river.

More than one person has puzzled why our founders settled where they did instead of along the river. I know it's an elevated escarpment (hence 'Uptown,') but it seems like the river would have been a better site for newborn Charlottetowne. :)

Or maybe they did scope it out but the two ridges east and west presented too much of a challenge for early settlers?

Edited by Silicon Dogwoods
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