JacksonH

Savona Mill, Lakewood Trolley, Greenway

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Charlotte is oft criticized (including in this forum and by me) for its destruction of its history, and also its lack of uniqueness.  San Antonio has its beautiful Riverwalk (15 miles long total, including a 2.4 mile loop downtown full of shops, restaurants, bars and Spanish colonial architecture); San Diego has the Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy, Old Town, etc.); Seattle has Pike's Market, and the Space Needle; San Francisco has Fisherman's Wharf, North Beach, Chinatown, Lombard Street, etc.); Los Angeles has Hollywood, the Hollywood Bowl, the Roosevelt Hotel, Santa Monica, Olvera St.); New York has Greenwich Village, Times Square, Statue of Liberty, etc., etc., etc.); Chicago has Grant Park, Lincoln Park; Austin has 6th Street; New Orleans has the French Quarter and the Garden District.  I could go on and on.  But Charlotte always comes up short.  There's no historic district or monument to take people to, just theme parks, tall buildings and shopping malls -- the kinds of things you find in any major city -- but nothing uniquely Charlotte.  But then I recently read about the old Savona Mill in old west Charlotte being converted into a space for retail, cafes and, importantly, artisans to be seen doing their craft (wonderful!).  On top of this, plans for a century-old trolley to run from Uptown (across from the Draught restaurant and bar by BOA Stadium) out to Savona Mill along actual old trolley tracks which, unlike most trolley tracks, run alongside a creek rather than on a road.  Additionally, that trolley route was also to be restored into a greenway, making it possible to have the option of strolling or jogging from Uptown to the historic Savona Mill, or taking a ride on an historic trolley.  THIS is an idea to be really excited about.  THIS is something visitors to Charlotte could do that they could only do in Charlotte; an actual sightseeing experience.  When company comes to town, THIS is what you would want to take them to do for an afternoon: trolley and/or stroll to and from Savona Mill to see the artisans at work and do some souvenir shopping and enjoy a meal.  What a wonderful, wonderful concept!  Now to my question:  I'm only just now learning about the Savona Mill and Lakewood Trolley restoration, but I'm finding out that this was announced about three years ago.  Does anybody know the status of these projects?  I don't see much written about them.  I think it would be a huge blow if none of this comes to fruition.

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I too hope they make it work. Unfortuantely when I last checked (about three months ago) there has been virtually zero progress refurbishing the two trollies and there has been no visible progress on the mill since the announcement.

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17 minutes ago, kermit said:

I too hope they make it work. Unfortuantely when I last checked (about three months ago) there has been virtually zero progress refurbishing the two trollies and there has been no visible progress on the mill since the announcement.

Not too surprising, always seemed like an awfully large leap for a company that specializes in refurbing buildings between 8-25k sq feet.

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It's been awhile (~1 year) since the developer has engaged the neighborhood and it appears it's still pending rezoning from it's filing in 2016. http://charlottenc.gov/planning/Rezoning/RezoningPetitions/2016Petitions/Pages/2016-112.aspx 

Aside from Blue Blaze, the only other movement is that they now have a community/teaching garden where kids from the local school can come and learn about gardening, sustainability, etc. This is all outside the actual mill structure but on the property.

 

 

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58 minutes ago, kermit said:

I too hope they make it work. Unfortuantely when I last checked (about three months ago) there has been virtually zero progress refurbishing the two trollies and there has been no visible progress on the mill since the announcement.

 

Not too surprising, always seemed like an awfully large leap for a company that specializes in refurbing buildings between 8-25k sq feet.

:tw_cold_sweat:

Edited by JacksonH

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24 minutes ago, DCtransplant said:

It's been awhile (~1 year) since the developer has engaged the neighborhood and it appears it's still pending rezoning from it's filing in 2016. http://charlottenc.gov/planning/Rezoning/RezoningPetitions/2016Petitions/Pages/2016-112.aspx 

Aside from Blue Blaze, the only other movement is that they now have a community/teaching garden where kids from the local school can come and learn about gardening, sustainability, etc. This is all outside the actual mill structure but on the property.

 

 

Good grief, 2016???  That seems like a long time to consider a rezoning petition.  I would think the city would want to make a priority out of this.  That area of town needs help more than others that seem to have no problem getting permits.  And for something this unique that will be good for the Center City at large, that fills in some gaps for things the city is missing from a tourism perspective, I don't understand why they would not be all over getting this project moving.

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Just now, JacksonH said:

Good grief, 2016???  That seems like a long time to consider a rezoning petition.  I would think the city would want to make a priority out of this.  That area of town needs help more than others that seem to have no problem getting permits.  And for something this unique that will be good for the Center City at large, that fills in some gaps for things the city is missing from a tourism perspective, I don't understand why they would not be all over getting this project moving.

Because Charlotte

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They have started cleaning up the area behind the mill and from the presentation a year or so ago the developer said the smaller buildings surrounding the mill will be the first to be occupied/renovated. It seems there has been progress but very slow on the property. The mill was the last thing to be renovated. I think the mill is 10years out from today.   Blue blaze does seem to be doing well so that’s good for the area

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4 hours ago, QClifer said:

They have started cleaning up the area behind the mill and from the presentation a year or so ago the developer said the smaller buildings surrounding the mill will be the first to be occupied/renovated. It seems there has been progress but very slow on the property. The mill was the last thing to be renovated. I think the mill is 10years out from today.   Blue blaze does seem to be doing well so that’s good for the area

10 year, yikes!  I guess these developers are not in a huge hurry to get a return on their investment.

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