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jb4563

Will the University City area ever be cleaned up?

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I was driving around the UNC Charlotte area, and thought it was such a shame how dumpy the area looks. Few sidewalks along 49 and 29. Cars driving past the University at 60 MPH. No landscaping.

It would be great if the city, state, and University cleaned up that area to make it a better gateway to UNC Charlotte....like if they made it look like Ballantyne (with nice landscaping and grass, curbs/gutters, smaller lanes on 49/29, on street parking, etc). It would make it look a lot more like a university-area.

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The University City area just a few years ago asked City Council to make the area a special tax district, the increased property taxed for the area means that they will see better maintances of the city owned roads and new sidewalks. We prolly won't see the benefits of this tax until a few more years.

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Some other changes that will help:

- UNCC will create more of a grand entrance onto Tryon St as part of their master plan.

- Tryon Street will be converted over time to be more of a boulevard-type road with better pedestrian/bike facilities, especially as light rail will eventually be on tryon street (or in its right of way).

- The special tax district will go a long way in sprucing up key spots as marketing, but it will take lots of expesive street/road projects before it really has the urban infrastructure it is lacking now.

I am actually very happy with Charlotte/Huntersville, as they want to avoid UC's pitfalls when they build and zone the Prosperity Church exit of 485 in the north. The streets around the interchange will be converted to be grid-like, so that it can be more like a town than a sprawled out mess. The theory being that sprawl occurs when developers get a hold of too much land at once... so each project gets a lot of land, making a handful of projects take up way too much space... so gridding the streets creates smaller parcels that face smaller streets rather than a single arterial. i hope it works.

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University City will be aesthetically improved, but the changing demographics in the area will continue to change the area into a lower income, 21st century sprawlsville ghetto.

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What are the demographics changing to?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Poor.

But the bigger problem is the suburban housing existing today. The houses are low-quality with no architectual distinction. The communities lack convenience, and most don't allow for major improvements to the properties.......who wants to live there when these homes began to have serious issues in 20-30 years? Especially when there are brand new cheap houses just a couple of miles further out.

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It should be noted that Charlotte is still allowing the same kind of development out on Independence, on 49 South, it continues on 51, and of course Ballentyne. As soon as a new section of 485 is opened it starts springing up there too. Sprawl is sprawl. It doesn't matter what the income level is of the inhabitants.

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True.....and the next ring of slums will be the middle suburbs.....Tara Servatius actually did an article to this effect a couple of months ago, and this is the first time I've ever agreed with her......of course I've been preaching this phenomenon for years.

If I lived in a "cookie-cutter" community built in the 80's, I'd be looking to sell within the next 10 years.

While communities with houses at a certain size with luxury ammenities do tend to hold of "ghettoization", inevitably they will fall to at a certain point when their is enough "ghetto pressure" surrounding them......Dilworth, and Midwood around the CCC, are good examples of 1970's mansion ghettos..........

Even worse, look at Detroit. There are some INCREDIBLE houses selling for under $150k. Though Charlotte should fare much better as long as we maintain a strong "white-collar" workforce.

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it reminds me of the 'back to the future' trilogy, where a fancy suburban neighborhood becomes a slum.

"damn, damn damn,..." :)

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WOW. Those houses would easily sell for $750,000+, if not $1 Million depening on what area they are in down here.

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every city needs affordable housing. the issues come when the construction quality/code compliance is low, which creates much larger long-term costs. In that case, the poor buy the lesser homes, and then must let them fall into dilapidation because they can't afford the maintenance.

I don't think U City will be a "ghetto". (although, knowing you guys, i'm know you just meant it in the typical 'run down, poor' sense, rather than being just minority people, etc.). I think that branding around UNCC, transit, and URP, which has a lot of white collar employment will keep it fairly diverse. The key will be to allow density in a smart way, so that if the homes are lower priced, low quality, they can be torn down for higher density projects.

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I don't think any of us can say what will happen to these areas in the long term. If there is any constant that can be predicted then it is that predictions of the future are often very wrong. Another possible scenerio is that future generations may decide to abandon the cities again in lieu of having a place in the suburbs. It has happened before and I don't see any reason why it couldn't or even won't happen again.

As we discussed in the other threads, most people view their property as dollar "investments" When that becomes the most important factor then expect much volitility on what will happen in the future.

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- UNCC will create more of a grand entrance onto Tryon St as part of their master plan.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I see they are building that entrance now, and it looks good with the buildings right on the road, but they seem to have already screwed up, IMO.

Why can you not make left turns from 29 N into it? (and only make right turns onto 29 N from it).

The biggest problem I see with it is that is should've been aligned with the JM Keynes intersection so it would have a traffic light and would meld the University with the surrounding area. (with crosswalks, etc into the Shoppes).

The way they built the entrance continues to put the University in its own bubble in that area.

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as you say it's creeping up the corridor, I think it's becoming more and more a kind of urbanesque landscape, particularly on the north side of UNCC towards concord mills. They are building a big rich folks neighborhood on 29 just north of Verizon Ampatheatre., a few new high-dollar communities on that road across 29 from Starlight that goes behind those apartments (why can't I remember that name?) and the Concord Mills area is adding more shops and housing as well. There are several nice Apartment and Condo complexes on Mallard Creek towards 85 that were just built in the last 5 or so years. South of UNCC is a different story... that is the Ghetto... but North is doing pretty well, and the Taxes of Cabarrus County are becoming more attractive to Folks that want to be close to Charlotte but don't want to put up with all of it's crap (schools, taxes, government, etc). Directly around UNCC Will always be Apartments for the students.

If you ask me, they need to clean up East, West, South and North Charlotte before even worrying about UNCC. I drove down South Blvd a few weeks ago going the long way from the Concord Area to Comp USA on South Blvd, and it's nothing but Garbage now from Southend to the AMC theatre. Driving down Central blvd, the Plaza, Albemarle Rd., etc is garbage for miles. North and West Charlotte are Nasty as hell too.

Seems like there are small pockets of niceness scattered around with a lot of rotten areas that need fixing.

Just my $.02

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My issue is the way suburban communities are built.

Most have deed restrictions or at least covenants prohibitting major exterior renovations. They don't allow wide variety in price-points. There is no commercial development on the edges. Many you have to pay community dues. Sidewalks are not required on both sides of a street. Block lengths aren't mandated. Plus many other issues that affect the cheapest to most exclusive subdivisions. These are the issues that affect the long term sustainability of a community, though arguably, some prefer them they way that are in the short-term.

Now add this to the fact that most houses today are down-right ugly. Garages in the front, lack of consistency of window styles and proportions on a house, Bradford Pear trees instead of more mature high-quality trees, plus the cheapest building materials known to man (my pet peeve is the hollow door).

How can these communities ever hope to achieve long-term appeal? When you have a low-quality house that is legally restricted from being improved on the exterior, in a neigbhorhood of other similar low-quality houses, in a neighborhood with no tree cover (Bradford Pears don't live that long), that has access onto a large collector street that has become increasingly congested as more communities are built further out..........they neighborhood is doomed.

It doesn't matter what the trends are at that point......urban, suburban, exurban, rural......the types of communities built today are built to turn a profit for the developer with no consideration for long term sustainability.

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It doesn't matter what the trends are at that point......urban, suburban, exurban, rural......the types of communities built today are built to turn a profit for the developer with no consideration for long term sustainability.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

As a matter of fact, this might almost be a good thing. Say that many of these ugly, poorly built homes, apartment complexes, and strip shopping centers for that matter have an expected lifespan of 25 years or so. Sure, we have to live with their ugliness for 25 years, but guess what happens then? They all get torn down and replaced, hopefully with something better. Every time I see a hideous, huge strip mall going up somewhere I just remind myself how dated it's going to look 20-30 years from now and figure that it'll just end up getting torn down anyway. Somehow, that makes me feel better.

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Lol....well, that's one way to look at them. The problem really lies in single-family communities that have legal devices installed that prevent their demolition.....combine that with many different owners, and wide-scale clearing becomes a major headache.

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My issue is the way suburban communities are built.

Most have deed restrictions or at least covenants prohibitting major exterior renovations.  They don't allow wide variety in price-points.  There is no commercial development on the edges.  Many you have to pay community dues.  Sidewalks are not required on both sides of a street.  Block lengths aren't mandated.  Plus many other issues that affect the cheapest to most exclusive subdivisions.  These are the issues that affect the long term sustainability of a community, though arguably, some prefer them they way that are in the short-term.

Now add this to the fact that most houses today are down-right ugly.  Garages in the front, lack of consistency of window styles and proportions on a house, Bradford Pear trees instead of more mature high-quality trees, plus the cheapest building materials known to man (my pet peeve is the hollow door). 

How can these communities ever hope to achieve long-term appeal?  When you have a low-quality house that is legally restricted from being improved on the exterior, in a neigbhorhood of other similar low-quality houses, in a neighborhood with no tree cover (Bradford Pears don't live that long), that has access onto a large collector street that has become increasingly congested as more communities are built further out..........they neighborhood is doomed. 

It doesn't matter what the trends are at that point......urban, suburban, exurban, rural......the types of communities built today are built to turn a profit for the developer with no consideration for long term sustainability.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

amen. atlrvr, you've read my mind....lets do business.

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My issue is the way suburban communities are built.

Most have deed restrictions or at least covenants prohibitting major exterior renovations.  They don't allow wide variety in price-points.  There is no commercial development on the edges.  Many you have to pay community dues.  Sidewalks are not required on both sides of a street.  Block lengths aren't mandated.  Plus many other issues that affect the cheapest to most exclusive subdivisions.  These are the issues that affect the long term sustainability of a community, though arguably, some prefer them they way that are in the short-term.

Now add this to the fact that most houses today are down-right ugly.  Garages in the front, lack of consistency of window styles and proportions on a house, Bradford Pear trees instead of more mature high-quality trees, plus the cheapest building materials known to man (my pet peeve is the hollow door). 

How can these communities ever hope to achieve long-term appeal?  When you have a low-quality house that is legally restricted from being improved on the exterior, in a neigbhorhood of other similar low-quality houses, in a neighborhood with no tree cover (Bradford Pears don't live that long), that has access onto a large collector street that has become increasingly congested as more communities are built further out..........they neighborhood is doomed. 

It doesn't matter what the trends are at that point......urban, suburban, exurban, rural......the types of communities built today are built to turn a profit for the developer with no consideration for long term sustainability.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well this is more a regulation issue than an issue where the development is going on. Huntersville for example has banned all of the type of development that you just described, but you can find starter homes being build right in the inner city of Charlotte. Huntersville specifically does not allow "snout houses", requires sidewalks on both sides of the streets, requires inner connectivity between neighborhoods, and houses must have front porches. I am familiar with a Condo in First Ward that is starting to settle as the sheetrock is warping, the electrical systems have stopped working and yet the place is only 3 years old. And there are worse horror stories in 4th ward where some of the uglier places exist.

Some of the most desirable neighborhoods in Charlotte BTW started their life as starter home communities. Or even worse Mill Houses as they are in NoDa. (they are all built out of pretty cheap materials)

Deed restrictions are found on almost all new construction in the Charlotte now. They do not prevent rennovations to the exterior but require approval to make changes. This is no different than those retroactively imposed restrictions over neighborhoods in Historic districts. And deed restrictions are nothing new. All of the homes on Queens road have deed restrictions that restrict where and what can be built on the property. There was a case of a Dr. that had to literally tear down an addition becuase it violated a 1920 deed restriction. All of those homes have a deed restriction that prevents the sale to anyone deemed to belong to the Negro Race. However the Supreme Ct. has subsequently invalidated those clauses

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We had to remove a tree that we planted in the front yard of our 1980's pool community.....F*** That....I'll take my current historic district restrictions any day over my previous wacko suburban neigbhorhood HOA.

But yes, the city of Charlotte should grow some balls, stand up to the Chamber of Comm., and implement the GDP provisions that they backed down on last year.

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