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The Kmart at 1 Kmart Plaza, near the main hospital, is closing, as per USA Today. I am told that Bi-Lo is closing as well at some point.
What will happen to the site? It's been a shopping center for at least 50 years.
With this Kmart closing (clearly the store incurred next to nothing in ongoing capital expenses and likely had very low rent), what does that say about the Haywood Mall Sears closing at some point?
Recently @Jones_ posted in the Triangle Economic News thread about Kane's desire for better transit at North Hills and how it would be amusing if he ended up being what could light a fire to cause light rail to actually become a thing around here.
This could be a fun exercise in the creativity of people on here. If you had to figure out how to run a light rail line between downtown (let's say the new Union Station) to North Hills, how would you route it? Would you go straight up Capital and over? Would you add a jog over to Five Points? Where would you have stops (if any)? Are the kind of developer that would be frugal/conservative to the community, would you bulldoze a daycare while laughing from your corner office, would you find a balance somewhere in between? Go go go!
I encourage use of Google's MyMaps to facilitiate and share ideas:
The Triad has some impressive restoration projects underway, ranging from Revolution Mill and Proximity Printworks in Greensboro to the Pepper Building and Innovation Quarter in Winston-Salem.
Here is a list of some Greensboro projects underway or planned...
So its been about 10 years since the Blue Line opened and Charlotte has spent a significant amount of energy talking about how to make the city more walkable and less car dependent. As I think about the walkable portions of Charlotte (Dilworth, Southend, PM, Wesley Heights (needs a grocery store), NoDa, etc.) all of these places were built before cars and they have merely been updated to accommodate modern needs.
Try as I might I can't think of a single post-war neighborhood in Charlotte that has been made more walkable. Is there any neighborhood outside of the inner ring where walking to the store, school or transit is possible for more than a token few? The Blue Line created little or no change in the neighborhoods south of New Bern. Birkdale-like places seem much more like malls than neighborhoods to me and feel as isolated as a mall -- but I don't spend much time there so correct me if I am wrong. Brightwalk comes to mind as one of the best examples but AFAIK it lacks retail and is basically cutoff from any other neighborhoods by Statesville Ave and 77. LoSo is another place where people now want to walk, but it lacks the necessary infrastructure (sidewalks and transit access). We have even failed at connecting neighborhoods by means other than the car (e.g. crossing from Dilworth to Southend on bike or foot is still kinda hairy).
So my question is what is missing from the development process? Is it zoning (e.g. lot size, sidewalk width, land use mix)? Transit? Traffic engineering (too many car sewers)? A combination of all or something else entirely?
Ten years of experience suggests that we have not figured out how to make new walkable burbs -- is it time to give up? Would giving up be a bad thing?
EDIT: am I being too pessimistic? Does new multi-family in places like Park Road / Selwyn make new walkability available to some? Please tell me I have overlooked some significant positive change somewhere.