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monsoon

What happened to East Charlotte?

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It would seem the real crime ridden, dangerous part of Charlotte has become East Charlotte. There have been numerous murders there over the past week or so and just last week a gun battle broke out at Saigon Square in which bullets where flying an people were ducking for cover. Murders from this part of the city have now pushed the total murders higher than what we experienced in total last year, and it is only the first of August. (This reverses a trend where homicides have been dropping since their peak in 1993)

So what happened? This used to be a pretty decent part of Charlotte just a few years ago. Will this affect the plans to invest in a street car system down central?

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Will this affect the plans to invest in a street car system down central?

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Actually, I think if anything this will be more of a motivating force to build a streetcar system all the way out to East Charlotte, the thought being that it could help gentrify the area eventually.

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This is one thing that makes me question how far gentrification can spread past Plaza-Midwood. Propety values seem stable out to about Merry Oaks. But By the time you get to Darby Acres / Windsor Park you'll find a lot of absentee landlords and crummy rentals.

It's too bad, this area was once a safe and well maintaind "regular middle class" neighborhood... equivalent to say, Montclaire or Chantilly.

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Actually, I think if anything this will be more of a motivating force to build a streetcar system all the way out to East Charlotte, the thought being that it could help gentrify the area eventually.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I can imagine the backlash at a proposal to spends $100s of millions to run an expensive high end transit system into an area where people are afraid to go because of gunfire. A street car stopped in front of Saigon Square would have been riddled with gunholes last week.

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It's particularly disturbing. And like the paper I've noticed that it has changed greatly just in the past few months which is the reason for this thread. While we focus on the re-development and gentrification of many areas in Charlotte, we talk little about East Charlotte. We all know the city has had some stunning successes in the downtown area, Southend, Noda, Plaza Midwood, Elizabeth & Chantilly. (and to a lesser extent Wilmore and Wesley Heights) but while this is going on, a large part of the city seems to by dying.

So what is going on with East Charlotte to make this happen? Is it mainly caused by the departure of the middle class to more expensive homes? One would think the close in nature of Central Ave. would make the land there extremely valuable for re-development. (especially if they do build a street car)

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It isn't just "east" Charlotte, but Southeast. There are a lot of foreclosures in the 1990ish vinyl subdivisions bordering Matthews and Mint Hill.

It could just be a zero sum game. Concentrate the affluent in one area and other ones get neglected. You can't have EVERY part of town become upscale.

A more attainable goal would be to at least get the lower income areas to be free of trash, and for people to develop some pride in their locale. I think of Inglewood CA is an example. It's a lower income minority area... but just a little better painted, better trimmed shrubs, etc.

Maybe Charlotte is big enough, it should consider developing "boroughs" with some limited self government to give residents a sense that they can get things done... when city hall is too distracted with uptown goodies like "the arts", the Arena, and NASCAR HOF.

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i agree with you on the borough comment... in some small way, charlotte is implementing a variation of that in southend/uptown and university city. but although those area councils have some say, it is more for marketing and planning than actually managing the area.

i think the biggest problem with east charlotte is that its only symbols are of dying commercial developments. South charlotte has its golf courses, country clubs, tony historic neighborhoods, and southpark mall and employment center. West charlotte has the airport and associated industrial employment centers. North charlotte has a unc-system campus, a research park, the lake, the quaint towns, a prestigious liberal arts college. East charlotte has eastland mall, independence boulevard and um... that's it.

independence needs some major rework and be resurrected as a full freeway. The dead stores need to be torn down, perhaps with major rezoning to allow them to relocate around eastland. It needs a major office employment hub, as currently there isn't one...perhaps this could be positioned around eastland mall, too, to remake the image of the area. a connectivity initiative should also be started around eastland mall, with thoroughfares being improved and neighborhoods connected to eachother.

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I'm opened to the borough system, usually with a borough, there need to be a sense of a community and connection i.e. South Park and University City. One of the original plans of the NYC borough system was that each borough has a president who set aside some budgeting powers to build projects within that boroough. But with NYC borough system, its city charter dealing with borough representation violated the US Constitution of the one man, one vote mandate, and had to be rewritten a few times. During one of the city's charter that was declared unconstitional, it would have two representatives from each borough. So it would be a tough sell for Charlotte to ever convert to that system to comform with that US Constitution mandate. Los Angeles considered that idea to please the support of the succession situation. If Charlotte ever consider that, I envision the boroughs of South Park, University City, East Charlotte, Ballantyne, North Charlotte (NoDa area and surrounding neighborhoods,) and West Charlotte (Airport), Southwest Charlotte (Lake Wylie,) and Uptown/Midtown/South End and perhaps North Lake if that area mature.

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There are a number of significant areas in Charlotte where the crime rate has risen dramatically over the past few years. This has happened around the neighborhoods that line Central Avenue, Albemaro Rd., Eastway drive and East Sugar Creek to I-85 Another pocket of really bad crime follows Harris Blvd on the south side and down N. Tryon from there. This includes parts of University city. While there haven't been any recent murders in University city, there are a large number of car breakins, and thefts there. And just tonight there was a news program about the serious crime on Sugar Creek between N. Tryon and I-85. There is another pretty good line of crime down South Blvd south of Scalybark and south to Arrowwood rd.

I would say that Charlotte should be less myopic and quit concentrating all the economic development in the CBD. By concentrating and encouraging all the new economic development in this area the neglected areas of the city will continue to get worse off and crime will continue to rise. Skyscraper condos, arenas, museums all going into the CBD do nothing to help the areas outside the I-277 loop that really need it. If this stuff was spread thoughout the city, it would go a long way to helping Charlotte become a more liveable city.

Why isn't the $300M arena out in East Charlotte and the city encouraging new and redeveloped neighborhoods around it? Why isn't Wachovia asking to fund the new arts projects by placing a new Museum on Freedom Drive and encouraging new and redeveloped neighborhoods around it? Why didn't the Children's musuem go onto N. Tryon? I guess we all know the answer to that, but if it had happened this way, we might be much better off. The really good cities in the world don't locate all their gems in just one part of town.

The problem with building an Emerald City is that it serves the needs of very few people. The rest either leave and the ones that can't resort to desperate measures.

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that was what the city attempted to do with the tyvola colliseum, by putting it in west charlotte.

charlotte is trying to create a tourism base, and it is smart by locating as much as possible downtown in order to do this. who has ever been to suburban rome or paris? the action is all in the historic center, even the modern stuff.

east charlotte needs to stabilize socially and economically and i don't think a picasso museum will decrease crime as much as say aethetic improvements and employment centers.

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I remember the debate behind the Tyvola facality and where to put it, and economic re-development was not one of the considerations. It was placed in the middle of no where (at the time) and no futher consideration was given for proper development of the area. As a result we have a bunch of single use office parks surrounding the arena.

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I think I'm inclined to agree that putting something glitzy in a run down area isn't enough. Think of Atlantic city adding casinos. It's didn't change much outside that strip.

The burbs just need the basics. Places safe to sleep, with decent schools, enough jobs to keep people busy (if not wealthy) and not TOO much noisy, polluting industry near it. That's what the people living there are really asking for. They're not clamoring for the next arena to be built there.

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I think TODs along a light rail line down Independance could be great for invigorating east Charlotte - and I emphasize the light rail b/c I don't think the BRT would have the same effect.

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the lack of identity and symbolic community centers really cause the whole area to rise and fall together. it is hard for some neighborhoods to escape the negative press and crime perception, as they are lumped in as a whole. The only exception might be hickory grove, which seems to have more of its own identity.

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I remember the debate behind the Tyvola facality and where to put it, and economic re-development was not one of the considerations.  It was placed in the middle of no where (at the time) and no futher consideration was given for proper development of the area.  As a result we have a bunch of single use office parks surrounding the arena.

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I always thought the Charlotte Coliseum was convenient right off of 77. The new one is definitely not convenient, especially for people who dont live within the city limits. It's too bad they have to close the old one. They'll probably implode it in another 5 years. Or they could implode it and build a MLB stadium in that area.

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Some people have an ingrained fear of driving in the center of a city. They don't like the one-way streets, having to actually WATCH for pedestrians, understand which side of a parking deck is the entrance.

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I always thought the Charlotte Coliseum was convenient right off of 77.  The new one is definitely not convenient, especially for people who dont live within the city limits.  It's too bad they have to close the old one.  They'll probably implode it in another 5 years.  Or they could implode it and build a MLB stadium in that area.

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Isn't the CBD much more convenient to the entire metro? Also, there's 10,000 people who now live within walking distance as opposed to everyone driving.

I believe the plans are already in place to knock down the old Arena for an office park. Charlotte would not have the numbers for an MLB team.

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Isn't the CBD much more convenient to the entire metro?  Also, there's 10,000 people who now live within walking distance as opposed to everyone driving. 

I believe the plans are already in place to knock down the old Arena for an office park.  Charlotte would not have the numbers for an MLB team.

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In terms of its geography it is. In terms of the practicalitiy of getting to anything there it is not. If it were, retailers would be building their new high priced signature stores in the downtown area and not out at places like Southpark and there would be no need for Northpark mall.

The arena site location wasn't chosen to be convenient to the people. They afterall voted not to have the thing built in the first place.

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In terms of its geography it is.  In terms of the practicalitiy of getting to anything there it is not.  If it were, retailers would be building their new high priced signature stores in the downtown area and not out at places like Southpark and there would be no need for Northpark mall. 

The arena site location wasn't chosen to be convenient to the people.  They afterall voted not to have the thing built in the first place.

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I'm not sure that the people of Charlotte voted no simply because the arena was unconvenient. Perhaps it was due to the massive cost, regardless of location?

As for where the malls are being built - that is simply a matter of price of land/lease. Also, I'm sure the requirement a number of retailers have around dedicated parking spaces comes into play.

The CBD seems easy enough for the 80,000 (or ~ 5% of the metro area) that come in to work every day.

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The CBD seems easy enough for the 80,000 (or ~ 5% of the metro area) that come in to work every day.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

So then, 95% of the people never bother going to uptown. :P Seriously, there is probably a large percentage of people who never, ever go there except to pay parking fines in court. :rolleyes: And east side Charlotte probably holds a great number of these. They see uptown as expensive, inconvenient, and alien to them.

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