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NoDa (N Davidson St Arts District) Projects

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Well I hope North Davidson retains its identity, The Dog Bar and Wineup are fun! I was just relaying what was told to me by disgruntled hippies perhaps...I don't think all the mill houses along N. Davidson to Uptown should be removed in favor of midrises. I think the current scale gives the street a pastoral charm in an urban setting and this theme could be expanded beyond the few cottages that have been redone before Davidson crosses Parkwood. I am also surprised that Highland Mill Lofts are apts renting at $800 a month. I know people who live there and love it and it was a nice reno but I would think it would be condo given the rising values in the area.

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They may be waiting to convert them to condos at a later date when they can get more cash than now. A lot of times a rennovation costs so much there is not much profit in selling so renting out works for the short term. (less than 5 years) However since their costs to do that place are unknown, this is just speculation.

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If the funky/trendsetting artist tyes that "made" North Davidson really, really wanted to keep things as they were -- they could have stayed. Instead they sold for a profit. I don't see this as such a bad thing. They can be trendsetters again, and have money to do so.

Change happens. I'll agree though, that it's annoying when the new people become excessively protective and snobby, as we see with Dilworth trying to shut down the strip clubs. (Hello? They were there first! You knew that when you bought the area. Or should have...)

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Hmm. I didn't think there was anything like that left in Dilworth now. It's quite a bit more sedate now compared to what was going on there in the 80s.

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I don't know if these have been posted before, but since they've started knocking down the building next to Fat City, here's the rezoning petition for the Fat City:

http://ww.charmeck.org/Planning/Rezoning/2...application.pdf

Here's the site plan:

http://ww.charmeck.org/Planning/Rezoning/2...n%20revised.pdf

It says "7,740 sq ft of first floor retail/commercial and 19 residential units (may increase to 20)." Sure hope the area can fill all the new retail--the new building across the street still has all 4 of its retail units empty.

In other news, a rezoning is requested for the vacant 1.3 acre parcel at 35th & McDowell (catty-corners from the convenience store) to allow 11 residential units. If I'm reading the site plan correctly, the plan is all single family and uses alleys to allow for parking/garages behind the houses.

http://ww.charmeck.org/Planning/Rezoning/2...application.pdf

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Well there is a strip club sandwiched next to Mr.K's in Southend/Dilworth. Its so close to the new condos going up around Villages at Southend..I wonder how long it will last :lol: Dilworth is more sedate than other city neighborhoods but I everyone I have met in this neighborhood has been very friendly and progressive. Funny how long time Charlotteans have told me that Dilworth used to be the funky artsy neighborhood like North Davidson is now! I think Dilworth gets a bad rap for being snooty by the media. Now Myers Park/Eastover....the real snobs live there :P

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I would also use the word hedonistic to describe Dilworth of the past. There use to be drag clubs, XXX peep shows, a bath house, and some strip clubs. There was also a semi-Gay restaurant called Josh's and I believe at one time the only Gay & Lesbian oriented bookstore called the Friends of Dorothy. All of it, of course, is gone now.

The artsy crowd went to Noda once Dilworth gentrified. And now they are moving on again.

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I'm excited about the prospect that these artists and others the work to return dead neighborhoods to life will start moving in to Severville, Biddleville, Greenville, Belmont, Optimist Park, Villa Heights, Druid Hills, etc. There are so many neighborhoods that are unstable and dangerous, just like Dilworth and NoDa used to be. It is a process for returning these neighborhoods back to productive societal use.

NoDa is much less at risk for becoming bland than Dilworth, as people are drawn there by association to the arts.

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I could ramble on about Dilworth but I have to remember this is the ND thread :D I think a major impediment to this area achieving its promise is the fact that the neighborhoods surrounding are very high crime. The Plaza and the areas adjacent to North Davidson are too close for comfort to many prospective buyers. I really don't see The Plaza recovering anytime soon and the condo that was built down past The Smelly Cat towards the PLZ ( I forget the name) was way ahead of its time and does not seem to be encouraging the surrounding streets to change. There has to be a modicum of safety before urban pioneers and/or artists move into those areas and we have not reached that point yet.

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Well I hope North Davidson retains its identity, The Dog Bar and Wineup are fun! I was just relaying what was told to me by disgruntled hippies perhaps...I don't think all the mill houses along N. Davidson to Uptown should be removed in favor of midrises. I think the current scale gives the street a pastoral charm in an urban setting and this theme could be expanded beyond the few cottages that have been redone before Davidson crosses Parkwood. I am also surprised that Highland Mill Lofts are apts renting at $800 a month. I know people who live there and love it and it was a nice reno but I would think it would be condo given the rising values in the area.

Likely the reason for renting units at Highland Mill instead of selling condos is tax credits. An Historic Designated property like that can provide HUGE tax credits for the owners/developers from both the state and federal govt. The run of the credits is 5 years, so don't be surprised when Highland Condos go up for sale around that time!

As for saving the mill homes along N. Davidson, there are three of them that are side by side that are under contract and tentative plans include reusing the homes as a small retail or gallery village with a cafe in the middle and adding some space somewhere on the cumulative site...not sure where it will definitely go, but sensitivity to the site, the adjacent mill, and the existing homes are being carefully minded for the project...

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I will say that I can sense some difference along The Plaza, versus how it looked 2 years ago. People are sprucing up the yards and replacing siding and windows. The ugly check cashing place is gone. It still looks ghetto, but I do think it's bottomed out. Today's buyers should see the area recover within the time frame of living there.

The section east of Sugar Creek Road, though is more questionable for a turnround.

Edited by MZT

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I am always amused when one of our active topics all of a sudden ends up in the Observer, (sometimes quite frequently) as it did today's main editorial. The subject of which is about the future of Noda. Basically the editorial says Noda most likely won't exist in 20-30 years. The same forces that made downtown more sterile in the last few decades are at work in Noda and there is little interest shown by politicians to stop it. When the train comes through, land values skyrocket, and there is little interest in saving the historic property. (Gee, he could have posted that here.)

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I thought the same thing when I read the editorial about Noda. Its a depressing thought though. I don't see why many of our leaders don't see the intrinsic value of preserving Charlotte's heritage. The quote about building a "tower behind The Neighborhood Theatre" made me nauseous. Do we really want be left with remnants of Dilworth/Southend and Plaza Midwood as historic areas and thats it?

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But how does a government freeze culture?

NoDa will change, even if no large development or tall development ever get built. Values will change, individuals will renovate, and so on. Change is inevitable, everywhere. The residents are seeking positive changes, which reflect in value and price.

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The change, even if the city tries to stop it, will come. As long as individuals buy property, then change it somehow, there is nothing that will slow it down. Even designating something 'historic' doesn't -- someone tore down a home in the Dilworth historic district just the other day and began putting up a brand new home -- no fanfare or warning.

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Looks as if Mecklenburg Mills is going to have to be torn down due to excessive termite damage. This property is owned by the city and it appears the city failed in its job to maintain the property. This is one of the former cotton mills what was in what was called North Charlotte (now renamed Noda) and sat abandoned for years. About 20 years ago (I might be off on that) the first major rennovation of a historic property in Noda occured when Mecklenburg Mills was converted into residential apartments. They predicted this this rennovation would transform Noda into an urban paradise near the city.

I don't remember if the city originally did this rennovation or not, but I do remember the rennovation being horrifically bad and the end result is the city ended up as the owner of the property and it became a subsidized housing project. Over the years residents of the place have complained about all kinds of problems most arising from the shoddy rennovatoin work, and the project has been plagued by crime on and off.

Now that the building is beyond saving, the TV news outlets are reporting the city plans to sell this property to a private developer. Presumably it will be developed into something more upscale. This will be a major change for Noda as this property is located right in the heart of the neighborhood.

If the city was actually doing some thinking, they might want to consider saving part of the land for a train station for the future extension of the Blue Light Rail line through this area. No doubt that would save CATS a lot of money. The tracks run right behind the property. Will they do this? Nah, that would make too much sense.

This is a photo of the mill.

mill.jpg

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Interesting story, a student of mine had to leave class early on Friday because he lived there.

He mentioned that the city had discussed selling the property several times, but that residents complained about the sale.

Now it's "uninhabitable" and will probably be sold to a private developer.

Hmmm....

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That does sound really suspicious

Interesting story, a student of mine had to leave class early on Friday because he lived there.

He mentioned that the city had discussed selling the property several times, but that residents complained about the sale.

Now it's "uninhabitable" and will probably be sold to a private developer.

Hmmm....

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Can't they gut the wood but leave the brick facades? How hard can it be to rebuild the inside with new sticks and boards?

I hope they save at least some of the complex. The mills really define the neighborhood, as it was the heart of why it exists in the first place.

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I had heard that this morning as the residents there are claiming the city let the building go to hell, so they could then turn around and sell it for a profit. I believe it's been an subsidized housing project for a long while though. How exactly doest that work when a city provides housing like that in a building that it doesn't own? Is this what is called Section 8 housing?

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People like to blame governments for everything that goes wrong in their lives.

But Johnston and Mecklenburg Mill were owned privately, so I'm not sure why it would have been the city's responsibility to prevent termite damage.

Also, is this issue just in Mecklenburg Mill or Johnston Mill, too? The one pictured above is Johnston Mill. Mecklenburg mill is next door, where just south of where Davidson starts running next to the creek and railroad tracks.

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People like to blame governments for everything that goes wrong in their lives.

But Johnston and Mecklenburg Mill were owned privately, so I'm not sure why it would have been the city's responsibility to prevent termite damage.

Also, is this issue just in Mecklenburg Mill or Johnston Mill, too? The one pictured above is Johnston Mill. Mecklenburg mill is next door, where just south of where Davidson starts running next to the creek and railroad tracks.

The city has only owned the building for a year or so. This and the Hoskins Mill across town were privately owned and foreclosed. A private purchaser bought Hoskins, the city took back Mecklenburg and Johnson Mills (they were all public/private venture apartments -- that always works). They indended to keep them as subsidized housing, but the work done earlier and the maintenance have practically made the buildings uninhabitable and definitely too costly for the city to rehab or upfit.

They have had an RFP (opening for bids to developers -- it is also when developers prove they are qualified to make the purchase and are capable to build to certain quality and standards -- this is not just out for highest bidder) out there for a while now to sell into the private sector. If they do it will all but certainly be loft condos. There is a lot in these buildings to save and that is salvagable, just not on beauracratic watch or with city budgeting -- but it is definitely being marketed.

I think they have not considered the immediately adjacent buildings for the light rail or other projects is that is a spur off the main line they will be using that runs up North Davidson Street and veers over to Tryon. At least that is what the map I've seen for the Davidson spur shows.

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