Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

dubone

Crescent City Boulevard Development (IKEA)

122 posts in this topic

Well in the U-City Clean up thread, I spouted off on the need for more grid connections. Of course, my idea would never actually happen, and wasn't even that popular on UP. ( http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.ph...st&p=347642 )

But Crescent is now planning a development on the land at the northeast corner of City Blvd and 85. It will be a large office building or commercial building (it wasn't clear). But the big thing is that they are actually making a massive improvement to connectivity in the area. They will a parallel road to Tryon between City Blvd and McCullough Dr. That will create a significant alternative to Tryon, as well as create a viable alterative between all the shopping at JW Clay to 85. But also, they are creating a new bridge across 85 to IBM drive to which will connect URP to the shopping centers of University City Blvd, providing a major alternative to Harris Blvd.

But here is the mysterious thing. The other day, the aerial image was posted on the city's agenda for all to see. But now, um, it's gone and says "The attachment is not available for posting". http://www.charmeck.org/NR/rdonlyres/ey3c5...eforposting.pdf

So, for the benefit of my fellow UPeers, I mocked up how the streets would look, and what I remember of the building orientation.

225656569_a943a5d424_o.jpg

The real thing also had some designs in the parking lot that would start a bit more of a grid outside of the 2 thoroughfare additions shown above.

Overall, I am extremely excited about this for the sake of University City. A MAJOR problem in the area is that the only roads that go anywhere are massive, yet still congested, thoroughfares. Having alternatives to Tryon and Harris, including an additional crossing of I85 will be a major salve to the area's lack of connectivity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Not that it's crucial in the area, but to help ease congestion further on Harris, do you think it would be viable for an exit --say exit #44-- to be built for this new road? Or will City Blvd's FINALLY being connected to the 29/49 split take care of that? Also, was there any kind of timeline for this work?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The funds are in place for City Blvd to be connected to University City Blvd. There won't be a new interchange at this new road. But the fact that they are adding those connections will alleviate Harris for local traffic, and will also allow the City Blvd interchange to have additional use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That change to the 29/49 connector I hope will be designed like an interchange (Harris-UCBlvd style) and not be a traffic light. That area is already congested enough with traffic, I can't imagine what another major intersection with lights would do. It would promote growth, but destroy travel times.

Either way, the development to The Weave should take some time to complete.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How large a bldg are we talking about D? Is this just another office complex similar to CIC, IBM, or Tia-Creff? Or are we talking about a high rise off of the Interstate, similar to the Hilton in UC?

A2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That change to the 29/49 connector I hope will be designed like an interchange (Harris-UCBlvd style) and not be a traffic light. That area is already congested enough with traffic, I can't imagine what another major intersection with lights would do. It would promote growth, but destroy travel times.

Either way, the development to The Weave should take some time to complete.

a) It won't. It has been reported on before, but due to a static budget, and rapid rise in construction costs, this will now be an at grade intersection with a light.

b) Why would you want City Blvd to follow the same horrible design approach as Harris Blvd? Development and urbanization will be far better served by an at grade interchange. The city fought for an at grade intersection at Harris and Albemarle because of the damage the interchanges do urban design of the area. Practically every road in University city is a quasi-expressway with interchanges. It has damaged the natural growth in the area and has created a traffic nightmare. It is time for more streets to be added to create alternatives, but to have all of the with normal intersections.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a) It won't. It has been reported on before, but due to a static budget, and rapid rise in construction costs, this will now be an at grade intersection with a light.

b) Why would you want City Blvd to follow the same horrible design approach as Harris Blvd? Development and urbanization will be far better served by an at grade interchange. The city fought for an at grade intersection at Harris and Albemarle because of the damage the interchanges do urban design of the area. Practically every road in University city is a quasi-expressway with interchanges. It has damaged the natural growth in the area and has created a traffic nightmare. It is time for more streets to be added to create alternatives, but to have all of the with normal intersections.

You have a very valid point and I hadn't looked at it from that prespective. I know that the road situation now has caused the issues that are plaguing that area now, I was just thinking along the lines of connectivity. But, when two major highways that have the traffic levels of 29 and 49, it only makes sense for them to be connected by interchanges. At the same time though, this doesn't solve anything except travel time and does do significant damage to the businesses around. That being said, there aren't any thriving businesses at that intersection currently. An intersection would be just what that area needs in order to stimulate smart growth.

And, in no way am I advocating freeways. I was just picturing the intersection as it is now and trying to envision how hard it would be to get through if there were an intersection seeing as the Harris/Tryon light is a disaster. Every time I am at that intersection, I'm lucky to make the light if I'm five or six cars back on Tryon. This is mainly caused by the fact that Harris is limited access leading up to the intersection and more accidents would occur were the light much shorter from that direction. So while typing this I realize the flaw in my theory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is the beauty of this Crescent development. Now, there will be an alternative to Harris Blvd, City/University City Blvd, and Tryon. The problem with the at grade intersections on Harris aren't that there aren't enough bridges to keep cars going 60mph without having to share asphalt with people going other directions. The problem is that every body in the area must, at some point, get on either Harris or Tryon. The idea of City Blvd was that it would provide a connection across and interchange with 85 so that some URP traffic can avoid Harris. With the new Crescent bridge, that end will be met even more. If you are on University-City Blvd and you are wanting to get to URP, you can now cut across behind the Home Depot and get all the way to IBM Drive without needing to get on Harris, or go through The Weave/ 29-49 intersection. If you are going the shopping centers around JW Clay, you can now avoid much of Tryon by continuing south on the new road to City Blvd. Etc. etc.

By provide multiple alternate routes that actually go somewhere other than in a circle, traffic can disperse and avoid heavily trafficked intersections. When Harris Blvd is congested, people will take City Blvd and then any number of N-S roads (Neal, the new N-S road by Crescent, Tryon, University City Blvd) to get where they are going.

Large numbers of possible alternatives are why grids can handle large amounts of traffic. It is the very definition of connectivity (which is not, by the way, defined by travel time). It might be a little slower than an empty quasi-freeway, but when there is high growth, those quasi-freeways quickly reach diminishing returns, and become such a monopoly that they lose all of their efficacy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Does UC really need another Big Box development...which is what this Crescent Development will be? I don't think they need more Big Boxes up there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does UC really need another Big Box development...which is what this Crescent Development will be? I don't think they need more Big Boxes up there.

There is no way this could become big box. There simply aren't anymore big boxes that aren't already within a mile radius of the proposed site. On a whim, since dubone hasn't emphasized the style of development yet (come on man, out with the details,) I'd say this is either a small business park or hopefully a midrise ala Hilton style. I'd really like to see some taller development show up on this new Crescent City Blvd and also along McCullough Drive. On top of that, I'm still holding out for streetside development bordering either Jon Kirk Rd or along the Harris Connector Rd that goes into campus. There is plenty of room, and traffic already goes at a relatively tepid pace there anyway. Add some streetside parking and walla you have the perfect setting for shops, bookstores, and bistros with the parking decks close enough to walk from if the streetside parking is full. If UC wants to be more pedestrian friendly, which it should have been originally, this is the best way to start, keep people out of their cars and shopping centers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nevermind, I found a CO article that stated that the development is to include a big box. How on earth can we get anymore in this area? Outside of department stores, there aren't any missing. Toys R Us, HHGregg, and BJ's are all three miles away at Concord Mills, so I don't any reason for them to expand into UC. However, if this is the price we must pay to improve the infrastructure in UC, then I'll take it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually didn't know what the building was going to be, as that attachment didn't say. U-L must have other sources. Frankly, from the size and shape, I'm not surprised it is big box. As to what brand it is, it is likely a megabox like Costco or BJs. I'm still very happy with it for the sold reason of getting important streets in place. If it were just residences, you know those streets woulds get built.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good call, I had forgotten about Costco. And you're right, it would never go through were it just residential.

What I really don't understand in UC is Berkeley Place Dr. They are building it as a 4 lane divided roadway to nowhere. I haven't read of any plans to connect it to anything, and looking at Google Earth (which doesn't show the newest mega-apt complex,) the only place it has to go is over 85 and connect to Research Dr. or wrap back around to N Tryon like JW Clay does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Crescent property is zoned I-1 (Light Idustrial) so I think they will have to rezone to build a Big Box. They are proposing to the city that they will build the new connector road from City Blvd to McCullough Drive and then Crescent will be reimbursed through property tax credits over the next 10 years. The city estimates that this new Big Box development will generate about $4M in property taxes over the next 10 years. They are also looking at possibly getting some participation from Mecklenburg County.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nevermind, I found a CO article that stated that the development is to include a big box. How on earth can we get anymore in this area? Outside of department stores, there aren't any missing. Toys R Us, HHGregg, and BJ's are all three miles away at Concord Mills, so I don't any reason for them to expand into UC. However, if this is the price we must pay to improve the infrastructure in UC, then I'll take it.

IKEA? :whistling: As I have stated before to other people, this would be a very good location for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


IKEA? :whistling: As I have stated before to other people, this would be a very good location for them.

God I hope not. As much as I like IKEA stuff (sorry NC furniture fans) I'd hate to see the damage it causes to even a new road in UC. It would probably add more traffic than the road would divert.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be surprised as to why Ikea would choose University City for a project, but it sounds like you have some knowlege, DaA.

Although, I have recently become a major fan of NC furniture after getting easily half off everything by driving <60 minutes to Hickory, I'm still okay with the idea that many people will buy from IKEA. I'm actually in support of targetting STIFs to fund roadway projects in the suburbs that both spur development and fill in significant gaps in the thoroughfare system. I think the city has a major structural problem in funding new road construction, so a TIF is a way to help get growth to pay for itself but more importantly, get economic development infrastructure to pay for itself. That is, these roads would need to be built regardless, and would need to be built to spur economic development. So by building the roads under a TIF contract, Crescent covers the upfront costs, and provides the assured revenue stream to pay for the roads.

Remember that NCDOT has spent billions on roadways for economic development throughout the state that won't even come close to driving as much economic development as some small roadways do in this city.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To put this in a little more perspective as to the benefit to the whole city, the city already was planning to string together many roads to create a thoroughfare running parallel to 85 between Brookshire and IBM Dr. A few sections are distant, others are on the near term books. But eventually, this will happen. It looks like the city never even attempted to imagine that they could cross 85 to Tryon with it, due to the expense. But by partnering with Crescent, this could get done, and provide a very meaningful interstate alternate.

I would also love to see them offering a portion of the right of way to CATS as an alternative to the expensive right of way they must purchase along Tryon for the NE light rail line. (NCDOT won't give up a lane, so CATS must spend significant sums on ROW along Tryon to widen it for LRT). Veering off to the Crescent land and then up McCullough and Clay to the UNCC campus might save much of the ROW costs along Tryon street. I believe that NCDOT might allow taking up sections of Clay and McCullough for LRT because it isn't part of the US highway system like Tryon.

post-670-1156825016_thumb.jpg

post-670-1156825016_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To put this in a little more perspective as to the benefit to the whole city, the city already was planning to string together many roads to create a thoroughfare running parallel to 85 between Brookshire and IBM Dr. A few sections are distant, others are on the near term books. But eventually, this will happen. It looks like the city never even attempted to imagine that they could cross 85 to Tryon with it, due to the expense. But by partnering with Crescent, this could get done, and provide a very meaningful interstate alternate.

Wouldn't that cut the Circuit City/Home Depot/Hobby Lobby complex in half? That 'roadway' through those parking lots has about four stop signs, I wouldn't really consider it a thoroughfare. I just consider it a right of way in a massive parking lot. When in reality I know it is just a toned down JW Clay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it is just the existing road. I said thoroughfare to Tryon, and the little extension through the shopping center that this aligns with is just bonus. Cars actually arrive at that shopping center as a destination, as big boxes are regional stores.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's the perfect location for IKEA. I-85 visibility is much more valuable than I-77 (NorthLake). The proximity to a major univeristy (one of the best sources of busines), plus they are closer to Greensboro, W-S, Raleigh, than any other place in the city.

All that said, I'm not really interested in more big boxes, but if IKEA does in fact come, I would much prefer that sales Tax revenue going to the city of Charlotte than any other municipality in the region....more tranist money :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, that it an excellent location for an IKEA. I also can't imagine a developer wanting to build all those roads for a Costco.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be surprised as to why Ikea would choose University City for a project, but it sounds like you have some knowlege, DaA.

No, I don't have any knowledge on an IKEA coming but I sure do wish I did. :) I just have talked to people outside of this site on how IKEA would be a perfect fit for this area. IKEAs generaly locate near universities, like interstate frontage and proximity, and have enough land available. I think this site would be a good candidate for an IKEA but you never know, it just might be another Costco even though I tend to think they would locate somewhere on Concord Mills/Speedway Blvd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well the rezoning petition has now been posted. It is definately a boring suburban siteplan. I guess you guys can compare the size of the building to an IKEA. It is interesting to me that this can be considered mixed use. The building area is a maximum of 380ksf.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.