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dubone

A large urban park in Charlotte?

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Charlotte is *EXTREMELY* lacking in the DT parks department.  All of them are a joke.  Either their non-existant or way to small.  The bigger parks are too far from downtown to do any good, like Freedom Park, and even that park isn't up to snuff with the systems in places like Chicago.

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Continuing some of the parks discussion from the "For sure projects" thread, I am creating this thread for news/ideas/discussion on urban parks in Charlotte.

I was thinking about where in the downtown area Charlotte could possibly build a park of the scale and urbanity of New York

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How about they get rid of 277 and build parks along that corridor?  :)

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It would never happen... we are stuck with 277 :wacko:

But I do think we need a great urban park and I would love to see it go somewhere btw NoDa... and the connecting wards before you get to the new arena. A nice planned LARGE park would spark development

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How about they get rid of 277 and build parks along that corridor?  :)

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That would be great for charlotte, but they would need to pass an ordinance that everyone needs to bike to work. :).

It would also only be a block or so wide, which would not have the same effect, i don't think.

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They could remove the Brookshire freeway and simply divert the traffic onto John Belk. It is more than able to handle it. That area under the current set of bridges would make a great park.

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It's on the Parks Dept. 2030 wish list........$200M to cap the John Belk for about 1/4 mile, and have a park on top.

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They could remove the Brookshire freeway and simply divert the traffic onto John Belk.  It is more than able to handle it.  That area under the current set of bridges would make a great park.

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i've already said my peace on brookshire's transportation merit :)... but just from the perspective of adding a park to replace brookshire... it would only be <1 block wide, and would be more like a greenway. Greenways are great and all that, but i don't think they have the power of a park 2/3 of a square mile in area.

What would be really unique and cool, would be to have a T park... the central park that i described and a brookshire replacement.

(note: i still think brookshire works a hundred times better for transport and development than belk... :) )

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They could remove the Brookshire freeway and simply divert the traffic onto John Belk.  It is more than able to handle it.  That area under the current set of bridges would make a great park.

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But whats the likely hood of the city ever putting a park where 277 is? Slim to None! Atleast not in our life times.

So where would they put it that would make sense within the 277 loop?

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Well true. Unfortunately I don't see either it or the train yard being relocated or torn down.

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Well true.  Unfortunately I don't see either it or the train yard being relocated or torn down.

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Yeah instead they will build a small one block park in the middle of the CBD and no one will use it becuase its useless

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Ohhhhh but wait......

Everyone will applaud because it will look really pretty

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How about a lake?....

optimistlake.jpg

BTW... The train yard proposal is not that far fetched... In fact, it is a very real possiblity. UNCC College of Architecture and Havard School of Design studied this a couple of years ago...

There is a current effort to move the MultiModal transportation hub from NoDa to the Airport...

This is the link to the .pdf of the charette:

http://www.coa.uncc.edu/ccds/opus.pdf

...and the Charlotte Community Design Studio (CCDS):

http://www.coa.uncc.edu/ccds/index.shtml

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That is an awesome plan! The city really does need to tear up Parkwood into seperate roads, like Caldwell and Brevard, rather than having Parkwood turn into the two roads uptown.

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thanks for this pdf link, archie....that is a really cool plan, and i hope some the ideas start to build on themselves for that neighborhood. I hope that when positive changes happen to optimist park, that the people who have worked so hard for that neighborhood are owners and stand to benefit from any development progress.

Although the plan does specify that the rail yards will be moved, it expects development on the land rather than a park as i suggested. Looking at some of those maps, and how large they show the sugar creek greenway being, it would almost be as large. Is that really the land area that Meck county is buying for the greenway? I think the greenway has drawbacks compared to a flatish grass and tree park, but since the greenway is already being built, i hope they do it well.

Do you guys like the lake idea? When i saw it in the intro, i was thinking NO WAY... but after i saw the concept drawings and stuff, i thought it would be cool, and might help the neighborhood gain a positive identity (yes, that is irony).

The drawings show boat docks! Unless those are swan things for v-day, or paid for by Harvard Architecture School, i don't think anyone would actually put their boat in lake/pond that size. It would be kind of cool to have a little rowboat or something and relax while looking up at the skyline.

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Or paddle boats.

it would be optimist park's luck to have the first paddle-by shooting in history :).

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This weeks Mary Newsome blog had idea from a reader to create a 500 acre park near downtown that would hold all future cultural facilities.

While I've never been sold on this idea, and I think I downed Dubone's vision a long time ago of this, I've changed my attitude, and made a few posts on the subject that I'm sharing here.

I don't think that ALL cultural facilites need to be focused in one spot, but creating a large urban park master planned to accomodate future facilities is smart planning.

As far as the perfect area, I suggest where the existing Norfolk Southern rail yards just north of Uptown. There will be adjacent light rail stations, and plenty of under utilized land that could be developed into much higher uses, that in turn would generate much higher tax revenue.

It's also within an easy walk of Uptown attractions, and would rid the center city of a polluting use that prevents good connectivity.

The multi-modal yard is already scheduled to be moved to the airport property...I wonder how willing N&S would be to move the rest of the yards?

and in response to a question about cost.....

The N&S yards (not inclduing the multi-modal yard) is 120 acres when the properties fronting N. Tryon are included. The park would be framed by N. Tryon, the NE LRT line, and 16th and 28th streets (both of which will have LRT stations). I thik 120 acres is plenty (Central Park in NYC is ~850 acres).

As far as cost, at my previous employer, we were involved in the fiscal impact of the multi-modal yard redevelopment....I've since forgotten the exact numbers, but somwhere on the order of $1M per acre to relocate the yards. I would urge the N&S and Amtrak mainlines to be buried (at a cost of ~$150M) under the park.

The park itself would cost another $500k per acre or so to develop, so we are looking at a total cost of $325M-$350M. Is it worth it? Well, for the cost of 1.5 arenas, we could have a tremendous park that will serve generations to come.

Fiscally, this could spur development of approximately 150 adjacent acres. Assuming a conservative density of 50 dua, this could result in 7,500 new households, which if they average $200k/unit, would generate about $19M in taxes per year....plus boosting the value of other nearby properties.

What is everyone's reaction to this plan. Do we need a truly large central park? Is my suggestion the best spot? Is there will to lead a campaign to support this vision?

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I think the costs to bury all of those rail lines is way way too low and it is unreasonable to expect that either the federal government (Amtrak), NS or the NCDOT will pay to do so. You start putting passengers underground along with freight and the costs to implement safety mechanisms, and disruptions to traffic while this is being done and costs quickly skyrocket. In this environment, I can't believe that anyone would suggest a plan where this money will all of a sudden become available from these sources.

This is a photo of the area in question that I took. Doesn't seem likely they could buy this land, relocate the businesses and rail yard, and put a LRT, Amtrak, Freight and the SEHSR all underground for $400M-$500M. I agree however this would have been a better investment of the city's time, effort and money over building an arena for the NBA.

charlotte.jpg

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I think the third ward park (when's that going to be complete?) was a good solution for urban green space, I'm not sure this will fulfill the same purpose.

If there was another downtown park (4th ward park is nice, but small) it would potentially give those that work downtown a place to go relax during lunch, and provide benches on which to consume the $2.50 Harris Teeter sandwiches.

The location they're proposing is not really a downtown park - it's more suburban revitalization.

Maybe in 20-50 years that area will be part of downtown, though given the pace at which things move around here, might as well propose it.

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I think your plan is definately worth investigating to flesh out more of the costs and feasibility of it. Since N&S is likely going to move their rail yard out to the airport anyways...a lot of those rails in metro's pic would become empty. How many rail lines would have to be burried? 4 or so?

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I don't want to bury all of that.....it would cost about $120M to relocate them to the western part of the county, near the airport where the multi-modal terminal is already scheduled to be relocated. Another $120M would bury the main lines (4 sets of tracks total) for just less than 1 mile (between 16th and 30th). The land itself would be donated by N&S, in exchange for newly contrcuted switching yards......I do think you have a valid point about passenger and commercial trains sharing a common tunnel, and the additional cost to implement safety features.

Also, I'm not sure that the NE LRT would need to be buried.

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If the city all of a sudden has $500,000,000 just lying around buring a hole in its pocket, it could just condemn Levine's land downtown and build a park there. It would be much easier to do than to get the Federal Government, Norfolk Southern, and the State of North Carolina involved in building a park for Charlotte. That simply seems like a recipe for a long frustrating failure.

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