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uptownliving

The End of the Line

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There has been a lot of talk and postings about development along the Lynx Blue line under construction, but one place that has not gotten any mention of new or re-development is the end of the line at the Carolina Pavilion "power center" near 485. This area is not very pedestrian friendly. Here is an aerial photo

carolinapav.jpg

Carolina Pavilion is the large shopping center across South Blvd from the Lynx station. It was built in 1996 and has about 1M sq ft of retail space. With the exception of Target and the outparcels it is owned by DMI Vastgoed which is a Dutch investment company. They specialize in buying and selling shopping centers in the SE USA. From what I can gather they would not be the type to re-develop this property into something more TOD.

Right by the actual station is a collection of restarants and a car dealership. They are all mostly owned by local companies. I think this area could see some TOD first, mainly because it is right by the station, but also because the parcel sizes are manageable and could easily be bought. Whereas for a developer to get the Carolina Pavilion shopping center they would have to plunk down at least $100M just to get it, and then have money to re-develop it. I think that makes it cost prohibitive right now.

I think that the Carolina Pavilion property would be a great spot to do something along the lines of what Pope is doing with the old Coliseum, but maybe on a larger scale. What makes this property nice is that it is bordered by the Little Sugar Creek Greenway. Wouldn't it be cool to one day be able to take the Lynx line out there and then ride your bike back on the greenway...or vice versa.

Is this area ready for TOD? What do ya'll think is going to happen? Will some of the restarants next to the station get bought up and redone with something more mixed use? Or will this area continue to be auto centered development for the time being.

I will say that right now things don't look good considering that a brand new Wendy's just opened here a month ago.

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I think unfortunately, and realistically, this sprawly development won't change and we won't see any TOD around here anytime soon. The idea of connecting the rail and greenway is cool too.

The Wendy's closed their store a few miles north on South Blvd and moved down.. so I think that old store is vacant now.

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I think this is an excellent question, but I am very pessimistic that we'll see quality development there for many many years. I mean, in the last few years, since the announcement of the LRT line, there have been numerous big box store and car dealer openings.

I think that whatever goes there will be intense for both the freeway and the rail line. I have a feeling that it will eventually be an intense mixed-use development that primarily contains office towers.

I actually would much rather 485 office development be at this interchange, as it could support reverse commutes on the LRT. Even though I am an uptowniphile, I would be fully supportive of office development there, as I believe it would compete more with Ballantyne and SC office development than uptown.

I have doubts that this area will support the quaint TOD that is growing in SouthEnd to Scaleybark. That development of 3-5 story housing with ground floor retail does not seem to be appropriate for this area, considering the massive numbers of cars going to the warehouse stores.

For now, though, I see this area as just being what is now.

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I was thinking that, at first, we might see some office buildings go up where the car dealership, Sonny's, and Texas Roadhouse are. People could reverse commute and walk to their office building from the station. I haven't looked at it in awhile, but on CATS website, under station opportunities, they have a rendering of what they would like to happen to the shopping center. It looks like the parking lot is redeveloped with a main street type feel with high density housing branching off of that in a grid. The big box stores still seem to be there.

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on CATS website, under station opportunities, they have a rendering of what they would like to happen to the shopping center. It looks like the parking lot is redeveloped with a main street type feel with high density housing branching off of that in a grid. The big box stores still seem to be there.

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I'm not sure how supportive I would be of any increase in density there....there really is no opportunity to connect the streets in any direction.....to be honest, I'm concerned with adding the largest park-and-ride there, as it will increase traffic in a horribly overburdened area, and could discourage transit useage because its just too difficult to get in and out of.

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This is THE major flaw of the South LRT. It doesn't go anywhere. Outside of commuting hours this station won't be used yet trains will travel there day in and day out. This happened of course because the then Mayor of Pineville stopped the line from terminating in downtown Pineville and this station is there because that is where the tracks happened to be. It would have been really nice if they could have figured out how to get the line to go to the Pineville Mall.

I don't think this area will get much residential development because people don't like to live next to freeways. The best thing they could do would be to encourage some office towers to go up around the station.

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I don't think this area could handle more dense development. Train or not the traffic surrounding Carolina Place is horrible. In a city planning class I had years ago a professor used this 2 mile stretch as an example of exactly how not to let development occur. Turn-lanes too close to ingress/egress for efficient movement, stop-lights everywhere, exit ramps on and off, multiple parking lots with lanes going into them from the thoroughfare every 50 feet. I know the idea of the rail is that residents will use it if density is built close enough, the they will also use cars. This area is a traffic nightmare as it is.

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The area could be a park & ride facility connecting the LR with direct interchange access to I-485 to minimize any additional congestion to/from South Blvd

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If you look at what has happened near many of the end-of-the-line stations in the DC METRO system, then you can see the potential that this area has in Charlotte. The end-of-the-line METRO stations were primarily built in suburban sprawl infested high traffic areas, most of which a pedestrian unfriendly, if not down right dangerous for people on foot. However, as the DC METRO matured and ridership increased, the system has seen significant dense town-center styled development around its formerly suburban "useless" stations. Such development certainly doesn't ease traffic, but it does put more people in the METRO and thus off the roads.... but, seriously, what kind of development really brings less traffic???

My point is this: While we certainly shouldn't expect such development in Charlotte in the near future, the DC METRO example is something that Charlotteans should look at as hope for the future and a guide to future development that can bring a positive and dynamic twist to areas that are currently big-box pedestrian unfriendly suburban wastelands (even if it doesn't happen for 20 years... better late than never).

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The area could be a park & ride facility connecting the LR with direct interchange access to I-485 to minimize any additional congestion to/from South Blvd

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I agree with the idea that this area will stay like this for quite some time. However, there are other great benefits for this line terminating right there at 485. Living down here in Tega Cay/Fort Mill area, I already see myself as well as many other people in the area using the train to get downtown. I drive 10 min. to the train, don't have to worry about parking downtown, and really don't have to worry about driving. On top of this, Rock Hill/York County is looking at putting BRT lines to the end of the LRT.

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Those left turn lanes on South going into the parking deck are going to be overloaded in the morning. So I do think there needs to be better access to the parking deck from 485. As a phase 1 they could do an off ramp only from 485 to China Grove Church Rd and come in the "back way" to the parking deck. I have a feeling the neighborhood would be opposed to that unless they put like 5000 brick covered speed humps on the road.

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I agree there needs to be a seperate exit off 485 to the parking garage. Between the left turn lanes to the deck in the morning and the left turn off south blvd. onto 485 in the evening, the traffic will be terrible. The problem I see with Atlrvr's idea is the cost of building a second bridge accross 485. 9 out of 10 people who park and ride will probably be coming from east of South blvd. (Johnston, Rea, Providence, etc.) I dont see many people coming from 77 getting off on 485 and then getting onto South blvd., it would add too much time to their commute. So to begin with, they could just make a straight exit off 485 directly to the parking garage for the morning commuters. Put it on the West side of South blvd. The evening commute would still have to use South blvd. But this would at least ease up traffic on the northbound side where 1 turn lane will not be enough.

edit: i just noticed that building on the aerial that would have to be worked around on the West side of the tracks. I was thinking it was all forest over there. What is that?

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Maybe my graphic isn't clear enough....it would allow people going westbound on I-485 to take the South Blvd. exit, but cross through the intersection. and then turn right onto a road that leads directly to the parking deck. (After looking at my graphic, it looks like that road bridges the east-west road, but I intended for there to be a 4 way intersection, with maybe high-speed right hand turn lanes)

Edit. Here is what I was meaning to represent.

post-1289-1161111419_thumb.jpg

post-1289-1161111419_thumb.jpg

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I agree with the idea that this area will stay like this for quite some time. However, there are other great benefits for this line terminating right there at 485. Living down here in Tega Cay/Fort Mill area, I already see myself as well as many other people in the area using the train to get downtown. I drive 10 min. to the train, don't have to worry about parking downtown, and really don't have to worry about driving. On top of this, Rock Hill/York County is looking at putting BRT lines to the end of the LRT.

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10 - 15 min. to AMC area is realistic, even during rush hour because traffic is flowing in the opposite direction. There is no traffic on 77 until you get to about Arrowood Rd. and the traffic is going toward 77 in the morning and away from 77 in the evening. It's feasible, but I wouldn't be using it for commuting anyway. I was thinking more along the lines of when I go downtown in the evenings. I am usually up there a couple nights a week for anything from ball games to just having a couple beers with buddies that live downtown. I think there will be a bit more demand than people realize at this off times of the day. There is usually something going on downtown at least once every three days from concerts to ball games to art shows, fireworks, etc.

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Maybe, but in the evenings the response time of the trains goes down to 15 minutes. Worst case you will have to wait 30 minutes for a train (both ends), take the 22-25 minute ride, and then of course there is the commute to the actual station. I think most will avoid this and just drive to the center city. It could easily take you an more than hour to get to downtown Charlotte from Tega Cay.

Unfortunatly I don't believe the system is designed to allow for express service. The South LRT is really only useful to the people within very short distance of the stations.

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Adjacent to 485 isn't a good location for condos, but people will rent apartments in places they would not buy. It may take time, but we'll see development someday.

FWIW - I really hate the traffic patterns at Carolina Pavillion, and the 51/Mall area. The only time I will visit any of the stores, is about an hour before they close, so that the parking lots and all the people waiting for lights to turn have cleared out a bit.

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