Miesian Corners

Cherry Neighborhood Projects and Gentrification Issues

157 posts in this topic

Looks like StoneHunt LLC got one sweet deal in Cherry. It will buy and tear down 63 houses from the Cherry Community Organization (CCO), or about a third of the community.

According to the Observer, StoneHunt will build 90 townhomes, 112 condos, a 42-unit senior living center and possibly a commercial-residential project in phases with an estimated the value of $71 million. Seeing as that the real estate community estimates the purchase of the houses and land at a mere $3million, these folks will make quite a fortune.

Here's the website: http://www.liveincherry.com/

Edited by dubone

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Interesting.

Must take a drive through there before everything is torn down.

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Is this the Next Big Thing?

This is gentrification, but I am glad to see that the Cherry Neighborhood Association is controlling the gentrificaiton and using it to their advantage. It is also nice to see that 25% of this project will be affordable.

The rendering on the website is "ok" looking, nothing spectacular, but it is an improvement over what exists today.

Edited by uptownliving

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Or "diversified". Cherry is very blighted. Communities with no money whatsoever cannot survive. Changing the anchor demographic of the neighborhood to middle class can stabilize the neighborhood. Right now, Cherry has some major social problems, so some diversity can help turn the neighborhood around. The fact that 25% will be part of an affordable housing program should signal that this isn't really about greed, but about letting Cherry participate finally in the economic boom that all neighborhoods surrounding it have enjoyed for a decade.

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I hope that rendering is very preliminary. The rendering in The O looks like a Wingate Inn or Wyndham hotel.

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Cherry is a prime example of how an area with little or no income and plenty of, hmmm...corruption is the only word that really fits, can go downhill. The lady in charge of the neighborhood association may or may not be corrupt, but in the least was too lacking in experience to do what they sought to do.

The association kept the homes they owned in such horrible disrepair that a slumlord would be shamed. The worst homes in Cherry, generally, are the ones owned by the association. As in many publically assisted (funded) projects with private management, money is missing. This part of the story got left out of the larger story in this thread and in the Observer though it has been written about in the past and is far from a secret.

Cherry has great history, but many issues that make it a very problematic area to try and keep "as it is or was". Public housing and poorly built low income housing was placed in the very center (heart) of the neighborhood 30 or 40 years ago, crime is very high, and properties have deteriorated at a swift rate. Gentrification, for all of its negative aspects, is one of the only reasons you see any historic neighborhoods with any of their original fabric in tact. Poor folks generally don't have the amount of money it takes to restore a property, and government help only covers so much.

I'm sure the developers in Cherry will make out like bandits, but so are the association members as well as other current property owners that are selling.

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There are a few funky artsy bungalows along the same street that houses the biodiesel station in Cherry. Part of this neighborhood is blighted and this project will help stabilize the area but I hope its not too generically bland to where it ruins some of Cherry's current under the radar eclectic vibe.

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It seems that the homeowners group cherrypicked (sorry for the pun) this developer, so I suspect that the result will be very friendly to the neighborhood and the black people within. In someway, densification is a way to keep affordability, while also provide some diversity and social stabilization. With land values rising, keeping the neighborhood SFHs without any densification will cause more gentification.

By the way, where is the biodiesel station? I've never heard of it.

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Between Henley & Baxter, up the hill near Queens Rd.

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Looks like StoneHunt LLC got one sweet deal in Cherry. It will buy and tear down 63 houses from the Cherry Community Organization (CCO), or about a third of the community.

According to the Observer, StoneHunt will build 90 townhomes, 112 condos, a 42-unit senior living center and possibly a commercial-residential project in phases with an estimated the value of $71 million. Seeing as that the real estate community estimates the purchase of the houses and land at a mere $3million, these folks will make quite a fortune.

Here's the website: http://www.liveincherry.com/

So the developer is purchasing 63 homes at an estimated $3 million. Thats less then $50k per house including the land. Not a bad deal considering how close it is to Uptown/Elizabeth/Dilworth/Myers Park

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By the way, where is the biodiesel station? I've never heard of it.

I think Voyager's talking about Charlotte Energy Solutions at Baldwin and Luther. I haven't been in there yet, but it looks inviting.

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Ahh it will be interesting to see how this turns out. Some time ago, I don't exactly remember when, this neighborhood association was given tens of millions of dollars by the city for urban revitalization. They were supposed to take the money, renovate the homes, and make it a showcase example of what public/private partnerships can do to make the city better.

There was no oversight.

The Observer did one of it's investigations into the matter and found the people hired to do the work were relatives of the head of the HOW at the time. (at least that is what they said) Much of the money simply disappeared. They deny it, but there is no denying the results over there and lots of taxpayer money down the drain.

I will be surprised if anyone can get clean title to the land.

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Ahh it will be interesting to see how this turns out. Some time ago, I don't exactly remember when, this neighborhood association was given tens of millions of dollars by the city for urban revitalization. They were supposed to take the money, renovate the homes, and make it a showcase example of what public/private partnerships can do to make the city better.

There was no oversight.

The Observer did one of it's investigations into the matter and found the people hired to do the work were relatives of the head of the HOW at the time. (at least that is what they said) Much of the money simply disappeared. They deny it, but there is no denying the results over there and lots of taxpayer money down the drain.

I will be surprised if anyone can get clean title to the land.

It saddens me that the most oppressed of people tend to be abused most often by their own rhetoric spewing, self-appointed representatives. Beware of anyone who says you can trust them because they can feel your pain and they look like you.

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I think Voyager's talking about Charlotte Energy Solutions at Baldwin and Luther. I haven't been in there yet, but it looks inviting.

I was there last weekend. The biodiesel tank wasn't in it yet, but he was supposed to have it in this weekend. They also sell corn burning stoves and will deliver corn to your home on a monthly basis. The owner, Mark, said you can heat a large home for $60/month with corn (I think he said it was up to ~2500-3000 sq ft. although check with him to verify on the #). They also sell the conversion kits to run veggie oil in cars and Kirby and Kale over near CPCC on Indy can install them. He also said he knows some guys into solar energy who don't have a store so he may be carrying some stuff in the future for them. Very cool place and people.

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Charlotte Energy Solutions is a great place and they have also hosted several movie screenings for Charlotte Action Center for Justice, so their dedication to progressive issues includes social justice as well as working towards a cleaner environment. I hope they continue to be successful and the upcoming gentrification of Cherry does not force them out of the neighborhood.

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...make it a showcase example of what public/private partnerships can do to make the city better.

Sadly it seems this IS a showcase of what private-public partnerships do. Hmmmm...bring to mind the mill projects in the 80's (Hoskins Mill, Johnson and Mecklenburg Mills)? They were run to the ground too with all the money "missing" and the city and those that were supposed to be housed taking the hit.

Edited by Charlotte_native

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Greensboro has some sad stories too of public/private gone awry.

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City Council approved the Cherry rezoning tonight. This will allow a 42 unit Senior Living center on 1 acre along Avant St.

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City Council approved the Cherry rezoning tonight. This will allow a 42 unit Senior Living center on 1 acre along Avant St.

That would have to be a pretty tall bldg, unless the units are super small. I was thinking 4-5 units per floor, thus an 8-10 story complex. I saw the rezoning on FOX news, but little was mentioned about the rest of the neightborhood, which is slated to be totally redone with condos. When I caught the news, it was at the tail end of the story and only mentioned that the neighbors of Cherry were simply going to be priced out, thus a gentrified hood, giving the Developer a blank slate in which to do their "bidding".

A2

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The Senior Living Center will be 3 stories tall. This rezoning only covered the Senior Living center. However this same developer does have plans to develop condos and those will come in later rezonings.

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The final version was much less interesting than the original.

It is basically a boring design, a boring project, in a boring neighborhood too bogged down in politically correct rhetoric to become an interesting place integrated into the fabric of the city, with a set of buildings and group of people that are diverse.

I think the early versions showed promise, but this neighborhood is just too stuck in trying to keep the neighborhood somehow exactly the same as it has always been. It is just too bad the neighborhood hadn't focused on maintaining the status quo so much as to actually maintain the buildings or the people in the community. Instead, everything has fallen into disrepair.

I know this is quite controversial, but simple infill condomiums and townhomes is not 'gentrification' despite the editorial thread title here. Instead it is just the median. Note that the gentry is the aristocracy or ruling class, which this project is no where near becoming.

Instead of somehow trying to hold on to pre-segration notions that Cherry should be a neighborhood uniformly comprising service class black families, it should be focused on that which the rest of the city is focused: economically, socially, and racially diverse demographics, integrated into the rest of the city.

So, the rezoning proposed to put in townhomes and condominiums on 7.5 acres of the neighborhood is now kaput. Instead, we just get an old folks home on a single acre. So, the neighborhood now has the joy of many more years with run down shacks, maintained with the cheapest of materials, with lobsided demographics that have left the neighborhood troubled and cut off from the economy of the rest of the city. Well, at least it is politically correct, and the gentry can stay in Myers Park.

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I think you're taking the word gentrify too literally. It is generally used to describe a neighborhood which is seeing improvements and better upkeep. It really has nothing to do with the gentry class.

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I believe I am taking it literally, as it is word. If its meaning is somehow now extending its connotation all the way down to 'market rate housing affordable to the middle class', then why not have a new word that does not imply that it is for the rich (ie. the gentry).

I was probably a bit testy when I wrote that last night, but I stand by the disappointment that market rate townhomes and condos are now somehow unacceptable 'gentrification', simply because they pursued a neighborhood that has been segregated by politics to be a low rent black neighborhood.

I am for true diversification of neighborhoods, such as putting small condos, affordable housing, and subsidized housing in the rich neighborhoods like Myers Park, SouthPark, and so on. I am for adding luxury and middle class condos uptown, where there is still quite a sizeable percentage of subsidized housing. In new neighborhoods like 2nd Ward, I am for affordable, workforce, middle class (is there a better term for that?), and luxury housing in order to create a neighborhood of diverse economic and social groups.

We thrive when we work together. Part of the downfall of these 'poor' neighborhoods is the fact that that they are purely for the poor, where there are no means to maintain structures with quality materials. But if those decrepit housing units could be replaced by developers for a middle class market that can fund the materials and labor, then the poor can go to other structures that are better places on a different phase of lifecycle, or use land more efficiently.

My other underlying philosophy on this is that most of the middle class are so because at some point there was a solid investment in real estate that lead to a nest egg. Most blacks found that impossible to do in past generations because of unethical valuation of their property (blockbusting, etc.). Now that these neighborhoods are no longer pariah neighborhoods for developers and land appraisers, why not take part in the American dream, take their money and move elsewhere where you can get more for it?

Making it impossible politically to redevelop the neighborhood, unfairly revokes the benefits of appreciation and diversification for the residents. A surefire way of staying poor is to not participate in the economy whereby people with money give it to you for something of perceived value.

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The longtime residents of Cherry have valid concerns. Why should they have any confidence that they will get a fair shake when Charlotte has such an abysmal history of protecting historic African American neighborhoods such as Brooklyn? I am glad that Stonehunt is providing space for affordable housing and it's helpful that the developers are also black but gentrification still poses the same threat. I think it should be a priority of the city and Cherry developers to work to preserve the unique fabric that the Cherry community has been able to hold on to for decades. It should not morph into another Myers Park or Dilworth, becoming unaffordable to those that founded the neighborhood. It's also very easy for those who benefit from gentrification financially ( realtors, developers) to say how wonderful it is when they don't have to experience the downside that renters and other longterm residents have to face.

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I love how the media ignores a couple facts.

1) the vocal lady I've seen quoted in the paper and last night on the news is white and moved there last year from University. She is part of the problem she so wishes to prevent. Why did she choose Cherry if she is so concerned about its character and history? Is she aware that it is actually the market force known as "demand" that is gentrifying Cherry, a force she has contributed to.

2) Anyone notice the developer rep from Stonehunt is BLACK? So many try to paint this as a race issue, with all changing or gentrifying neighborhoods, when in reality plenty of new homeowners in Wesley Heights, Wilmore, Belmont, NoDa, are black. Yes Cherry is an historically black neighborhood and it will be a shame to see that enclave disappear if it does, but put blame where it belongs: the general market and the desire for more people to live close to town, blacks and whites and other races as well. Blame the neighborhood association that took a huge city handout and squandered the money leaving their properties to fall into disrepair -- far worse than those owned by outside investors that own in the neighborhood.

Cherry is changing, but the 'big bad developer' isn't the primary reason. Location and demand are.

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