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TONYCLT

Ghazi's University City Tower

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I didn't know where to post this but Ghazi has proposed a 14 floor condo tower for the University City area, I believe the Charlotte biz. journal said it would be located at the corner of W.T. Harris and North Tryon.

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Deleted. Do NOT post copyrighted information on Urban Planet, especially news articles. Use a link, and then provide your own original input.

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I saw this in the Observer the other day, it seems to be an interesting proposal. I wonder if it will come with a free sea of parking like his South Park tower.

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I :wub: Ghazi!!!

"University City really needs some help with the aesthetics of its streets and landscaping, Tryon Street needs more curb and gutter."

:yahoo: Ok, so if he builds this, it kinda goes against that whole "master plan" set out by the University City Partners, but whatever, a highrise is a highrise and this was what I was hoping for. If he realizes that area needs more curb and gutter than that must mean he isn't planning a lot of surface parking (not to mention there really isn't any room at all for surface parking at that intersection if a tower is going to go there.) It also goes against the higher end development living, but it is a hundred times better than another apartment complex. And since Charlotte has now zoned all of Tryon in that area (I think) to be street-side-only development, this may very well have something at the base worth note due to its proximity to both the university and the UPlace commercial hub.

It doesn't say but does anybody know if he is planning on building on the University Place corner or the CMC-U corner? Those are the only two lots left and they both aren't very big. I can't imagine BoA would sell there offices there.

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This isn't as exciting as you may have in mind aussie....I believe he plans on building this BEHIND the Promenade shopping center....the land is undeveloped right now....it wouldn't really front any main roads. I'm not sure what kind of zoning he has, but he might HAVE to do a large parking lot (or a parking deck and lots of greenspace) due to FAR's allowed there. It seems kind of pointless to be building tall there, when SO much work is needed on infrastructure first. To Ghazi's credit, he acknowledges that the area is lacking in this department.

If there is anything good to come out of this tower, it would be that some potential residents/investors would see it as a sign of high-demand for the area, which could slow or reverse the perceived trend of an area that is in decline.

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^Indeed. It's high density where they don't need it. All this development will means are more cars on the roads where there are already too many cars. The city ought to deny the permits to build it.

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You're right, I must've skipped over the "Ghazi has three tracts of land totaling about 6 acres behind the Grande Promenade. He also envisions some additional retail on the 6 acres." part of the article. What do you mean by the FAR's allowed there?

^Indeed. It's high density where they don't need it. All this development will means are more cars on the roads where there are already too many cars. The city ought to deny the permits to build it.

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....

The same could be said about SouthPark, there is just as much traffic there (if not better infrastructure) high rise development there has the same impact as it would in UCity. ...

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That is irrelevant. SouthPark ought to be the lesson not to do it again. You have complained in other threads about UC being so detached and this is a project that would do more of that. It's insane to put a highrise behind a strip mall that can only be reached by car.

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^Not if it doesn't meet the objectives of the plan for that area which this one clearly doesn't. That is one of the last green spaces left in area. It should remain that way for now.

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FAR's = Floor to Area Ratio. Typical suburban mixed-use uses an FAR of 1, which means for every 43,560 sq. ft. of building area, you need an acre of land. To put this in perspective, the new Wachovia Tower would require 34 acres in the suburbs to meet zoning requirements (though the height limit would prevent it).....a 14 story tower probably needs 3-4 acres. This is the same reason that Ghazi's SouthPark tower takes up such a huge amount of land. There are ways around this, with the easiest being applying for MUDD zoning, which has unlimited FAR.

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Oh ok. I'm lookin at Google Maps though and I just can't see where all this is going to fit. His land he owns is very tightly bound by other businesses. If there is going to be a lot of parking, it doesn't seem you'd be able to see much of it from the road. I would imagine he would use Tryon as the entrance as Harris is very unlikely for this in this stretch. Link to Ghazi's land.

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Too bad Ghazi sold the Grande Promenade I and II, the Grande Promenade does have a parking deck and it could have tied into this highrise since it's going to be built right behind it. I've rarely seen that parking deak being used and it's built into the Grande Promenade on the backside.

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That parking deck is mainly used by employees of the place which hog all of the downstairs places since it provides a garage from the sun. The upstairs is only used by people looking to eat at the chinese buffet which is located on the 2nd floor. It mostly draws a lunch crowd. There is an Indian buffet up there also. I have not been over there in a couple of years though so it could have changed.

My guess is that development will use the same road that is used to connect both strip malls to Harris. There is also access by the driver's license office off Tyron, but that is a dangerous intersection.

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This intersection is sooo close to being a nice urban hub, but at the same time sooo far away. I would like to believe that this tower is a step in the right direction... depending on how it's executed. I actually like that a lot of the development in that area is relatively ped-friendly, even though the intersection itself is a walker's nightmare. I truly hope the design on this project will compensate for its location.

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Traffic in the area is terrible with Wal-Mart and the university, placing a 14 floor condo tower near that intersection would make a bad traffic area even worse.

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The way I read the article is that this is a plan for the future, not a tower to be started within the next year. The plan is for a light rail station to be built at the intersection of Tryon and Harris; it seems that a development like this could be a great use of the land surrounding a light rail station. I wonder if Ghazi

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Yea, this seems like exactly the kind of development that should be encouraged near future rail stations.

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That parking deck is mainly used by employees of the place which hog all of the downstairs places since it provides a garage from the sun. The upstairs is only used by people looking to eat at the chinese buffet which is located on the 2nd floor. It mostly draws a lunch crowd. There is an Indian buffet up there also. I have not been over there in a couple of years though so it could have changed.

My guess is that development will use the same road that is used to connect both strip malls to Harris. There is also access by the driver's license office off Tyron, but that is a dangerous intersection.

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I'm glad to see dense buildings being built on a planned transit corridor. Even though he took advantage of the FAR rules, being equivalent to a shorter building covering the same amount of space (ie. a ratio), the net is still a dense building. To me, that acts as a land bank asset to the total project, as it allows for that land to eventually sold and rezoned for additional buildings whenever the land values permit. If he had instead built a midrise project covering all that acreage, the land would be tied up for the lifetime of the building, regardless of any change in fundamentals due to the completion of LRT or anything else.

http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/business/16685619.htm

By the way, it is interesting that this O article was not written by Dougie, but rather Karen Cimino. I wonder if this is the early stage of torch-passing.

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Isn't that DMV being relocated else where and the state is looking into selling that tract of property? Also getting in and out that area is very difficult as Tryon and Harris is just a mess. When and whether Ghazi builds this highrise, I hope the parking situation isn't like the one that is being proposed in South Park.

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