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dubone

Cap over Belk Freeway (277)

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^Since this is a state owned and operated highway, I don't think the city would be in a position to do this from a taxing perspective, and I can't imagine the NCDOT allowing any private development to take place over one of their highways without them being in full control of what happens. There are safety and traffic flow issues they are held accountable for. Finally I don't see where a private developer would get involved. Where is the profit for them in building a city park?

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Wachovia built The Green, a very expensive park over a parking deck, because it helped to sell their luxury condominiums "Ratcliffe on the Green". While I don't think it is likely, there at least could be an argument for these developers at least participating in the building of a park, as it becomes a signifant amenity for their buyers, building value in the project that they can potentially profit from.

We'll see if any leader can get engineer to get a rough figure for the cost of each block of cap park. I think that if it can be had for 135 dollars per square feet, with the first phase costing less than $20m, then I could actually see this happening. People seem to love the idea of connecting uptown to Southend through a cap park, and I think there could be political support for it in the 2010 timeframe.

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There is a long precedent in this city of developers donating property and/or money for parks adjacent to their projects. The most recent example being Novare donating $1M for the 3rd Ward Park. People like living near parks and developers can change a premium for being near a park. That is where the profit comes from.

With that stated if Trump and Ghazi threw in a couple million towards this Phase 1 Cap Park that could jumpstart a private fundraising campain to make it a reality. This town seems to love public/private ventures and this could be a good one.

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After some fairly careful calculations using Google Earth, I have figured the amount of area over strictly the freeway 277 in phase 1 to be around 1.5 acres, with the other 1.5 coming from actual land leading up to the interstate. That is giving around 20 feet on all sides. Therefore unlike the Dallas proposal which is basically only the street to cover, this proposal has a much smaller area to cover over the freeway. Doing really basic conversions I am getting the area to be about $15 million per acre over the interstate in Dallas. That puts this project in the $20-30 million range.

gerj2.th.jpg

Are these jumps in logic totally off base? Can they not infill the sloping land that leads down to the freeway?

Sorry just had some freetime and decided I would do a little investigation.

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I think your numbers are low but lets assume it is $30M. $30M for a small 1.5 acre park between two highways, isn't going to happen either. It would be nothing more than a very expensive walkway.

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I think your numbers are low but lets assume it is $30M. $30M for a small 1.5 acre park between two highways, isn't going to happen either. It would be nothing more than a very expensive walkway.

Thats a 3 acre park. Only 1.5 of it is over the road. The rest is over land.

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BB, I posted the same as you earlier up the page :). http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.ph...mp;#entry766140

One element I did was instead of pro-rating based on the Dallas project, I used the actual structural costs provided on the first page of this thread by our NCDOT represent, ChiefJoJo, at $135 per square foot of structure/bridge. That brings it to $8.5m for the 1.4 acres over the freeway, and then some amount (I estimated ~$10m) more for the park landscaping. While pricey for a 3.3 acre park, it does seem to be a very good candidate for NCDOT money as well as private development money for the same reasons that uptownliving pointed out.

This is not a slam dunk, but I think there is a glimmer of feasibility that I think reinforces the dreams that many have for a cap park. I think by placing this in a time frame of 3-5 years from now, it becomes even more feasible.

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After some fairly careful calculations using Google Earth, I have figured the amount of area over strictly the freeway 277 in phase 1 to be around 1.5 acres, with the other 1.5 coming from actual land leading up to the interstate. That is giving around 20 feet on all sides. Therefore unlike the Dallas proposal which is basically only the street to cover, this proposal has a much smaller area to cover over the freeway. Doing really basic conversions I am getting the area to be about $15 million per acre over the interstate in Dallas. That puts this project in the $20-30 million range.

gerj2.th.jpg

Are these jumps in logic totally off base? Can they not infill the sloping land that leads down to the freeway?

Sorry just had some freetime and decided I would do a little investigation.

I think you would have to expand the area considered a bridge. Look at the adjacent College and Tryon streets. The light colored surface is all part of the bridge span. It is wider than the roads due to the sloped embankment.

Edit. Here is a link the CBJ article. It will probably free only for today. http://charlotte.bizjournals.com/charlotte...8510400^1457531

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^Sounds like that is just a study put forth by the people of Dilworth to revive the canceled pedestrian bridge. I think they are going to have a tough time even justifying that.

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It seems not since the city has already invested $50,000 to get a consultant onto this project. That would seem to me like they are very serious about creating some link between Uptown and South End. We all know this is a vital link to the city as both areas of the city continue to grow.

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Here is an official communication from the Charlotte City Manager about the upcoming South End Pedestrian connection meeting next week. Notice they talk about the 277 Cap:

The first public meeting of the South End Pedestrian/Bicycle Connections Study is scheduled for May 15, 2007, from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. in Room 267. The City of Charlotte is sponsoring this effort to identify new or enhanced connections for pedestrians and bicyclists. The results of the analysis will be used to recommend which of the options should be built within the next five years.

Staff from the Charlotte Department of Transportation, other City Departments, and a consultant are evaluating five types of connections:

1) Improved sidewalks and bicycle lanes

2) Wide Trail/Path on one side and sidewalk on the other

3) Cantilevered Trail/Path

4) Separate, stand-alone pedestrian bridge

5) Freeway cap or park

Persons attending the meeting will be encouraged to provide comments on bicycle and pedestrian connectivity between Uptown and South End. At this meeting, City staff and consultants will present:

-Plans for the pedestrian and bicycle path to be built on the I-277/Caldwell Street Bridge currently under design

-A series of preliminary sketch concepts illustrating additional pedestrian and bicycle connections on I-277 overpasses and underpasses

-Concepts for an I-277 cap area, as originally envisioned in the Second Ward Master Plan

-Evaluation criteria developed to rank the highest priority projects that may result from the Study

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1) Improved sidewalks and bicycle lanes

2) Wide Trail/Path on one side and sidewalk on the other

3) Cantilevered Trail/Path

4) Separate, stand-alone pedestrian bridge

5) Freeway cap or park

I'm kind of surprised they placed this in the study. Champions of the cap idea rejoice! The fact it's even being considered is a positive in my book. I think the main reason for it's inclusion is (1) it was in the adopted 2nd ward plan and (2) more importantly, the consultant will be able to produce a preliminary cost estimate (along with the other 4 ideas) for what the ultimate buildout of a cap/park would be.

Likely options 1-4 will be selected most cost effective and have a shot at some funding, while the cap/park idea will at least have some semi-realistic and published estimates for more specific proposals to draw on in the future. It's a good first step.

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Since there have been so many cost overruns and increase in prices and materials for public works lately, I kind of see the cap being used at the meeting to get other stuff. They can use it as an example of how great it would be to get it BUT it will cost $50 million dollars HOWEVER we can get this nice pedestrian bridge for only $10 million dollars. Now, taxpayers, which would you rather have? I hope that's not the case.

Edited by Raintree21

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Just heard that Ghazi is in talks with the city negotiating over how to cap the freeway from Tryon to College. He is also in talks with the state to give him or let him buy the right of ways around the freeway and the exit/on-ramps.

One thing they can look at to compare is the park over the green (remember that there are several levels of parking beneath it) and the new light rail station at the end of the line on South Boulevard where they have put a park on top of it as well.

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Excellent news.....I figured these developers were smart enough to know that now was the time to capitalize on that cap/park as a possible amenity. Who knows if this will get any traction, but this is definitely THE TIME to make it happen. By site planning in anticipation of a park there, he can focus his development around the park, rather than it being added years later, and there being a disconnect between his site programming and the park layout.

I hope the state does let him build up over the embankment area, to give the park a "hard edge".

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Also, forgot to mention that there is of course an ulterior motive here. The hope, I've been told, is that by building the park, they will allow him to maximize the building on the lot he has. Using the park as his required greenspace and thus he can build right to the edge of the property line.

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Also, forgot to mention that there is of course an ulterior motive here. The hope, I've been told, is that by building the park, they will allow him to maximize the building on the lot he has. Using the park as his required greenspace and thus he can build right to the edge of the property line.

Hopefully this is a motivation for Trump as well...let him maximize his building in exchange for using a portion (half?) of the cap for his greenspace.

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Some updates from the South End ped/bicycle connections public meeting yesterday.

Initial studies were done for the area between Mint St. and Caldwell st.

Options included:

- Improved sidewalks and bicycle lanes for Mint, Church, Tryon, and College streets.

- Bridge Widening on Church, Tryon, and College.

- Stand alone Pedestian Bridges at 4 locations within the area.

- Cap Parks in sections between Church and the S. LRT.

- Joint Development Cap Parks in the same area.

After the initial study their recommendations (and what seemed like a majority public agreement) was to start with improving the sidewalks and bike lanes on Church, Tryon, and College by narrowing and/or eliminating lanes, enabling the curbs to be widened and bike lanes added. Cost for these three would total in the 150k range. This would be an easy quick fix to help alleviate current demand.

I dont remember their timeline but the next step would be to add a pedestrian bridge from the LRT tracks diagonally accross 277 to the corner of College and the Westin Parking deck. Currently the pedestrian path along the line is cut off from Morehead to Stonewall streets. This would improve that connection. Cost of $2 - $2.5 million

And finally the long term (5-10yrs i think) plan would be to create a Joint Development Cap Park between Church and College streets. Joint Development meaning they would plan to sell air rights or land to developers in the small parcels that are currently nothing but grassy slopes between Hill st. and 277 and Morehead and 277. Look at the High St. Cap in Columbus, OH for a similar idea. Total cost for these 2 blocks would be between $25 - $45 million. A third block cant be added because it would then be longer then 800ft which is the designation for a tunnel and would require extra cost, engineering, and safety measures.

Thats all I have time to type for now, but maybe Dubone can draw us up a map.......... :)

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It was basically 15-25m for a cap between Church and Tryon, 10-20m for a cap between Tryon and College, and 10-20m for a cap between College and the rail bridge. Due to the fact that is would have to meet 'tunnel' requirements if all three blocks were covered, that isn't going to happen. However, capping the section between College and Church was viewed as feasible.

They opted to recommend a development cap as opposed to a cap park mainly due to the ecomonics. The cost of the new land is fairly competitive with land costs in the area, so the economics might work (pending future study). However, it would still be too expensive for purely private development, as the land values in the area are such because there is no height limit, but a cap cannot support that much height. However, there were multiple precedents in the county where a public-private partnership could work out for a positive cash flow, by basically having the public entity forego most of the tax revenues from the new land (basically they get more than the 0 they are getting now, but substantially less than if it were market value land).

I think Ghazi is actually a good candidate for working with the city on something like as. Development over the cap works best when it is able to be combined with adjacent developable land, as they can build the subterranean deck, and the taller portions, with the associated lower rise sections going over the cap.

I would have liked a park, but I mostly want SOMETHING over Belk in this section to help move development south in SouthEnd.

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^Southend is getting several stations on a 1/2 billion dollar light rail line. The only one in the Carolinas I might add. This is a lot of benefit going to a small area, and I think the city instead should spend its limited resources to improve some of the other areas of the city instead of building "caps" over I-277.

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We have the opportunity to eliminate a major barrier between uptown and its surroundings. There are countless threads on this forum where the discussion of 277 being a major mistake has been brought up. Now that development is moving south down Tryon and South End is ready to be developed, now is the time to make this happen and fix a mistake of the past. If we dont, 50 years from now it will be just another project we wish we had moved forward with, another wasted opportunity for a city that has made too many urban planning mistakes.

ps. post 1000 :)

Edited by Mobuchu

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I guess I'm working on quality vs quantity on the post count thing.

I agree. A lot of stuff the city wants costs money. Now is the time that we have the momentum and the potential for private developers to offset part of the cost. We probably won't see this opportunity again.

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Well, I think if they want to sell it for private development as opposed to a public park, that the value of that space will only become more valuable in the future, so I'm not sure the timing is as critical now, as if it were going to be a park.

That said, they do need to clearly define what the development envelope will be, so Ghazi and Trump and whoever else building adjacent to 277 can consider how their projects will relate to the "cap projects" once they are built.

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it would seem to me you could parcel some of the cap (especially over the highway embankments) for private development - and the space between, could be utilized for park/public usuage. that's actually the impression i got from what is being reported? maybe i'm reading wrong?

while i do feel the city has inproportionately focused resources on this part of town (hey, eastside is over here!) - i'm all for the cap. connectivity, creates more tax base, possible public usuage and helps correct (a tiny bit) the problems of 2-77's conception.

for those of you who have been advocating for the removal of 2-77... this is good as it will get - @ least in the foreseeable future. it might be an expensive compromise - but, i think in the long run - it will serve the city very well.

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it would seem to me you could parcel some of the cap (especially over the highway embankments) for private development - and the space between, could be utilized for park/public usuage. that's actually the impression i got from what is being reported? maybe i'm reading wrong?

Thats how their diagrams looked. Development between 277 and the streets parallel to it, not actually over 277. Although the cap in Columbus did sell air rights over the freeway.

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