dubone

Bearden Park in Third Ward, Uptown Charlotte

997 posts in this topic

With agreements pretty much solidified, the new Mecklenburg County park in 3rd Ward will now be going to the 5.2 acre site between 3rd, Mint, MLK, and Church. There will be a greenway connector along 3rd between Church and Tryon to connect the park symbolically to Tryon Street, which will help to route street festivals to the park.

The park has been known to most people as 3rd Ward Park, but was called 'West Park' by Park&Rec during planning, and is expected to be named "Bearden Park" by the county commission, after the artist who was born nearby.

Here is the [outdated] county website for this park:

http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/Park+a...ning/West+Park/

Here is the Charlotte Center City Partners website for the campaign to move the park closer to Tryon, and provide the previous park site for the Knights Stadium:

http://www.charlottecentercity.org/nav.cfm...&subcat=137

Here is the thread to discuss Novare's many developments surrounding the park:

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=33304

Here is the thread to discuss the Knights Stadium:

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=41132

Here is the archive of discussion on the park and stadium in 3rd Ward:

Archive: http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.ph...3549&st=780

Please use this thread to discuss the design, construction and impact of the park itself.

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Since its a new thread, I'll start off by saying this park and Light rail are my two favorite projects going on in the city. I think this park will do wonders for uptown and fill a big piece of the puzzle. Not to detract from the Green or 4th Ward park, but this will be the destination park for uptown. Moving it closer to Tryon, although shrinking it in size, adds closer proximity to office workers, allows for more residential surrounding it (Novare), and will also pull in people from the hotel and the baseball stadium. Making it a truely urban park.

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I would add the little sugar creek greenway to that list. It eventually will become the main run/bike/walk corridor and passes within the inner loop attaching to the linear park in 1st Ward. The south line could also do this once again if they get it back to the pedestrian friendly state that it was for the trolley.

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Any word on timing for the park? Getting started, end date?? I'm am quite excited about this part of the whole swap.

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I like the greenway connection to Tryon; it'll make a nice little green corridor from the Convention Center/LRT station through the Green, through Bearden Park and on to the baseball and football stadiums. Sounds like good synergy, especially for events and game days.

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I like the greenway connection to Tryon; it'll make a nice little green corridor from the Convention Center/LRT station through the Green, through Bearden Park and on to the baseball and football stadiums. Sounds like good synergy, especially for events and game days.

I agree. Also with the activity that has been prevalent on Tryon, this will give people another option to congregate, sit on benches, and easily move from Tryon to the Park. It'll be very interesting to see the tailgate type activity in the Park during Panther games. I hope they keep the ampitheater plans in the park -- not just for music, but I'd love to see outdoor theater. Impromptu music there would be fantastic, and not unlikely, as well.

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We've already seen some tentative renderings, using some of the core components from the larger park plan. It actually yields a larger oval, as there is a larger rectangular section available to the designers, who had to work around the Virginia Paper building roughly in the center of the previous site.

I expect that we will have public meetings again this autumn, and construction next spring.

This new park location has gotten even better in the last year, as it not only has what it always had, (being one block from Tryon Street for daytime activation with office workers and coordination with Tryon Street festivals), but it now has 4-6 towers planned adjacent to it. Novare has two residential towers (Catalyst and TWELVE) south of the park with a 17 story office tower just behind TWELVE. Novare has a residential tower planned on the Packard Building site which is a little further into the future. 300 S Tryon is being described as two buildings. This park is also only a block away from the just completed 230 S Tryon, the almost completed Trademark, and the Wachovia complex under construction. There is no question that this park will be activated outside of office hours due to all of that new residential development. You certainly have 'eyes on the park', as we can see from some of the Trademark walk through photos recently posted.

I believe strongly that the new park location will be a major success. This will be a park that will be an iconic symbolic of uptown Charlotte. The site is already a favorite spot for skyline photos looking east to BofACC, but the skyline is rapicly growing to the south, so it will easily be a highly photographed spot. Crowds will come for football and baseball games, as well as the festivals (like Speed Street) that will almost certainly include this park. Then, in the evening hours, this will very easily become the 'yard' for the thousand of residents that move in within a block or two away.

One thing that I am excited about with the smaller acreage is the budget per acre that is available. The park designers spoke about how they had a relatively small budget per acre on the 8 acre site, which prevented them from planning as many amenities, art pieces, and higher quality materials. They spoke about needing to use concrete sidewalks, and fewer plaza areas, again, because of the budget. I think the bonds budget was $20m (it might be smaller, though), so $20m/8ac = $2.5m/ac compared to $20m/5ac = $4m/ac. Imagine having an extra $1.5m to spend per acre (what could you with an acre yard if you had $1.5m let alone $4m total to spend on it). I know a lot must go to basics like earth moving and demolition. That higher budget per acre will allow us to get things like brick sidewalks, sculptures, stone entry columns and retaining walls, some plaza space, higher quality flowers and trees, fountains, etc.

Instead of having this be yet another suburban-style park plopped down into the street grid, we have an opportunity to make it a true urban park, with the proper level of high quality amenities to make this the signature park for the city. The fact that it comes ready-made with visitors to make it come alive, is just icing on the cake.

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about 3-4 years ago consultants stated that a park in this location would create a dead zone as they estimated it would take 20 years for development to catch up and fill in around it. They were advocating for the park to abut Tryon. Some were saying it could end up being Marshall Park West. Boy were the consultants wrong!

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I don't think the general public realizes what this park will do for Charlotte. It will definitely become one of Uptown's top attractions in a very short period of time and add a bit of "softness" to center city. I do wish it covered at least 2 city blocks though.

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Actually, the consultants were right. If the park had gone on the site that the ballpark is going, it would not have been surrounded by developments like it is now. It also would have been 3 blocks from Tryon, which is far for casual visits from office workers along Tryon. They recommended building an even smaller park, but getting the park only one block from Tryon (with the greenway along 3rd to provide a symbolic entrance on Tryon Street). They said that would have a much higher chance of getting Tryon visitors and for being surrounded by development. In the end, the county was able to do this, and many of the pieces are now falling quickly into place for a successful park.

The consultants were right that planning the park to go on Church, between 2nd and 3rd, would reap positive results very fast.

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I can just see Bearden Park being filled by people on their lunch break, families having picnics meeting their husband on lunch. Should be the perfect puzzle piece to the ever growing puzzle of Charlotte uptown. I can also see a lot of hot dog stands strolling in the park, should be a very nice atmospher. I'm very glad they decided to connect it to Tryon, it will certainly add a good pedestrian alternative and I must say whoever decided on it there to help move some of the street festival attractions and movement was brilliant. Great idea. I'm very pleased with this announcement, I can't wait to see some renderings and features to the park.

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Any word on timing for the park? Getting started, end date?? I'm am quite excited about this part of the whole swap.

There's going to be a workshop for West Park and Second Ward Park on Monday. Link

I like the greenway connection to Tryon; it'll make a nice little green corridor from the Convention Center/LRT station through the Green, through Bearden Park and on to the baseball and football stadiums. Sounds like good synergy, especially for events and game days.

I hear that there could eventually be a connection to Trade St as well.

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Here is some information about the public meetings:

http://www.charlottecentercity.org/nav.cfm...p;action=detail

The new information is that there is funding included for the 2nd Ward park construction, which I don't think has been posted yet or reported.

The other information is that there is a correction to my numbers above. The 3rd Ward park design and construction budget is $9m. So that is $1.1m/acre in the larger site and $1.75m/acre for the smaller site. Not as dramatic as my previous number example, but it is still 60% more budget per acre, which will allow for considerably better materials and art and plantings.

Sorry to remake the point, but I think it is a strong one for me. The extra couple of acres (especially being marginally useful space around the VA paper building) would not be as useful to making the place memorable. What will make it memorable are art, entry columns, exotic flowers, stonework, etc., that the budget can now afford, and a location that brings many more people there around the clock.

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I love the park and new plan.

Just hope they plan enough safety precautions. Uptown is not a trouble free zone by any means today, especially when the drunken crowd gets going. Urban parks like these can certainly be a haven for trouble makers that already have a presence uptown. Just hoping there is ample time spent on the safety side of putting a park in a downtown.

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I love the park and new plan.

Just hope they plan enough safety precautions. Uptown is not a trouble free zone by any means today, especially when the drunken crowd gets going. Urban parks like these can certainly be a haven for trouble makers that already have a presence uptown. Just hoping there is ample time spent on the safety side of putting a park in a downtown.

I think it's true that urban parks bring on crime to some point, but it seems the parks in center city stay safest, like The Green. I think we will receieve a similar treatment as The Green, and as long as it's well lighted, pedestrian friendly, and open for a wide range of activities, then it will be a huge and safe hit.

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I think it's true that urban parks bring on crime to some point, but it seems the parks in center city stay safest, like The Green. I think we will receieve a similar treatment as The Green, and as long as it's well lighted, pedestrian friendly, and open for a wide range of activities, then it will be a huge and safe hit.

I wouldn't be surprised to see officers on foot, bikes, and Segway's in and around the park. They have made a pretty big impact on the Tryon Street corners and I doubt they/we will just build a park and then leave it un-patrolled to see what happens! You can't prevent everything, but getting started on the "right foot" will be important.

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I wouldn't be surprised to see officers on foot, bikes, and Segway's in and around the park. They have made a pretty big impact on the Tryon Street corners and I doubt they/we will just build a park and then leave it un-patrolled to see what happens! You can't prevent everything, but getting started on the "right foot" will be important.

I would imagine (at the least in the beginning - if not indefinitely) that since Novare has so much at stake in these blocks, and the park, they would push for security.

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Add to the cops, 30-40 stories of balconies and onlookers on 3 sides. I think this is going to be an extremely successful park, so a constant prescence of people will deter any illegal activity. This is why many urban parks in other cities have failed in the past, because they are only surrounded by office buildings, which are void of people in the evening and into the night.

I think at worst we will get the homeless making themselves at home on a bench and the rowdy drunk crowd sometimes causing trouble on a fri/sat night.

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One (unspoken) thing that always made Freedom Park so much fun, is the fact that it's almost always a safe locale.

Surely the city of Charlotte can afford 24/7 security for Bearden Park. When people know they are safe, they will FLOCK to this park. With around the clock security, and with all the condos facing the park, it could become the safest urban park in the States.

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It'll be very interesting to see the tailgate type activity in the Park during Panther games. I hope they keep the ampitheater plans in the park -- Impromptu music there would be fantastic, and not unlikely, as well.

Two good points. It'll be a fantastic tailgating spot, if it's not leased out to vendors and event type stuff on football days. If it's a free-for-all it'll be like Pops in the Park where people throw down blankets before the sun comes up; except it'll be rabid football fans carving out territory, instead of wine sipping socialites. Should be great.

For the record, both are (will be) a great time.

However it ends up the park will add a great element events at BofA Stadium and Uptown in general.

Charlotte (especially central Charlotte) is in desparate need of an small-mid (500-2000) sized outdoor music/event venue. I'm not sure if having it on county property is ideal, but it could work.

Of course, creating a venue that is wide-open vs. one that can be limited (when desired) to paying customers requires completely different design. Freedom Park and South Park have the wide-open type ampitheaters that can't easily book smaller pay-for-the-entry type events.

I'd love to see some free/donation theater stuff in the warm months at this park, Shakespeare in the park is always fun...

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1. It is a county owned park. The city won't have jurisdiction over it (see the argument a few weeks ago in another thread about why CMPD didn't do anything at the Cindy Sheehan protest). Usually, but not always, CMPD doesn't go into the parks unless they are requested to or there is a call for service.

2. Mecklenburg County parks have their own security. It's called Park Watch and they're fairly effective in keeping trouble makers away. If you're ever in the parks and see people in black pants/shorts and red polo's- that's them. They bike, use Seg-Ways, walk, use four-wheelers, and drive around all of the parks. With the increase in parks funding for this budget year, combined with the ever-increasing greenways and additions of new parks like this one, we should see more staffing for them to be an even bigger presence. There was talk a while back about possibly making Park Watch into Park Rangers since they have to cover so many parks and the miles and miles of greenways.

3. I wonder if Parks & Rec will move Movies in the Park downtown or if they would add additional dates to have them in both places. I've heard it is a huge success at Freedom Park.

Edited by Raintree21

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3. I wonder if Parks & Rec will move Movies in the Park downtown or if they would add additional dates to have them in both places. I've heard it is a huge success at Freedom Park.

Private groups actually sponsored those and put them together. I think (hope) that the one will remain at Freedom Park -- it is a great atmosphere and a lot of fun -- with the addition of adding one in 3rd Ward.

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A church group (not sure which one) currently is the main sponsor. My friend who works for Parks & Rec told me that a radio station tried to duplicate the success that the church was having and failed miserably so I wonder what the winning combination is (besides word of mouth and people looking for wholesome family entertainment).

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A church group (not sure which one) currently is the main sponsor. My friend who works for Parks & Rec told me that a radio station tried to duplicate the success that the church was having and failed miserably so I wonder what the winning combination is (besides word of mouth and people looking for wholesome family entertainment).

Interesting. I used to live a block away from the park and went somewhat often. The church did it one friday night per month and the radio station the other three for the whole summer. Both seemed equally successful to me until the end of summer (last year, I've not been if they have it this year...I moved) when it was just too hot to purposely be outside and neither sponsor had much luck with turn out. Actually no one in the crowd seemed to care who put it on, just that ET or The Goonies was on a big screen in front of the lake!

If they do these starting earlier in the Spring and ending earlier in the Summer would make sense.

Edited by Charlotte_native

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