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atlrvr

What would it take to get you to move to Uptown?

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In most threads in the Charlotte forum that relate to new intown condos, there are always several posters saying that it cost too much to live downtown, or there isn't a perceived value, or that Charlotte is just as expensive as larger cities, etc.

Obviously, the market sorts out what people are willing to pay, but I'm curious to hear what other forumers think urban living is worth to them.

What would a condo have to cost to consider living in Uptown? How much square footage would be required? What amenities would need to be offered? What else would center city Charlotte need to attract you to live there?

Essentially, about 90%-95% of new residents of Charlotte move to low-density portions of Charlotte, or the suburbs. I'm sure many of them would move there regardless, because that's the lifestyle they prefer, but what type of housing at what price would have to be available to get the others to chose a more urban lifestyle?

Feel free to be as specific as possible, but please keep suggestions somewhat based on the possible (i.e. no suggestions for a 4,000 sq. ft. penthouse for $120k)

I considered doing this topic as a poll, and I might add one later, but we'll see how dialogue turns out first.

Edit. This thread doesn't need to strictly apply to Uptown. The general "urban core" of Charlotte will do.

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For me its simply a matter of personal timing, but I would move uptown in a heartbeat if I could get an 800 sq. ft condo for 200k or less (I think I could in Novare's towers). I also wouldn't need any special amenities other than a pool and a gym. As someone who knows a lot of recent college grads, I would say about 90% of the people I talk to who are moving to Charlotte or other large cities want access to public transport and to live in urbanized areas. Thats why I think atlrvr is right when he says Novare could sell their low price point condos all day long, especially in markets with a lot of people in their 20's.

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We have a teenager. Not much for teenagers to do, nor are they very welcome in most places. I remember downtown Orlando had a giant arcade for kids. Imagine a skatepark in one of the parking decks.

The other issue is minor, but of some concern. We have a couple of mid-sized dogs. While it appears The Vue has the best and biggest doggie run, it's still pretty meager. Seems like the roof of a parking deck could be utilized to make a green space and dog park like some of the ones seen in the county already.

Those two items, and lack of guaranteed HO dues cieling, are what's holding me back personally.

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Very similar to Tiblerbrit for me. Around 200k or less. I'm low maintenance so I'd prefer less then 800sqft. I dont own a car so I'm already looking to move uptown or close to the LRT in the next year. Of course this all depends on how much I get for my house.

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It would take my wife understanding that we don't need a yard. We currently have .6 acres that backs up to a creek that is on the master plan for a future greenway in the next decade (which is great to have your property against IMO). I could care less about a yard as long as there is a nice park that can be walked to.

We're also both extremely close to where we work so by living downtown or even very close we would be costing the environment more by driving a much further distance to our places of work. I have lived in Chicago in a small 650 sq. ft. apartment and loved every minute of it, in fact I would wager I was happier living in that little cramped space (which honestly isn't that bad once you get used to it) than I am now. I could live quite well with a family in ~1000 sq. ft. but the largest hold back for me is the distance to where I work and the same for my wife (well, that and her 'needing' some green to look at from our kitchen window).

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Heres what it would take for any area I have looked at.

Center City Infill: I would want under 300k 2 bedroom 1000+/- Preferably a townhouse. I have Looked at some great places in the garden district. If that price existed in fourth ward I'd move there in a heart beat. Any of the wards would be ideal for me. I love infill, especially the more unique places in 4th ward.

Condo Tower- Really not that ideal to me, from experience living in a mid rise building in another city, hauling groceries to an elevator then to your condo sucks. However I would love to have a pool, a nice kitchen with good/reliable appliances, cooking is very important to me, and a nice place to walk a dog if I so choose to get one. I would favor Catalyst and Twelve, as they will have a grocery store component included, and a large park as its front yard. Ideal would be 300k decent sized 1-2 bedroom condo. Honestly I can comfortably coexist with my better half in 500+ sq feet, we've done it before.

Dilworth- This is my spot, It's been my "roaming grounds" since I was young, and a great house on dilworth rd west or east would be great. Not to mention tremont, charlotte ave, worthington, and ideal way. Once again the price is a lot to this, dilworth is, in some cases, obscenely expensive. I would like to be near what I call downtown dilworth, aka kenilworth commons, but close enough that I could walk to the LRT.

Wilmore- For everything by ryan homes and the blvd company to be torn down. :rofl: We need to get some conformity into wilmore, and I mean conformity corp.

West Charlotte: For Summit and Frazier to be less ghetto, because there are the best big city views of downtown charlotte from those streets. Show people in charlotte that view and maybe they'll realize maybe we are big enough for light rail.

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Great topic atlrvr.

I moved here from Philadelphia and lived in a small brownstone in the Art Museum District. It was great to be able to walk to everything, or catch a cab or jump on the train when needed, and I would love to be able to afford this same lifestyle here in Charlotte.

The high-$100,000's to the mid-$200,000's price point would be perfect. I think this would appeal to younger first-time buyers that want something in uptown. Personally I don't need all the pools, fitness centers, clubs, business centers, etc. They just hike up association dues and I don't know how much I would actually use them and I like my own gym thank you very much. I like the idea of a 700-800sf condo or loft. And forget about all the expensive upgrades...ie., granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, upgraded lighting, etc. I can do all those upgrades myself if I want them in the future or pay for the upgrades if I think I need them

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When is this building getting built? That being said, I will be at the sales center for Catalyst the day it opens to see if I can snap one of those units up before they hike up the prices. :yahoo:

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it's always been about a matter of convenience for my lifestyle...more walkability...arts...sports...shopping for necessities...so, i'll be in the Quad next yr

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Although this doesn't answer the question about price I would say that if I moved into a condo, I'd want a decent balcony. I cannot imagine those little nubs on the side of Avenue being used by most people for anything other than a spot to put some plants, or let their cat or dog outside to sniff the air. -_-

I suspect part of what makes condos so expensive is the cost for infrastucture to build parking decks. The city should be more flexible about allowing some construction with fewer spaces near the transit lines.

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I doubt I would ever want to move uptown. After having lived in dense urban environments for many years, I am seeking quiet, quiet, quiet. Along with my quiet, I want giant oaks and lush, mature dogwoods. Also the ability to crank my stereo whenever I want, without disturbing anyone else's quiet. Lugging groceries up an elevator isn't for me (I have done that for way too long.)

In other words, I want areas 4, 5 or 6 (5 of course is preferable) south of I277 and north of SouthPark. But if major retailing came to the center city, I would patronize it instead of SouthPark.

Please understand that Charlotte's continuing urbanization is thrilling for me to see. It's my hometown and I have always wanted it to be the big city that it seems destined to be. But I want the classic Cotswold/Barclay Downs/Old Foxcroft (well, probably can't afford Old Foxcroft) ranch.

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According to my wife, we are not moving to any urban area until the kids are off to college (or until we can afford private school).

...we moved to York Co (from the Philly area) mainly for the school system.

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I got a couple tents I'm planning on camping out overnight to be first in line haha. And to add to my post earlier, I omited South End and Noda for some reason. I would love to live in Southborough, that is about as ideal to me as they come. I have long considered Belmont and Noda and Plaza midwood, but at this time the lack of light rail, commuter rail or streetcars sorta deters me from the area.

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Here's what it would take for me to move to Uptown.

1. My company would have to move our office from Rock Hill up to Charlotte (close to Uptown, or along a transit line).

2. The cost would have to be between $180K and $240K. Anything above that, becomes unaffordable to me at or near my current income level.

3. I would have to have at least 1500 sq ft. Except for in college when I lived in a 1000 sq ft apt w/ 4 people, I've always lived w/ a lot of space, and I will not ever go back to cramped quarters again.

4. Their would have to be a large area at or w/in a block or 2 for me to take my Golden Retriever to so she can run around and expend some good energy.

5. While it isn't completely 100% necessary, a pool and a workout facility onsite would really up the appeal for me.

6. It must be in walking distance to at least a grocery store (couple of blocks), or offer a grocery delivery service and be close to a lot of nightlife options.

7. It must have a nice sized porch, balcony, or deck

8. It would have to a have a decent amount of people in my age bracket say 25-35, living there.

I would not care if it was a townhouse set up, or an actual condo, and it woudn't concern me how high up I lived. I would like to have a good view of the skyline if it is just outside of Uptown, and if it is in Uptown, I would prefer it not to look directly to a wall in a neighboring building but have a view of at least part of the city.

I doubt very much my company is going to move our office into Charlotte, so we'll see what happens. I've been thinking of changing careers anyways, and going back and getting a teaching license and become a teacher. If that happens, maybe then I can move up there, until then, I'll live here in Rock Hill.

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I got a couple tents I'm planning on camping out overnight to be first in line haha. And to add to my post earlier, I omited South End and Noda for some reason. I would love to live in Southborough, that is about as ideal to me as they come. I have long considered Belmont and Noda and Plaza midwood, but at this time the lack of light rail, commuter rail or streetcars sorta deters me from the area.

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As someone who is on the lower end of the middle class, I'd love to see something close to:

$150,000

1,000 sq. ft

2 bedrooms

1.5 baths

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If my wife kicks me out of the house after I move to Lake Norman, I will move downtown.

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Well for me the problem is this. Downtown Charlotte really isn't truly an urban place in regards to what I understand an urban place to be when compared to where my sister lives in Japan, my friends in London and Wales, and many other non New South cities. Charlotte is of, by, and for the automobile and as much as people here like to think otherwise downtown really is no exception. It does not have most of the things needed for day to day living, and except for a very small area just north of Trade & Tryon it's really nothing but endless streets of faceless concrete canyons made up with post 70's architecture that has had little thought put in to the street level aspects of things. etc etc etc.

If you are not into drinking and sports events, there is more to do in Birkdale Village for people walking around than in DT Charlotte. (and that is not saying much) What we have here is suburban living hidden under the facade that we are making some kind of "urban place". My eyes were opened on what a new city could be like when I visited Fujisawa, JP which like Charlotte was completly built after WWII, and mostly in the last 20 years. Yet they might as well be on different planets on how they went about it. We have had numerous topics here on the lack of "urban-ness" and how developers here continue to get it wrong so I won't rehash again in this post. If interested, I will leave it to the reader to read what I have posted elsewhere. Furthermore almost with out exception, the high profile projects in downtown are being built with almost no thought to the basic livability to the places and are going almost 100% to the glitz factor.

I have had discussions of this with my partner, who is not into UP at all, and while we could well afford a place downtown, it simply is not appealing enough for these reasons to move there. If, at some point, we decide to sell our place here at Lake Norman and move to a more urban setting it will most likely be to a world city and not downtown Charlotte, NC. I don't see anything on the drawing board that might get us to change that opinion.

I keep hoping that through avenues such as the creating of UrbanPlanet that we could make a difference in how things are done in Charlotte, but progress is very very slow. On a positive note, at least we are having the discussion.

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Metro, could you provide some examples of things you saw in Fujisawa that were particularly appealing?

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I agree that Charlotte doesn't have the same type of urban fabric that exist in many other cities, especially European ones. To a degree, I think it makes the urban core of Charlotte a bit more accessible to people who have lived their lives in a car-based world. As someone who did a carectomy 6 months ago, I can attest that as long as you work uptown, you can live a carless life in Charlotte. There are now multiple drug stores, a couple grocery stores, a few gyms/Ys, a book store, lots of restaurants, multiple parks, lots of events (sports, arts, festivals). The midtown project brings Target, Home Depot, Best Buy, TJMaxx or Marshalls, and likely a few national retailers to within a mile of the Square and only a 5 minute walk from a Gold Rush line. Epicenter will bring some more entertainment destinations like bowling and a movie theater, as well as a number of other retailers that aren't revealed yet. With those two projects, I can't think of much more that I do on a regular basis that would not be available within a mile or two (walking, biking, or quick transit hop away).

As I already live uptown, I can't answer this for myself. However, there are 3 major reasons for people I know to not be interested in living around downtown.

1) They can't afford places large enough for their needs in neighborhoods without social problems.

2) They have children and are fearful of the social risks of being downtown, either for schools, for crime, or for play space.

3) They have always lived in the suburbs and never even thought about doing anything else. It isn't rational or conscious, it is simply habit.

The second reason above has caused multiple people I know who lived downtown to leave when they had kids. I have seen many families raise kids downtown and actually thrive in doing it, but I think it is just two much of a perceived risk for some people.

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I never want to live Uptown. The area just does not speak to me in the kind of vibrancy I enjoy in urban cores. I need some kind of flavor that most people seem to loathe on here. Uptown will never provide this. It's going to be super shiny and yuppie and antiseptic. Just my opinion. I think it's great that others love it, it's just not my bag. I get more of an urban charge strolling throgh East Blvd's small commercial district than I get on Tryon. Maybe it's because I lived in Charleston so long and prefer a smaller skyline and village like atmosphere. My mixture of freelance writing jobs and dog nanny duties completely bar me from affording a condo anyhow. I could perhaps qualify for an affordable rental in some of the mixed use projects coming up but I am much happier hanging on renting for now in Dilworth. When I get gentrified out of my old apt house I will live in my car so I can get truly inspired to write The Great American Novel :lol:

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Metro, could you provide some examples of things you saw in Fujisawa that were particularly appealing?

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I actually hope to live uptown within in the next few years. The only real requirements I have are: gym, pool, some kind of park nearby to walk my dog and retail within walking distance. Something with nice views of the city. And probably at least 2 bedrooms, 1,000 or more sq ft. Though, I'm only afraid it could be out of my price range given what's available now with these things. Ideally, I'd love to get rid of my car as well. I think I remember seeing on another thread about a drive by the hour car service. Having that in addition to light rail would be great.

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I'm moving uptown next week and there's several things that I'm NOT looking forward to.

I'm no longer the bar patron I used to be. Sadly enough one of the reasons I reserved the condo three years ago is because I was uptown quite a bit to visit Brick & Barrell and Buckhead. Other than going to bars and Panthers games I'm not sure what I'm going to do Uptown in my spare time. Come to think of it, the only reasons my friends ever go Uptown is to go to a bar.

I'm afraid my only visitors will be at 2am on a Saturday night.

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I'm moving uptown next week and there's several things that I'm NOT looking forward to.

I'm no longer the bar patron I used to be. Sadly enough one of the reasons I reserved the condo three years ago is because I was uptown quite a bit to visit Brick & Barrell and Buckhead. Other than going to bars and Panthers games I'm not sure what I'm going to do Uptown in my spare time. Come to think of it, the only reasons my friends ever go Uptown is to go to a bar.

I'm afraid my only visitors will be at 2am on a Saturday night.

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