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6 hours ago, RANYC said:

I wish there was someway to spur a ton of low/mid-rise, but highly pedestrian-activated construction on empty lots all throughout Uptown and Center City.  Think Binaco Tower, but times 50:).

Why lowrise? I’d love more towers

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Lifeless to alive in just a couple of years.

on topic but miniaturized... my wife 3d printed a copy of the uptown skyline for me!     Hurst was not ‘Hursted’, but check out those accurately reproduced surface lots! (actually

Per Charlotte Ledger, the land at 4th and Brevard across from CTC sold for $11M.   This is the Norfolk Southern land they were slow to let go of.    I am incredibly excited about this.  White Point Pa

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6 hours ago, RANYC said:

I wish there was someway to spur a ton of low/mid-rise, but highly pedestrian-activated construction on empty lots all throughout Uptown and Center City.  Think Binaco Tower, but times 50:).

I would love to see a B-Tower type building on steroids built on the pocket park (Polk park) at trade and Tryon. Overlooking the square and next to the gold line stop...would be an amazing spot. Need activation on that corner of the square and would mesh well with the new retail renovations at independence tower. 

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11 hours ago, j-man said:

Why lowrise? I’d love more towers

There are certainly locations where low- and mid-rise is not the highest and best use of land. However, for everywhere else, here are some of the advantages of mid-rise urbanism:

  1. Simpler buildings = less expensive to construct.
  2. Building footprints can be smaller, which produces more variety on a block than a single large development. Finer grain = good urbanism.
  3. From a pedestrian perspective, you don't really notice a building as much above the fourth or fifth floor, at least in my opinion. So a 5-story building feels just as urban as a 40-story building.
  4. Mid-rise urban form can still support very high population densities (see Paris, for example).

I do have a question for those in this forum who are more knowledgeable in real estate. So many modern mid-rise projects are of the superblock variety, rather than small-footprint infill. What are the factors that drive this - is it zoning? Project economics? Financing issues? From an urbanist perspective, I'd rather see 20 smaller projects than one megaproject. That's how cities were built in the past, but it doesn't happen today. Why is that?

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12 minutes ago, jthomas said:

I do have a question for those in this forum who are more knowledgeable in real estate. So many modern mid-rise projects are of the superblock variety, rather than small-footprint infill. What are the factors that drive this - is it zoning? Project economics? Financing issues? From an urbanist perspective, I'd rather see 20 smaller projects than one megaproject. That's how cities were built in the past, but it doesn't happen today. Why is that?

Land costs in cities have skyrocketed. Yes it is cheaper to build a smaller building, but if the land it sits on costs the same regardless of what goes on top it makes more sense for a larger project. 

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1 hour ago, RANYC said:

You hit the nail right on the head.  Number 2 is key for me.  Smaller building footprints.  The cities I love in Europe are cities where you can find 20 different buildings or styles on one block.  Even the neighborhoods I loved in Manhattan, like SOHO or Lower Eastside or the Villages, are distinct in their appeal because of the predominance of mid-rise bldgs and eclecticism of structures comprising the block.  Towers over-rated.  Again, yes people like to fly by in their cars on the interstate and marvel at towers as some symbol of growth and regional vitality (as they dart off to their auto-centric existences amidst sprawl, wide boulevards, and parking lots), but I'm more concerned with my experience on the ground as a pedestrian, and outside my car.  Too many sunbelt cities are filled with gleaming towers, but are dead as a doorknob on the ground outside of work hours or some mega-venue event like a football game or arena concert.

If we're at the beginning of a generational shift in demand for super-vertical workplaces, maybe some of the price pressure on urban land eases and we see a growing opportunity for smaller building footprint construction, and hopefully with uses that draw people to live and play in center city, with far less reliance on the car for mobility. 

I agree completely with you and share your desires for mixed use buildings, pedestrian experiences, and fighting suburban sprawl; I'm just pointing out that it is unfortunate that we don't have any incentives for people to develop those types of spaces. People are still moving to Charlotte and while there might be a pullback in office spaces briefly, they will fill back up again and we will head back into another construction boom focused on high rises.

We need something like a land value tax or a shift in increased taxation for land and a decrease in building value taxes, especially residential (with credits for affordable housing) in order to spur development in otherwise non-utilized spaces. There is a reason people like Levine sit on property and land all across Charlotte and it's because if someone doesn't buy it right now at the asking price, it will only be worth more in a few years and they will continue to hold it. You can see a city like Pittsburgh that has had several cycles of LVT and increased land vs building value taxes and can see the types of infill and mixed neighborhood spaces that you are talking about. 

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4 minutes ago, JHart said:

I agree completely with you and share your desires for mixed use buildings, pedestrian experiences, and fighting suburban sprawl; I'm just pointing out that it is unfortunate that we don't have any incentives for people to develop those types of spaces. People are still moving to Charlotte and while there might be a pullback in office spaces briefly, they will fill back up again and we will head back into another construction boom focused on high rises.

We need something like a land value tax or a shift in increased taxation for land and a decrease in building value taxes, especially residential (with credits for affordable housing) in order to spur development in otherwise non-utilized spaces. There is a reason people like Levine sit on property and land all across Charlotte and it's because if someone doesn't buy it right now at the asking price, it will only be worth more in a few years and they will continue to hold it. You can see a city like Pittsburgh that has had several cycles of LVT and increased land vs building value taxes and can see the types of infill and mixed neighborhood spaces that you are talking about. 

I'm in total agreement.  Land Value Taxes don't appear to be a part of a wider civic dialogue at all, however.  Given that the city will soon ask taxpayers to fund massive capital investments in transit, investments which have often favored vacant land-holders, who have every incentive of sitting on the land and waiting until the 10+ years of transit build-out before cashing in, perhaps it's time for a serious consideration of Land Value Taxes.  Or once again, will taxpayers foot the bill for light rail lines, and then a select group of vacant land-holders reap the benefits?  Would a a Land Value Tax actually help to fund these mobility investments so that there's less need for the sales tax? 

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I am going to put this article about returning to the office and the future of office here as uptown is the largest such concentration of space in the region.  It has major implications if only on any given day 50% show up to the office for spatial needs in the future,  retail shops uptown etc.   I have talked to major T bank employees and both said they are working remote into the summer and then project only some days in the office.    My additional thoughts you will see as leases are up smaller footprints will start to happen more and more especially with tech firms.  This is why I don't think you will see any major office towers uptown for a while unless an inbound relocation like Honeywell.    

from the article:

""A wide expectation among Little's clients is that not everyone will be working in the office five days a week. Hall said, pre-Covid-19, about 85% to 90% of a workforce would be in the office most days. Post-pandemic? It's looking more like 50% on any given day, said Courtney Fain, financial interiors studio principal at Little.   
"Not one company I've seen has said, ‘We're going to require everyone 100% back in the office,'" she added.""

Remote work, technology and social distancing to play big roles in post-Covid-19 office space - Charlotte Business Journal (bizjournals.com)

Edited by KJHburg
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11 hours ago, jthomas said:

There are certainly locations where low- and mid-rise is not the highest and best use of land. However, for everywhere else, here are some of the advantages of mid-rise urbanism:

  1. Simpler buildings = less expensive to construct.
  2. Building footprints can be smaller, which produces more variety on a block than a single large development. Finer grain = good urbanism.
  3. From a pedestrian perspective, you don't really notice a building as much above the fourth or fifth floor, at least in my opinion. So a 5-story building feels just as urban as a 40-story building.
  4. Mid-rise urban form can still support very high population densities (see Paris, for example).

I do have a question for those in this forum who are more knowledgeable in real estate. So many modern mid-rise projects are of the superblock variety, rather than small-footprint infill. What are the factors that drive this - is it zoning? Project economics? Financing issues? From an urbanist perspective, I'd rather see 20 smaller projects than one megaproject. That's how cities were built in the past, but it doesn't happen today. Why is that?

I get what you’re saying but from a developers perspective pertaining to costs and whatnot. I’m just saying that for Uptown I think a mix of buildings would be good not just lowrise for the rest of uptown. This city is growing so much and larger develops would create less sprawl. I’d rather see more 30 story apartments than a bunch of 5 story stick apartments Uptown. Sure the lowrise buildings have more opportunities to create a more pedestrian friendly vibe but I think the skyline can definitely extend further north rather than a drastic shift to a bunch of lowrise buildings. 

10 hours ago, JHart said:

Land costs in cities have skyrocketed. Yes it is cheaper to build a smaller building, but if the land it sits on costs the same regardless of what goes on top it makes more sense for a larger project. 

Yes! That’s another great point. 

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From David Brooks opinion column in the NYT this morning:

Once you’ve made some money, there’s one more way to get richer. Buy a home in a neighborhood with a lot of zoning restrictions. For example, 84 percent of the land in Charlotte, N.C., and 94 percent of the land in San Jose, Calif., is zoned for detached single- family homes. These restrictions keep the supply of housing low and jack up the value of homes for people wealthy enough to already own one.

His point in his column is that by statistics the path to riches is to enter a profession with high obstacles to entry, with legal protections and limits to membership such as medicine and law. Then the real estate carousel.

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I think @lit's post deserves to be on the main page: relevant possibly to N Tryon St's future.
 

On 3/1/2021 at 9:13 AM, lit said:

I’m not sure where to put this, but it seems TR Lawing has sold the Tryon House Apartments to some investors?

76552FC3-5FEE-49EE-90CC-79FC1B693095.png

Wow!

I just met someone who's been renting there for about 7 years. He said this was TR Lawing's ONLY owned asset, rather than fee-managed property. As a tenant he regularly dealt with family members of the TR Lawing family.

Apparently TR Lawing never cared what changes/upgrades tenants made to the units, as long as it didn't damage the integrity of the building; they considered them all unique upgrades.

The person I met converted his apt into a studio space (removing cabinets, etc) when they moved in with their partner in their place.

I'm curious how the new investment company will handle current tenants.

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  • 2 weeks later...

How would you all feel if Charlotte did something like this?

"Philadelphia Skyscrapers Turn Lights Off to Save Migrating Birds:  A new program aimed at reducing deadly collisions with buildings for migrating birds is set to begin on April 1"

Full article here: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/philadelphia-skyscrapers-turn-lights-save-migrating-birds-180977246/

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1 hour ago, atl2clt said:

How would you all feel if Charlotte did something like this?

"Philadelphia Skyscrapers Turn Lights Off to Save Migrating Birds:  A new program aimed at reducing deadly collisions with buildings for migrating birds is set to begin on April 1"

Full article here: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/philadelphia-skyscrapers-turn-lights-save-migrating-birds-180977246/

I think 400 S Tryon does this.

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1 hour ago, atl2clt said:

How would you all feel if Charlotte did something like this?

"Philadelphia Skyscrapers Turn Lights Off to Save Migrating Birds:  A new program aimed at reducing deadly collisions with buildings for migrating birds is set to begin on April 1"

Full article here: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/philadelphia-skyscrapers-turn-lights-save-migrating-birds-180977246/

Is there an issue with it here?

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37 minutes ago, tarhoosier said:

Been waiting (2) WEEKS to post this: 

 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800920322084?via%3Dihub

TL:DR A richer bird species environment relates to an increase in happiness  equal to a ten percent increase in income.

https://nationalpost.com/news/world/birds-make-you-as-happy-as-money-study-finds

Let's protect what we already have too.  More greenways, more protected areas.  

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