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the one by BWW isn't a slave cemetery. Most of the grave markers there date from the twenties to the early 60's. I believe there used to be some sort of care home there for people who were either old or had medical issues. They had one for blacks as well, but it was segregated from the whites. The blacks I was told were buried without grave markers (most of them had no family or no money to buy headstones) on Charlotte's campus. There is an unmarked cemetery behind the baseball field on campus. I've heard it was a slave graveyard, but I've also heard it was for the blacks in that care home, so I don't really know what is true.

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This seems like the best place to post this, even though this thread hasn't been particularly active. Lincoln Harris has submitted a rezoning petition for 24 acres at the intersection of Tryon and Mallard Creek Church. This property is just past Mallard Creek Church as you head towards Uptown on Tryon. In addition to being right behind the Mallard Creek Greenway, it's about a quarter-mile from the proposed Mallard Creek Church station on the Blue Line extension. The rezoning application states that the purpose of the zoning change is "to create a high quality transit oriented development."

This property was rezoned back in 2004 to allow the building of a retail and office development "in anticipation of future transit service." That plan was approved, even though a very big chunk of the site was surface parking and much of the retail appeared to be in the form of a big-box strip center (at one point, developers were in talks with JCPenney and Target). At that time, signs went up on the property actively seeking tenants. Signs also went up on the other side of Tryon seeking tenants for property to be developed there. However, nothing happened on either site for years.

In November, Bank of America purchased the site that Lincoln Harris is now looking to develop. There was speculation that they'd build a satellite offices, though nothing was actually confirmed by the bank. Around the same time, OrthoCarolina announced plans to develop a building on 3.5 acres of the site across Tryon. Site work there began a couple of months ago, with an expected completion date in the first quarter of next year.

The site plan for Lincoln Harris' rezoning request appears more promising than the one that was approved in 2004, which was proposed by another company. They're seeking to build up to 1 million square feet total, with most of that being office and medical space. They do have some retail/restaurant space proposed on the site, but that space is limited to 75,000 square feet. The 2004 rezoning had up to 200,000 square feet of retail, as well as 200,000 square feet of office space.

The development is expected to be built in phases. The first phase has an office tower placed pretty close to the street right at the intersection Mallard Creek Church and Tryon. On either side of this tower (going south on Tryon or west on Mallard Creek Church) are future development areas, which are slated to be surface parking during the first phase only. The proposed maximum height for the first phase is 200 feet, while the proposed maximum height for the next phase is 265 feet. It appears that a parking deck would have to be built as surface parking is phased out for future development. They've also proposed to add a second left turn from northbound Tryon to westbound Mallard Creek Church (which is desperately needed) and to signalize the intersection just past Tryon on Mallard Creek Church as you head west (which primarily exists right now to allow for U-turning traffic from the Exxon and left-turning traffic to/from the Highlands at Alexander Pointe apartment complex, but will serve as a full-movement intersection with the addition of this development).

EDIT: The proposed site plan is here, and the approved site plan from 2004 is here for anyone who's interested.

Do they have any renderings for this site? This is really good news for the area and I hope it gets built.

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Do they have any renderings for this site? This is really good news for the area and I hope it gets built.

There are no renderings, at least not yet. But based on the site plan, look at any of the new office buildings in Ballantyne and you'll get the idea. There are pictures in the Ballantyne thread.

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Wow! I saw the Ballantyne pics and I have driven pass there on occassions, and if this can happen to UC then I truly look forward to it. I just really hope this happens.

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Bank of America has confirmed its plans to build a satellite office complex in the University area near one of the proposed light rail stops. It will be built out in phases, with the first phase containing a 200' building and the second phase will have a 265' building. It will also include retail and restaurants (ya think they'll have a steak house? ha). How this is built of course is all depends on how the economy unfolds. It will employ up to 2,000 BofA workers.

380144-339.jpg

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And in smaller ucity news, the city has installed sidewalks along the length of harris blvd through to the tryon intersection.

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And in smaller ucity news, the city has installed sidewalks along the length of harris blvd through to the tryon intersection.

We sure could use alot more sidewalks than that..... at least it's a start... :scared:

Edited by Batou

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You'll see tons of them with the 29/49 intersection realignment and when they build the light rail through there via NECI.

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I wonder if the renderings go according to plan, will this add to the skyline like flavor of the UC area? WIll this building be near the UC-Hospital and the UC Hilton? It will have an interesting flair to it if it does. The ballantyne area has a sort of skyline area, but I think Southpark does a better job in this regard.

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I wonder if the renderings go according to plan, will this add to the skyline like flavor of the UC area? WIll this building be near the UC-Hospital and the UC Hilton? It will have an interesting flair to it if it does. The ballantyne area has a sort of skyline area, but I think Southpark does a better job in this regard.

Unfortunately, the lot at Tryon and Mallard Creek Church is close to the Mallard Creek so it is a somewhat low area, you may be able to see it from Tryon and WT Harris but not from much of the UNCC campus. Maybe the 2nd phase, which would be a little taller and on slightly higher ground.

In this photo, the building will be just off to the left of the bottom left corner:

3560934916_d2e2183876_o.jpg

This give more of an overview of the U City area. You can see the intersection of Tryon and WT Harris in the foreground, and U City Blvd (Hwy 49) in the background. You can see the tallest buildings in U City in this photo: the Hilton hotel, the CMC-University, the UNCC library, and the old UNCC dorms. I think this new building will be the tallest in U City, however.

3560121627_c64aa036a9_o.jpg

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I see. So it looks like the UC area will follow the Ballantyne model of sporadic buildings than Southparks concentrated development. Isn't Ghazi still working on something? I haven't heard anything about that in a while.

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I see. So it looks like the UC area will follow the Ballantyne model of sporadic buildings than Southparks concentrated development. Isn't Ghazi still working on something? I haven't heard anything about that in a while.

Ghazi's stage 3 is still just a mere fantasy. It won't get off the ground unless it can land a major tenant/hotel/or a thriving condo market which is not in the works now or the most-near future. Sure, the future of U City could be compared to Ballantyne in one way; depends how you look at it. So far future buildings, like this medical building at Tryon/Mallard Creek Church is just like the rest, and unfortunatly represents little to no Urban train of thought to help change the path of the growth and change of U City. On the positive note (over Ballantyne) is what may or may not still take place with the help of the light rail extension. It could help spark (with strict zoning) TOD areas that will spark new true urbanized projects (IKEA isn't one of them really).

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The Charlotte Business Journal had an article on Friday about University City Partners' efforts to create a brand for the area. I don't know if it was in a print edition or just online, but this link from another forum seems to provide access to the whole article. They've hired Clear Blue, who, according to UCP's website "has provided branding services for other communities, including Ballantyne Village ("The Hot Red Center")." Personally though, I've never heard of Ballantyne Village referred to that way.

The article starts off saying, "For many, University City is where North Tryon Street meets W.T. Harris Boulevard. And that's about it." Sadly, I think that's fairly true. There's a thread in the Coffee House to discuss the perception of Charlotte from other parts of the state, country, and world, but I think it's also interesting to know how people in the Charlotte area view other parts of the city. For the University area, the things I feel like a lot of people associate it most with traffic and crime. The school itself is probably somewhere in the top five things people associate it with.

One fairly prominent feature of the area, which even includes the word "University" in it to help you identify its approximate location, is the University Research Park. University City Partners brought in a panel from the Urban Land Institute for feedback and recommendations in relation to URP. Among their recommendations was rebranding - and renaming - the park. Their suggested name? The Park. I'll admit that "University Research Park" could sound like it exists to serve as a research facility for a university. However, I'm not sure how completely removing the word "university" helps to create a cohesive brand for the University area. I also don't know that "The Park" is a great name. Not only is it completely generic, but there's the troubled condo project in Uptown by the same name (not something I'd necessarily want to associate with) and there's The Specialty Shops on the Park next to the Marriott (formerly The Park) near SouthPark. The panel also recommended adding things like a high-end hotel, a four-star restaurant, and executive housing. Oh, and a heliport to make URP more attractive to executives and the companies they run.

I do appreciate their efforts to more clearly define the area, and I hope that it helps more than their street sign attempt from a couple years ago. Part of the University area's problem is that no one really seems to know what the University area encompasses. Heck, I'm not even really sure, and I live a little over five minutes from the school. This problem is perpetuated by media outlets, which often refer to anything from Tryon and Sugar Creek up to (and including) Concord and Harrisburg and all the way out to Northlake as being part of the University area. Charlotte.com's local news section at one time grouped "University and West Charlotte" together. It's hard to form an opinion of an area you can't even identify.

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If URP were affiliated with a university, if they did research, or it were a park, then it might help.

One of the larger problems with University City is that there is no real "city" feel. It's more accurately a university "suburb." If a more city-like environment can be created, then more peopel will want to identify with University City. It's no unlike how people try to identify with NoDa and they don't live anywhere near it.

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You'll see tons of them with the 29/49 intersection realignment and when they build the light rail through there via NECI.

Is the realignment a separate project? IE, is that scheduled to occur regardless of the BLE's status? Can't really find much info on it.

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Is the realignment a separate project? IE, is that scheduled to occur regardless of the BLE's status? Can't really find much info on it.

The realignment is supposed to happen regardless. According to the CDOT website, the latest estimate for construction to begin is late summer of this year, with work scheduled to wrap up in 2012. No idea how well any part of that schedule will hold up.

If URP were affiliated with a university, if they did research, or it were a park, then it might help.

One of the larger problems with University City is that there is no real "city" feel. It's more accurately a university "suburb." If a more city-like environment can be created, then more peopel will want to identify with University City. It's no unlike how people try to identify with NoDa and they don't live anywhere near it.

I do agree that URP could use a bit of help with its name. It hasn't been a research center since I moved here in 2003, so that part of the name makes little to no sense. But I don't feel like it would be a bad thing to include the word "University" in the name, especially since University City Partners is wanting people to associate it with the University area. As for it being a park, it's kind of tough to classify the whole thing as one business park when it spans both sides of Harris and is about 2000 acres. However, it does have some appearances of an actual park, especially the stretch where the greenway crosses it. When I used to live at Harris and Mallard Creek, I loved seeing deer along the side of the road (so long as they stayed off the actual road). But yeah, I see your point. :)

I also agree about the lack of a city feel, which I know has been discussed at length before. That's pretty much why this thread exists - to discuss projects that may help to bring that feel. Unfortunately, what is proposed often falls short of doing anything to truly help the area. And even more unfortunately, what is actually built often falls short of what was even proposed. As I mentioned in the "Will the University area ever be cleaned up?" thread a couple years back, there's no good way to get anywhere around here without driving on Harris, Tryon, University City Boulevard, Mallard Creek, or Mallard Creek Church. There was a proposal for a development dubbed 49er Village a few years back that was to include retail, office, and residential near the intersection of Mallard Creek Church and 49. Unfortunately, all that's been built was a much less impressive version of it named University Village, which is just an apartment complex. There's so much potential around the area, but it seems like every time anyone expresses any interest in building anything, the response is simply, "Yippee! We'd love to have you!" If more could be done to actually go toward the master plan presented by UCP a year or two ago, that'd be fantastic. Small steps like sidewalks along Harris are great, but when there are rezoning petitions approved to put more parking closer to UC's grand intersection of Harris and Tryon, it gets harder and harder to believe anything of any real substance will be ever be achieved.

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If URP were affiliated with a university, if they did research, or it were a park, then it might help.

One of the larger problems with University City is that there is no real "city" feel. It's more accurately a university "suburb." If a more city-like environment can be created, then more peopel will want to identify with University City. It's no unlike how people try to identify with NoDa and they don't live anywhere near it.

I think the name originally was a copycat of Research Triangle Park, RTP. There never was any research there, probably never will be, but it sounded cool and RTP is pretty well known across the country, they probably were hoping for the same effect here.

Edited by JayGee

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As I mentioned in the "Will the University area ever be cleaned up?" thread a couple years back, there's no good way to get anywhere around here without driving on Harris, Tryon, University City Boulevard, Mallard Creek, or Mallard Creek Church.

I used to feel the same way about UC for the longest time. I too moved here in 03 and relied heavily on the main thoroughfares to get around the "town." However, there are nice little networks of side roads and parking lots that provide traffic free routes through the entire UC area that I have come to discover over the past month while moving from one apartment complex to another with a friend. You'd be amazed at how much faster JW Clay, JM Keynes, Old Concord Rd, Shopping Center Dr, etc and their interconnecting parking lots are than actually sitting at a million lights on the main roads.

LRT is a pipe dream for now, but it's always nice to dream, Charlotte has to have a lot of luck on its side to get approval and funding for the line. However, I really wish the city would hurry up with their plans for the 29/49/85 and 29/49/City Blvd intersections as well as the proposed revamp of Tryon/Harris. They will do wonders for the area along with the future connector roads to IKEA Blvd to Tryon and JM Keynes. I hope the University's plans to incorporate itself more with Tryon will come true as that should hopefully help slow traffic on Tryon.

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If URP were affiliated with a university, if they did research, or it were a park, then it might help.

One of the larger problems with University City is that there is no real "city" feel. It's more accurately a university "suburb." If a more city-like environment can be created, then more peopel will want to identify with University City. It's no unlike how people try to identify with NoDa and they don't live anywhere near it.

I've always felt that the best way to link the University to the suburban shopping across NC 29 would be to bury/cap NC 29 thru traffic from Harris Blvd. to Mallard Creek. The terrain would certainly allow for it and the possible pedestrian linkages and park land would create a much more urban texture.

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^Except grade-separations reward speeding motorists. And those cars now traveling even faster eventually re-emerge at-grade somewhere, creating hostile intersections for pedestrians to cross downstream of any tunnel or cap.

The resulting median the BLE will create on North Tryon will also ironically reward speed. Hence, frequent intersections (and thereby signals, since crossing tracks), plus visual and textual cues for pedestrian crosswalks, especially access to stations, will be very key to counter-act the effects of a median (on top of Tryon's already distant street walls). Personally, I'd love to see raised intersections (that's speed tables, not grade-separations), but I doubt NCDOT (or even CDOT) would consider such treatment.

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No surprise here, but the city approved BofA's request to rezone 24 acres off Mallard Creek Church Road and Tryon for construction of their satellite campus. Construction is expected to start soon on the first of the office buildings.

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With this being approved, does anyone think more projects like this will develop? I'm starting to think with BofA building this project, LRT is soon to follow, with more projects to follow. I think we will see the Southendization of UC once LRT comes.

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With this being approved, does anyone think more projects like this will develop? I'm starting to think with BofA building this project, LRT is soon to follow, with more projects to follow. I think we will see the Southendization of UC once LRT comes.

Considering the light rail extension is still 3-5 years away it sounds like they are trying to get ahead of the curve. A lot of the development that's occurring south of uptown began after the LYNX started service. BofA's plans may be the tip of the iceberg in terms of more TOD north of uptown. So, I say bring it on...

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