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Andyc545

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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...

The area around the Mallard Creek station has a lot of potential to grow. I was recently looking at a future plan for UNC Charlotte and they are planning a good bit of residential to be built across Mallard Creek around Bonnie Cone lane. This in addition to all their projects along N Tryon. Pedestrian and bicycle connectivity to the light rail stations should improve as well - the Toby Creek greenway will provide a connection from the UNC Charlotte light rail station to the Mallard Creek green way, Tryon, and to the retail at U City Blvd at WT Harris.

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The area around the Mallard Creek station has a lot of potential to grow. I was recently looking at a future plan for UNC Charlotte and they are planning a good bit of residential to be built across Mallard Creek around Bonnie Cone lane. This in addition to all their projects along N Tryon. Pedestrian and bicycle connectivity to the light rail stations should improve as well - the Toby Creek greenway will provide a connection from the UNC Charlotte light rail station to the Mallard Creek green way, Tryon, and to the retail at U City Blvd at WT Harris.

I think the campus is headed in the right direction as well as the immediate roads that perimeter the property of the University. There has been some wonderful enhancements over the past year on both N. Tryon and UCity Blvd that makes it safer for pedestrians and vehicles: placed lights and better crossings to slow traffic down and promote pedestrians to use. When it comes to other areas around UCity I don't see much positive change to a more urban environment; nothing more that a newer update current UCity. Now I hope it proves me wrong, but the current health care building is no where close to being urban in anyway, which is within the 1/2 mile radius of a proposed station (Mallard Creek) and I hesitate about the BofA campus. The city needs to enforce strict zoning limitations to TOD NOW even if the light rail is 3 years away.

Edited by Andyc545

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What is TOD? Just trying to stay up to date with the lingo? Also, any new updates on Ghazi's UC buildings? I know it's probably nothing, considering how he is in some financial issues with 210 Trade. What a shame. Very nice vision and concept.

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Transit oriented development

The other part I cannot answer, but I would imagine there is nothing in the pipeline for the rest of his projects for a little while. He has a lot of money to pay back to contractors and will likely face lawsuits if he doesn't.

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I think the campus is headed in the right direction as well as the immediate roads that perimeter the property of the University. There has been some wonderful enhancements over the past year on both N. Tryon and UCity Blvd that makes it safer for pedestrians and vehicles: placed lights and better crossings to slow traffic down and promote pedestrians to use. When it comes to other areas around UCity I don't see much positive change to a more urban environment; nothing more that a newer update current UCity. Now I hope it proves me wrong, but the current health care building is no where close to being urban in anyway, which is within the 1/2 mile radius of a proposed station (Mallard Creek) and I hesitate about the BofA campus. The city needs to enforce strict zoning limitations to TOD NOW even if the light rail is 3 years away.

I agree with the new medical building being no where near urban for the University City. I am curious at how strict zoning limitations to TOD now would make UC more urban? What kind of zoning limitations are you talking about? I am just wondering how limits could make UC more urban.

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I agree with the new medical building being no where near urban for the University City. I am curious at how strict zoning limitations to TOD now would make UC more urban? What kind of zoning limitations are you talking about? I am just wondering how limits could make UC more urban.

Similar zoning as seen in South End. Parking limitations, road design, dedicated pathways for bikes and mandatory large sidewalks, building design restrictions, density minimums; I could go on and on. UCity has 2 things going for it that gives it a sharper edge then S. End had: Population/University and a large amount of corporate offices that again, brings people.

See UCity land is cheap, so without zoning limits, anything can be built. Urban developments typically cost more in this situation, which is why when you give the choice, the more expensive and proper development is not chosen.

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What is TOD? Just trying to stay up to date with the lingo? Also, any new updates on Ghazi's UC buildings? I know it's probably nothing, considering how he is in some financial issues with 210 Trade. What a shame. Very nice vision and concept.

The Ghazi development is dead. I received a reply to an email of interest I sent awhile back and they stated that the project was on hold until more funding was available (this was before the economy landfall.) So, as you said, with his new money issues, I doubt we'll ever see this on the drawing board.

As for the medical office building, I was excited when I saw construction start up but felt immediately let down as soon as they started work the foundation. Hopefully the city forces them to build a sidewalk down to both the greenway and to the sidewalks at the intersection of MCCRd and Tryon. If not, UCP's vision is nothing but a piece of paper.

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Similar zoning as seen in South End. Parking limitations, road design, dedicated pathways for bikes and mandatory large sidewalks, building design restrictions, density minimums; I could go on and on. UCity has 2 things going for it that gives it a sharper edge then S. End had: Population/University and a large amount of corporate offices that again, brings people.

See UCity land is cheap, so without zoning limits, anything can be built. Urban developments typically cost more in this situation, which is why when you give the choice, the more expensive and proper development is not chosen.

Ok. I understand now. I really hope that in this case UC does impose these zoning restrictions too. I think with about 100k-150k living in this area it could really take off in Charlotte if proper measures were taken. It would be nice to see UC transform to Southend. However, with all my dreaming I doubt this will happen because I think people moved to "suburban" UC to escape the "urbanity" of Charlotte. A sad, sad, day.

The Ghazi development is dead. I received a reply to an email of interest I sent awhile back and they stated that the project was on hold until more funding was available (this was before the economy landfall.) So, as you said, with his new money issues, I doubt we'll ever see this on the drawing board.

As for the medical office building, I was excited when I saw construction start up but felt immediately let down as soon as they started work the foundation. Hopefully the city forces them to build a sidewalk down to both the greenway and to the sidewalks at the intersection of MCCRd and Tryon. If not, UCP's vision is nothing but a piece of paper.

This really saddens me. I would like to see more denser, mid-to high rise development in UC. I guess we're be a cheaper version of Ballantyne instead.

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This is the BidClerk description for the Bank of America project:

Site work and new construction of an office development in Charlotte. Schematic design plans call for the construction of approximately 1,000,000 square feet of office space, including a 200,000-square-foot corporate headquarters building for a national chain bank, all on a 24-acre site.

Does it mean they're moving the HQ from The Square?

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Today I just noticed in the former Circuit City location there is now a Big Lots, least that spot is going to be put to some use instead of sit vacant.

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Today I just noticed in the former Circuit City location there is now a Big Lots, least that spot is going to be put to some use instead of sit vacant.

I can't say I'm a big shopper at Big Lots, but I agree, this is MUCH better than this spot sitting empty.

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Dragging this thread back from the dead after reading the Concord Mills thread over in the Coffee House, where it was mentioned that the new Best Buy at Concord Mills appears to be replacing the University Place location. When this store closes (scheduled for two weeks from today), it will join Wal-Mart as a vacant big box along this short stretch of JW Clay Boulevard. The Max & Erma's right in front of the Wal-Mart recently closed as well. Taco Bell likely won't be open much longer since a KFC/Taco Bell is being built by the new Wal-Mart on North Tryon. Soon, only Dick's, Sam's Club, and a handful of smaller shops (Visionworks, Radio Shack, Mattress Firm, and a Lifeway Christian Store are all I can remember) will remain on that side of the road, with Visionworks being the only tenant before the second traffic light.

This is likely to be an important time for the University Place development, and could be for the University area in general. These buildings (the big boxes in particular) could sit empty for a while, possibly leading to further vacancies. Alternatively, it could be taken as a sign that the model used for this part of the development may not be sustainable over the long-term, possibly leading to some sort of redevelopment. However, the former Wal-Mart building and the land it sits on are owned by Wal-Mart Realty, and are currently on the market for about $8 million. That's down from the $9.25 million they were asking not long ago, but is still a lot for someone to pay if they're going to tear down the building in hopes of putting in something better and more sustainable, especially when you consider that the University area is still not tapped out on developable land.

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Yeah that does leave a large amount of empty box retail in University City. I really hope that land can be better utilized. It is a high traffic area so one would think the stores would be filled but at the same time we're in a recession and you have to ask yourself what stores exactly could fill these spaces? I think a Costco would be ideal (since there is none on this side of town) but I doubt they'd open a store right next to Sam's club.

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Yeah that does leave a large amount of empty box retail in University City. I really hope that land can be better utilized. It is a high traffic area so one would think the stores would be filled but at the same time we're in a recession and you have to ask yourself what stores exactly could fill these spaces? I think a Costco would be ideal (since there is none on this side of town) but I doubt they'd open a store right next to Sam's club.

There is a Costco right next to a Sams Club at Independence and 51.

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Oh yes there is - but they are in two separate shopping centers which I think enables them to co-exist better, I don't know if they could co-exist in the exact same shopping center. (could they?)

Edited by DigitalSky

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Dragging this thread back from the dead after reading the Concord Mills thread over in the Coffee House, where it was mentioned that the new Best Buy at Concord Mills appears to be replacing the University Place location. When this store closes (scheduled for two weeks from today), it will join Wal-Mart as a vacant big box along this short stretch of JW Clay Boulevard. The Max & Erma's right in front of the Wal-Mart recently closed as well. Taco Bell likely won't be open much longer since a KFC/Taco Bell is being built by the new Wal-Mart on North Tryon.

Forgot about this thread, good catch. As for the Taco Bell, oddly enough they plan on remaining open after the new Taco Bell opens up a mile away. I guess there are enough college students to sustain both. Taco Bell actually is one of the few fast food places in University that don't have two locations (including the campus itself.)

I do agree that something should be done with this space soon as the likelihood of redevelopment of at least the Walmart is pretty unlikely due to their asking price. I could see a Kmart reemerging in UCity or a BiLo could fit this spot as well. Then again, if BiLo had any interest in the heart of University, they would have moved into the old Winn Dixie years ago.

I'm not sure the old Walmart would be adequate space for a Costco, although one would certainly be welcome.

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I really can't imagine a Kmart moving into the University area. If anything, Sears Holdings (the controlling entity of Kmart) would open a stand alone Sears store there over a Kmart store. It might be interesting if they opened a mygofer store there. It too is owned by Sears Holdings, but it is a new concept store that reverses the typical space in a retail store from 80% show room and 20% storage to 80% storage and 20% show room. Customers shop online (or for certain items can in the store) and then come in to pick them up. You can even shop for groceries. Right now there are only a couple of these stores nationwide.

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After reading the article this morning, I wonder if a Food Lion Bottom Dollar store might not work. The two Charlotte area stores are north of the city and I think it would do well being close to the University with the students in the area/

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After reading the article this morning, I wonder if a Food Lion Bottom Dollar store might not work. The two Charlotte area stores are north of the city and I think it would do well being close to the University with the students in the area/

We already have Bloom though, which imo is better

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Yeah, Bottom Dollar's market is not University City and having the Bloom right there is pretty successful. As far as a Kmart re-emerging, that is highly unlikely I don't even think Kmart opens new stores anymore. As far as a Sears -- they closed their Eastland store and their heart doesn't seem to be in the Charlotte market right now, and arguably their Concord store is not that far away. We're pretty much running out of options of things that can fill the former Wal-mart and soon to be former Best Buy

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Yeah, Bottom Dollar's market is not University City and having the Bloom right there is pretty successful. As far as a Kmart re-emerging, that is highly unlikely I don't even think Kmart opens new stores anymore. As far as a Sears -- they closed their Eastland store and their heart doesn't seem to be in the Charlotte market right now, and arguably their Concord store is not that far away. We're pretty much running out of options of things that can fill the former Wal-mart and soon to be former Best Buy

I agree. Which leads me to believe that Dick's and Sam's Club won't be far behind. Also, I would think that it would make sense if Mattress Firm was looking at moving over to the Belgate development leaving just a handful of small retail left on that side of JW. If somebody doesn't move into the Walmart spot and/or the Best Buy spot within the next few months, I feel like the dominoes will start falling in the development.

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Something like Costco is about all that could fill the former Wal-Mart. According to their investor relations page, stores range from 73,000 to 205,000 square feet, with 142,000 being average. Wal-Mart was about 127,000, so it does seem doable. I don't know whether Sam's Club has anything making them the only warehouse club allowed in University Place, but I feel like that would be the biggest hurdle. I had a Costco membership a couple of years ago, but got tired of driving down to Tyvola or out to Independence to go there. If there were one in this area, I would definitely consider getting - and utilizing - a membership. Otherwise, hardware stores and mass merchandisers are about all that would fit. I don't think Home Depot or Lowe's is particular eager to relocate, and while Target was supposedly in talks a couple of years ago to relocate to Mallard Creek Church and Tryon, the Wal-Mart building is the exact size of their average standard store. If they're going to relocate at any point, I imagine they'll want the new store to be a SuperTarget, which average a whopping 174,000 square feet. As for Kmart, this store is just above the size of a Big Kmart and well below the size of a Kmart Super Center, so I'm not sure how they might utilize the space.

It's interesting to me that Taco Bell is remaining at University Place even after the KFC/Taco Bell opens, though as you mentioned earlier the University may be able to support both of them. I'm not a huge fan of the JW Clay location, but I guess it's good that something will still be over there. It's a bit depressing to be at that point though, where Taco Bell remaining in University Place is about the best news the place has seen in a while.

We already have Bloom though, which imo is better

Bloom and Bottom Dollar are aimed at different markets though. Bloom competes primarily with Harris Teeter whereas Bottom Dollar, from what I've been able to gather, is set up more like Aldi. I feel like many people that shop at Harris Teeter or Bloom would mostly ignore a store called Bottom Dollar, whereas its target customers would be drawn in based on the name alone. The Best Buy spot could potentially work for a grocer, but I feel like that spot is better suited for something that's a bit more of a "destination" rather than something that sells necessities. JW Clay sees a lot of traffic, but a lot of it is headed for a particular store over there. Other nearby stores that sell groceries tend to be along a main road that sees a lot of commuter traffic - Bloom and Wal-Mart on Tryon, Harris Teeter and Target on Highway 49, etc. It's possible Bottom Dollar or Bi-Lo could end up there, but I would think another big-box retailer is more likely. I think the former Winn-Dixie space at Pavilion and 49 would be a good space for something like Bottom Dollar although it could be confusing since there's a Family Dollar two doors down in the same shopping center. (On a somewhat related note, signs are up inside the former Movie Gallery there touting "Discount Furniture" coming soon. I guess it's good to see something going there at least.)

I agree. Which leads me to believe that Dick's and Sam's Club won't be far behind. Also, I would think that it would make sense if Mattress Firm was looking at moving over to the Belgate development leaving just a handful of small retail left on that side of JW. If somebody doesn't move into the Walmart spot and/or the Best Buy spot within the next few months, I feel like the dominoes will start falling in the development.

I'm not sure whether Sam's Club would close or relocate, and if they relocated where they would relocate to - maybe close to Wal-Mart again? They own that land though, and aren't really in need of expanding, so maybe they'll stick around. Dick's is a little more iffy as they seem to be just leasing the building and their neighbor is moving, likely dragging their traffic down. Again, I don't know if they'd relocate or simply say "Come visit us at Northlake or Afton Ridge." I really hope that the groups in charge of the land and buildings in and around University Place take a look at this and realize that the dominoes already appear to be falling. It'd be a shame to see even more vacancies, but it'll also be a shame if more big-box stores move in and the cycle just keeps repeating. As soon as developments like Belgate and University Pointe - where the Wal-Mart Supercenter is - are done attracting retailers, another development will open somewhere nearby and start taking them again. Older (and that's a relative term in UC, where "older" is simply 15 years old) developments like University Place are going to start to hurt hard if they don't change something. I'm amazed that the Commons at Chancellor Park, where Home Depot is located, continues to attract new tenants though.

Edited by ellifyno

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