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SuperTarget could work if they reworked the space (i.e. Dick's move into Best Buy, and then redevelop Wal-Mart and Dick's space into SuperTarget)... and there is a SuperTarget and Sam's club in the same shopping center in Durham so it is a plausible scenario. But yeah, as mentioned, this would subsequently close Target's store on University City Blvd leaving another empty box... maybe then Costco could fill that space? lol

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SuperTarget could work if they reworked the space (i.e. Dick's move into Best Buy, and then redevelop Wal-Mart and Dick's space into SuperTarget)... and there is a SuperTarget and Sam's club in the same shopping center in Durham so it is a plausible scenario. But yeah, as mentioned, this would subsequently close Target's store on University City Blvd leaving another empty box... maybe then Costco could fill that space? lol

Costco typically focuses on upscale consumers and I suspect most of us would agree that the demographics of U City are not moving in that direction. This trend is evidenced by the recent arrival of Big Lots, departure of the Gap and vacancies along 49. IMO a Huntersville (or Mooresville) Costco is much more likely.

I always thought a Coyote Joe's clone might do well in the old Winn Dixie slot....

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Maybe Costco typically focuses on upscale but their Matthews and Tyvola stores are in similar to University City demographic areas.

I agree with you in terms of current demographic conditions. But I was referring to the demographic trend line -- the Mattews and Tyvola stores are in locations where Costco can reasonably expect an increase in above the median HH over the next 10-15 years. Conversely, University City, given the current perception of schools and crime, is likely to look like a slow-grower to retailers with local knowledge.

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This thread is back, again!

There are some projects in the University City area that I feel deserve mentioning:

This Crescent Resources development is going on Mallard Creek Church Road, across from Trader Joe's and rezoning has been approved. Plans call for office space, retail, apartments and a hotel. Wonder when it will start construction.

http://charmeck.org/...s/2011-036.aspx

Aspen Heights and its cottage-style student apartments:

http://charmeck.org/...s/2012-057.aspx

Circle at UNC-Charlotte, which has gotten some serious flak from local residents.

http://charmeck.org/...s/2012-010.aspx

There is also a new Chipotle that is being built on a parcel of Mallard Pointe across from the University which looks like will include an expanded Starbucks from the one currently in Mallard Pointe.

There are other apartment projects that I know of, like the Highland Creek apartments, but I haven't found a link yet.

Edited by Skyline49er

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Interesting. The Aspen Heights complex has solar panels on the canopy by the pool.

Hate to see so many apartment complexes going in in the area though. This just signals the demise of another one of the older complexes in the area.

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In other U City news the Mecklenburg Times is reporting that Hobby Lobby, Marshalls, World Market, PetSmart, Old Navy, Shoe Carnaval and Ulta are going into new space adjacent to Ikea.

This is going to totally gut most of the other strip centers in the area.

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Not exciting, but the empty parcel in front of Walmart's parking lot next to the intersection will be a gas station. Although it'll cover the view of the parking lot, there could have been a better use IMO. Also why is there 3 tires/auto places at that intersection? SMH

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In other U City news the Mecklenburg Times is reporting that Hobby Lobby, Marshalls, World Market, PetSmart, Old Navy, Shoe Carnaval and Ulta are going into new space adjacent to Ikea.

This is going to totally gut most of the other strip centers in the area.

I could have sworn that World Market closed a few years ago?

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In other U City news the Mecklenburg Times is reporting that Hobby Lobby, Marshalls, World Market, PetSmart, Old Navy, Shoe Carnaval and Ulta are going into new space adjacent to Ikea.

This is going to totally gut most of the other strip centers in the area.

As a resident of University City and within walking distance of all of these stores (World Market left Univ City over a year ago so I am happy they are returning) It's a gross exaggeration to say it would gut other shopping centers since most of them are only losing 1-2 tenants while still remaining relatively full.

In most cases it makes sense to me particularly with the Old Navy and Marshalls as both of those stores seemed to look like they were closing for the longest time (horribly kept inventory and a feeling internally like they were getting ready to leave for a long time).

I do wonder though about the North side of the Shoppes at University Place which isn't so much gutted by the move of Ulta (but is showing signs of abandonment. Many of the smaller shoppes on that side of the complex are empty and have been for a while. I also wonder about the mega stores area across from that side of the complex where the old Walmart used to be which now only has the mega guitar music store and the Sam's Club for what is such a large parcel of box stores and parking lots.

If anything this area is feels like it is dying a slow death which I hope there are plans to either stop, move in new and better tenants, or completely reimagin the space (maybe less large stores and more offices/residential?)

Back to the IKEA area (which is accessible via sidewalk behind the new Super Walmart - I can't say I'm surprised retail tenants are lining up as the LRT will have a stop there in four years and it's right off the I-85

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In other U City news the Mecklenburg Times is reporting that Hobby Lobby, Marshalls, World Market, PetSmart, Old Navy, Shoe Carnaval and Ulta are going into new space adjacent to Ikea.

This is going to totally gut most of the other strip centers in the area.

I have been wondering for the longest time what was going to be built over there. I too hope that some other retail moves into these soon to be vacant spaces, compare foods anyone?

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Back to the IKEA area (which is accessible via sidewalk behind the new Super Walmart - I can't say I'm surprised retail tenants are lining up as the LRT will have a stop there in four years and it's right off the I-85

The closest LRT stations to IKEA and/or Wal-Mart will be a far hike, located on Tryon by the Waffle House (currently called University City Blvd. station, though not at such street) or by Showmar's (McCullough station). University Place will actually be an easier walk to LRT, since the JW Clay station will be in line with the internal walkway leading to the signature pond and shops.

Edited by southslider

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The Shoppes at University place has really gone down hill since I was a freshman in 2005.

That place used to be full all the time and all the shops were being used. Now it's half empty, which is a shame because of its proximity to campus.

I don't have high hopes for the University area.

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The closest LRT stations to IKEA and/or Wal-Mart will be a far hike, located on Tryon by the Waffle House (currently called University City Blvd. station, though not at such street) or by Showmar's (McCullough station). University Place will actually be an easier walk to LRT, since the JW Clay station will be in line with the internal walkway leading to the signature pond and shops.

I guess we have different definitions of what is hike as I wouldn't consider it as such - then again I'm comfortable walking from the UNC Charlotte CRI entrance to IKEA which I see as convenient

The Shoppes at University place has really gone down hill since I was a freshman in 2005.

That place used to be full all the time and all the shops were being used. Now it's half empty, which is a shame because of its proximity to campus.

I don't have high hopes for the University area.

I partially agree. I think half of the University Shoppes area has gone downhill - the half that was retail based versus restaurant and bar based. The bar restaurant area is thriving and attracts large crowds.

I also have a different outlook for the University City area and think it is growing both in amenities and population.

Edited by Urbanity

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I guess we have different definitions of what is hike as I wouldn't consider it as such - then again I'm comfortable walking from the UNC Charlotte CRI entrance to IKEA which I see as convenient

Distance is not the problem. However, the built environment will be the problem, especially when it includes all the auto-oriented retail announced above.

Walking around the entire lake or pond of University Place would be a longer walk than the nearest LRT station to IKEA or Wal-Mart. However, the experience of walking from JW Clay will be along a much more pedestrian-scaled and activated environment than that from the University City Blvd. or McCullough stations.

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I also have a different outlook for the University City area and think it is growing both in amenities and population.

and empty box stores.

Population growth isn't everything, it's also the type of population growth. My guess, and is that the average income of University City residents is not increasing.

The growth of empty box stores will eventually lead to lower commercial rents and the arrival of second rate retail. The last thing the University city area needs is more stores on par with Dollar Tree, Big Lots, Dollar General, and Family Dollar.

The dining scene and bar scene up there is terrible too. You basically have Saucer, Boardwalk Billy's, and Bad Dogs. An embarrassingly bad selection for an area with a university of 26,000 students. There are a handful of decent non-chain restaurants (Casablanca and Thai House come to mind), but most of the dining establishments there are chains.

I loved my time in college, but I would never consider living there again unless serious changes happen. The C Apartment complex in place of Chateau Ghetto is a nice start, but that only addresses one problem (too many low rent, dumpy apartment complexes that are no longer attractive to students).

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I looked up some data for 28262 out of curiosity:

Median HH income:

2011: $61,421

2000: $54,942 (adjusted to 2011 dollars this is $71,768)

# Households earning less than $15,000:

2011: 913

2000: 529

# Households earning between $15,000 and $24,999

2011: 823

2000: 577

No doubt there are multiple ways to interpret these data but my read is that the area is becoming less affluent. This will, in turn, make the area less attractive ot non-discount retailers.

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All I can say as one who actually lives in the area that my observations based on my daily life here are different than some perceptions about the area.

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I believe this was the land that Bank of America purchased for 8 million.

 

Its not a big surprise but BofA is selling their large U City parcel at Mallard Creek and 29. Since much of this was intended to be satelitte hot-desk office space this dovetails with their reduction in their telecommuting program.

 

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/12/06/3711188/bofa-selling-land-in-university.html

 

BofA also bought the parcel expecting it to be a true TOD opportunity, however the termination of the BLE before it leaves campus has changed that.

Edited by kermit

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For that to be such a busy intersection, it's so underused. Two gas stations and two vacant pieces of land. I was really hoping bofa's plans were coming to fruition.

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U city needs a makeover before light rail. I know the campus well and it's incredibly unwalkable off the campus. Mixed use does not exist up there. It's primarily all single use which is spread out far enough that I don't think it will be easy to fix. I don't blame Bank of America for throwing in the towel. However, his might have more to do with the fact Bank of America is doing away with most of its telecommuting programs which this would have been.

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I said it before and I'll say it again - I think people knock the U City area unfairly.  

 

Yes it has sprawl, yes it has some bad problems, but there seems to be almost a bandwagon mentality on this board to rip the area constantly in a way that I don't think matches reality.

 

Again, I recognize all the work the area has in front of it, but I see the area as having positive movement (if very slow at the moment) forward and not in reverse which seems to be something being hinted at or stated over and over in multiple threads.  

 

Frankly - I think the area will be the next big area once the LRT happens and that isn't an overnight thing - that something that is starting to happen now.

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