monsoon

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Park and Recreation Master Plan

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The CBJ is speculating there might be a plan in the works for the city or county to spend $300M on a zoo or aquarium for Charlotte. While I do think the city needs more non-sports related attractions, I question the timing of such a proposal given where the economy has gone and the need to spend money on transit.

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The CBJ is speculating there might be a plan in the works for the city or county to spend $300M on a zoo or aquarium for Charlotte. While I do think the city needs more non-sports related attractions, I question the timing of such a proposal given where the economy has gone and the need to spend money on transit.

You are absolutely right! 300 m would go a long ways towards light rail.

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I abhor the the thought a zoo, unless it was specific to a mission to help repopulate the world of endangered animals that are threatened by loss of habitat. For anyone who wants to see exotic animals sitting around, Ashboro is not that far away.

Also, why do we need an aquarium? Atlanta just built the biggest in the country. Who would come to Charlotte to see something they could go to Atlanta and see along with many other attractions.

I agree that there should be more non-sports investments, but can we get a bit more creative. I had estimated a couple of years ago that a "Central Park" could be built in place of the existing rail yards north of downtown. I don't remember my estimated price, but it was similar to $300. This would be much more beneficial to both residents and tourists....assuming it was tastefully designed.

Edit. Link to my proposal....I had estimated it at $325-$350M.

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.ph...st&p=563057

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I agree that it should be used to get lightrail connected to unc charlotte faster :) Really, if was here in university city I would actually have a use for it.

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Wow. It's an interesting idea, but seems like a big waste of money when there are already lots of nice amenities Uptown (NFL, NBA, NASCAR HOF, Blumenthal, Arts Complex, Discovery, etc) to draw tourists and plenty of underfunded needs (streetcar line?). Couping up a bunch of animals in an urban zoo is a terrible idea anyway. I've always liked that NC has a large park for a zoo, where the animals can have at least some kind of territory in which to roam. To me the NASCAR HOF is probably the draw that will satisfy this type of amenity, and I like that it's unique to the area. I do like the idea of a large urban park.

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Here we go again, pie in the sky. To do a zoo corrrect you need more land than is avaible in the Charlotte area. I do not care to go and see animals in cages.

I took these in Kenya. Look no cages, I was in the cage(van) for protection.

P7270891.jpg

P7210345.jpg

Baby.jpg

Mara2.jpg

MaraSafariClub3.jpg

Kenya1.jpg

Edited by RiverwoodCLT

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Isn't park and rec money a seperate fund thouugh from Mass Transit. I'm sorry, I love mass trasit and beg for more funding and a speedy job, but I have to disagree with the majority of you and like i had made posts in the Park and Rec Master Plan thread, I think the money should be invested into more non-sporting attractions, spreading out invested money to suit a larger and more diverse population. Gives more options in the city for visitors, raises the quality of life, and brings diversity that other investments couldn't directly bring (and research). It's a worthy investment for the long term future, IMO. I still like the aquarium idea for uptown, but yeah- maybe something distinguished and creative can come out of it to bring people here instead of competing cities.

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The actual Master Plan document doesn't recomend building a zoo, aquarium, or botanical gardens for the next 10 years. I agree with that recomendation....but long term do think that an aquarium would be something nice to have.

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Here we go again, pie in the sky. To do a zoo corrrect you need more land than is avaible in the Charlotte area.

Going on a safari in Kenya is a bit different from going to a zoo. Almost every major american city has a zoo. Most of those cities have far less available land than Charlotte. Finding land to build a zoo might be the easiest part of the process.

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I abhor the the thought a zoo, unless it was specific to a mission to help repopulate the world of endangered animals that are threatened by loss of habitat. For anyone who wants to see exotic animals sitting around, Ashboro is not that far away.

Also, why do we need an aquarium? Atlanta just built the biggest in the country. Who would come to Charlotte to see something they could go to Atlanta and see along with many other attractions.

I agree that there should be more non-sports investments, but can we get a bit more creative. I had estimated a couple of years ago that a "Central Park" could be built in place of the existing rail yards north of downtown. I don't remember my estimated price, but it was similar to $300. This would be much more beneficial to both residents and tourists....assuming it was tastefully designed.

Edit. Link to my proposal....I had estimated it at $325-$350M.

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.ph...st&p=563057

Im with you, Charlotte needs several more pieces before a zoo... maybe an aquarium is more realistic, but what could be better then having a massive park that could be a perfect place for these developments in the future... Oh to think!

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What could $300 million do for the Sugar Creek greenway and speeding up our park connectivity?

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I think I will have to agree with the people for the zoo or aquarium. Being sort of an "outsider" to Charlotte and visiting there once, I would say the rail line is quite adequate right now for a tourist person coming into the city. With the Nascar HoF coming in to draw mainly tourists you gotta give them something to do another day to extend their stay.

The appropriate way to do a zoo is what Busch Gardens has in their Tampa park. You have the big open Savannah with a variety of animals that you can see via caged vehicle and in previous years by hanging monorail. And the more dangerous animals you had in pits with overlook points or behind glass for that up close experience. If Charlotte has the necessary land to build such a big project probably the size of Carowinds go for it. If not, I think the aquarium would be the way to go. Get a creative architect and build some modern building that itself would draw tourists. A building with a concept like this that makes it unique would draw it a lot of people. (I love this building!, its the Milwaukee Art Museum)

Dcp_1028.jpg

In the end, if you got the land to do it right build the zoo if not build the aquarium with some a great piece of architecture to go along with it and make it stand out above Atlanta's.

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build the aquarium with some a great piece of architecture to go along with it and make it stand out above Atlanta's.

One thing, IMO, that Charlotte consistently fails miserably at. I am talking about creating really standout architecture. OK, there's one or two things (BoA Stadium & headquarter), but they blew it with the Bobcats arena & Convention Center and a few other smaller things. Just my opinion.

I'm sure whatever they build will be red brick, lol, but the land is there in downtown for a very nice aquarium, especially in the 1st Ward area.

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Even though I had previously said that I don't think an aquarium needs to be pursued simply because it's the "in" thing now for cities, I do think that it would make for a more well-rounded tourist experience in Charlotte. It wouldn't need to be a main attraction, but just a piece of the puzzle in making Uptown (assuming it would go there) more of an interesting place.

But one thing I've been saying all along and I continue to stand by, the city needs to have a large, central city park like atlrvr alluded to. No city can even think about laying claim to "world class" status without it.

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At this point I'd settle for a decent music festival or series. I can't believe "Alive after 5" is the best Charlotte can come up with. Knoxville has the stellar Sundown series. Chattanooga has Nightfall and the enormous Riverbend festival. And those cities are a quarter of Charlotte's size.

Maybe that could be held in a nice big uptown park...

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Something like austins sxsw or milwaukees summerfest would be amazing! Whatever happened to the cityfest live? I remember going in 02. Had decent bands...

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Going on a safari in Kenya is a bit different from going to a zoo. Almost every major american city has a zoo. Most of those cities have far less available land than Charlotte. Finding land to build a zoo might be the easiest part of the process.

This is the part of the problem in my opinion...if everyone already has one nearby, what's the point of going to Charlotte?

Again, this is why I support a large central park. Sure, lots of cities have them, but they are patently different to each city. It may not draw a large number of people to the city by itself, but it is a nice FREE activity that enhances their visit. Best of all, its something that the residents can use many times a year. I believe a central park would stick in people's memories far more than a zoo or aquarium.

Also, their is already a proposal put out as part of Cultural Facilities Master Plan to have a museum encompassing mutliple ecosystems.

From the Master Plan (sorry, this is buried in the middle of a massive .pdf, so I didn't want to link it)

Greatest Places

Description: Greatest Places is the working title given to the major new attraction proposed for development by Discovery Place, which is an element of the umbrella concept, Places of Discovery. The facility would provide an opportunity in one location for a "stroll around the world to visit the Earth

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..... Thus, Greatest Places curators and scientists would not merely be exhibiting habitats that are fast vanishing, but would also be participating in the worldwide struggle to understand and preserve them. Federal funds might be attracted to this purpose.
Would be especially ironic in a city that has shown no backbone at all at preventing irresponsible development that does exactly that. i.e. removing natural habitats for low density cheap sprawl.

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We have a great zoo over in Greensboro: The NC Zoo. One of the better ones I've been too.

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Acquriums are expensive to operate and they need fresh exhibits to keep people coming back. Heck, just go down to Fintastic off South Tryon if you want to see lots of fish. (And it's free to browse! :D )

Edited by MZT

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I'm opposed to a zoo. I don't want to see animals in cages. Our NC Zoo at Asheboro is the right model, if you're going to have a zoo. Lots and lots of open space. And forget the aquarium-everybody has one, including the world's largest an hour away by air.

$300 million would be better spent on:

  • more light rail, including a subway line from center city through Southpark and out Providence Road
  • a big centrally-located park
  • bringing more of UNCC to the center city (or just spending it UNCC, period-we can argue later about what to spend it on)

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Acquriums are expensive to operate and they need fresh exhibits to keep people coming back. Heck, just go down to Fintastic off South Tryon if you want to see lots of fish. (And it's free to browse! :D )

I went to Ripley's Aquarium while I was in Myrtle Beach last year and it wasn't cheap to get in. It was $18.50 for one adult. Next time, I will go to Fintastic :P

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Here's the link to the CBJ article. Sounds like they are just hyping it up to sell copies of their magazine. They are basing all of this off of a survey that Mecklenburg Parks and Rec did asking residents what they would like to see built as an attraction. I really doubt that they will do a big-ticket item any time soon, what with the Whitewater Park, the public venues downtown (Arena, Knights Stadium, Bechtler, Mint, AACC, etc.), and light rail already costing so much and being fresh on the minds of everyone.

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The Mayor got bloodied in the NC press by his opponents for Governor this week (though not in Charlotte's press :rolleyes: ) for suggesting that Charlotte does not have enough money to pay for a jail expansion. His opponents immediately pointed out that McCroy managed to find $265M to build an arena for a the NBA (against voters wishes), and has supported another $1/2Billion in various projects for NASCAR, baseball, and bank wet dreams.

Because of this you can pretty much bet there won't be any calls for an aquarium or zoo in Charlotte this year.

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