krazeeboi

Charlotte area "ring cities"

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I stopped in Belmont on my way back from Crowders this past weekend.  What a gem of a downtown that place is turning into.  It's also just ITCHING for a commuter rail connection.  It's worth at least a trip out there, I was really surprised with how cool it was.

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^This.

I'm a Belmont Abbey student so I see downtown Belmont a lot. A commuter line that would go to Belmont would be a huge benefit to the community. Frankly I don't know why a Gaston County commuter line isn't being seriously talked about.

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A large shopping complex including Hobby Lobby (which opened Monday), TJ Maxx, Ross, Rack Room Shoes (relocating), and Mattress Firm is being built in Albemarle adjacent to the existing Wal-Mart shopping complex.  There is room for up to 15 additional retailers/restaurants in spaces from 1100 - 22,000 SF currently under construction.  In addition, Carolinas HeathCare System Urgent Care - Albemarle is being built across the street.  While not exciting for us Charlotteans, these are HUGE wins for Albemarle which is still struggling with high unemployment and people who live in small towns in Stanly, Montgomery, and Anson counties for which Albemarle is the closest place to do anything more than basic grocery shopping.  My office is in Albemarle, so I'll snap some photos next time I'm on that side of town.

http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/19096380/730-Leonard-Avenue-Albemarle-NC/

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A large shopping complex including Hobby Lobby (which opened Monday), TJ Maxx, Ross, Rack Room Shoes (relocating), and Mattress Firm is being built in Albemarle adjacent to the existing Wal-Mart shopping complex.  There is room for up to 15 additional retailers/restaurants in spaces from 1100 - 22,000 SF currently under construction.  In addition, Carolinas HeathCare System Urgent Care - Albemarle is being built across the street.  While not exciting for us Charlotteans, these are HUGE wins for Albemarle which is still struggling with high unemployment and people who live in small towns in Stanly, Montgomery, and Anson counties for which Albemarle is the closest place to do anything more than basic grocery shopping.  My office is in Albemarle, so I'll snap some photos next time I'm on that side of town.

http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/19096380/730-Leonard-Avenue-Albemarle-NC/

Good to hear of development in the Albemarle/Stanly County area!

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I stopped in Belmont on my way back from Crowders this past weekend.  What a gem of a downtown that place is turning into.  It's also just ITCHING for a commuter rail connection.  It's worth at least a trip out there, I was really surprised with how cool it was.

I've been telling my friends about Belmont for ages.  It's definitely becoming a place where people want to live and the downtown is very charming.  Seems even the Jonas Brother's Dad is opening a restaurant there.

Rendering: Nellie's Southern Kitchen will feature Southern-style cuisine inspired by family recipes.

http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2015/09/24/jonas-brothers-dad-starts-construction-on-belmont.html

 

 

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To follow up on my post about Uwharrie Bank yesterday, here are some Google Street View looks at some of their branches and corporate facilities (all adaptive reuse except for the new-construction branch in Locust):

- New Conference Center, Executive Offices & Community Event Space (NW Corner) - https://www.google.com/maps/@35.3503504,-80.1995161,3a,75y,29.94h,93.23t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s27aGra8KOaivg480IZfssw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

- Downtown Albemarle Branch (The old diner next door has been preserved and converted into an employee lounge/lunch area.  I wish it were still a functioning restaurant, but Albemarle is still struggling to support the limited businesses that are open downtown.) - https://www.google.com/maps/place/Uwharrie+Bank/@35.3515637,-80.1980351,3a,75y,281.64h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sQESstow3dgyis65h1SBm-Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x7a05f2f9216ecdb1!6m1!1e1

- Albemarle Branch - https://www.google.com/maps/@35.360732,-80.1991628,3a,75y,120.11h,81.28t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sv9Av-tQbaFQmt_MsiTIWIA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

- Mt. Pleasant Branch - https://www.google.com/maps/@35.3982689,-80.4356192,3a,75y,250.16h,86.04t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s46IdATF54wtjPFrVdjsAXA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

- Norwood Branch - https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bank+of+Stanly/@35.2247594,-80.1190075,3a,75y,33.78h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sElj1gaGkTj8lEKtH8UKdig!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xc21e6bc37e928a94!6m1!1e1

- Locust Branch - https://www.google.com/maps/place/Uwharrie+Bank+-+West+Stanly+Office,+Drive+Thru+%26+ATM/@35.2584505,-80.4307506,3a,75y,284.98h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sWsR4pSqcp1I0ffNfV2krQQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x6d30562c714980a7!6m1!1e1

 

I'm a little biased, but I think they do a great job preserving, restoring, and reusing historic buildings or structures that would otherwise sit empty or be torn down.

 

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Wow, downtown Albemarle is gorgeous with old buildings!

There are a lot of great old buildings with a lot of history in Albemarle. Unfortunately, too many are still empty and in need of a little TLC.  Unlike Charlotte, nothing (with the exception of a condemned former textile mill that was demoed to make room for a planned community park and youth recreational complex - although the massive central smoke stack was saved to be incorporated into the adjacent greenway), is ever torn down in Albemarle.  City and business leaders as well as the public/private downtown redevelopment organization always consider preservation, restoration, and adaptive reuse as the first options in and around downtown.  There are strict signage ordinances, and any alterations or additions to existing buildings in downtown must be historically accurate.  In my opinion, Charlotte could learn a lot from our 'ring cities' that are embracing their historical structures as part of revitalization plans.

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Albermarle could be a very cool little area if there were anything there to spark true economic activity. The downtown has a lot of potential and with the Uwharrie park and some really great lakes nearby, it's in a great area. It'd probably be thriving if that area and all its amenities were 20 miles from Charlotte instead of 40ish.

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Albermarle could be a very cool little area if there were anything there to spark true economic activity. The downtown has a lot of potential and with the Uwharrie park and some really great lakes nearby, it's in a great area. It'd probably be thriving if that area and all its amenities were 20 miles from Charlotte instead of 40ish.

 

I think it'd probably be more comparable to Rock Hill if it were closer.  Rock Hill catches a lot of flack, but it has a fantastic Main street.

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Dude Rock hill rocks. If it wasn't so dang far from CLT, I'd move there in a heartbeat. It has a TON of old housing stock, several great mills, and a pretty large downtown considering how small other old downtowns are. Once they develop their big new district between downtown and Winthrop's campus it'll be insane.

Edited by SgtCampsalot

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Just in the past 5 or so years Albemarle was the last nearby county seat to be connected to Charlotte with a four lane highway. This was long, long after most of the other towns/cities had their commuter/transportation and commerce so connected. The long sleep allowed Albemarle to retain so much of its heritage. This is a familiar pattern for cities cut off from 21st century development to discover their past is actually an asset.

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Just in the past 5 or so years Albemarle was the last nearby county seat to be connected to Charlotte with a four lane highway. This was long, long after most of the other towns/cities had their commuter/transportation and commerce so connected. The long sleep allowed Albemarle to retain so much of its heritage. This is a familiar pattern for cities cut off from 21st century development to discover their past is actually an asset.

Very good insight. The same is the case on a smaller scale for the old urban neighborhoods. They had absolutely zero investment, so no one cared one bit to tear down the old buildings in the first place.

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I wasn't quite sure where to put this, but I read in the Fort Mill Times that Lidl/their developer has a rezoning application hearing for Feb 1st for a location of exit 85: http://www.heraldonline.com/news/local/community/fort-mill-times/article53710045.html

 

There was also a nice write-up about the Pump House as well:

http://www.heraldonline.com/news/business/article53904025.html

Photo Gallery:

http://www.heraldonline.com/news/business/article53963820.html

 

 

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I am not familiar with the Catawba river part of Charlotte. But why did Charlotte not originally grow on the river? Is it flood plains? Are there any towns in Meck Co. along it now??? Water is just something all inland NC towns are missing. Just asking because I am clueless about the west side of Charlotte other than the airport.

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The Catawba was not a navigable river, so practically speaking it wasn't important for trade. Trade & Tryon more or less follow what started as Native American trading trails that turned into white folk trading trails that turned into highways.

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Who here has seen downtown Kannapolis? I'm from the southern part of the region, not the north, so I only just saw it for the first time today.

I've never quite seen a downtown like it. The buildings are all so very architecturally interesting and remind me of an old English town. When I read the history, the town went through several different periods of architectural master-planning and renovating. And the David Murdock Research Institute campus is absolutely massive and awe inspiring in its scale (which is appropriate, since further reading revealed that the "Cannon Mill" Pilotex-owned complex it replaced was larger than the pentagon), both as individual structures, and how the entire area is spread out over a vast expanse of fields.

Combine today's overcast sky with the fact that like three-quarters of the downtown real estate is vacant, dirty, and all similarly colored, the entire time I was there today I thought I was in a very surreal dream...

EDIT: Even though nearby Concord doesn't have a train station for Amtrak/HSR, Kannapolis should have a very interesting future considering its having-a-station and all.

Edited by SgtCampsalot

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16 hours ago, SgtCampsalot said:

Who here has seen downtown Kannapolis? I'm from the southern part of the region, not the north, so I only just saw it for the first time today.

I've never quite seen a downtown like it. The buildings are all so very architecturally interesting and remind me of an old English town. When I read the history, the town went through several different periods of architectural master-planning and renovating. And the David Murdock Research Institute campus is absolutely massive and awe inspiring in its scale (which is appropriate, since further reading revealed that the "Cannon Mill" Pilotex-owned complex it replaced was larger than the pentagon), both as individual structures, and how the entire area is spread out over a vast expanse of fields.

The style of the buildings is very similar to the old Moravian style you see in and around Winston-Salem. Winston was not master planned, of course, and it's a lot older, so the architecture is less homogenous, but check out Old Salem, the West End, and Reynolda Village (which was built a lot later and is an imitation).

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I think the city is in the process of buying much of the vacant and run down real estate in downtown, with the ultimate goal of partnering with developers and contributing the land as incentive to revitalize their downtown, similar to what Rock Hill is in the process of doing. 

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