uptownliving

Metropolitan, Midtown Redevelopment

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Thanks for the updates. Its tough living in Raleigh now. I like it here a lot, but being from Charlotte I still follow developments more closely than most who still live there.

not to divert the thread, but describe actually living in raleigh, if you don't mind.

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Well I'm still getting a feel for it. Politically, its very backward. City leaders like to do things their own way, regardless of what every other major city might do. There are a ton of good ol' boys still running things around here. Important people whose claim to fame might be that their granddaddy started the paper or great granddaddy was governor or...you get the drift. There are some urban projects happening, not nearly as many as in Charlotte. The roads arent as good as I thought theyd be, this being the Capital and all. As for the feel of the city, taxes are low and it shows a little in terms of upkeep of sidewalks, roads, the bus system etc.

the worse thing is that the anti urban, anti downtown folks are very vocal. If you think a lot of South Charlotte people dont care much for downtown, North Raleigh and Cary are worse. These are the anti urbanism pits of North Carolina. There are LITERALLY people who would like to see all of downtown imploded.

thats rambling for ya, hope it helps. no more hijacking the thread

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Well I'm still getting a feel for it. Politically, its very backward. City leaders like to do things their own way, regardless of what every other major city might do. There are a ton of good ol' boys still running things around here. Important people whose claim to fame might be that their granddaddy started the paper or great granddaddy was governor or...you get the drift. There are some urban projects happening, not nearly as many as in Charlotte. The roads arent as good as I thought theyd be, this being the Capital and all. As for the feel of the city, taxes are low and it shows a little in terms of upkeep of sidewalks, roads, the bus system etc.

the worse thing is that the anti urban, anti downtown folks are very vocal. If you think a lot of South Charlotte people dont care much for downtown, North Raleigh and Cary are worse. These are the anti urbanism pits of North Carolina. There are LITERALLY people who would like to see all of downtown imploded.

thats rambling for ya, hope it helps. no more hijacking the thread

Thanks for the info, 49er.

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Apparently the city is considering a 17 million dollar package which would allow Pappas and others to develop the property.  They are expected to vote on it in November.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

To clarify: the total package is $17M partial tax exemption over a 10 year period. The City's share of that will be a lot less than $17M....I beleive their portion will be closer to $8M...the rest will be made up by Meck Co.

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The final public contribution by the city was approved this week. I just saw some of the plans from the City Council Mtg. ( Does anyone have a copy to post?)

The Wendy's is actually moving, but is still an out-parcel restaurant on this site.

I think this project will really cause some of the under-utilized lots along old Independence and King's to sprout into action. I also like the fact that the city is fixing the flubbed up intersection of Stonewall, 277, Kenilworth, Independence, and Baxter. from what I can see, they are reconnecting stonewall to Independence (the original route as seen in monsoon's posted old aerial)

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I know it is just buzz at this point, but just the possibitility that a major retailing anchor could locate about a mile from the square. There already have been announcements for leases of up-scale and uppish-scale retail in Midtown/Eliz (Home Depot Expo, Target --pronounced en francais for extra snob-appeal--, Whole Foods, Eastern Federal Cinemas), and significant momentum for this neighborhood (Grubb and Pappas new urban developments, streetcar plans, road improvements, greenway construction, CPCC campus beautification and expansion, Presby and CMC expansions). Combine this buzz with the announced retailers coming, and the momentum of the neighborhood, and we may have a significant boom of national retailers about to come to the inner city.

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Doesn't Northlake Mall have that additional anchor pad next to Dillard's... thats a possibility. Considering they were going about 8 miles south of uptown in the first place, 8 miles north of uptown won't be bad. Theres a lot of wealth up there around Lake Norman anyway... plus south Charlotte already has a Nordstrom and will be getting a Neiman Marcus. This would spread out the wealth better... Seeing it at somewhere like Midtown Square or Elizabeth i guess would be cool also.

EDIT: obviously I didn't see the line "Carolina Place mall manager Mike Payton said Saks is unlikely to choose either his Pineville location or the north Mecklenburg site of Northlake mall. Local retail analyst Frank Warren said neither of the two malls offers ideal demographics for Saks."

Edited by cantnot

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So, where exactly is Midtown? I have never heard of Midtown Charlotte until that last thread.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Midtown Square, originally Charlotte's first indoor mall (Charlottetown) built opened in 1960 i think, is at the corner of S Independence and S Kings. Now, whats left of the theater is being demolished for a Home Depot Expo Design Center and Target on top of it. Then, the mall i believe is planned to be demolished as well and an outside village of sorts should be created with shops restaurants and all that good stuff.

147522030nosYLo_ph.jpg

26163549.JPG

(Meck Tax Site)

cover-clt.jpg

(groceteria.net)

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"Midtown" is one of the many nicknames for the neighborhood southeast of I-277. It is the more urban section of the Elizabeth Neighborhood, that includes CPCC, Presby Hospital, the former Midtown Square Mall, and the area around the old Independence Boulvard.

I have seen this topic discussed in other threads, so there may be more information to browse.

Regarding Northlake or other possible locations, I am sure they are options, even if the article says they are less likely.

I really hope they locate on Elizabeth Ave, because the other major shopping areas in the city already have a critical mass concentration, whereas the area in and around uptown is fledgling from a retail perspective. We really need some major anchors to spur the urban retail that we lack today.

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Hi! Kind of out of place but.... Does anyone have or know where I can find a picture of Charlottetown Cinemas when it was in operation? I am trying to make a "picture wall" for my husband from our dating and married life. We went to see our first movie at CharelotteTown Cinemas back in 1987. I would love to find a picture when the theatre was in operation. I have a couple of it now (but it is closed and in disrepair). I am not sure where to research something like this. Please help!!

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Hi! Kind of out of place but.... Does anyone have or know where I can find a picture of Charlottetown Cinemas when it was in operation? I am trying to make a "picture wall" for my husband from our dating and married life. We went to see our first movie at CharelotteTown Cinemas back in 1987. I would love to find a picture when the theatre was in operation. I have a couple of it now (but it is closed and in disrepair). I am not sure where to research something like this. Please help!!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I would start at the main public library. I'm not sure how long ago they have taken photos of every lot for tax purposes, but that may one way to investigate. You may also be able to search through old Observers there.

Good luck with your search. I'm sure your husband will love the final product.

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From the Charlotte ObserverCharlotte.com

DIANNE WHITACRE

Staff Writer

The massive facelift of midtown Charlotte begins next year, with the extension of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway and the construction of millions of dollars of shops, restaurants and homes.

The final piece: a better way to get there.

Next summer, the city begins an ambitious package of road and sidewalk changes to improve traffic flow and make walking and cycling safer through the area.

Next fall, Pappas Properties begins its $143 million replacement of Midtown Square, creating a retail-and-dining destination from the ruins of the city's oldest mall.

Visitors to the site southeast of uptown will find creekside restaurants, a designer home-improvement store, and a handsome, tree-lined promenade with fountains and benches.

Cyclists on the greenway can buy an ice cream cone at the end of their ride and people-watch in a shady place.

Drivers will find it easier getting to and from the development, while new sidewalks and bike lanes will allow visitors to leave their cars at home.

The publicly financed greenway and roadwork have been planned for years but were shelved until the economy improved and developer Peter Pappas was ready to begin work on the old mall.

A separate redevelopment that has started three blocks away on Elizabeth Avenue will benefit from Midtown's roadwork and greenway. Grubb Properties' $240 million plan includes a Whole Foods grocery, movie theaters, residences and a parking deck.

Midtown Square will be replaced by shops, restaurants, parking decks and a 15-story condo tower. Pappas, who developed the upscale Phillips Place and Birkdale Village, plans a similarly walkable shopping and dining district.

His design includes broad sidewalks, streetlights and a traditional Main Street appeal.

Work starts next fall on a Home Depot EXPO Design Center with a second-floor Target store on the old cinema site.

Midtown's parking lot, which now covers the creek, will be demolished and the creek landscaped and sidewalks built alongside it.

That work is part of Mecklenburg County's $10-million plan to build a 4.5-mile stretch of the greenway to Cordelia Park, north of uptown.

The city's road, bridge, freeway, sidewalk and bike lane work will cost $6.9 million.

All of the work is expected to be done by 2008, producing what planners hope will be a strong draw for uptown workers, conventioneers and residents of nearby Dilworth, Cherry and Elizabeth neighborhoods.

The greenway, road and sidewalk improvements will make it much easier for them to get there.

Two Texas women and their teenage daughters visiting uptown Charlotte for an Irish dance competition found out Friday how tough it can be to walk there now.

They had to cross Stonewall Street because the north side of the busy four-lane had only a dirt path and two freeway ramps. The opposite side had overgrown bushes and a narrow sidewalk.

"I felt like a hobo," said Caitlin O'Callaghan, 16, of Corpus Christi.

They ran back across Stonewall to reach Midtown.

"If I had known what it was like, we wouldn't have walked down here," said Caitlin's mother Katy as the group lunched at Wendy's, the last Midtown Square business still open.

Easier walking, driving

Pedestrians and drivers will find plenty of help in the area that now has awkward traffic patterns.A new intersection will be built by extending South Independence to Stonewall Street/Kenilworth Avenue. The city also will replace the South Independence bridge over the creek.

An I-277 exit ramp will be shifted to line up with that new intersection, allowing two moves that are now impossible.

Cars leaving the freeway will be able to turn left on Stonewall toward uptown. And with South Independence reconnected, drivers will easily reach Midtown, Central Piedmont Community College, Elizabeth Avenue and Presbyterian Hospital.

Two I-277 entrance ramps on Stonewall will be rebuilt so they line up with that street at a 90-degree angle.

Drivers will have to slow to make those sharper turns, a change that should make it easier for pedestrians to cross, says Leon Howe, design section manager of Charlotte Department of Transportation.

Sidewalks, planting strips and bike lanes will be built on Kings Drive, Kenilworth and South Independence.

Howe says South Independence will be reduced in width, trees planted and on-street parking allowed, all to slow traffic and encourage pedestrians.

Those changes will make South Independence less like fast-moving Independence Boulevard. So the city is looking for a new name for the stretch of the road that will run from Stonewall to Seventh Street.

Another change may be coming. Late this decade, the Charlotte Area Transit System hopes to build two streetcar tracks along Trade Street and Elizabeth Avenue, through Central Piedmont and on to Presbyterian Hospital.

Help from taxpayers

In addition to the roadwork and greenway, taxpayers are giving Midtown and Elizabeth a kick start.

Charlotte and Mecklenburg County have approved about $13.5 million in property tax rebates over 20 years to redevelop Elizabeth Avenue, while Midtown is getting a $17 million break over 10 years.

That extra help will be repaid in higher tax collections from the sites, city officials say.

The greenway will connect the developments. Cyclists and walkers will be able to take the path to Freedom Park, Midtown and Central Piedmont, with a detour to the rejuvenated Elizabeth Avenue.

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation has spent $17.3 million to buy and knock down businesses along a quarter-mile of Kings Drive, including a bank, small shopping center and fast-food restaurants.

That's where the county is preparing to build the most important greenway section yet, with a 15-foot wide sidewalk lined with a double row of trees.

Fountains where kids can splash and play are coming, too.

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This project is apparently much more substantial than just the intersection, as previously reported. I am really glad to see the city putting the infrastructure in that part of town. It is currently a mess.

One time last summer, I jogged through the parking lot of the old midtown square, as there really was not other option that wasn't freeway-style roadway, and the sheriff told me i was trespassing :blink: .

The Independence boulevard roadway improvements and renaming should also help give the area an identity and more updated look. (The hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate projects will help, too :) ).

This area may end up getting a few highrises, and eventually be Charlotte's secondary skyline.

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