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Plan was approved. Rezoning plans allow up to 330 units in a building 285 feet tall / 20+ stories.  https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/development/article250791819.html

From Lincoln at Dilworth Rooftop Lounge:

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I WILL be walking to this center. I walk 2 miles, from the 7th/Ridgeway area to Tryon every day. A friend of mine lives near Freedom Park and walks to 7th and Tryon most days, we both have cars. It seems to me that if only a handful of people are willing to walk to this area it will be better than the amount of people that walk there today.

I actually work at Rock Bottom at 7th and Tryon. You can't imagine the amount of visitors that ask about a Target or some other equivalent general merchandise store. I have to tell them that it is going to be about a $25 cab fare to the nearest Target. The fact that this will be available for about a $5 cab fare, or about a 20 min. walk will I think greatly enhance outsiders view of the Charlotte Urban core. Skeptics will attack my argument, saying that no visitors will be willing to walk that far. All one would have to do is observe a Saturday afternoon Uptown. People are walking like crazy, that is the one of the best things you can do to catch the Charlotte bug that so many visitors seem to get. I would walk 10 miles on one of the famous Carolina blue, slight breeze, spring/fall days.

This is true, especially about tourists. One of my friends brought her family in from England and they stayed in uptown Charlotte over xmas, and wondered where everything was. (they ended up taking a bus to SouthPark), but yeah having retail (like this) so close to the urban core is just amazing.

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IMG_1531.jpg

We are decades away from Vancouver in many aspects including mentality/culturally, but anyway, even Cost-Co's can work in an urban setting!

(This post probably belongs in one of a couple of other threads more so than this one in terms of relevancy, apologies)

Edited by nowensone
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I cannot figure out why all these visitors are looking for Target. Are they really looking for any retail, and it then comes up that the only place to buy certain things in Charlotte is Target? As long as it isn't a matter of recreational shopping, many items can be found uptown already, at the three drug stores, the two grocery stores or the many convenience stores. But I guess if our visitors really are looking to buy cookware, cheap clothing, toys, etc., then the Target opening this year within walking distance of Tryon will be of help. Sheesh, no wonder Concord Mills is our top tourist spot.

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That is because living downtown doesn't mean that one gives up the suburban mindset. Mass consumerism supported by cheap items sold in places like Walmart and Target are the real issue. The fact that downtown caters almost exclusively to people with large disposable incomes (or lots of credit) means that you are going to see downtown ringed by big boxes just like you see it ringing freeway exits in the suburbs. The "Urban" Lowes, Target, Home Depot are just the start if this is successful. I would argue this again represents a big failure of urban planning in Charlotte, just like past mistakes in building I-277, razing of neighborhoods to build parking lots and dead parks, and wasting huge amounts of money to build sports venues in the center city.

It's not a recipe for building a place that people would want to visit and only offers the illusion of urban living. The fact that people continue to make excuses for bad development such as the MET, "oh its great because it has access to the greenway!", is an example of how oblivious the people are here on how lacking Charlotte is in being a basic city.

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That is because living downtown doesn't mean that one gives up the suburban mindset. Mass consumerism supported by cheap items sold in places like Walmart and Target are the real issue. The fact that downtown caters almost exclusively to people with large disposable incomes (or lots of credit) means that you are going to see downtown ringed by big boxes just like you see it ringing freeway exits in the suburbs. The "Urban" Lowes, Target, Home Depot are just the start if this is successful. I would argue this again represents a big failure of urban planning in Charlotte, just like past mistakes in building I-277, razing of neighborhoods to build parking lots and dead parks, and wasting huge amounts of money to build sports venues in the center city.

It's not a recipe for building a place that people would want to visit and only offers the illusion of urban living. The fact that people continue to make excuses for bad development such as the MET, "oh its great because it has access to the greenway!", is an example of how oblivious the people are here on how lacking Charlotte is in being a basic city.

Why does large disposable income corrolate to big box stores in your opinion? I'd think just the opposite. Those with less disposable income prefer affordable goods in bulk whereas high disposable income demands higher-end retailers. Residents of Uptown, with the high cost of living there demanding a high-end tenant, will not be stocking thier wardrobe with clothing from Target. I think the Big Box stores cater to a population that surrounds the Uptown area. I think we're getting too focused in this discussion regarding the Met being a retail support system for Uptown because its not. I don't find this to be a failure of Urban Planning at all. Urban Planning is a combination of aesthetics coupled with demand for goods. Disregard demand for goods and you won't have anything to plan as the residents will relocate to where the goods are, or you'll cut off/limit the amount of infill density for an area.

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Why does large disposable income corrolate to big box stores in your opinion? I'd think just the opposite. ....

These stores are not making money on the poor. :rolleyes: And the fact the only significant retail that is being built in these areas and we are talking about areas with some of the most expensive property in the county, is big box retail, speaks enough for itself.

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These stores are not making money on the poor. :rolleyes: And the fact the only significant retail that is being built in these areas and we are talking about areas with some of the most expensive property in the county, is big box retail, speaks enough for itself.

Are you kidding me? These stores make most of their money on lower to middle income families. You think Mrs. Bank VP Housewife shops at Target or South Park Mall? Yes, there are some very high income neighborhoods in the area, but there are also many low-income neighborhoods as well within close proximity. This is a highly visible area that can cater to all spectrums of the population and if we're making any effort at all to bring affordable housing into the urban core of Charlotte, these types of stores will support that demand. I consider myself middle income and will use the heck out of all of these stores given their location and so will most of the people I know.

If Charlotte is surrounded by Ballantyne, South Park, and Union County to the South, Lakefront Neighborhoods to the West, high-end towns like Huntersville, Davidson, Cornelius to the north where do you actually think this low to middle income population in Charlotte resides? It exists in numerous pockets in close proximity to the Urban Core extending east, northeast, and southeast of Uptown, all locations by and large far from existing retailers of this type.

Edited by cooperdawg
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... You think Mrs. Bank VP Housewife shops at Target or South Park Mall? ....

As we all know there are 3 types that work at banks. Tellers, Executives, and the rest are Vice Presidents. This isn't anything spectacular. If you were really referring to the super rich, I will suggest that most of those people don't live anywhere near downtown and are not buying $300K condos to live in.

The point is that allowing big box retail to be installed, which is surrounded by parking lots and being designed where 99% of the customers will come by the automobile is a huge mistake in urban planning. It is a mistake that will be heaped on the top of all of the other ones in Charlotte post war history. This is why when books and studies are done on how not to build a city, Charlotte usually makes the list.

And the unfortunately thing about this one, public money was needed to make it possible. I would have hoped that we would have at least demanded something better than a pretty strip mall with this development.

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As we all know there are 3 types that work at banks. Tellers, Executives, and the rest are Vice Presidents. This isn't anything spectacular. If you were really referring to the super rich, I will suggest that most of those people don't live anywhere near downtown and are not buying $300K condos to live in.

The point is that allowing big box retail to be installed, which is surrounded by parking lots and being designed where 99% of the customers will come by the automobile is a huge mistake in urban planning. It is a mistake that will be heaped on the top of all of the other ones in Charlotte post war history. This is why when books and studies are done on how not to build a city, Charlotte usually makes the list.

And the unfortunately thing about this one, public money was needed to make it possible. I would have hoped that we would have at least demanded something better than a pretty strip mall with this development.

So, are you saying we should tell the residents of the Urban Core to get in their cars and hike it to Pineville if they want inexpensive goods from large retailers like we are now? Rather than the "This design completely stinks approach," how do we make it better while catering to the demands of the community? I'm asking not to be a pain in the butt about this, but I am a designer (not for this project in particular) and just curious to hear feedback on incorporating this type of retail in an urban setting.

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No I am not saying this at all. Maybe you need to re-read what I posted.

Fine, what's the solution to this issue in your opinion because I'm not seeing it. Not build it, re-design, different retailer? Personally, I feel the design partially works, but I would have focused the parking required into an interior parking deck lined with street level retail, esp. on the Kings Drive side of the project. I'm glad to see the creek daylighted and if the parking could have been focused internally, I would have been happy with this design concealing multiple large retailers in an urban neighborhood setting that has yet to define itself.

Edited by cooperdawg
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Fine, what's the solution to this issue in your opinion because I'm not seeing it. ....

I have posted it several times in this thread but I will post it again. Since this was a project that could only exist with public money, then the city should have insisted that it be compliant with its woefully neglected "corridors and transit" plans. Those plans say that development should be limited outside the transit corridors and concentrated on the transit lines. (either present or future) That being said the MET should have never been built and instead the land flattened and turned into a park with the greenway and possibly sell land against Kings Drive for neighborhood retail.

The MET project should have been located on one of the light rail lines, and the city money used to focus on a development that could be reached and used by riders of the trains. There are a dozen places it could have gone on the proposed North LRT for example.

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I have posted it several times in this thread but I will post it again. Since this was a project that could only exist with public money, then the city should have insisted that it be compliant with its woefully neglected "corridors and transit" plans. Those plans say that development should be limited outside the transit corridors and concentrated on the transit lines. (either present or future) That being said the MET should have never been built and instead the land flattened and turned into a park with the greenway and possibly sell land against Kings Drive for neighborhood retail.

The MET project should have been located on one of the light rail lines, and the city money used to focus on a development that could be reached and used by riders of the trains. There are a dozen places it could have gone on the proposed North LRT for example.

Thanks, I'm sure you posted it before, but didn't want to re-read 39 pages to find it.

I would agree that the city would have been better served to build this project along an LRT line, that would have made much more sense esp. in taking any and all measures to minimize vehicular traffic. I wonder if exception was taken in regards to allowing this development given the close proximity to the Center city and the strong desire to do something with the land other than keeping the Midtown Mall. I'm guessing the city saw a compromise in having a destination point at the confluence of several transit ways (I-277, Kenilworth, Independence, Greenway) coupled with a series of smaller parks along the Little Sugar Creek Greenway. In my estimation, the city likely feels the visibility of that land is too valuable to just be deemed open space, especially with the constructibility of the size of the parcel. The CPCC and Midtown/Kings Drive Master Plans do have extensive green space incorporated in their plans.

CPCC Opportunity Plan

CPCCMap.gif

Midtown/Kings Opportunity Plan

MidtownMap.gif

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From what I have seen, the city has pretty much given up on its "transits and corridors" plans.

In regards to this particular corridor, the Greenway/Park Development for the Little Sugar Creek Corridor is in various stages of design development through multiple firms. The Kings Drive corridor is being developed by LandDesign (construction document stages) while ColeJenest & Stone has developed the Midtown Site and Greenway (under construction) with Land Design developing the CPCC green parcels (site development/construction document stages) within the context of these previous master plans. ColeJenest & Stone has already developed and built the Liz Hair Greenway south of Morehead. Again, not speaking for all corridors, just this one.

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I have posted it several times in this thread but I will post it again. Since this was a project that could only exist with public money, then the city should have insisted that it be compliant with its woefully neglected "corridors and transit" plans. Those plans say that development should be limited outside the transit corridors and concentrated on the transit lines. (either present or future) That being said the MET should have never been built and instead the land flattened and turned into a park with the greenway and possibly sell land against Kings Drive for neighborhood retail.

The MET project should have been located on one of the light rail lines, and the city money used to focus on a development that could be reached and used by riders of the trains. There are a dozen places it could have gone on the proposed North LRT for example.

I'm cofused when your refer to "one of the light rail lines". I only know of one light rail line in Charlotte and it looks to be many years until there will be more than one. Further, the only area on that line where there would be enough land for a project such as this in near Pineville, were these stores already exist.

I would say that even if it was on one of the light rail corridors, that majority of the patrons would still access it by automobile. It seems to be the lifestyle that many Americans seem to prefer, even if people on internet forums don't like it.

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This project is both in a center and a corridor. It is 1/2 a mile from a station on a planned 2025 transit corridor, and it is within the main 'center' around downtown. In fact, you can even see on the famous map of the centers and corridors plan that the main 'center' is actually in the area bound by Rt 4, and certainly not some sort of technical boundary of 277 where once the line is passed, nothing at all should be developed.

Esummary.jpg

That plan seeks compact development patterns, within the central core of Charlotte, within a mile of the 5 main transportation corridors. But beyond that, the city also has serious goals for spurring infill development on blighted land, revitalizing fragile neighborhoods, and so on, that were referenced obliquely by that plan

From the 2025 Transit/Land Use Plan: ( http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/CATS/MTC/2025+TLUP+3.htm )

"Concentrate major office centers at stations along the corridors and in the Center City to serve as the key land use strategy supporting transit to enable more people to take advantage of rapid transit as an alternative to driving."

- Metropolitan Midtown meets this. It is about a 5 minute walk from a planned transit line, and is directly on multiple major bus lines. It is also in Center City. It is also only about a 15 minute walk from the South LRT line, although I wouldn't say that is within that corridor.

"Focus residential multi-family development at stations in the corridors and the Center City rather than dispersed throughout the County."

- Metropolitan Midtown meets this. It is in the Center City, and within the 1/2 mile radius of a 2025 transit line.

"Reducing the total Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) in the region, when compared to the business-as-usual (sprawl) scenario, by increasing the number of locations accessible by transit."

- Metropolitan Midtown meets this by both being significantly closer for car drivers. It is accessible to significant transit and greenway options.

"Improving accessibility to jobs and social services for the poor."

- Metropolitan Midtown is basically in Cherry, and is only a mile away from Belmont and First Ward where there are significant numbers of working poor. The retail space (and to a degree, the office space) provide significant numbers of low skill jobs to the poor in those neighborhoods and others.

"Reducing public infrastructure costs."

- While there was a project to undo some connectivity problems caused by a bad design of 277 Belk, this project relies significantly on existing utility, street, and school infrastructure.

"Urban revitalization."

- Metropolitan Midtown replaced the blighted and obsolete Midtown mall with a product that is viable in the current economy.

Clearly, everyone knows that the point of the Centers/Corridors and/or the Transit Land Use plan is to have dense development in areas with other dense development (centers) and accessibility to transit (corridors). This project is not perfect, but to argue consistently that it is a violation of the spirit and letter of the the T-LUP is just not based on facts.

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I'm cofused when your refer to "one of the light rail lines". I only know of one light rail line in Charlotte and it looks to be many years until there will be more than one. Further, the only area on that line where there would be enough land for a project such as this in near Pineville, were these stores already exist.

There are 3 light rail lines in the current 2030 plan. Furthermore there is a huge amount of brownfield development along the expected path of the NE line. They could have even done this at Scaleybark instead of that horrible mess they created there instead. There is also more land around Woodlawn, Remount road, and so forth.

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There are 3 light rail lines in the current 2030 plan. Furthermore there is a huge amount of brownfield development along the expected path of the NE line. They could have even done this at Scaleybark instead of that horrible mess they created there instead. There is also more land around Woodlawn, Remount road, and so forth.

So it should be built on a line that will not be open for 10-15 years (if ever). Until that time it will be what it is now minus the greenway.

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I cannot figure out why all these visitors are looking for Target. Are they really looking for any retail, and it then comes up that the only place to buy certain things in Charlotte is Target? As long as it isn't a matter of recreational shopping, many items can be found uptown already, at the three drug stores, the two grocery stores or the many convenience stores. But I guess if our visitors really are looking to buy cookware, cheap clothing, toys, etc., then the Target opening this year within walking distance of Tryon will be of help. Sheesh, no wonder Concord Mills is our top tourist spot.

Why wouldn't a tourist want to buy cheap clothing? Walking shoes, t-shirts, baseball caps, swimsuits... those are basic tourist accessories that are currently unavailable Uptown (unless you count the little store on N. Tryon, which is not the kind of place an ordinary tourist would consider going). Once you account for the fact that most of the current retail is hidden in interior malls, you can add umbrellas, books, and countless other items to the list of things a tourist would not likely find Uptown... but could easily pick up at a Target.

Think about it this way... if a visitor stopped the average Charlottean on the sidewalk and asked where they could get an ordinary retail item, it's unlikely that the local would think of a place closer than the Met site. Even if those things are sold in a small corner of Overstreet or the BoA atrium, they don't exist to a tourist.

Besides, who's to say that the 20,000 residents of the district wouldn't go there to buy cookware? That's a reasonably large market to tap into.

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I can imagine shopping here occasionally, since it's on the way home (if I drive). I'll take it over the dead Midtown space, that's for sure.

It's probably a bit too far to walk from work, though. I'm willing to walk to the government buildings for paying taxes and water bills, so I'd say further is feasible - but not very practical.

Maybe we'll see the Gold Rush extended here. -_-

Edited by MZT
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I can imagine shopping here occasionally, since it's on the way home (if I drive). I'll take it over the dead Midtown space, that's for sure.

It's probably a bit too far to walk from work, though. I'm willing to walk to the government buildings for paying taxes and water bills, so I'd say further is feasible - but not very practical.

Maybe we'll see the Gold Rush extended here. -_-

Totally agree, I work in Plaza-Midwood, live in Wesley Heights, I'll hit-up the Met for some household item I'm sure on a weekly basis. On weekends I'd bike over to the greenway and use the trail system on down through Freedom Park and back, stop for lunch at a restaurant along the greenway, if I'm not too sweaty. :blush: I'm only one consumer, but there are thousands like me that commute to Pineville for the same items.

Anything Charlotte is doing to provide consumers goods inside the area bounded by Route 4 I find a good step. Parking will always be a demand of retailers like this, I think the biggest issue is finding innovative ways to handle the parking requirements for these types of stores as well as locating these stores in close proximity to Mass Transit. I think the South End Lowes w/ the parking on the roof was a very innovative idea, although it will cost a ton more in infrastructure to build a rooftop to support vehicular traffic, it's good to see a company like Lowes stepping up to take measures to best suit the neighborhood around them. The Met is not perfect by any means, but it's good to see the big corporations at least beginning to take steps in the right direction in terms of smarter development.

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I much prefer the Lowe's model, which cost double their suburban cost, to put parking on the roof. I would have preferred that in this place, if they had put Target and Expo side by side, lining the street, with parking hidden on the roof. I bet putting parking on the roof would have needed far less structure than having both a parking deck and an entire big box store on top of the other. Maybe I'm wrong, but I would think the shelves full of merchandise are heavier per square foot than a parking lot. If they had then lined King's with townhouses, even with the current basic design, that would have significantly redeemed the place for most of us.

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