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Metropolitan, Midtown Redevelopment


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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.

Yeah, the Kings Drive facade is the overwhleming shortcoming of this project. Had that been handled better I doubt so many of us would have as many reservations about this project.

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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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Staples is starting to try to be a green company, putting solar panels on buildings like their distribution centers, etc. I wonder if they'd ever put solar panels on top of the roof of their part of this project. That would be pretty cool.

I'm so conflicted, because I believe by being in urban locations with compact designs is green, I wish there were budgets to allow for green roofs, or solar energy or LEED certification. I guess since most Charlotteans don't really care about that as much, the companies would really try to do those sorts of things here as much as they will in New England and California.

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Daytripping is a very good description of it. It is just awful to have an hour to an hour and a half round trip to get merchandise when you live in the heart of the city. As much as we would want it to be, this merchandise is simply not sold in boutiques or mom and pops. The alternate, which most of us use rather than make the drive to 485 is to simply buy them online, which eliminates the sales tax proceeds to the city. While I still don't shop for stuff that often, having the Target and Best Buy in town will definitely eliminate much of my driving, as well as a decent percentage of my online shopping.

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I guess since most Charlotteans don't really care about that as much, the companies would really try to do those sorts of things here as much as they will in New England and California.

They should care, or at least the politicians should care. Boston has recently passed a new zoning ordinance that require ALL new buildings in the city that are 50,000 sq. ft. or greater to meet LEED certification. The developer doesn't have to actually get certified by the USGBC, but the city permitting uses the same check-list and the developer has to meet the threshold that the USGBC requires.

Charlotte city council should be aware of this, and consider this. I'm sure the Chamber of Commerce would explode, but there really is no excuse for not demanding better development.

There are lots of reasons to allow shoddy development. Getting property taxes, encouraging growth, maintaining a low cost of living, but ultimately the impacts of these developments last for decades if not centuries. I don't think its too much to demand that it be done right.

At the root of it though, there needs to be more public awareness. The general population needs to know that there are other ways to do things, and that comanies and developers can afford to make the envirnonment and city a better place and still be profitable. I'm not sure if most people go along with the status quo because they don't know any better, don't care, or if they want better but don't express it.

This mini-rant could go in almost any thread here, but this development seems to be the one that fails on the most levels. I'm fine with the auto-oriented nature of it, because lets face it, the city is still 25-50 years from being a pedestrian/transit focused city at the rate its going. I'm fine with there being big-boxes, because a large percentage of the population prefers to shop at them, and this is a response to demand. What I'm not ok with is the treatment of Kings Dr., with the lack of ground-floor retail in the parking decks, with the Wendy's design, the lack of green-building design, and the "faux-public" interior street.

I guess my point is, the city shouldn't be approving development today, that in 25 years will seem "regrettable mistakes", just like the strip centers of Independence Blvd are viewed today. The city needs a vision for the future, are require what is built today contributes towards that vision.

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^A very good post Atlrvr. The fact however that we have had a number of forumers here who have said they will gladly shop in the place, people who by virtue of joining this forum ought to be questioning it instead, is proof enough there isn't much hope for this city in the timeframe that you mention.

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^A very good post Atlrvr. The fact however that we have had a number of forumers here who have said they will gladly shop in the place, people who by virtue of joining this forum ought to be questioning it instead, is proof enough there isn't much hope for this city in the timeframe that you mention.

The uses within the project I'm fine with, the design as discussed is lacking in many spots. But, in terms of evolution in design, I think we're seeing a progression towards better development. This project is still leaps and bounds better than anything developed on Independence over the past 30 years. Taking it a step further, Lowes began their design development after this project was in the permitting stages, so we saw another step in the right direction (I really like how this project is shaping up, Lowes that is.)

Hopefully the Lowes project sets a higher standard the city can recognize and demand of their developers and therefore the City will no longer settle for a development like The Met knowing a better product is available to them. It would be refreshingly nice if the City put forth these demands on their own dime rather than forward thinking developers showing them a better way, we should demand better development such as altrvr's mention of Boston's new standard for 50K buildings.

The Wendy's flat out blows. I wonder if it has been discussed among the project team of possibly converting the parking lot to a deck and front Kings with tenable space either as residential or commercial in a future second phase of development? Would be a nice step in correcting the most glaring short-coming of this project. I'd think probably not, but you never know.

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Daytripping is a very good description of it. It is just awful to have an hour to an hour and a half round trip to get merchandise when you live in the heart of the city. As much as we would want it to be, this merchandise is simply not sold in boutiques or mom and pops. The alternate, which most of us use rather than make the drive to 485 is to simply buy them online, which eliminates the sales tax proceeds to the city. While I still don't shop for stuff that often, having the Target and Best Buy in town will definitely eliminate much of my driving, as well as a decent percentage of my online shopping.

There is a walmart about 1.5 miles from center city on Wilkenson Blvd, as well. That's where I go for my big-box needs now, though I like Target a lot more..

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  • 4 weeks later...

Signs are up on the parking deck today -- Target is slated to open October 14.

Doesn't that seem like a long ways off? I thought they were closer to being finished than that. I was expecting it to open around June or July.

That seems far more optimistic to me than being a long ways off. To finish that project in four to five months and hit a june/july deadline, or even just a large section of it enough to open and have customers just isn't feasible given the extent of the work done on site. October at the earliest seems somewhat reasonable, but I'd think it would be closer to the end of the calender year. I usually allow for four to six months for a project of this size to open once the exterior shell is done, and they're not close to that yet.

Edited by cooperdawg
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Signs are up on the parking deck today -- Target is slated to open October 14.

Doesn't that seem like a long ways off? I thought they were closer to being finished than that. I was expecting it to open around June or July.

Yeah it does seem reasonable and I'm glad we got a solid date on the opening of Target.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The tower portion is really becoming visable from the southern grid streets of uptown (specifically inbound on morehead by BoA Stadium etc.) I like the idea that the visable "city" - or perception of - is extended by this project and the hospital just beyond.

Edited by The Escapists
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Another update on this project:

-The Independence Blvd bridge over Little Sugar Creek is due to open in July.

-At the same time the Independence Blvd bridge opens they want to close and demolish the Baxter St bridge.

-A new Baxter St bridge will be built that is at a higher elevation allowing better Greenway access and flood control.

-Cost of the $5M Baxter St bridge will be split 3 ways: $2M from Charlotte, $2M from Meck County and $1M from Pappas.

-This bridge funding from Pappas shows they are serious about building the condo tower portion of Metroploitan Midtown.

-Metroploitan Midtown is now estimated to be a $230M project

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-This bridge funding from Pappas shows they are serious about building the condo tower portion of Metroploitan Midtown.

This is great news. I was doubtful that this tower would see the light of day (or at least would be built further out into the future, perhaps 2-4 years out). I think it is absolutely in a superb location to capture skyline views, plus you get the benefit of living within walking distance to Freedom Park, Midtown, and Center City. What not to love???

A2

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Another update on this project:

-The Independence Blvd bridge over Little Sugar Creek is due to open in July.

-At the same time the Independence Blvd bridge opens they want to close and demolish the Baxter St bridge.

-A new Baxter St bridge will be built that is at a higher elevation allowing better Greenway access and flood control.

-Cost of the $5M Baxter St bridge will be split 3 ways: $2M from Charlotte, $2M from Meck County and $1M from Pappas.

-This bridge funding from Pappas shows they are serious about building the condo tower portion of Metroploitan Midtown.

-Metroploitan Midtown is now estimated to be a $230M project

Too bad Pappas didn't see the good in providing Kings Dr with decent streetscape treatment. What would the $1M have done to make Kings a better street?

The more I see of this thing, the more I dislike it. I am growing weary of how Planning does nothing to mitigate the shortcomings of large projects like this. While I'm not jumping on the anti-Charlotte bandwagon, I am beginning to see just how short-sighted we are as a community. It makes me sad, but I am starting to become more and more inclined to leave when I graduate.

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Too bad Pappas didn't see the good in providing Kings Dr with decent streetscape treatment. What would the $1M have done to make Kings a better street?

The more I see of this thing, the more I dislike it. I am growing weary of how Planning does nothing to mitigate the shortcomings of large projects like this. While I'm not jumping on the anti-Charlotte bandwagon, I am beginning to see just how short-sighted we are as a community. It makes me sad, but I am starting to become more and more inclined to leave when I graduate.

As a community I don't think we are shortsighted as much as not very educated as a whole on the long term effects of what we are doing now. Combine that with developers, apparantly like Pappas and others, that don't care, you have the wrong combination.

I'm so glad Pappas didn't get Scaleybark Station. I wish they would stay in the 'burbs and leave center city to those that don't think in the suburban mind-set.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm wondering about the competition / future market value for the Met Midtown project.

I have committed to buying a unit and I'm nervous that there is getting to be WAY too much competition.

It might be a tough sale in a couple of years.

Do you guys think there is an advantage to being just outside of the "downtown" condos potential glut? Or is it a disadvantage?

Like why pay that much when you could get the same thing downtown?

Also would you guys consider the the Lowes development the closest comparison competition for the Met? Is that a better value in the long run?

Is it the rail value versus the greenway value? Do the specific retail stores add value?

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I'm wondering about the competition / future market value for the Met Midtown project.

I have committed to buying a unit and I'm nervous that there is getting to be WAY too much competition.

It might be a tough sale in a couple of years.

Do you guys think there is an advantage to being just outside of the "downtown" condos potential glut? Or is it a disadvantage?

Like why pay that much when you could get the same thing downtown?

Also would you guys consider the the Lowes development the closest comparison competition for the Met? Is that a better value in the long run?

Is it the rail value versus the greenway value? Do the specific retail stores add value?

I can't tell you anything for a fact, but I will give you my input on the whole condo phenom. Honestly, I think condos are over-rated, but that is just me. Everyone's entitled to his/her own opinions, and that is mine. But even with that thought in mind, everything you do is a risk. The BEST thing when it comes to investing in anything is to buy and hold, and get out at its high point (or as YOU feel is high enough). That goes with anything: real estate, equities, bonds, funds, currencies, collectibles, etc.

Now, to answer some of your concerns, I can see why you are concerned. Quite frankly, there are ALOT of condo developments going on all throughout Charlotte and the surrounding areas. They're like the newest, hottest things on Earth since the concept of urban planning has been involved. And it's no wonder that given the exorbitant land prices these days in Uptown and the surrounding areas that developers are building higher, larger, and grander in hopes to outbeat its competitors. Now, it's been talked about many times that developers have done all their research on the Charlotte market prior to their announcement of building condos and high rises, but have they? Honestly, I don't think they do enough.

Basically, what they are saying is that they expect the Downtown living population to double in a few years, quadruple in a decade, and Uptown Charlotte to be THE place to live for many years to come? Really? On what basis do they base those analysis from? Do they not understand that basics of numbers? It's much easier to double from 5000 to 10000, but are you telling me that it's just as easy to double from 10000 to 20000 and so forth? Come on, give me a break. Then, what about the economics of the city. How are they to know what Charlotte will be like 5 years from now. At Charlotte's crime rate growth vs. population growth, we are in trouble. If the streets of Downtown become dangerous to walk your dogs and let your children play on, what makes you think people will ABSOLUTELY HAVE to want to live in Uptown Charlotte. Then, you got the housing markets, the lenders, the local economic activities...I can go on and on.

Point of the matter is, we just DON'T KNOW. Nobody knows. Charlotte can grow 50% or it can become stagnant, who knows? If you are worried about your deposit at Met because you're not sure whether you can hold it for a few years after you buy it, then I'd suggest you just lose the deposit and take it as a learning lesson in investing. This is a risk in investing in anything, and if you don't have reserves, then you could potentially be shooting yourself in the foot. No, I'm not trying to be harsh to you, but rather, inform you of the risks involved in buying into real estate. I've seen people around me do it all the time and crash and burn at the end because they didn't plan for the "what ifs" and only looks at what they "dreamed" to have.

Reality is, there are LOTS of condos and will ONLY get much more expansive in the next few years...yes, you are correct on that one. As for competition, who knows? If Charlotte is able to bring in a mass exodus of new people from different places of the world, then you should be ok. Another thing I always consider is parking. I will say that one advantage (maybe, because I don't know what Met permits) you may have over Uptown is the parking issue. I know several friends who've purchased in Uptown only to find themselves stuck there and lonely because none of their friends want to come see them there. There are just no places to park, and if you do find one, you have to pay for it (sometimes even have your car towed away!) Buyers ALWAYS consider that, and if you don't offer parking spaces not only for yourself and your spouse, but additional spaces for guests and family members, good luck selling your place. I've got a friend who has one of the very first high-rise living units in Uptown (not going to name it) but he's been trying to sell his penthouse unit for over a year now, no takers. He's even moved out because it drove him crazy as no one wanted to visit him. He's also got 2 dogs that were miserable and couldn't go anywhere. Oh, and parking? 2 spaces, and you'd have to wait 2 mins just for the stupid gate to open while your car is hanging out in the middle of a busy intersection! 1 year, 4 showings (switched 5 agents along the process too!), no offers, asking price below his original purchase and still no sale.

That's why I am telling you, plan to live at the place you're buying because no one, not even renters will save you in a market that is quickly changing. Good luck to you.

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I'm wondering about the competition / future market value for the Met Midtown project.

I have committed to buying a unit and I'm nervous that there is getting to be WAY too much competition.

It might be a tough sale in a couple of years.

I live in a condo in a mixed-use development.

Some people just don't like uptown and so there might be less demand for condos outside uptown but there is also a much lower supply. As long as the price you're paying per square foot isn't outside the uptown/SouthPark/South Boulevard range, and as long as you're prepared to hold onto it for a few years and live in it, don't sweat it. Your condo will be near Queens Road and Myers Park, which would help (beats South Boulevard), and I'd think that a retail center with a good store mix (Target, Best Buy plus some others?) would be more appealing than a Lowe's, since wouldn't people be looking for day-to-day conveniences? On the other hand, I'd think that light rail would be a big plus for the Lowe's, unless people are concerned about the "riff raff" that could come up on the light rail.

Edited by mallguy
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