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uptownliving

Metropolitan, Midtown Redevelopment

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I like the fact that the bus shelters all say "midtown" on them. It helps give the area some identity, which it is lacking majorly. The TJ store is shaping up to be better than I thought it would. It faces that corner nicely, unlike its neighbors- Home Depot, Target, and Best Buy

Does this mean the area received a special tax district identity, or is this just something that is being paid for by the Met? I know they were applying for the MSD but didn't know it was approved. I saw them building those shelters and I agree, they look very distinct, updated, and useful. It would be nice if we could see more of this around the city, especially where there is MSD's like University City, Southend, Northlake, etc.

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Everyone is talking about the traffic in the Met project, but i have to drive right by it everyday from uptown down Stonewall / Kenilworth to work, often back the same route or down Kings the other way. Traffic there to me seems no different than it was before these stores open. The traffic seems fairly contained once you are in the project but the new, wider intersections seem to be doing their job. Aren't all parking lots typically a pain to drive around in? (which is why i avoid them!)

Edited by Charlotte_native

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After driving on Charlottetown yesterday, it seems that they could very easily make a left turn lane into Target by eliminating a a portion of the left hand wesbound thru lane. It wouldn't be that big of an issue since the left hand westbound thru lane begins at Metropolitan Ave, with the left hand prior to that point being a left hand turn lane only.

I know that's confusing sounding, but Google Maps doesn't have an updated map yet to show what I'm describing.

____________________________________________________________

Also, the Trader Joe's signage is now up along Kings and actually really helps activate the area.

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These bus shelters look like they should be in a real city...are you sure this is Charlotte?

In all seriousness I think it would be great if CATs would adopt this design for all of thier bus shelters....but I am not optimistic.

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I haven't seen these, thanks Toz. Absolutely love them!! It would be great if, in the least, CATS used these for some of the more prominent neighborhoods throughout Charlotte. Just change the "midtown" to southend, dilworth, optomist park, etc, would help give a sense of place and identitiy to these places.

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Talked to my friend that lives in Metropolitan yesterday. He said that Trader Joe's is suppose to open on or about October 14. West Elm should be right behind. Also, he said that the spaces have been pretty much filled up for the remaining retail portion. More details to come once those contracts are signed.

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I'm curious to see how these stops fare in regards to vandalism. My hunch would be that the imprinted photograph and identity of the shelter might deter some would-be vandals - more so than a regular shelter, that is.

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I haven't seen these, thanks Toz. Absolutely love them!! It would be great if, in the least, CATS used these for some of the more prominent neighborhoods throughout Charlotte. Just change the "midtown" to southend, dilworth, optomist park, etc, would help give a sense of place and identitiy to these places.

It would be an upgrade from the multi-functional pebble vaneer trashbin/bench that exists in most parts of town :)

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There's an article on Charlotte.com today (possibly in print as well - but I don't have a copy of the paper here) discussing the traffic mess at Midtown/Metropolitan, specifically the issue of trying to turn left onto Charlottetowne out of the Target/HD or Marshall's/Best buy lots and how the volume of traffic is only going to increase as the new stores open. There's some discussion as to the need for a traffic light there, although the city says they have no plans to install one. I'm sorry, I've said before and will say again that this was a poorly planned and designed project from the standpoint of traffic and street layout.

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Others I am sure got the Trader Joes flyer in the mail this week announcing a free reusable shopping bag for coming to the grand opening. It's going to be a traffic nightmare for a few days until the novelty wears off. Same rush happened at the other store openings. Hoping for nice weather because I plan to walk. It's not a bad stroll from Dilworth.

Edited by voyager12

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I'm pretty sure I heard somewhere that the city was planning to put a signal there. I could be wrong though.

Why should the city have to put in a signal? Shouldn't the developer be on the hook for those sorts of improvements?

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It's going to be a traffic nightmare for a few days until the novelty wears off. Hoping for nice weather because I plan to walk. It's not a bad stroll from Dilworth.

And I plan to bike from Midwood. Walking by the store Saturday, I saw what looked like employee training happening inside, but what really got me excited was the large bike rack I saw close to the main entrance inside the parking deck.

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And I plan to bike from Midwood. Walking by the store Saturday, I saw what looked like employee training happening inside, but what really got me excited was the large bike rack I saw close to the main entrance inside the parking deck.

That would be part of the adopted Bicycle Parking Ordinance passed in 2005.

http://www.charmeck.org/NR/rdonlyres/ezcxz...tyChapter12.pdf

I would also suspect that they are counting on a number of cycling visits due to the proximity of the Sugar Creek Greenway and connectivity to the southern neighborhods ( Freedom Park & Dilworth ) and to the northern neighborhoods ( Belmont, Optimist Park & NODA )..

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Why should the city have to put in a signal? Shouldn't the developer be on the hook for those sorts of improvements?

Yep. I assume the developer pays and the city installs. That's also assuming this is going to happen, of course.

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So is anyone planning on making it to the opening today. I'm sure we'd all love to see some pictures and stories of the new Trader Joes.

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So is anyone planning on making it to the opening today. I'm sure we'd all love to see some pictures and stories of the new Trader Joes.

Not today, but my g/f and I definitely plan on running by there at some point over the weekend. Very exciting! I will be sure to report back.

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Summary Judgment: Hooray! Trader Joe's is open, and they have the chocolate yogurt and mandarin chicken in stock. Yes, traffic sucks - if you're in it. I had no issues crossing Charlottetowne to my bus stop (the cars are surprisingly civil about yielding to the many pedestrians, but not so much with the other cars). There is one big point of suck, though, that I didn't recognize before: there's no pedestrian access from Kings. You have to walk into the parking deck to enter the store.

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There is one big point of suck, though, that I didn't recognize before: there's no pedestrian access from Kings. You have to walk into the parking deck to enter the store.

Yeah big fat zero on the urban design standpoint...they have glass doors there on the Kings side...but they are Emergency Exit only.

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I just saw that too this past weekend....it is minor things like this that are really really depressing to me. The developers made a half-way decent attempt at urban, and then a retailer that has good urban stores around the country designs their store solely to be driven too. That's worse than blatantly locating in a strip center in my opinion.

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^I agree. That's depressing. I can see the mentality though - once the whole project is complete, they assume pedestrian presence will be strong inside the complex (the lofts and around the greenway). They probably saw Kings Dr. as unfriendly to pedestrians because of traffic. So they were probably anticipating this being the preferred access point. Really, we can't blame Trader Joes or even the construction of this side of the project. If Target had oriented it's entrance to Kings, it would have made more sense for TJs and BB to do the same. But since the trend is there now, it's a little late to gripe about it.

Let's face it, this is an outdoor mall, complete with anchor tenents. And even worse than an indoor mall that forces people to actually excersize when walking through a huge parking lot and around the building, this one actually asks you to drive you car right into the mall.

Edited by The Escapists

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