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Metropolitan, Midtown Redevelopment

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Agreed. Belk hasn't opened a new store since '07 and doesn't have any immediate plans to. There was just an article in the observer saying they're planning to spend $75 million to renovate existing stores this year and up to $130 million in '13-14.

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Metropolitan is too close to Southpark. I do not foresee Uptown getting any major retail anchors that have stores at Southpark or Northlake malls. those two malls have sucked any chance of uptown getting those types of retailers.

That makes sense, but there is a Target at Northlake and Midtown.

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That makes sense, but there is a Target at Northlake and Midtown.

Target also has two stores in Ballantyne only a mile form each other. Department stores cant build out like Target or Walmart can. I trhink Uptown can support retailers....I just think the city needs to provide incentives for retailers to go uptown. Whether it be tax breaks, or incentives for retrofitting existing space to attract retailers.

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I don't think we need to try for a department store uptown this decade. Let the economics work, and obviously it will not right now. I think we ought to focus on continued residential and office growth, and now that we have the seeds of larger retail in Midtown, this should be able to grow enough and prove the market. All the apple stores, department stores, and clothing retailers will come once there is an urban market of buyers that they are missing at the current malls. I bet that won't happen for while.

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We're off topic (kind of) but I can't be the only one in this city that doesn't like South Park or Phillips Place. I mean, I know Charlotte is an affluent/suburban-minded city, but South Park is a neighborhood named after a mall. Yuck. I'll skip my purchases rather than go to South Park. However if I could go into Uptown (or even Met), I'm fine.

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I am also a member of the mall avoider group (not an easy task given my teenage daughter). That said, I don't think the preferences of us UPers should be considered part of a representative sample of (sub) urban consumers. The relevant question here is counting the number of mainstream Charlotte residents who would be open to buying their mid to high price range goods somewhere other than the mall or online. I think the crowds at midtown tell us the number is higher than most assumed five years ago.

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The biggest thing I believe that is blocking uptown retail is.....parking! In a suburban city, you need parking for retail to work. Especially in an urban setting in a suburban city. This is one reason why Metropolitan is so successful. Only truly cities can support people going to retail locations without cars.

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The biggest thing I believe that is blocking uptown retail is.....parking! In a suburban city, you need parking for retail to work. Especially in an urban setting in a suburban city. This is one reason why Metropolitan is so successful. Only truly cities can support people going to retail locations without cars.

Uptown has TONS of parking...most of its just not free

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yea....thats the point. parking is a hassle cause you have to pay for it.

I have a hard time believing this is the case. There is no retail in Uptown because there is no retail in Uptown. I know that is kind of a "chicken before the egg" thing but I really believe this to be the case. No one thinks "Uptown" when looking to shop because there is nothing there. Regardless of the current parking situation, if someone were to prioritize a true Uptown retail development and market it properly (and as a result become profitable) you would see more retail in uptown. But as is there is a) not enough foot traffic or population in Uptown for b) the price of ground floor retail inside 277. And if this weren't the case, we'd have it. Typically the market will drive this type of development and right now especially, this just isn't possible. I can't imagine the overhead, particularly for a small business, to slap itself anywhere w/in a 1/2 mile of Tryon.

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In most places in the country, and definitely in this city, there is an expectation that parking will be free when going to retailers. Even many uptown restaurants provide valet parking to lure customers used to this.

Harris Teeter and CVS in 4th Ward both have free parking for customers, albeit much less than normal because a sizable percentage of their customers walk.

Any department store going into Charlotte anytime in the next two decades will need to include parking validation or an adjoining parking deck for their customers. Sadly, there was enough land owned by Belk in First Ward that was bought for the arena that could have been enough for a department store, and in lieu of cash they could have probably asked to swap for city or county land, such as Hal Marshall, that could have even been enough space for surface parking for a department store. But the fact is, there is just not enough localized customers uptown to build a store without cannibalizing their other stores.

I have noticed that the Midtown's parking deck between TJs and BB has been packed lately. I think that is, in part, due to the success of the retail here, and the new restaurants. It is good that that shopping is occurring near downtown, even if much of it due to auto-oriented customers, as it will help prove out a market for more retailers and eventually we can get different types of retail, and most likely those customers are driving fewer miles to this central location, rather than out to the 485-area big boxes.

It is even interesting that the success of Met Midtown is actually leading to projects *within* uptown like Fountains at McDowell and Stonewall primarily due to the proximity to Metropolitan. Plus the residential projects next to TJs and across Kings from Target, all are planned for additional residential clustering around this.

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I'd love to see some of the wide Uptown streets, like 3rd and 4th, allow angled parking on evenings and weekends. The meters are already free at those times. But the existing parallel parking provides so few spots. Plus, off-peak traffic shouldn't need more than two lanes max in the same direction.

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Plus those half-lanes are very confusing, so why not just fill the whole lane that is being taken up by parking anyway.

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Not sure if this was mentioned, but there are several new stores coming to the MET including a pizzeria, Cherry frozen Yogurt, Which Wich sandwiches, and a Men's boutique....

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http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/print-edition/2012/03/30/apartments-for-midtown.html?page=2

We have known about this for a while now, but here is an article with some extra details on the Lennar Group apartments going in around midtown. They want ground level retail with 5-6 floors of apartments, yay! Its exciting to be getting development again, even though its not high rise.

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This is great news. It will fill out the block with some residential, and some height, which helps redeem all the one story retail buildings that have developed on the rest of that larger block. In fact, it is interesting that the development mocked in half of these 79 pages as a glorified strip mall is getting the type of projects that has been the relative ideal, ground floor retail and 4-6 stories of housing above it. Not to mention this project is 2 blocks from a streetcar stop, so it will hopefully contribute well to that.

I like this trend of apartment projects getting built and having the option for future condo conversion. That is a great model because it gets the built quickly, rather than the painful 2 years of soliciting enough buyers willing to risk deposits (which no one will do anymore). So we will still be able to have occupied urban buildings that can eventually because owner-occupied.

Bringing back an old idea, it sure would be great if we get to a point where they can add streetcar spurs. S. Kings to Pearl Pkwy to Kenilworth/East/Scott would be a great spur to support the densifying corridor around Midtown, CMC, and eastern Dilworth.

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Bringing back an old idea, it sure would be great if we get to a point where they can add streetcar spurs. S. Kings to Pearl Pkwy to Kenilworth/East/Scott would be a great spur to support the densifying corridor around Midtown, CMC, and eastern Dilworth.

If Met/Midtown formed their own MSD or TIF, maybe this spur could be funded independent of the ambitious bond package. However, I doubt the starter project is designed with a track-wye at Elizabeth/Kings.

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It would be easier in my opinion to make the WYE at Trade/McDowell, then left on Kenilworth and run that out to where Kenilworth/Scott split.. Still close enough to MetMidtown to serve the area, while also serving 2nd Ward which will ultimately be higher density and more deserving of transit.

Back on subject, this Lennar proposal has great skyline view possibilities and great street network. I would think this will be one of the top communities in the city if build with quality materials.

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At this point, I'd be content if they converted 3rd and 4th back to two-way streets east of Kings Drive. That area is really obnoxious to navigate because of the limitations now.

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^Charlottetowne Avenue's concrete center median, which is leftover from the street's days as Old Independence, also adds to this area's navigation hurdles. The median limits left turns at Cherry Street, Fox Street, 5th Street, Armory Drive, CPCC's parking deck entrance, and several driveways.

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With the slew of bad news about Best Buy nationally, I suspect the Midtown store has a limited lifespan. I know it is a smaller store, but I'm not sure if that is a good thing of a bad thing as far as how it looks to corporate. But overall, Best Buy seems to be on a death spiral.

In related news, with online shopping taking most of the electronics market and a lot otherwise, including most of my shopping dollars. I hope national policy can eventually catch up and allow some sales tax to be collected online. It would hurt, but I think we have to have some way to make sure we fund our local governments. It actually makes the already regressive sales tax even more regressive, as people buying larger ticket items have an incentive to buy online and the poor often don't have the ability to shop online (internet service/credit or debit cards).

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With the slew of bad news about Best Buy nationally, I suspect the Midtown store has a limited lifespan. I know it is a smaller store, but I'm not sure if that is a good thing of a bad thing as far as how it looks to corporate. But overall, Best Buy seems to be on a death spiral.

In related news, with online shopping taking most of the electronics market and a lot otherwise, including most of my shopping dollars. I hope national policy can eventually catch up and allow some sales tax to be collected online. It would hurt, but I think we have to have some way to make sure we fund our local governments. It actually makes the already regressive sales tax even more regressive, as people buying larger ticket items have an incentive to buy online and the poor often don't have the ability to shop online (internet service/credit or debit cards).

I asked an employee there how they stacked up to other stores in the area when I was buying appliances and they said they do less business than just about every other store around.

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Yeah, I figured. Kinda sad, but slowly many of these big boxes are outcompeted by online shopping. Books, electronics, and so on. Clothes and general department stores (Target) are still likely to stick around, though.

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