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Perhaps this wouldn't have been as pretty (then again, I've never seen a pretty freeway) but did anybody ever consider building an "upper Independence Blvd" over a non-freeway "lower Independence Blvd"?

I did! :)

I think it's the best option that is feasible. Burying it with an underground LRT would be 1st choice of course, it would easily be $2B or so.....

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I did! :)

I think it's the best option that is feasible. Burying it with an underground LRT would be 1st choice of course, it would easily be $2B or so.....

I'm not quite sure what is being achieved here besides places for the homeless and abandonded cars. Independence is wide, that's a lot of cave, and there is connectivity at Hawthorn, Briarcreek, Eastway, Central, more than enough. Are you trying for successful retail?

It was beginning to fail when it was not a freeway. There is no room for retail as far as Briarcreek in, would you suggest we tear down good housng stock on either side, most of which is being renovated as we speak?

Ok now that we covered Boston, covered Independence and other scenarios that are not going to happen,lets talk about what is reality. There is more than ample room for high density development in pockets along the area between Sharon Amity and Briarcreek.

I'm thinking destination points similar to Phillips Place with retail below and residential(apts or condos) above, courtyards with parking decks buffering along the edge on Independence. I'm thinking pesdestrain/bike bridges at each point where the roads use to cross

Independence, a point in the middle where it drops down to bus or train stations for mass transit down the middle.

BTW since we are traveling around the country please go to Huntsville Al.. They have a beautiful elevated highway right through the middle of town, beautiful if your on it, not under it.

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.....lets talk about what is reality. .....
OK, the reality is this. The NCDOT will finish it's project some time in the next 40 years. There will be a freeway all the way out to the city limits. Nobody will want to live or do business near the thing. The city will answer with what it has been doing since they made these changes. Bulldoze down some development. Let the others rot. Change the laws to placate businesses like Walmart who will hold the city hostage before they will build a new store. And a few people get burnt by buying condos over looking the freeway thinking they are being urban where they really end up with a unit they can't resale. (re Hawthorn Rd.)

I have my doubts that Light Rail will ever make it down the median of this road or that any stations will be built. The city of Charlotte and the business community has come up with a disingenuous transit plan that does not tie the building of transit to any enforceable development restrictions so there will be no more transit built. The people won't stand for new taxes to build it, which CATS now admits it must have to do anything, and nothing that CATS currently proposes qualifies for federal funding. (as much as they like to claim otherwise)

This is the current reality. If this reality doesn't seem palatable, then of course there are opportunities to change it, but we first have to be willing to even have the discussion.

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There are currently people living and working near the thing, and selling property in most cases for a profit. Hawthorn just opened and in a bad economy at that, it remains to be seen what it will do in the future. Sorry for being positive, but IMO it will be ok.

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The City Council agreed last night to reduce the setback required on Independence by 50 feet from Harris Blvd. in, and 35

furthur out. My hope is this will help redevelopment in areas along the freeway.

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I think that people will come to love to do business near the freeway. Proximity to a freeway is in no way a detriment for most commercial establishments, and is in fact more often a plus. The focus will just have to change from developments oriented towards Independence itself, to developments oriented towards the cross streets (which, incidentally, will also be where the BRT/LRT stations are).

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I think that people will come to love to do business near the freeway. Proximity to a freeway is in no way a detriment for most commercial establishments, and is in fact more often a plus. The focus will just have to change from developments oriented towards Independence itself, to developments oriented towards the cross streets (which, incidentally, will also be where the BRT/LRT stations are).

Agreed, I actually think that if done correctly there can be quite dynamic projects developed that take advantage of the proximity to such an artery. This latest vote by City Council has been wished for for some time by both residents and businesses, I find it ironic that a Walmart of all things got it done.

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I think that people will come to love to do business near the freeway. Proximity to a freeway is in no way a detriment for most commercial establishments, and is in fact more often a plus. The focus will just have to change from developments oriented towards Independence itself, to developments oriented towards the cross streets (which, incidentally, will also be where the BRT/LRT stations are).

This was the philosophy adopted in the Los Angeles area in the very early 1970s. "Freeway Close" was the order of the day. I'm not so sure the end result was that desirable.

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I'm not quite sure what is being achieved here besides places for the homeless and abandonded cars. Independence is wide, that's a lot of cave, and there is connectivity at Hawthorn, Briarcreek, Eastway, Central, more than enough. Are you trying for successful retail?

It was beginning to fail when it was not a freeway. There is no room for retail as far as Briarcreek in, would you suggest we tear down good housng stock on either side, most of which is being renovated as we speak?

Ok now that we covered Boston, covered Independence and other scenarios that are not going to happen,lets talk about what is reality. There is more than ample room for high density development in pockets along the area between Sharon Amity and Briarcreek.

I'm thinking destination points similar to Phillips Place with retail below and residential(apts or condos) above, courtyards with parking decks buffering along the edge on Independence. I'm thinking pesdestrain/bike bridges at each point where the roads use to cross

Independence, a point in the middle where it drops down to bus or train stations for mass transit down the middle.

BTW since we are traveling around the country please go to Huntsville Al.. They have a beautiful elevated highway right through the middle of town, beautiful if your on it, not under it.

That's a good idea. I would go further and think the state and city should create a service type road (and wall and tree lined buffer) to separate the expressway traffic and current retail traffic. RIRO idea with sidewalks isn't working and IMO, I don't think the current new retail will survive in the future. I think the city in the future should rezone the empty big box stores near the future transit stations for TOD. I think a new urbanism type development like Birkdale Village or Phillps Place could do well near one of the transit station along Independence even if it were BRT.

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The "O" is reporting that Wal-Mart is definitely building a new store at Amity Gardens. They issue had been mitigation of contaminated soils - and the "O" still didn't say who got pinned for the cleanup. But it seems that the issue has been mitigated.

Now my point. Why does the coming of Wal-Mart herald the "rebirth" of a "dead" corridor? You saw this phrasing for the new Wal-Mart on N. Tryon St. I agree that the big box graveyard of Independence is pretty sad - but how does a city as large as Charlotte hinge its future on whether or not Wal-Mart comes to town? That's something that a small town in the middle of no where does.

Wal-Mart is Wal-Mart. Fine. It is what it is. But if this is the precedent, the momentum starter - than we are in worse shape than I thought.

Oh, and can someone clarify this for me (the "O" in Observer obviously stands for "Omitted" - because they didn't say who will pay to clean up the site - or exactly where this is) - is this on the East or West of Independence Blvd).

Edited by The Escapists

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Any word what this means to the Wal-Mart on Eastway and Central? Can't imagine they'd keep two stores that close together...it's only like a mile away.

Nevermind...the article says it will replace the one currently on Eastway.

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The "O" is reporting that Wal-Mart is definitely building a new store at Amity Gardens. They issue had been mitigation of contaminated soils - and the "O" still didn't say who got pinned for the cleanup. But it seems that the issue has been mitigated.

Now my point. Why does the coming of Wal-Mart herald the "rebirth" of a "dead" corridor? You saw this phrasing for the new Wal-Mart on N. Tryon St. I agree that the big box graveyard of Independence is pretty sad - but how does a city as large as Charlotte hinge its future on whether or not Wal-Mart comes to town? That's something that a small town in the middle of no where does.

Wal-Mart is Wal-Mart. Fine. It is what it is. But if this is the precedent, the momentum starter - than we are in worse shape than I thought.

Oh, and can someone clarify this for me (the "O" in Observer obviously stands for "Omitted" - because they didn't say who will pay to clean up the site - or exactly where this is) - is this on the East or West of Independence Blvd).

My thoughts exactly.

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Ideally, more thought would have been given to transforming the asphalt sea into a mixed use green friendly development. But we don't live in a city that values innovative development a great deal. The blight that is there now will be replaced with big box blight, it will bring life to that spot but will be an island unto itself and not a great harbinger of growth to come.

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Ideally, more thought would have been given to transforming the asphalt sea into a mixed use green friendly development. But we don't live in a city that values innovative development a great deal. The blight that is there now will be replaced with big box blight, it will bring life to that spot but will be an island unto itself and not a great harbinger of growth to come.

Very true. I believe there is a site plan out there, if someone has access please post. I think the main positive is the interest in the area for such a store, and it would seem that there is enough land for more retail much like what was developed at the other Super Walmart on the west side. I hope Harbor Freight is looking at Eastway for a relocation.

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Here's something to think about. What happens if this site IS successful. What if the Walmart does bring the adjacent businesses on that side of the freeway back to life? If that happens, is it a good thing?

Does anyone know how Walmart will connect to Independence? Via Pierson Drive or off of Independence itself?

Right in, right out on Independence. There's an existing driveway on the site that will stay in the same location. You'll have to use Pierson to access Wilshire Pl if you want to go back towards the city.

I'm sure Walmart will be a big hit with the people commuting to Monroe since I'm sure they don't have Walmarts out there. [/sarcasm]

Site Plan

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The O article described East Charlotte City Councilwoman Nancy Carter as crying tears of joy over the news of Walmart opening and I bet, the timing of it during her contested election.

All in all, just feels rather retro that given all the national talk about moving beyond this type of sprawl, it's still celebrated in Charlotte.

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Most people I speak to about Independence are sort of nostalgic about it's heyday as a strip mall haven back in the 60's and 70's. There are still a lot of people out there that want to see it revived with new strip malls and new Burger King's, etc so at least this announcement will make someone happy.

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The O expressed skepticism that it would really mark a rebirth. But I think the key is that it acts as an anchor draw for the immediate area, so, for example, we may see the Coliseum Shopping Center next door renovating and signing new tenants similar to how the retail was reborn in the immediate area around the Walmart on Wilkinson.

The other thing that this does which is good is replace a large amount of vacant space with a smaller sized occupied store, so the vacancy rates will go down which helps the health of area overall.

I know that many here do not like Walmart or big boxes in general because of their impact on smaller and independent stores, but in this case it is removes blight and provides a poorer part of the city with lower cost of living.

I also believe as I said many times, that this will likely help the transit ridership projections for the SE corridor, as this is adjacent to this project.

http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/CATS/R...ity+Gardens.htm

http://www.charmeck.org/NR/rdonlyres/egb3c...mityGardens.pdf

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Someone described the new Wal-mart Supercenter as sprawl. I would consider this as redevelopment. If this supercenter was going up out in eastern Union County....that would defintely be sprawl. This is definitely an opportunity for redevelopment along Independence Blvd. Hopefully, the community and city will play a major role in the way the supercenter and the surrounding businesses are laid out and its appearance. I live in Raleigh, and when the supercenter opened on New Bern Avenue, the shopping center brought with it other businesses that truly benefit the east-Raleigh/Knightdale corridor. Some folks may complain about what crowd the Walmart draws, but if you weigh the occassional parking lot soliciter or booming systems versus the the convenience brought by the Wal-mart and the variety provided by the other businesses that came up in the vicinity of the New Bern Ave/New Hope Road intersection, it's a great fit and asset to east Raleigh.

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Someone described the new Wal-mart Supercenter as sprawl.

The asphalt ocean surrounding it is pretty sprawling. I'd prefer to see a more "Metropolitan Midtown" type development here (even though Midtown isn't perfect, it would be a big improvement)

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