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Charlotte Center City 2020 Vision Plan

90 posts in this topic

At some point in the next year, Center City Partners will begin charettes for the 2020 Plan. This will dovetail with the recent plans that reviewed the needs for the street and sidewalk infrastructure, and the park infrastructure. To understand the importance of big ideas, and their likelihood to be taken seriously, let's review the tremendous success of the 2010 plan:

http://charlotte2010.com/vision.htm

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Land Use, Growth & City Form

1. Consolidated Government Center District

-- The Government District has grown even denser in the past decade, including the completion of the Central Jail, County Courthouse, and the continued baby-step process for building a Federal Courthouse in the Government District of East Trade. CMS is also consolidating space inside the Government District to allow for redevelopment of 2nd Ward.

2. New Housing Development Area

-- The pursuit of new housing has been wildly successful in the past decade, spurred along by the national trend to move back into the cities and by the dramatic increase in energy costs during the Bush administration.

3. Mixed Use Urban Village in First Ward

-- The initial momentum around this was hurt by the recession early in the decade, and has been hurt since by the land owner's, Daniel Levine, stubborn desire to develop all the land at once. The momentum is now returning as the city and county and UNCC are pushing forward the First Ward Park that anchors the district.

4. Redeveloped Mixed-Use Site on the former convention center.

-- Epicentre is nearing completion, with a hotel, office space, and a series of entertainment retailers, with the longer term possibility of a residential project.

5. Redeveloped Second Ward

-- The Second Ward Master Plan has been completed as a document, and is seeing significant progress as part of the land swap creating private land for building 'Brooklyn Village', the sale of the five parcels along Stonewall, and the expansion of the Convention Center (and new Nascar Hall of Fame) on their reserved parcel. There is also new momentum to rebuild some of the street grid in 2nd Ward, and create 2nd Ward Park to straddle 2nd/MLK.

6. New Metro School

-- The Metro School was rebuilt by CMS to a more urban design

7. South End District

-- SouthEnd has grown considerably in the last decade, including a recent surge of dense apartment projects with the LRT

Open Spaces, Parks & Recreation

8. Loop Linear Park

-- Little Sugar Creek Greenway is now under construction along 277 on the east, Irwin Creek Greenway has been built along 77, and there is new momentum to pursue greenway-like options along Belk Freeway for an East-West connection.

9. New Center City Park

-- Bearden Park now is funded and designed and once the lawsuits are wrapped up, will begin construction

10. New Education Quad

-- First Ward Park has now been approved by the City and the County and will be funded by CIP bonds and TIF proceeds for the parking deck underneath. Imaginon has been built on the southern end of this quad/park, and UNCC has a funded and designed project for the northern end of this quad/park ready for construction once the park is finalized.

11. Reconfigured Marshall Park

-- The new reconfigured Second Ward Park was structurally defined in the Second Ward Master Plan and is now funded and designed and will be built once the land swap lawsuits are resolved.

12. New Ninth Street Park

--Ninth Street Park was built as part of the building of the Garden District in First Ward, and has been focal open space for the neighborhood.

13. Little Sugar Creek Greenway and encourage development around a reclaimed Little Sugar Creek.

-- Little Sugare Creek Greenway is now under construction. CPCC has grown their campus to embrace Little Sugar Creek, and Midtown Square Mall has been rebuilt as a massive mixed use project, Metropolitan Midtown, along the creek/greenway.

14. Wesley Heights Greenway

-- This Greenway has been rebuilt and has helped spur growth in Wesley Heights.

Transportation, Streets & Parking

15. Pedestrian Core Zone

-- This already existed, but has been further supported by growth in street level retailers (Hearst Plaza, Independence Center retail, 7th Street Station, etc.).

16. N/S Trolley Transit Corridor

-- The trolley was built and then we got funding for the light rail, which has now been built, and obviously very successful.

18. Workhorse Streets (Third/Fourth,College/Church, Brevard/Caldwell, Fifth/Sixth)

-- These already existed, and the Center City Transportation Plan has further reinforced these pairs by retaining them as one way with only one exception, Brevard/Caldwell, which was severed by the arena. They now plan a bidirectional Caldwell to act as the workhorse connecting Parkwood and South Blvd.

19. Green Streets (Second, Ninth, Davidson, McDowell) Catalyst & Redevelopment Areas

-- The Green Street program was fulfilled in the build out of First Ward, with the green medians on 9th and on Davidson. As part of 3rd Ward Park, Knights Ballpark, 2nd Ward Park and Nascar Hall of Fame, streetscape along 2nd/MLK will be rebuilt significantly with many green and pedestrian-oriented elements. While Poplar has not seen an construction, there is a plan to build a green street-like connection between 3rd Ward Park and Trade Street along Mint.

20. Arena, Rail Station, Museum, Office, Parking

-- The arena was moved to First Ward, the Rail Station has continued to be funded and planned, and 3rd Ward has seen new growth due to Novare's interest.

21. Baseball, Housing, Food & Beverage

-- The baseball plans have moved to 3rd Ward, and construction will begin with the lawsuits are over. Housing and retail have grown in SouthEnd.

22. Existing NFL Stadium

-- Not sure why they thought they needed to label that. I guess the update after a decade is that the Panthers are still here and as popular as ever.

23. Corridor Redevelopment Areas

-- West Morehead, Midtown, and Optimist Park have each seen significant reinvestment and growth in the past decade. The area around the Coffee Cup was almost redeveloped, but was stalled as part of Beazer's bankruptcy.

24. Freeway Cap

-- The expense of this idea has slowed this considerably. However, there has been significant effort to solve the problems this was attempting to resolve, by planning improved connectivity between Uptown, SouthEnd and Dilworth. There is now the possibility to do anything from the 'pie in the sky' big ideas that the consultants recently outlined, or pursuing smaller scale improvements to the bridges and selling air rights. However, a major connectivity issue is about to be resolved by the rebuilding of the South Blvd bridge over 277 to support bike lanes and sidewalks.

Now, we can begin to post some big ideas and key themes that should be focused on for 2020. As this is a long post already, I'll post some of my thoughts after others post theirs.

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  • Observation Tower I'll add from that thread.
  • A large central square: one of the ones that has a simple water feature or statue and open space surrounding, one where multiple vendors can set up on afternoons and many people will gather. I'd love to see a 21st rendition of this, so not the historical European ones but maybe like a modern statue/water feature/center with interactive lighted stones or something on the floor. I don't know exactly what I'm getting at...
  • A decision on the Parks & Rec large decision of a zoo, aquarium, or botanical garden
  • A solution to parts or all of 277 in terms of the barrier it acts as (park cap, blvd cap, increased ped bridges/expansion of major roads to include more pedestrian space, elimination of it)
  • A solution to the current freight tracks as in a way they act as a barrier between J&W's and the CBD (Parks and Rec greenway expansions, cleaning up with public art and lighting, etc)
  • Transportation will probably be one of the largest transformations- which is where a lot of the 2030 CATs plan takes place (between 2010-2020). If an add'l .5 cent tax increase were to occur sometime between now and the next few years, the CATs plan could be expanded
  • Gateways and recognition, distinction between the 4 wards and S. End, and other neighborhoods.
  • Extinction to the Surface Lot Plague (Levine land and 3rd ward solutions, some are already taking place).
  • Redevelopment of the Meck Co Aquatic Center, maybe an outdoor pool in the new location
  • Greenery, parks, flowers, water features, more benches, bike racks, and redoing a lot of the bus stations.
  • Retail, retail, and maybe, just maybe some more retail. Redevelopment of some of the current buildings to include street level retail like BofA is starting to make improvements to on College.
  • Maybe a planetarium or some sort of research institute (maybe UNCC) that interacts with pedestrians, education for kids, and attracts tourism. Something seperate from Discovery Place's offerings
  • Large central market space, fresh and local items
  • Connection with NC Music Hall, something done with the train tracks and also allowing Elmwood Cemetary to be opened up and increase ped traffic around this area and connectivity.
  • Library redo

Edited by Andyc545

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Here would some of my list, although Andy hit on some of the ones I was thinking. Obviously many of these are anticipated by projects already in the hopper, just as during the 2010 plans.

  • Build out the conversion of one way streets to bidirectional streets.


  • 4th, Poplar and Mint in 3rd Ward, Poplar in 4th Ward, and Brevard and Caldwell in First and Second Wards.


  • Build out as many improvements to Belk (277) crossings as financially feasible.


  • Davidson-Euclid connector, cap along Tryon, sidewalk improvements, bike improvements, etc.


  • Implement a strategy for attracting retailers to downtown.
  • Build Gateway Station.
  • Build the streetcar line along Trade Street.
  • Build an East-West greenway or greet street connecting Irwin Creek/Frazier Park to Little Sugar Creek/Pearle Street Park.


  • Either implementing the pie in the sky cap idea, extending the 10th Street green street to Caldwell, or fully building out MLK as a green street.


  • Add Signature Street streetscape to Brevard between Stonewall and Trade
  • Build out the parks in 3rd, 2nd, and 1st Wards
  • Close or replace with bridges all at grade freight rail crossings ( W 9th, W 11th, N Davidson, N Brevard, N Church) in or adjacent to uptown to implement quiet zone for train horns.
  • Remove all arc exit/entrance ramps to 277.
  • Build a botanical garden or zoo (I'd prefer a high quality botanical garden).
  • Encourage more green roofs like is being built on the Federal Reserve building to reduce heat island effect.
  • Redevelop Spirit Square and the Library complex.
  • Encourage the continued growth of jobs and residences to fill in surface lots.
  • Build the First Ward Urban Village.
  • Redevelop aging apartments along Graham Street.
  • Identify the remaining historic or old buildings and arrange for their adaptive reuse, especially those at risk:


  • Treloar House, Polk Building, Hall House, Tryon House, the Brooklyn /Brevard storefronts, etc.


  • Create an identity and community infrastructure for the area around the original Coffee Cup.
  • Build up connections to 'North End'

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Good Morning all-

As many of you know Charlotte Center City Partners, the City of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County kicked off our 2020 Vision Plan yesterday with a media briefing at Johnson C. Smith University. This 12 month planning effort will help guide to growth & development of our Center City over the next 10 years. There will be many ways to participate in this planning effort and I hope everyone on this site will engage in 2020. We will have our website up soon: centercity2020.com. You can also visit our website at www.charlottecentercity.org to get more information on the media briefing that occured yesterday.

Our first community workshop will be on Wedneday, October 20th at 5:30 pm at the Convention Center. I hope everyone can attend. If anyone has any questions about the plan or would like to get more involved please contact Charlotte Center City Partners.

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It's on the calendar. I really appreciate that the coverage area is expanding beyond Uptown and Southend this time - that inclusion will really broaden the opportunities afforded to the plan.

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Our first community workshop will be on Wedneday, October 20th at 5:30 pm at the Convention Center. I hope everyone can attend. If anyone has any questions about the plan or would like to get more involved please contact Charlotte Center City Partners.

Oct 20 is a Tuesday. And it's also the first Bobcats game at TWC (preseason).

I hope you meant Oct 21.

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http://www.charlotteobserver.com/local/story/976838.html

Here is the O article. It is October 21. Thank goodness, because I'll be out of town on the 20th and I definitely will be going to this.

One problem we may have is that my impulse and a lot of other people's impulses will probably be to say 'finish this and that' which were already proposed and it is going to be tough to come up with truly revolutionary ideas. I also know that I have grown cynical of what is possible this decade with the dramatic changes of Wachovia and the uptown housing market.

[MOD NOTE: I merged the thread with the one I originally created for this. It is funny that it was almost exactly a year ago.]

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Some of the ideas that I think should be part of the 2020 plan:

1. Observation tower like the CN tower with a mall at the base. I don't think that the tower should be as tall as CN, maybe top out at 1300 ft. Having a tower that is over twice as tall as the tallest skyscraper would look odd in the skyline. I do like the idea of two observation decks though. Also, with regards to the mall, I don't think it should be as long as an airport terminal like CP mall. I think it should be taller, about 4 to 5 stories high. A good example of this type of mall is in Baltimore near Camden Yards. The mall is in the base of one of their buildings. It is just a few hundred feet in width but has 4 levels. It actually has a considerable amount of stores.

2. A large, world class aquarium. The aquarium should have a large tank with all different species and a glass tunnel from which to look up into the tank. Also, it should have numerous freshwater displays. Basically, It should look like a Ripley's aquarium on steroids.

3. A history museum of sorts that displays artifacts from World and US history, as well as Carolina and Charlotte history.

4. A large World War II museum complete with different pieces of machinery from all countries involved as well as major holocaust display. Also the museum should include a memorial to the veterans of the war, specifically NC and SC vets.

5. An uptown stadium that could be used by the Knights but could easily be upgraded to house MLB when Charlotte gets a team. Also explore the possibility of trading the Bobcats to Raleigh in exchange for the Hurricanes moving to Charlotte. (Just Kidding about that because I know it will not happen... but seriously would much rather have the 'Canes)

6. Botanical gardens

7. Cap 277

8. Build CGS

I know a lot of these have already been mentioned, but I think these would be the best improvements.

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For me:

1. Tall and slender observation tower, not necessarily as tall as CN tower, but taller than BofA. I would locate this tower north of uptown at the south end of the rail yard that hopefully will be redeveloped by 2020. That would provide awesome views of Uptown at sunset, as well as mountain views to the west.

2. A "history square" located near the NASCAR HoF along Brevard (between 3rd and 4th on Brevard next to the LYNX tracks). This square would be like an old European square (think Brussels main square) with retail facing the street and inwards towards the square as well. Facades from some of Charlotte's most famous historical buildings that have been demolished would be recreated in this square (think Old City Halls, the mason's buildings, etc). At the edges of the square, towards 3rd, 4th, or LYNX, historical buildings would provide a base for pencil towers, in order to increase density. This development would be more street friendly than EpiCentre and include more destination retail, such as H&M, large bookstore, other smaller destination retailers. Sidewalk dining would also be a focus of this development, with tables facing both streets and the main square. The late-night entertainment value of this development would be less of a factor than at EpiCentre, but this development would serve as a starting point for the retail district of the "Brevard Mile".

3. Urban park in 3rd Ward.

4. At least 3 small pocket parks (with a specific function, like chess park or interactive fountain park) spread throughout the CBD.

5. MLB or MLS stadium in the western corner of Uptown on the Beazer land. That way they can share parking with BofA stadium and they won't be cutting off a significant area of potential urban development.

6. Cap 277 with a park and development.

7. Streetcars.

8. I agree with cltwimob that a large WW2 museum would be sweet. It would be great to have something to honor possibly the greatest moment in US history to this date.

9. Large Energy exhibit at Discovery Place/complete renovation of Discovery Place. Energy exhibit could be a collaborative effort among our growing technology sector in Charlotte (Duke Energy, Areva, Siemens, Shaw, Westinghouse, etc.).

10. I know it's not technically in the center city, but I'd like to see a complete redevelopment of the rail yard north of uptown. Like I said earlier, I'd want an observation tower at the south end. I'd like a huge signature urban park on the land that is now the rail yard. Lining the park, I'd love to see some sort of technical university sprout up, as well as a selective liberal arts school. I'd also like medium-high density office development towards the south, transitioning to university space in the middle, and residential toward the north spreading into lower density toward NoDa, as to not ruin NoDa's character. I'd also like to see NoDa protected in some way, so as to preserve its character and historic buildings.

Thoughts??

Edited by cltheel.sdl

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10. I know it's not technically in the center city, but I'd like to see a complete redevelopment of the rail yard north of uptown. Like I said earlier, I'd want an observation tower at the south end. I'd like a huge signature urban park on the land that is now the rail yard. Lining the park, I'd love to see some sort of technical university sprout up, as well as a selective liberal arts school. I'd also like medium-high density office development towards the south, transitioning to university space in the middle, and residential toward the north spreading into lower density toward NoDa, as to not ruin NoDa's character. I'd also like to see NoDa protected in some way, so as to preserve its character and historic buildings.

The railyards north of Uptown are part of the study area and will be looked at in greater detail. There is a ton of redevelopment potential in this area that can achieve many of the goals that could come out of the plan. I hope everyone can make the workshop on the 21st.

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Looking through the South End station area plan, one thing jumps out as being very disappointing in planning and (so far) execution: parks. And I mean parks in the broadest meaning, big parks, pocket parks, plazas - basically any kind of open public space.

Here's my rule of thumb: if you're at work in South End and decide to take your lunch outside, where do you go to eat? There's a small green space down at the Design Center, but otherwise you're SOL. How about the Chicken Coop. Anybody who picks up food there can tell you that there's no where nearby to eat. No benches, tables, nothing. I've actually seen people set themselves up on the benches at the LRT stations to eat, watching the trains go by.

Two of the spaces designated as "open space" in the plan already seem to be shot. One is that little island of land between Carson and Palmer (next to camden apartments). That's been graveled up into a parking lot. The other is the space by Bland St Station which is turning into Townhomes soon.

Back to the drawing board on open space planning in the South End.

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I love the idea of an observation tower and agree that it shouldn't be too tall. This city is beautiful and should be enjoyed from higher elevations than are currently available. At least I didn't see anyone propose a wax museum on this thread.

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i think an observation tower should be waaay down the priority list, perhaps building one 15 years from now. Charlotte already appears shockingly smaller from even 10 stories up than at ground level, much less 80 (admitted this is partially due to how dense our canopy of trees is). an observation deck at the top of our next highrise would be welcome, but a purpose-built tower strikes me as a little vain at this point in time.

it's a longshot, but i more than anything just want to see a consistent 2-3 blocks or more developed in an oldschool, piecemeal fashion (even if its only simulating how cities used to be built i guess). just varying 3-7 stories with changing facades of brick and stone with access alleys. it could alternate between townhomes/narrow apartment buildings and 1st floor retail with lofts above. i would personally rather see this in 3rd ward than the park, as it would extend the vibe of brevard court. i hope for something similar around the north college surface lots as well.

Edited by nonillogical

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1) First and foremost, the NE Light Rail extension through UNCC should be complete by then.

2) 1st and 3rd Ward Urban Park.

3) Forget the Knights Stadium at the current proposed lot. Utilize the plot of land where the Beazer development near the Panthers stadium is now. Make it "expandable" to MLB standards. Or, another option would be north of uptown off one of the proposed light rail stops. I think having a stadium outside of uptown isn't a bad idea.

4) More mid-rise development (mix of 6-15 stories) in the empty lots so that the out edges of 3rd and 4th ward can be connected.

5) Do something with the Epicentre condo situation. I don't see anything happening there anytime soon, but it should be utilized somehow. Even if it's just a 10-15 story building.

6) 277 Cap to connect South End to uptown. I think this is on everyone's wish list.

7) This is more of a "want" to me, but I think at some point near 2020 a new Panthers stadium will need to be talked about. I would ideally like to see a retractable roof facility in line with something like Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. That way we can be a Final Four city again and host an array of events. Even in today's sports environment, the old Charlotte coliseum wouldn't be conducive to hosting a Final Four. I'm not even sure where this would be built at this point (probably not uptown), but I think it's inevitable at some point this will come up in the next 10 years. If a renovation is possible at BofA stadium, I would be all for that as well. I think the current location is great (and unique).

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In no particular order:

  • Re-connect some of the streets in 4th Ward.
  • Develop more street retail. This city is painfully lacking in that area. Encourage retrofitting existing structures to accommodate it.
  • Continue to encourage/support more residential development in center city.
  • Stop tearing down old stuff.
  • Work to retrofit existing blank walls, especially parking garages, to be more accommodating to pedestrians, even if it's something as small as tactile art or even a fresh coat of paint. (eg: 4th Street is a horrible street on pretty much all levels.)
  • More street retail
  • More street retail

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Re-connect MOST, if not all, of the streets in Fourth Ward. Retain residential parking permits. Add curb extensions or even raised/table-top intersections for traffic calming. But RESTORE THE GRID!

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in addition to that thought....make sure mega projects fit into the street grid and don't destroy it....arena anyone?

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That happens in every city, though I understand your point. That's why reconnecting and expanding the grid in uptown is so essential. Because of 277 and one way streets, the grid isn't able to function as well as it should, and 4th Ward doesn't do its part to help the process.

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Transportation:

- Implement the Center City Transportation Plan in its entirety by 2020 with priority on:

-- Extending 10th from Church to Caldwell

-- Adding the Euclid-Davidson bridge

-- Extending MLK to Cedar

-- Extending 5th Street to Kings Dr

-- Building 2nd Ward/Brooklyn Village grid

-- reducing the one-way pairs (converting to bidirectional streets as planned)

- Implement the planned traffic wayfinding system, and integrate it with the parking deck systems to make it easier for visitors

- Build the Charlotte Gateway Station

- Implement the North Commuter Rail as planned

- Implement the Blue Line Extension as planned

- Implement SouthEast High Speed Rail

- Close as many rail crossing as possible to comply with Quiet Zone rules to allow railroads to avoid blowing horns

- Implement Trade Street Streetcar line as planned

- Implement pedestrian improvements on ALL 277 crossings, especially S Tryon

- Widen the sidewalks on 5th Street by Iveys

Parks:

- Completing the planned parks in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Wards.

- Consider expanding 4th Ward Park from a small greenway to a full neighborhood park, by relocation of the Salvation Army Homes to elsewhere.

- Add a leash-free dog park to each ward (3rd Ward has one already)

-- Use to the NCDOT land at 10th and Graham for 4th Ward Dog Park

-- Perhaps use the land next to the old AACC for the 1st Ward Dog Park

- Add a Children's Playground to each (3rd and 4th Wards have one already)

-- Implement the plan to use 1st Ward Elementary's expanded playground for neighborhood

- Adandon expensive cap park idea in favor of development rights

- Connect Irwin Creek Greenway to Elmwood Center (Mr. Gorbochev, open that gate)

- Connect all parks with a network of signature green streets like 9th in 1st Ward and 10th in 4th Ward. (This is a carry over from the 2010 plan)

-- Mint/Pine can connect Bearden and 4th Ward Park and are wide enough to convert to green street

-- Making 10th a green street to Caldwell will connect 4th Ward Historic district to the Park and play ground and existing 9th Street green street in 1st Ward

-- Davidson is already a green street in 1st Ward, and should get that treatment to MLK

-- MLK should get signature green street treatment to connect 2nd and Bearden Parks, and provide a trail passing the Nascar Hall and the Arts Campus.

Land Use, Growth, & City Form:

- Save remaining pre-1950 buildings uptown that are at risk of demolition by neglect

-- Coddington/Polk Building, Treloar, Hall House.

- Build urban style 2nd Ward High School next to Metro School

- Reduce Urban Heat Island by instuting following policies:

-- All public buildings with a flatza roof that are larger than 1/4 block should have green roof

-- All new surface parking lots should include shade trees throughout

-- All street trees that die or are removed should be replanted promptly

- Add residential land use in 2nd Ward

- Make planned developments on Stonewall sites, Brooklyn Village, Levine [Village], and Hal Marshal land a reality

Catalysts:

- Recruit office tenants from suburbs and other cities

- Gold and Money Museum showcasing our gold mining history, mint, banking history, and perhaps artifacts and making sense of the 2009 financial meltdown that changed the city

- Use all or a portion of 3rd Ward stadium land for a new big idea to be determined or else return land to private sector

-- Ideas: Aquarium, an Energy Research Institute joint venture between UNC-system and Duke Energy, give the land away to recruit a new business relocation, etc.

- Identify a new site for AAA stadium expandable to MLB, potentially on West Morehead or Southend

- Budget money outright to renovate and save Carolina Theater

- The Charlotte Heritage Incubator. My idea is to select multiple iconic, historic Charlotte buildings that have been torn down and rebuild them from original designs or photographs. Putting them together on a single block, or fill in random infill spaces on public lands. The buildings will be publically owned and be used as small business incubators, the upper levels will go to local startups like other business incubators and the ground level will go for local retail shops. The city fabric will get to restore buildings to life that would have been historic if they had survived our growth, including a scale and type of building that are usually positive streetscape additions. The city can then actively foster the growth of new local businesses and retailers that will have a chance to grow and be job creators.

-- Ideas for buildings to rebuild are Independence Building, Trust Building,

Southern Manufactures Club Building, Columbia Building, Mecklenburg Hotel, Professional Building, YMCA Building, Coddington Building (Oh, sorry, that one is still standing), Wilder Building, Original Belk Building, or a set of old Tryon buildings that includes some of the above.

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The Charlotte Heritage Incubator in particular sounds like a great idea. Go ahead and hire architect David M. Schwarz and get to work on this, pronto!

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Priority #1, relocate remaining freight-rail yards to airport property, and bury the remaining frieght/Amtrak lines to allow for Atlrvr's Central Park plan to be built with the rough boundaries of Parkwood, 30th/Matheson, Brevard and Tryon. :)

I agree with abandoning the cap-park over 277, and instead selling the air-rights and building a surface street over the freeway.

I'd like to see lots of smaller museums focused on very specific topics (cartography, gold mining, confederate manuscripts, etc.) instead or large ubiquitous projects such as a aquarium or zoo.

I'd also like to see the future larger projects that we do persue (baseball, etc.) to not be located in Uptown, but along transit lines instead.

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I don't understand what people have against 1-way streets. They are both driver and pedestrian friendly. If we want to slow traffic, work on signal timing, and start allowing parallel parking on both sides of the street. Newbury St in Boston is one of the most stroll friendly streets in the country, and is a 1-way street (effectively dead-ending in a interstate on-ramp at that). I also hope the city abolishes planting strips in any urban zoning classification.

As I mentioned on another thread, the creation of a LARGE urban park where the currently rail-yards are would be the most significant and city-altering investment that could ever be made.

The city should also be willing to spread out institutional projects (theatres, museums, sporting facitilities). They don't all have to be within a 6 block walk of the square. Place them on transit lines, and let the expensive real estate get developed with income generating projects.

Really for the 2020 plan, I don't see much of a need to invest in large scale projects other than what has already been outlines in the cultural facilities master plan and the large central park idea. Instead, I'd like to city to concentrate of developing urban-oriented infrastrucutre and zoning/building codes that promote high-quality urban development.

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As I mentioned on another thread, the creation of a LARGE urban park where the currently rail-yards are would be the most significant and city-altering investment that could ever be made.

Absolutely. I hope you're really putting that idea out there to the powers-that-be in the city.

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Transportation:

- Implement the Center City Transportation Plan in its entirety by 2020 with priority on:

-- Extending 10th from Church to Caldwell

-- Adding the Euclid-Davidson bridge

-- Extending MLK to Cedar

-- Extending 5th Street to Kings Dr

-- Building 2nd Ward/Brooklyn Village grid

-- reducing the one-way pairs (converting to bidirectional streets as planned)

- Implement the planned traffic wayfinding system, and integrate it with the parking deck systems to make it easier for visitors

- Build the Charlotte Gateway Station

- Implement the North Commuter Rail as planned

- Implement the Blue Line Extension as planned

- Implement SouthEast High Speed Rail

- Close as many rail crossing as possible to comply with Quiet Zone rules to allow railroads to avoid blowing horns

- Implement Trade Street Streetcar line as planned

- Implement pedestrian improvements on ALL 277 crossings, especially S Tryon

- Widen the sidewalks on 5th Street by Iveys

Parks:

- Completing the planned parks in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Wards.

- Consider expanding 4th Ward Park from a small greenway to a full neighborhood park, by relocation of the Salvation Army Homes to elsewhere.

- Add a leash-free dog park to each ward (3rd Ward has one already)

-- Use to the NCDOT land at 10th and Graham for 4th Ward Dog Park

-- Perhaps use the land next to the old AACC for the 1st Ward Dog Park

- Add a Children's Playground to each (3rd and 4th Wards have one already)

-- Implement the plan to use 1st Ward Elementary's expanded playground for neighborhood

- Adandon expensive cap park idea in favor of development rights

- Connect Irwin Creek Greenway to Elmwood Center (Mr. Gorbochev, open that gate)

- Connect all parks with a network of signature green streets like 9th in 1st Ward and 10th in 4th Ward. (This is a carry over from the 2010 plan)

-- Mint/Pine can connect Bearden and 4th Ward Park and are wide enough to convert to green street

-- Making 10th a green street to Caldwell will connect 4th Ward Historic district to the Park and play ground and existing 9th Street green street in 1st Ward

-- Davidson is already a green street in 1st Ward, and should get that treatment to MLK

-- MLK should get signature green street treatment to connect 2nd and Bearden Parks, and provide a trail passing the Nascar Hall and the Arts Campus.

Land Use, Growth, & City Form:

- Save remaining pre-1950 buildings uptown that are at risk of demolition by neglect

-- Coddington/Polk Building, Treloar, Hall House.

- Build urban style 2nd Ward High School next to Metro School

- Reduce Urban Heat Island by instuting following policies:

-- All public buildings with a flatza roof that are larger than 1/4 block should have green roof

-- All new surface parking lots should include shade trees throughout

-- All street trees that die or are removed should be replanted promptly

- Add residential land use in 2nd Ward

- Make planned developments on Stonewall sites, Brooklyn Village, Levine [Village], and Hal Marshal land a reality

Catalysts:

- Recruit office tenants from suburbs and other cities

- Gold and Money Museum showcasing our gold mining history, mint, banking history, and perhaps artifacts and making sense of the 2009 financial meltdown that changed the city

- Use all or a portion of 3rd Ward stadium land for a new big idea to be determined or else return land to private sector

-- Ideas: Aquarium, an Energy Research Institute joint venture between UNC-system and Duke Energy, give the land away to recruit a new business relocation, etc.

- Identify a new site for AAA stadium expandable to MLB, potentially on West Morehead or Southend

- Budget money outright to renovate and save Carolina Theater

- The Charlotte Heritage Incubator. My idea is to select multiple iconic, historic Charlotte buildings that have been torn down and rebuild them from original designs or photographs. Putting them together on a single block, or fill in random infill spaces on public lands. The buildings will be publically owned and be used as small business incubators, the upper levels will go to local startups like other business incubators and the ground level will go for local retail shops. The city fabric will get to restore buildings to life that would have been historic if they had survived our growth, including a scale and type of building that are usually positive streetscape additions. The city can then actively foster the growth of new local businesses and retailers that will have a chance to grow and be job creators.

-- Ideas for buildings to rebuild are Independence Building, Trust Building,

Southern Manufactures Club Building, Columbia Building, Mecklenburg Hotel, Professional Building, YMCA Building, Coddington Building (Oh, sorry, that one is still standing), Wilder Building, Original Belk Building, or a set of old Tryon buildings that includes some of the above.

I accidentally posted this in the parks thread. This is actually meant for the 2020 plan discussion.

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Atlrvr, I agree about the 1-way streets to a degree. I walk a lot uptown as a pedestrian commuter, and I really enjoy 1-way streets as I only need to look one way, and can often easily cross the street because the street is empty a lot. However, I think uptown has too many one way streets in areas that makes navigating them by car a bit more difficult for visitors

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