uptownliving

First Ward Urban Village and Parks

Recommended Posts

dubone    622

Levine's property and potential for pairing will the County owned Hal Marshall site.

This district is bounded by 6th Street, College Street, Caldwell Street and 11th Street or Brookshire. With the exception of a few parcels, Levine owns almost the whole area that is not government owned.

the first step to transferring the county blocks has already begun. the county has already bought freedom mall, the chosen location for relocating Hal Marshall services. the area was one of the sites that the Knights were looking at for a stadium. Most likely, the county will sell to Levine and it will be part of his planned development.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


uptownliving    299

I am also a First Ward resident...and a lifetime resident of Charlotte. This project has been on the books since 1998. It has gone through many iterations over the years. Everyone that works with Levine knows that he is slow to make a decision on development. However the decisions he does make tend to be good ones.

There have been a multitude of studies done on this property...a couple small area plans...a traffic study, a parking study...and now the latest Arena Small Area plan that dubone mentioned.

The city and county have already done a land swap....so that Meck Co owns the block bounded by 9th, Brevard, 8th, and Caldwell....this is the "green area" that dubone spoke of. Since Meck Co is about to allocate some $20M+ for the development of the Third Ward aka West Park, I am skeptical that Meck will be allocating any money for a First Ward park anytime soon, unless Levine comes up with a really good deal.

I do hope something happens sooner rather than later. Right now the parking lots act as a "moat" between the residential section of First Ward and the towers of the business district. The sooner we get rid of that sea of parking lots, the better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UptownJ    1

Has anyone heard anything about a so called "Tryon urban village" in Center City. I've read about the thought but haven't heard anything other than the name.

Any Updates?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ElricSeven    0

Has anyone heard anything about a so called "Tryon urban village" in Center City. I've read about the thought but haven't heard anything other than the name.

Any Updates?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think you mean the Urban Village in First Ward? We're going to hear the recommendations from the study next month I think. Unless someone in the know wants to leak a little information about their recommendations..

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dubone    622

Has anyone heard anything about a so called "Tryon urban village" in Center City. I've read about the thought but haven't heard anything other than the name.

Any Updates?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There really are two landowners for roughly 16 blocks of land southeast of N. Tryon St. and northeast of E 6th St. : Levine Properties (Daniel Levine) of Family Dollar wealth, and Mecklenburg County. Meck is slowly moving its services out of

its Hal Marshall Center on their land to their newly acquired Freedom Mall complex. Originally, the county had a competition for acquiring their land, and Levine had been in the running to combine it with their land for a massive project.

Here was Levine's proposal: http://www.coopercarry.com/CaseStudies/00T...tteQuarter.html

The county chose another developer Palladium, which later dropped the project when the economy fizzled in 2001/2002. Levine, who already owned most the neighboring land, and had spent money on his proposal to be interested, but his time table shifted to mollasses speed.

When the arena came to First Ward, Levine started talking like his plans will come to fruition sooner. The centerpiece of Levine's plans have always been his park (called "The Quarter" in the plans). To build the park, he has consistently sought city funds for an underground parking deck. He supposed that the arena would bring the funds for parking. Time has passed, and there are still no announcements about parking funds, so the land continues to sit idle (except for parking lots, and a few old buildings such as Dixies Tavern).

Word on this forum is that Levine is redrawing his plans, using ULI, and is possibly on the verge of making something happen. It is 100% definite that Levine will do SOMETHING with his land EVENTUALLY. When he makes a deal for the parking deck, it will likely be the spark to develop the park and some surrounding projects. He will likely continue to develop his land methodically and slowly, in order to make maximum use and advantage.

I personally (with no inside knowledge at all) think he will get funds for parking, and build his park within the next 3 years. I think he will build an initial phase of a shopping district along the park (he called it Market St. in his proposal a few years ago) within 5 years. The rest of his land, and the county's land will likely take another decade or two to be majority developed. There may, however, be some interim uses other that parking lots, that would be cheap to put up and raze.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UptownJ    1

There really are two landowners for roughly 16 blocks of land southeast of N. Tryon St. and northeast of E 6th St. : Levine Properties (Daniel Levine) of Family Dollar wealth, and Mecklenburg County.  Meck is slowly moving its services out of

its Hal Marshall Center on their land to their newly acquired Freedom Mall complex.  Originally, the county had a competition for acquiring their land, and Levine had been in the running to combine it with their land for a massive project. 

Here was Levine's proposal:  http://www.coopercarry.com/CaseStudies/00T...tteQuarter.html

The county chose another developer Palladium, which later dropped the project when the economy fizzled in 2001/2002.  Levine, who already owned most the neighboring land, and had spent money on his proposal to be interested, but his time table shifted to mollasses speed. 

When the arena came to First Ward, Levine started talking like his plans will come to fruition sooner.  The centerpiece of Levine's plans have always been his park (called "The Quarter" in the plans).  To build the park, he has consistently sought city funds for an underground parking deck.  He supposed that the arena would bring the funds for parking.  Time has passed, and there are still no announcements about parking funds, so the land continues to sit idle (except for parking lots, and a few old buildings such as Dixies Tavern).

Word on this forum is that Levine is redrawing his plans, using ULI, and is possibly on the verge of making something happen.  It is 100% definite that Levine will do SOMETHING with his land EVENTUALLY.  When he makes a deal for the parking deck, it will likely be the spark to develop the park and some surrounding projects.  He will likely continue to develop his land methodically and slowly, in order to make maximum use and advantage.

I personally (with no inside knowledge at all) think he will get funds for parking, and build his park within the next 3 years.  I think he will build an initial phase of a shopping district along the park (he called it Market St. in his proposal a few years ago) within 5 years.  The rest of his land, and the county's land will likely take another decade or two to be majority developed.  There may, however, be some interim uses other that parking lots, that would be cheap to put up and raze.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Wow... Thanks for the info dubone... I really hope this comes into reality. I just looked at the website you provided and it would be a great continuation of downtown and would benefit all who live, work, shop, or play there. I'm keeping my fingures crossed it will happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UptownJ    1

Who wants to make a bet that the latest Levine study will be just like the 10 previous ones? :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Has any of his studies ever filtered into reality?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dubone    622

Who wants to make a bet that the latest Levine study will be just like the 10 previous ones? :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

i think they will have 10 blocks of smooth asphalt paving with parking spot markings and coin slot booths. They may include 3 or 4 boarded up, decaying old buildings, and fire department offices. their latest plans may include trolley operations to 9th street, though. ;)

On one of these forums, someone mentioned that they plan to shift the park 90 degrees, and expect that the old north tryon buildings between 7th and 9th will be torn down. THOSE buildings, i'd fight to keep.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ElricSeven    0

Who wants to make a bet that the latest Levine study will be just like the 10 previous ones? :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm swearing off paying attention to anything too closesly until I see bulldozers.

B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
atlrvr    1002

The ULI plan will recommend swinging the park 90 degrees so that it is bounded by 7th, 8th, Brevard and College St, with the trolley/LRT line bisecting the park. They want the track section to be converted into a plaza with Dixies being turned into a Farmer's market managed by Reid's (not sure that will happen). The recommendation is that underground parking be installed under the park. Furthermore, Brevard is supposed to become a 2-way street lined with mid-rise housing (8 stories tops) with some retail on the ground floor. These are the two major infrastructure recommendations....the rest is about museum locations and other stuff.

The problem with these kind of reports is that they are never binding and have little political teeth. In fact, the client for this report is Center City Partners, who have no real muscle anyways with the city. Levine did participate in the planning process and it will really be up to him and other corporate entities (see BofA) to see this plan to fruition.

That's always been the problem with this city. The city doesn't drive investments, they let the private development community take charge, and adapt their plans accordingly. Therefore, we don't have unique cultural investments, but a convenient/efficient gift from a corporate benefactor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ElricSeven    0

The ULI plan will recommend swinging the park 90 degrees so that it is bounded by 7th, 8th, Brevard and College St, with the trolley/LRT line bisecting the park.  They want the track section to be converted into a plaza with Dixies being turned into a Farmer's market managed by Reid's (not sure that will happen).  The recommendation is that underground parking be installed under the park.  Furthermore, Brevard is supposed to become a 2-way street lined with mid-rise housing (8 stories tops) with some retail on the ground floor.  These are the two major infrastructure recommendations....the rest is about museum locations and other stuff.

The problem with these kind of reports is that they are never binding and have little political teeth.  In fact, the client for this report is Center City Partners, who have no real muscle anyways with the city.  Levine did participate in the planning process and it will really be up to him and other corporate entities (see BofA) to see this plan to fruition.

That's always been the problem with this city.  The city doesn't drive investments, they let the private development community take charge, and adapt their plans accordingly.  Therefore, we don't have unique cultural investments, but a convenient/efficient gift from a corporate benefactor.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

When do they expect the digging to start?

:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
atlrvr    1002

That's the problem......there are no specific recommendations to that effect......I think we will see some action up on Tryon and College and the new Mint might break ground early next year......that should probably start the park as well. Also, seeing how successful the Bobcats are at filling up the arena should be a good gauge at how quickly all of this gets done. I still don't see Levine breaking ground until at least spring of next year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dubone    622

The ULI plan will recommend swinging the park 90 degrees so that it is bounded by 7th, 8th, Brevard and College St, with the trolley/LRT line bisecting the park.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Are you sure that is between 7th and 8th rather than 8th and 9th? I thought i had read 8th and 9th somewhere. I would not be in favor of the location you mention because most of the surround blocks are already developed. I also think it would provide less of a connection and amenity for the current population base in first ward.

Frankly, i don't see CATs going along with the idea, anyway. There was an article last year about how ron tober freaked out about putting pavers along the tracks uptown for pedestrian activity.... he said he didn't want any pedestrians crossing the tracks except at street crossings. But who knows.

Thanks for the info (as always).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
atlrvr    1002

Yep....7th and 8th, so that the Children's Learning center's front door will be right across the street from the park.........and then it will extend up to College so that the new Mint will open onto it. The development opportunity would be along 8th with I would assume so seriously high-end housing across Brevard.

Yeah, the report is pretty insistent on pavers along the whole thing instead of ballast.....more like a street-car. I don't know what will happen, because I tend to agree that it will be dangerous (much faster than a street-car) Perhaps they could create intersting pedestrian bridges over the tracks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dubone    622

Yep....7th and 8th, so that the Children's Learning center's front door will be right across the street from the park.........and then it will extend up to College so that the new Mint will open onto it.  The development opportunity would be along 8th with I would assume so seriously high-end housing across Brevard. 

Yeah, the report is pretty insistent on pavers along the whole thing instead of ballast.....more like a street-car.  I don't know what will happen, because I tend to agree that it will be dangerous (much faster than a street-car)  Perhaps they could create intersting pedestrian bridges over the tracks.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Interesting. Honestly, I'll be happy if it gets built in any configuration. Both have their merits, and will help make first ward a better place.

The original idea was to centrally locate it in first ward to enhance the liveability of the neighborhood like 4th ward park does for its neighborhood. It would be a hub for new development, (as it would be surrounded by undeveloped blocks) and a gateway between the CBD and dead county land north of 9th, and a gateway to the existing residential base in first ward. It would also connect into the 9th street greenway/greenstreet, which runs through the current residential neighborhood, past the 2 schools and on to the Sugar Creek greenway.

The new concept is more focused on being an amenity for the CBD, tourists, commuters. It ties the rail line to tryon, and hugs close to the existing energy of the CBD, rather than trying to disperse that energy further into the heart of first ward. The park will be focal point for conventioneers and arena tourists and help get them into the museums and bars, (which provides some nice european-style urban charms, like a place to puke :)).

The big question is: by being closer to the current energy uptown mean that it will focus that energy and create new energy and new demand to be uptown and in first ward, which spurs growth in first ward living, shopping, visiting, and associated development...OR... does it focus the energy where the energy already is, and keep that energy separated from the dead parts of first ward, and be disassociated with the existing residential blocks. Parks are hard to get right (Marshall Park and the existing First Ward Park are exhibits A and B on how lifeless parks are bad for their surrounding areas). I don't blame them for wanting to err on the side of being too close to the heart of town.

Again, i think both designs have merit... and risks of falling short of full potential. we shall see. In the mean time, the whole place is dead, so whatever brings the bulldozers...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
atlrvr    1002

I tend to agree that existing north would be better than west, especially to create connections to 9th and more development options. The problem is Bank of America is now driving the Mint Museum relocation so they get to pick the spot, and 9th and Brevard isn't where they want to build. Just another example of the government going along with who ever throws them some cash. I'd like to see a plaza in front of the mint and the original park planned, with bridges over the tracks (treat the tracks like the San Antonio river in the Riverwalk section)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49er    127

The problem with these kind of reports is that they are never binding and have little political teeth.  In fact, the client for this report is Center City Partners, who have no real muscle anyways with the city.  Levine did participate in the planning process and it will really be up to him and other corporate entities (see BofA) to see this plan to fruition.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

i would think that statement throught a little more. Take a look at the board of directors for CCP. its a more powerful organize that just the staff level would have you believe.

I am pretty tired of watching Levine drag his feet on this. I worked closely with CCP in 2001 when Palladium was thought to be the lead developer. They pretty much didnt want to work with him and thought he was going to sit on his ass for 10 years and do nothing with the land

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
atlrvr    1002

I'm very familiar with who the board is, however board members don't participate in the day to day activities of the organization. They are simply an oversight committee, and frankly they should be ashamed for their lack of oversight in their leadership appointments.....hopefully they will get it right this time. Rob Walsh at least had the guts to tell people that they were idiots who had no sense of urban planning. CCP is able to wrestle a couple thousand bucks out of city council for bike racks, but is their anyone there who can tell Ron Tober that pavers are essential and make him listen. Is there anyone there that can tell Bill James that the county needs to subsidize parking beneath a urban park and not be dismissed as a liberal idealist? Is there anyone who convince Mark Hahn (director of Real Estate for the county) where the proper place for the 3rd Ward Park is (no...that's why the county hired CINTAS).

I don't mean this to be a rant against Center City Partners, because for cheerleaders, they certainly have the enthusiasm. I'm simply saying that when Bank of America says......we'll be willing to incorporate a Mint Museum of Art into our new commercial project on Tryon at 7th, all those great previous plans get thrown right out the window and we droll all over ourselves because we're getting something on our wish-list...sort of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
atlrvr    1002

Absolutely......but look at Atlanta. Their goal was to create a world class symphony hall. Granted, their site was influenced by Hine's, but they still hired Calatrava to design a freestanding hall with a plaza, rather than be tucked into the lobby of their Pelli tower like we did here. I love our Blumenthal, but it's exterior does not scream of prominence. In fact, it's exterior is a much watered down version of what Pelli even envisioned. Guess who didn't want to foot the bill here either.......

If it seems like I'm overly beotching, well, I probably am. I am thankful for our two large banks and their contributions. There are plenty of other large corporations who are nowhere near the corporate benefactors of them. What I am irked at, is that Charlotte is willing to settle. Maybe it's a quantity over quality issue. I just prefer to see things built that sets us apart, that makes people remember us, that will be considered interesting or even inspiring in 25, 50, or 100 years.

Enough beotching, I'm glad that we are going to get at least a majority of or ASC wish list, and from a visual standpoint, I'm glad that suface lots are being developed at a high-density.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BryanH    0

so atlrvr....are you suggesting that BofA is in a deal to put the mint museum in a project they are working on at tryon and 7th streets???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
atlrvr    1002

I'm suggesting that the Mint Museum is actively engaged in working a deal with a developer to be located on the block bound by 7th, 8th, Tryon and College and that that block is currently owned by BofA, and that BofA has committed at least $10 million towards the ASC's plan that includes moving the mint uptown.

Further, I'm suggesting that BofA will be in need of more office space before the end of the decade and that the Hall House (operated by the CHA) on the block has been deemed in need of replacement, and the Police precint on the block is moving to a new home soon because the current building is slated for demolition by it's owner (BofA).......

And that's all I'm saying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49er    127

i would hate to see the hall house building go. its the only older, red brick highrise left on tryon. it used to be a hotel too, i believe. i wonder if BofA will go the transamerica route or highrise for its space. Transamerica has what, 400,000 ft of office and only 10 floors high.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
atlrvr    1002

49er.....yeah, that's about right on the Transamerica space.....I believe that there will be two separate buildings (1 residential, and 1 office). I like the Hall House, but it is a seriously outdated building and the residents deserve better. I think a couple of skyscrapers would look pretty sharp there, helping to link Odell to the rest of the skyline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.