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First Ward Urban Village and Parks

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The CHA Condos are now a go. These will go next to the First Ward Rec Center. There will be 85 For Sale Units. They will Average 1200 sq ft.

The building will be in the shape of an "E" with the open side facing the skyline. One open area will have a swimming pool, the other open area will be filled in by the parking deck.

This is 1 block away from where Courtside will be. Expect to see more info on this in about 2 weeks when the developer will go public with the info.

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The CHA Condos are now a go. These will go next to the First Ward Rec Center. There will be 85 For Sale Units. They will Average 1200 sq ft.

The building will be in the shape of an "E" with the open side facing the skyline. One open area will have a swimming pool, the other open area will be filled in by the parking deck.

This is 1 block away from where Courtside will be. Expect to see more info on this in about 2 weeks when the developer will go public with the info.

w00t.

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Its official, another new condo complex for Uptown Charlotte....this one is called The Renwick...4 stories, 85 units. It will be right next to the First Ward Rec Center between 6th and 7th Streets. 1/2 block from Courtside. Here are some rendergings:

rinwicklayout_01.jpg

team_13.jpg

overview_13.jpg

mainimage.jpg

This is being developed by the same people that brought us Post Uptown, Post Gateway, and Cotton Mills. Here is the article from today's Charlotte Oberserver:

DEVELOPMENT

Core condos aim for affordability

Mixed-income project in center city moving closer to construction

DOUG SMITH

Charlotte's center-city housing market continues to show renewed vigor this year with yet another condominium building moving closer to construction.

The Charlotte Housing Authority is teaming with a private venture that expects to start work by fall on The Renwick, a four-story, 85-unit project in First Ward, about three blocks from the new arena site.

Developers have experienced incredibly strong demand for two uptown condo towers announced within the past five weeks near the arena.

All of Courtside's 104 units planned for Sixth and Caldwell streets are sold, and The Park, planned for Third and Caldwell, has only 24 of 107 remaining.

Urban planners say worsening suburban traffic and a wider range of uptown amenities are helping fuel the rush to the core.

The Renwick's development team -- Merry Land Properties LLC, Bucci Development and the Housing Authority -- began planning the project in early 2002 before the city completed plans for the arena on East Trade Street.

"We really didn't know about the arena when we started," said Merry Land's Fred Bolt. "We were focused on the success of housing in First Ward and the diversity of product there."

In the mid-1990s, the Housing Authority demolished the 409-unit Earle Village public housing project in First Ward and replaced it with a mix of condos, single-family homes and apartments, including public housing.

Bolt believes The Renwick will add something new to the mix: secure parking in a multilevel deck wrapped by condos, similar to Post Properties' uptown apartments at Gateway Village on West Trade Street.

The condo complex, valued at roughly $21.5 million, also will include a swimming pool.

"A pool amenity is very different for a downtown condo," said residential real estate analyst Emma Littlejohn of The Littlejohn Group.

"Generally, they are more likely to be found in a downtown high-rise project," said Littlejohn.

Bolt said the developers are focused on delivering an affordable product in uptown's relatively pricey market.

Prices at The Renwick range from $115,000 to $350,000. The average price will be about $250,000, Bolt said.

The unit mix will range from 550-square-foot studios to 1,725-square-foot, three-bedroom flats and will include one-bedroom flats, two-bedroom flats and townhomes.

The project -- which will include 191 apartments in a later phase -- will be on 2.9 acres between Sixth and Seventh streets beside the Carole A. Hoefener Community Services Center.

First Ward residents, who have closely monitored the development, were alarmed by an earlier Housing Authority proposal for 300 apartments and 60 condos.

"Those were just approximate numbers," said Diane Douglas Carter, a consultant working with the Housing Authority.

"The Housing Authority was very cognizant of the neighborhood and the stakeholders in First Ward."

Residents preferred more ownership and fewer rental units.

Bolt said the developers "worked hard with the neighbors, and The Renwick is a collaborative effort with them. They were passionate about the neighborhood where they lived, and that was perfect for us."

First Ward resident Ray Warren, a lawyer and former judge, hadn't seen the final design. But, he said, "It seems consistent with what they represented to us. It's a vast improvement ... and it does meet a lot of the neighborhood concerns."

Carter said the apartments won't be started until late 2005, about the time condo construction is wrapping up.

She said the apartment building will include 40 units earmarked for a program that helps public housing residents develop the employment skills to eventually pay market-rate rent.

The apartment development plan also calls for about 10,000 square feet of retail space.

The Renwick should open a few months after the uptown arena opens in fall 2005, Bolt said.

Merry Land is selling condos in advance of construction. Buyers have reserved 22 units.

First Charlotte Properties' agents Scott Lindsey and Deborah Cox, First Ward residents, are handling project sales.

Perkins Eastman designed The Renwick, which is named for one of Charlotte's old gold mines.

Balconies are a standard feature in the project. Fourth-floor units will include lofts, and townhomes will have private patios.

Among other features: elevators, 10-foot ceilings, ceramic-tile floors in baths and kitchens and hardwood floors in living areas.

The Renwick probably won't be the last uptown condo project announced this year. Real estate watchers say developers are evaluating several other sites in the center city.

Doug Smith

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Very exciting! Sounds as if the speculated "no construction" years of Charlotte isn't going to happen anytime soon.

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Here's an interesting observation...In my search for housing in Uptown Charlotte, according to two top real estate market analysts, the market for uptown units is short by almost 1000 units.

Whoa.

Edited by Phillydog

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...the market for uptown units is short by almost 1000 units.

I'd say that number will continue to grow too. I think for the foreseeable future we may end up always having a short...good things are happening in uptown!

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I was wondering if anyone here, since some of you are.... older (no offense), and some of you live in First Ward, knows what really went down in First Ward to create the revitalization. I can tell you what I think happened (it may be right, wrong, or a mix of the two).

To my knowledge BofA and the city moved everyone out, Practically leveled the place, selectively brought back lower income families, and worked to attract lots of new people of all income levels, and BAM a hot spot is born.

If anyone can elaborate or correct me I would like to hear it. I remember when First Ward was the ghetto but I was a kid then (or teen maybe?). Too young to really pay attention at that time anyway. Does anyone have before and after pictures? Or just before pictures at all.

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Pretty close...the only thing you didn't mention was the $40M Hope VI grant the city got from the Feds to redevelop First Ward into what it is today. The plan for the neighborhood had to be presented to the feds before they doled out the money.

BofA did help finance a lot of the private construction. They didn't move anyone out...that was the job of the Charlotte Housing Authority. As far as being "selective" about letting people into the new subsidized housing....there is nothing special about the housing in First Ward...its the same screening process for First Ward as it is for any of the public housing in Charlotte.

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The city was selective in who could move back. Everyone had the opportunity, yet only 15% of former residents returned. The process was very strict. If you or anyone in your household had a criminal record, you were not allowed to return. One thing people dont realize is that the project was in such poor shape that it was only about 40% occupied by 97'

Its amazing that this neighborhood has literally been built, destroyed and rebuilt from the ground up in a period of 100 years.

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Many of you saw this announcement for Court 6 in this weekend's Observer, but I noticed that Boulevard Centro posted the renderings online:

http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/bus...ith/9642869.htm

http://www.blvdcentro.com/main.htm

(New Projects --> Court 6)

These would definitely fit within the "closet" category ;) , but it is very telling that even these size lofts (most of which only face a courtyard) are finding a market.

On a related subject, I talked to colleague at work in his 50's who has lived in the outer burbs (Providence & Pineville - Matthews area) for all 13 years he has lived in the CLT area. He is seriously considering moving into a condo tower uptown when his last kid moves out next year. It wouldn't be nearly as surprising if he were young, single, or a dink, but he is a the traditional suburban type who worked uptown for a decade and still couldn't tell you how to find 1st and Tryon. Knowing he is in the market for a place uptown really made it hit me how real and mainstream this trend is. As long as crime remains low (although today I can legally open my assault weapon store on tryon I've always dreamt of :D ), this trend could dramatically transform the uptown landscape over the next few years. Very exciting.

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I hadn't noticed the renderings being posted. Thanks for letting us know!! I like the design and anything that fills up space uptown is great, especially if it's residential!

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What's the latest on the First Ward Urban Village? Here is all I can find on the project on the net and it comes from Center City Partners.

Plans continue to evolve for the redevelopment of 20+ acres of underutilized land in the First Ward. Levine Properties and Cousins Properties continue master planning efforts for a development that may ultimately include:

  • An eight-acre park
  • A 1,500 space underground parking deck
  • Cultural Facilities
  • Office Space
  • Retail Space
  • Condominiums and apartments

Proximity to the new Children's Learning Center and the new arena have altered the scope of the project and may ultimately speed up the construction timeline significantly.

first_ward_urban_village.jpg

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I'm a first ward resident, so I am looking forward to the day when those parking lots would be filled with a park, offices, shops, and people.

From what I understand, the park will be the first element of this plan to be implemented. Levine is working with city on funding the parking deck beneath the park. I think the city is hoping for passage of "Self-Financing Bonds" (Amendment One) next week to determine the financing options for the deck. I think if Amendment One passes, this area will one of the first districts to take advantage of the new financing option.

Center City Partners is also doing a study of the arena area as an Arts and Entertainment District. I attended one of their idea forums, and they mentioned that DOT is doing a study on where sidewalks, parking decks, street-widenings, etc., are needed as a result of all the arena-area developments.

There is no way this district will be built at once, and as Levine is a developer of commercial space, and not residential, I think he will possibly farm some it out to Blvd Centro (very successful in first ward so far), or some other residential developers. The specific mix and design of this district will depend on the market conditions at the time it is built. I think Levine is waiting as long as possible before building in order to maximize what can be built there.

Other than the park, my favorite idea in his original plan is Market street to run along the trolley tracks. If done right, it could be the best bet for a cluster of street-facing national and regional shopping uptown.

The most ironic part of the plan, is that he wants to turn the current greenspace (between brevard and college) into a development, and he wants to turn the current parking lots (between brevard and the trolley line) into a park. I do agree, though, that a park along the trolley tracks will be more likely to get people off the train and into the neighborhood to shop, relax, etc.

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Uptown is in desperate need, first and foremost, of a park IMO. Marshall Park is a joke at best. The best park we have is the smallest park uptown at The Green. We really need something with more than 8 acres but I know space is also limited. I wish they'd buy up the 20 acres that just went up for sale and make it one big park...that's a dream at best though.

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I think he will possibly farm some it out to Blvd Centro (very successful in first ward so far), or some other residential developers. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree with you and I think Blvd Centro is already talking to them. When Blvd Centro talked about a future tower taller than courtside to be announced later it was my personal speculation that it would be in conjunction with this project somehow.

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Good point about Furman's reference. It makes sense that it would be the block just across the street from citiside, which is owned by Levine.

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