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First Ward Urban Village / North Tryon Vision Plan


uptownliving

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Even on campus both of the coffee shops have internal and external entrances.

Thats good to know. I don't have an issue with internal entrances, I just like to see functional street entrances too.

I love retail, but there are some projects that are weakened by it

Can you name one?

The idea is to create a quality urban environment, and time and time again it has been proven that to do it right you need street retail activity. The problem in this town is that its not applied consistently so instead of getting retail corridors you have random buildings with restaurants/retail and then vast areas of dead space, thus making it harder for retail to survive. In order to fix this problem, aside from retrofitting the existing buildings, is to build new buildings right to start with. Also, I would hope that being within a couple blocks of an LRT station, that there will be retail clusters.

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Thats good to know. I don't have an issue with internal entrances, I just like to see functional street entrances too.

Can you name one?

The idea is to create a quality urban environment, and time and time again it has been proven that to do it right you need street retail activity. The problem in this town is that its not applied consistently so instead of getting retail corridors you have random buildings with restaurants/retail and then vast areas of dead space, thus making it harder for retail to survive. In order to fix this problem, aside from retrofitting the existing buildings, is to build new buildings right to start with. Also, I would hope that being within a couple blocks of an LRT station, that there will be retail clusters.

I've been toiling over this question, and I do feel like the current trend in design is to use retail as an urban crutch. It is possible to have an active and lively sidewalk/streetscape without retail. Front porches or ground level outside living spaces can be very lively too. It wouldn't work on a skyscraper, but it isn't necessary to think that 3-5 story buildings couldn't have porches or verandas. It just seems like the trap sets itself: the crutch is retail - so new retail takes away from the customer base of the existing retail, which could force it to fail. And nothing is more dead than an empty retail bay. I'm just playing devils advocate about this -and I am certainly not suggesting this tact for the UNCC campus - so I guess this makes me :offtopic:

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No, you're right. Retail is not meant for every location, and to read my posts you'd think I push for that. I think that there needs to be a larger concentration of it near LRT stations Trade Street and Tryon Street, etc. There are plenty of other design treatments that can be done to "activate" the street, as they say. First Ward is full of good residential projects that do this. Without getting overly technical, its possible to have a design that does not have retail that is acceptable. Office buildings, which for all intents and purposes this is, are the worse offenders when it comes to wasted street-level frontage and blank walls.

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Certain buildings function fine without retail because the architecture speaks to the function of the building.

Imagine Norte Dame cathedral with a Starbucks in the corner, or the New York Public library with an H&M on one side of the main entrance and a Trader Joe's on the other. The buildings would be weakened by the additions of retail because the architecture is so outstanding that retail would distract what the building says about its intended purpose.

Perhaps this building isn't THAT iconic, but I don't see the necessity of sticking retail all around the base here for the simple sake of adding retail. The several thousand students that will be entering/exiting the building will certainly make retail on adjacent blocks (in Levine's master plan) more successful.

In short, I'm of the view that lets slap a coffee shop/dry cleaner on the ground floor of every building and pat ourselves on the back is shortsighted in terms of true urban fabric. I do whole-heartedly agree that the current retail offerings seem disjointed/non-adjacent which hurts pedestrian activity, but feel that developing detailed zoning guidelines for urban areas (or dare I say form-based zoning) is a better route for creating effective retail districts than trying to get whatever retail we can wherever we can and hope that it all makes sense once downtown is built out.

Back to the specific topic, this project really gives me hope that Charlotte is breaking its mold and will be willing to engage in more progressive architecture. Even if its not everyone's cup-of-tea, I prefer examples of daring, because those buildings validate future architects "bold" ideas that might otherwise make it off the drawing board. Anyway, this is Charlotte, if we decide we don't like it, we will tear it down again within our lifetimes.

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When we get buildings that are even half as architecturally detailed as Notre Dame, you won't hear a single complaint out of me :)

Retail is not always the solution, and I admit to that, but I still contend that you have to have a solid base to start with before you can let people off the hook for not building it. The problem goes back to how its designed, and what the planning department will enforce.

As far as the building goes, I'm sure most will like it... I mean, who doesn't like Jenga?

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Good discussion. This is what I wanted to clarify. When BofA went up a whole block of serious retail, Belks, Woolworths, etc. came down. Would I want that back in place of the theaters and the tower? probably not, but I do miss it on many levels. Either way I'm happy to see this project so well recieved, I think going by on the freeway it will be a real gem.

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The ground floor of Johnson and Wales has a lot going on for a "school building." All the kitchens can be viewed from the sidewalk and their bookstore and cafeteria are accessible off the street. I have seen another downtown satellite studio for a school of design, and their store front windows (it was in an old repurposed department store) were full of student models and big colorful maps and videos. It was actually one of the most interested storefronts in that downtown.

Don't discount the ground floor just because it's purpose is academic in nature. If UNCC wants to engage Charlotte through this project, the ground floor becomes as important as ever. I'm afraid the pseudo-palladian/federalist work that UNCC has forced onto their campus has lowered our standards too much. Academic buildings should be among the best and most lively in the city.

That other downtown wouldn't happen to be Columbus, OH would it...my alma mater, Ohio State University took over a couple of floors of the old Lazarus Dept Store building in downtown and did that w/ their art and design dept. It was pretty cool that it saved one of the great old buildings in DT Columbus that had really started to look run down.

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Great find, thanks for sharing! So a cafe along the Brevard side and a bookstore and gallery facing 9th (all with interior and exterior entrances). On top of that they reduced the "Entrance" and put the lobby on the back of the building facing the park. Well done!

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Can anyone confirm that the entire Quarterside (the Quad, Ledge, and Row) project has been converted to apartments? Mr. Furman's sale staff is not doing a very good job of informing their former clients of the new events. It is quite a shock when the information is learned through an outside source (news article).

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Can anyone confirm that the entire Quarterside (the Quad, Ledge, and Row) project has been converted to apartments? Mr. Furman's sale staff is not doing a very good job of informing their former clients of the new events. It is quite a shock when the information is learned through an outside source (news article).

It is all apartments.

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Are you an owner at the Quad?

I am not currently an owner at the Quad. I was very close to becoming one and unfortunately had to back out due to multiple ongoing delays and a lack of communication from Centro Cityworks/Blvd Centro.

It has been confirmed in multiple sources (CBJ, Observer, local real estate community) that it is now in fact all rentals. I have no idea what they will do for current owners, but I have heard rumors, as mentioned above, that Furman might buy back the condos that closed. I'm not sure what the legal ramifications are if he does or doesn't do this.

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It has been confirmed in multiple sources (CBJ, Observer, local real estate community) that it is now in fact all rentals. I have no idea what they will do for current owners, but I have heard rumors, as mentioned above, that Furman might buy back the condos that closed. I'm not sure what the legal ramifications are if he does or doesn't do this.

I'm not sure what liability they would actually have, but a pitched battle could be possible. The problem that would face those that closed would be the inability to sell. As mentioned in a few threads on UP, for buyers to obtain loans there are a number of requirements from FNMA and FHA -- and the vast majority of consumer mortgages are backed by one of these two. If a building had 140+ units and all were rentals except a handful those percentages are far upside down. So if you owned one and needed or wanted to sell for some reason before these were put back out as owned units again you'd be unable to sell unless the buyer were paying cash (and why would they do this for an unmarketable property) or able to get a loan that wasn't going to be gov't backed.

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I am not currently an owner at the Quad. I was very close to becoming one and unfortunately had to back out due to multiple ongoing delays and a lack of communication from Centro Cityworks/Blvd Centro.

It has been confirmed in multiple sources (CBJ, Observer, local real estate community) that it is now in fact all rentals. I have no idea what they will do for current owners, but I have heard rumors, as mentioned above, that Furman might buy back the condos that closed. I'm not sure what the legal ramifications are if he does or doesn't do this.

Did you get your deposit back? Should I even mention the interest?

Centrocityworks hasn't bothered to send any notice on the conversion to rentals? I am totally disappointed since I believed they were highly reputable.

Edited by mdadolfo
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • dubone changed the title to First Ward Urban Village / North Tryon Vision Plan

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