Thursday, March 19, 2009

First Ward Activity

As I indicated in my last newsletter, The Marsoun Report, the UNCC Classroom Building in downtown Charlotte is about to begin as reported in the Charlotte Business Journal as well as the Charlotte Observer. The unique cantilevered architecture is designed to look like a stack of books!

The building should begin construction within 60 days, and is scheduled to be tied in with an underground parking garage and First Ward Park see here

Growth out of the current economic crisis will start from events like this. Daniel Levine's plans for a First Ward Village will begin to unfold as construction begins. Nothing generates hope more than activity, and there should be plenty to go around.

While the Light Rail extension is not finalize yet, it will pass next to this new building and will generate yet more activity along this corridor.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Duke moves to Tryon Street

In case you have not been paying attention, big changes are underfoot at the Cultural Campus on South Charlotte. The project is rapidly coming together with the Bechtler Modern Art Museum looming eerily over it’s plaza, just in front of the Knight Performing Art Center. The new home for the Mint Museum is starting to look recognizable, and the Harvey Gantt Afro-American Cultural Center is also beginning to look like a museum, and less like an idea.
The big news this past week is that Duke Energy will be moving its corporate headquarters into about 500,000 sq ft of this tower. This brings up several interesting possibilities for the changing nature of our city...First, no offense to Shaw or Meineke, but a major non bank corporation now has a headquarters on Tryon Street. Far from bad news or a surrender, this is great news, we are diversifying! Second, what will happen to some of the existing Duke facilities in the downtown area? Well, if you grant me some poetic license for a minute, what would you think if the Duke Data Center on the corner of College and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard moved over to the current Duke Energy site, and we then had another parcel that could become the second headquarter hotel site for our growing Convention Center? This is pure speculation on my part, but it seems to make perfect sense to me!
The only downside in this change is that the condo’s that were to be part of the overall development have been put on hold.
As this Duke Energy Center Campus continues to completion, the remake of the Stonewall corridor is becoming visible. The NASCAR Hall of Fame has placed the final infrastructure beam last week, and the remake of Caldwell Street into a two way street, and the new interchange from I 277 to South / Caldwell Boulevard is almost complete. Big growth will continue in this corridor.