Monday, March 22, 2010

First Ward Park To Follow UNCC Classroom Building

Construction is scheduled to start this fall on a 4.5 acre-lot on Brevard Street between East Seventh and Ninth streets, said Daniel Levine, president of Levine Properties, which will pay the up-front costs of the $9.6 million construction project.

With restaurants and other attractions planned nearby in later phases, the park ultimately could draw visitors from more distant communities along the light rail line, Levine said.

"We're going to make it a great urban neighborhood," Levine said. "In 30 years, we hope to have Charlotte's equivalent of (New York's) Greenwich Village."

Levine Properties is moving forward with plans for the first phase of a 22-acre mixed-use development in First Ward. Long-term plans call for residences, offices and retail businesses such as restaurants and shops and possibly a hotel.

First Ward Park is part of a partnership between Levine, UNC Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and the city of Charlotte. Park and Recreation was gathering feedback this week on the park's master plan.

Crews will level off the drop in elevation at Eighth and Brevard. Construction also will begin on an underground parking deck with an entrance on East Ninth Street.

Crews also will begin work on a new section of 10th Street and on Market Street, a new street that will run parallel to the proposed light-rail extension.

The area closer to Seventh Street and ImaginOn will have features for children, including two fountains where they can play in the water. That side of the park also will have a lawn that can seat about 4,000 people for concerts or other activities.

Most of the park north of Eighth will be built above the underground parking deck. The proximity to UNC Charlotte's classrooms led to a design for a more serene space, with a reflecting pond.

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