Friday, September 2, 2011

Romare Bearden Park Is Underway

I am not sure that I expected so many political personalities be on the agenda for this groundbreaking, but they were there in full force!  The festivities started with the All Angels Church Choir from St. Michael Episcopal performing 4 songs.  That was nice.

As the politicians began thanking all the people who made the park a possibility, my mind couldn't help but project to the completion of the park and how it will change Charlotte.  The arbor and trellis entrance from the corner of MLK, Jr. Blvd and South Church Street will be a short walk from the Levine Cultural Center and turn that bland intersection into one full of life and activity.  The particular topographics of the site drops around 30 feet from that point.

Charlotte, known for it's trees, will now bring hundreds more into this park and surrounding approaches.  The lot opposite from 230 South Tryon will be reconfigured for a 25 foot wide promenade leading from Tryon Street to the park, giving it the impression that it is much bigger. 

The park will force Poplar Street to terminate at West Third Street, eventually leading to both Poplar and Mint Streets to become a two way street.  Currently, they are sometimes one way, sometimes two way streets.  The intent of a one way street is to speed up traffic, a two way street has the opposite effect.

As the economy improves, adjacent parcels will cease to be just parking lots and instead continue to bring life into these approximately 25 acres of under utilized space.  Across from the park going towards the railroad is where the new Knights Stadium is currently planned to go.  This stadium will bring in somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 people about 100 times a year.  All that foot traffic will surely catch the eye of retailers and restaurants, and like spiders and their webs, those folk live off traffic.

The event ended with County Commissioner Jennifer Roberts operating a piece of construction equipment and knocking down the wall of one of the buildings being cleared for this park.  She did so well that she may have a future after politics in the construction business!

What all this means for downtown residential property values is that as land disappears to projects, all land becomes more valuable.  The rise may be slow, but it will be steady.

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