Monday, January 9, 2012

Reshaping Third Ward

The accompanying picture does not look like much, but it is the start of something BIG!  The official groundbreaking for the Romare Bearden Park located in the Third Ward was on September 1, 2011, mostly to coincide with the 100 birthday of the artist, and the unveiling of his works at the Mint Museum.  It mostly consisted of politicians talking alot, and Jennifer Roberts operating some construction equipment as she knocked down a bit of a wall on a building slated for demolition.

What has happened since that day is that the buildings in question have come down and some clearing work has been done to the site.  This picture shows the beginning of the reformation of the streets in conjunction with the park.  Mint Street will be restructured to be two-way, and that is happening now.
The curve on Poplar Street will disappear, and Poplar will dead-end into Third Street at the Park, and it too will become two-way.

These two restructurings will allow for the park to expand to its full size, and that is good, but it will also act as a traffic slowing in that section of the city.  One-way streets are designed to move traffic fast and away.  Two-way streets are designed to slow traffic, and allow for easier and convenient access to the properties located there.

The reconstruction will also play havoc with the tailgate parties that gather there during football season.  Future development will also claim more of the land currently enjoyed by football fans, and the impending relocation of the Charlotte Knights will take even more land away.

Despite the inconvenience to those fans, these actions will create new opportunities for the city to develop more density, and perhaps begin the reintroduction of retail options to the city.  Density and growth will lead to an increased demand for space in the downtown market, and that will help to drive up property values in all areas of the downtown market.

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