Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"work and play without having to drive a car"

Wow! Did I read that correctly?

Here is an article in the January 9th edition of the Charlotte Observer describing a new luxury high rise apartment building in Charlotte. The building will be located on the corner of West Tenth and North Church Streets, the former site of the Renaissance Apartments torn down 5 years ago. Something on that vacant rubble filled lot will be a welcome addition to the Fourth Ward.

I see two things of interest with this announcement. First, as a long time advocate of a car-less environment, I will welcome like minded people into the city. It is becoming pretty clear that the urban lifestyle is taking a more prominant role in Charlotte. The thought of walking to where you want to go will be quickly followed by retailers who want to take advantage of that foot traffic, and the long sought return of retail to downtown will begin. My contention is that the best corridor for retail will be Trade Street between Tryon and Graham Streets. Not coincicently, that will be the route of the "Streetcar Project" that Mayor Foxx wants developed.

The second point of interest in this announcement is the beginning of the completion of the north end of downtown. The Novare Group, one of the developers of this project, had initially planned The Catalyst Condo, on the corner of MLK, Jr. Blvd and South Church, to be located across from Reid's at Seventh Street Station. When the negotiations for that First Ward site fizzled, the project moved to the Third Ward where it now exists. With the extension of the LYNX Blue Line to UNCC committed, and Daniel Levine poised to begin construction of 2 parking decks in the First Ward, and the beginning of the construction of the First Ward Park across from ImaginOn, change will be coming more quickly.

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