The shift of University City’s North Tryon Street business corridor from car-centric suburbia to transit powered urban district took another step forward in January with City Council’s approval of a five-story apartment building near the McCullough Drive light-rail station.
ATAPCO, owner of University Executive Park, sought the rezoning to replace two of its one-story 1980s office buildings fronting North Tryon Street. The new building can have up to 280 apartments in a five-story structure with internal structured parking, as well as at least 5,000 square feet of shops and other non-residential uses on the street level. The building footprint fills most of the 4.5-acre site.
Unanimous votes of approval
Both the Charlotte City Council and the Zoning Committee of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission gave unanimous approval to the rezoning request, after the developer revised the design to make the building visually more open to visitors and less block-like.
Design elements required by the final approved plan include:
- Direct connections to the sidewalk from first-floor units, to emphasize the building’s residential character.
- Sconces, stoops and other features that identify ground-floor doorways as primary entrances and provide visual breaks.
- Minimum dimensions, visible from the street, for non-residential spaces.
- Maximum building height of five stories and 62 feet.
Soon-to-open LYNX line driving higher-density development and renovations
The LYNX light-rail line extension is nearing completion between the existing terminus at 7th Street in uptown Charlotte and the new final station near Cameron Boulevard on the UNC Charlotte campus. Service is projected to begin in late summer 2017. ATAPCO has already spent $4 million to upgrade University Executive Park office buildings and grounds near the future station as it seeks to attract businesses wanting access to the frequent and reliable train service.
In approving ATAPCO’s rezoning request for apartments and retail, the Zoning Committee zeroed in on this new building’s importance in establishing a more urban, walkable tone in future development near each LYNX Blue Line station. The University City Area Plan update provides a blueprint for a transit-oriented urban corridor, particularly around North Tryon Street and Harris Boulevard.
Several residential, retail and mixed-use developments have been proposed or are under construction near stations on the 9.1-mile addition, including:
- The Pointe at University Place– New retail center is under construction at University Place near the JW Clay Boulevard Station.
- University City Gateway – Mixed-use development on 62 acres near the University City Boulevard Station. Charlotte City Council recently rezoned about 15 acres near Rocky River Road for transit-oriented development.
- Carolina States Regional Center – 376-unit apartment community is under construction midway between the University City Blvd Station and the Tom Hunter Road Station. The developer also plans a mixed-use development on adjacent land.
Also, Ferris Development Group bought the Grande Promenade retail center at North Tryon Street and East W.T. Harris Boulevard in December for $40.1 million with plans to refurbish the center.
And Origin Investment, which bought the four-story One University Place office building in 2015, recently completed a multi-million dollar refurbishing of common areas and construction of a new suite of offices on the fourth floor.
- Learn more about the ATAPCO multifamily building