LYNX transitions – new restaurants, leases and retail renovation

With the LYNX light-rail line set to open next spring, businesses along University City’s North Tryon Street corridor are busy preparing for a new wave of commuters and customers riding the rails between UNC Charlotte, Uptown and beyond. Here are the latest headlines (scroll down for details):

  • Grande Promenade gets new owner, new name and more
  • New leases, future housing at University Executive Park
  • West Coast pizza chain opening at University Place near Clay Station
  • Lazeez Mediterranean Grill opens near Clay Station
  • “Ride” the LYNX virtually – either fast or slow

Grande Promenade gets new owner, new name and more

Grande Promenade to become McCullough Commons

The Business Journal reports that the Grande Promenade retail center at North Tryon Street and East W.T. Harris Boulevard is getting a new name and renovations from its new owner, Ferris Development Group.

McCullough Commons, the center’s new name, reflects the center’s closeness to the light-rail station at McCullough Drive, as well as the fact that the city plans to connect a small leg of McCullough that runs through the center to the existing road that runs from just south of North Tryon to West WT Harris Boulevard.

Ferris bought the center in December for $40.1 million and announced that it would renovate and rebrand the retail hub. More

New leases, future housing at University Executive Park

University Executive ParkUniversity Executive Park, University City’s oldest office park, has been signing new and renewed leases for office space while working on plans to replace two 1980s office buildings with apartments in front of the McCullough transit station, the Business Journal reports.

Charlotte City Council recently rezoned the property for up to 280 apartments and retail space. ATAPCO, the center’s owner, has spent several million dollars updating several buildings and common areas. More

West Coast pizza chain opening at University Place near Clay Station

Cooking Blaze PizzaThe Charlotte Observer reports that rapidly expanding West Coast pizza chain Blaze is opening a 2,500 square-foot restaurant at The Pointe at University Place – the new retail center under construction within a few yards of the Clay Boulevard transit station and parking deck.

Blaze features wood-fired pizzas made in just 3 minutes, and will offer beer and wine at the University Place restaurant. This is the second Blaze in Charlotte, after its debut in South End about 15 months ago.

Construction is wrapping up on two buildings and a third is under way. Besides Blaze, the new center will have City Barbecue, Pei Wei Asian Diner, Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Tropical Smoothie Café, plus Sharonview Federal Credit Union and T-Mobile, with room for several more businesses. More

Lazeez Mediterranean Grill opens near Clay Station

Lazeez Mediterranean Grill

Lazeez opens near Clay Station

Lazeez Mediterranean Grill , offering a mix of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and American dishes, has opened in the former Tulips restaurant location at 9311 JW Clay Blvd.

Among the diverse menu offerings: Lamb Schawarma and Kofta Kebab wraps; subs; the Lazeez burger (ground lamb and beef seasoned with mixed spices served with lettuce, tomato, mayonaise and American cheese); Turkish chicken cooked on charcoal grill; kababs featuring beef, seafood or veggies; sides ranging from hummus to French fries; children’s menu and desserts.

Lazeez also offers Hookah water pipes.

  • Learn more: The restaurant is open 11 am-11 pm daily at 9311 JW Clay Blvd. 980-260-3130 or

“Ride” the LYNX virtually – either fast or slow

LYNX line on UNC Charlotte campus

We can’t really ride the rails yet, but thanks to two drone-shot videos, we can still experience the trip virtually from uptown to UNC Charlotte. These really are good. One video has already been viewed more than 11,000 times!

  • Take the fast train – The video recently posted by UNC Charlotte takes under two minutes – fast, furious and fun. Watch
  • Or take slow ride and enjoy the amazing detail! – The second video, posted by freelance graphic designer Nick Price, takes more than 18 minutes and is worth the time just see the incredible high-definition view via your desktop monitor or home TV. Keep an eye out for the workmen walking along the top of the pedestrian overpass at the 36th Street Station in NoDa. You won’t be able to experience the ride so well until the LYNX actually starts running next spring! Watch


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