Two 1990s office buildings in University City’s first business park could become a transit-oriented five-story apartment and retail community near the McCullough Drive LYNX Station on North Tryon Street.
ATAPCO, owner of University Executive Park, has filed for a rezoning of the 4.5-acre site from office to TOD-M conditional to allow the change. No date has been set for the public hearing.
The site plan calls for a single building of up to five stories with an internal parking area and 10,000 sf of first-floor retail. The building footprint would fill much of the site. Retail space would be offered on three sides of the building. A private street on the north side would provide access to the internal parking deck.
The new building would replace two one-story office buildings totaling about 42,000 sf that were built in the early 1990s between North Tryon Street and University Executive Park Drive.
The McCullough Drive light-rail station is in the North Tryon Street median just north of McCullough Drive, and is one of three BLE stations in University City before the light-rail line turns off of North Tryon Street and onto the UNC Charlotte campus. The line will end at the campus station near student housing on Cameron Drive.
Station plan envisions multistory buildings
The Charlotte City Council approved station area plans for the North Tryon Street BLE stations in 2015 to help guide development within a quarter-mile radius (considered a five-minute walk) of each station. The McCullough station plan envisions the nearby area slowly redeveloping with multistory buildings and a mixture of uses to capitalize on the station.
The Blue Line Extension, a 9.3-mile addition to Charlotte’s first transit line, will run from UNC Charlotte to the current end of the transit line in uptown Charlotte at the 7th Street Station. Construction is on schedule, with service to University City expected to begin in August 2017.
Transit planners have predicted that the line will carry about 22,000 riders a day at its launch – more than triple the predicted ridership for the initial Blue Line when it began running in 2017. That line exceeded ridership projections by 50% almost from the start.
University Executive Park includes 13 office and medical buildings on 50 acres. The business park was recently renovated to provide new amenities, such as a 3,000-square-foot fitness center, central courtyard with outdoor lounge, patio seating with a fountain, and a three room conference center. Improvements also included updated landscaping and renovated lobbies and restrooms.