Good morning, I’m Michael Collins, and this is Charlotte Talks

Good morning, I’m Michael Collins, and this is Charlotte Talks

“Good morning, I’m Michael Collins and this is Charlotte Talks.” If you listen even occasionally to University City-based WFAE 90.7 public radio, you have heard something like that introduction from time to time over the past two decades. Collins marked the 20th anniversary of his daily news program on April 20 with classic Mike Collins humor: “Will there be cake? Will there be ice cream? I don’t know, but we do have noisemakers! Woo Woo!” he quipped. Within a few minutes, the revelry was over and his regular Friday guests, veteran reporters from The Charlotte Observer, Business Journal, Spectrum News and WFAE, were holding their weekly Local News Roundup, just like always.   A place for learning and understanding “A deadly prison riot in South Carolina ends with seven inmates dead and 17 injured. City Council’s Lawana Mayfield turns heads after a post she made on Facebook speculating that the 9-11 attacks weren’t real. Vice President Mike Pence visits Charlotte on Friday to stump for Robert Pittenger. And another chapter in the unfolding Atrium health saga. All that and more on the 20th Anniversary edition of Charlotte Talks,” Collins intoned. Leave the crazy toasting and yucking it up to other TV and radio personalities and, well, to Charlotte Squawks (more on that in a minute). Yes, friends did throw Mike and Charlotte Talks a party on April 19 at The Foundation for the Carolinas. When you’ve interviewed most of Charlotte’s cultural, political and civic leaders since 1998, you do deserve some thanks or perhaps roasting. Théoden Janes interviewed Collins for The Charlotte Observer a few months ago. Collins explained...
Hundreds of new homes near our LYNX stations

Hundreds of new homes near our LYNX stations

Two residential communities near our North Tryon Street LYNX stations took big steps in the last week. Demolition began on two office buildings beside North Tryon Street to make way for ATAPCO’s five-story apartment building near the McCullough Station. Blu at Northline held a tour of its newly completed community the University City Blvd Station.   ATAPCO begins apartments at McCullough Station ATAPCO helped launch University City’s development boom three decades with the opening of our first office development, University Executive Park. Now the company is replacing two of its office buildings along North Tryon Street near the McCullough LYNX Station with a five-story apartment building that will internal parking, apartments and room for 5,000 square feet of street-level shops and other uses. University City Partners worked closely with ATAPCO on the project, to ensure that it sets the tone for high-quality transit-oriented redevelopment of North Tryon Street near the McCullough Station. Click here for details of ATAPCO’s new apartment building.   Our photo tour of Blu University City Partners Executive Director toured Blu at Northline on May 1 and took these photos of the 376-home apartment community at 6919 N. Tryon St., just south of the I-85 connector. “Connected Living Starts Here,” declares the community’s website. Residents can choose from studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom homes ranging in rent from $975 to $1,800 per month. Apartments come with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and walk-in closets. Community amenities include a pool and sun deck, “bark park” for pets, cyber cafe and fitness center. Click here to learn more about Blu at...
Learn more about university hotel-conference center at May 7 community meeting

Learn more about university hotel-conference center at May 7 community meeting

What do the Metropolitan at Midtown, Aloft at the EpiCentre and Ritz-Carlton in Chicago have to do with University City? Three companies that helped create or operate each are working with UNC Charlotte to build its hotel and conference center at the JW Clay Boulevard LYNX Station. Learn more at 6:30 pm May 7, at a community meeting on the project at the university’s PORTAL building.   Facility near JW Clay Blvd Station could open in 2020 The university and its foundation are moving forward on design work for the hotel and conference center, to be located on 11.4 acres at the corner of North Tryon Street and JW Clay Boulevard. Niles Sorensen, president of the UNC Charlotte Foundation, said that the university hopes to see construction start in early 2019, with completion in late summer 2020. “Once completed, the full-service UNC Charlotte-branded Marriott hotel will provide 226 rooms and a 15,000-sq.-ft. state-of-the-art conference center,” Chancellor Phil Dubois wrote in his monthly Fast Five Update on April 2. The Foundation recently submitted a request to rezone 4.4 acres at North Tryon Street and JW Clay Boulevard for the project. The community meeting on May 7 is a required step in the rezoning process. “We are excited the University is investing in bringing another anchor to Charlotte and University City. Their design will fully embrace our efforts to make the JW Clay a walkable urban center,” said Tobe Holmes, planning and development director for University City Partners. Enticing new details A report given to the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees in February and the site plan filed recently with the...
University City’s bike shop takes a Giant leap

University City’s bike shop takes a Giant leap

The University City bike shop formerly known as Bike Line has a new name, a new line of bikes and a fresh look. What won’t change, says founder and owner Shane Hockensmith, is the skilled staff focused on customer service, quality repairs and cycling advocacy. Shane invites the community to the Grand Reopening of Giant University City on May 4-5. Today (May 4) and Saturday, Giant University City, located next to Toby Creek Greenway and UNC Charlotte, will offer a bike repair clinic for women, a Saturday morning greenway ride, mountain-bike exhibitions by “Trail Boss” Jeff Lenosky and, of course, Grand Reopening special prices on all bikes and accessories. First up is tonight’s “Liv Women’s Basic Bike Maintenance Clinic,” 6:30-8:30 pm at the shop. Leading the workshop will be Liv Cycling ambassador Jen Audia. Details Jen will also lead Saturday morning’s no-drop Greenway Ride, starting at 9 am. Details   20-year journey from Bike Line to Giant University City Hockensmith launched Bike Line of Charlotte 20 years ago in the row of stores and offices directly behind the shop’s current location in Towne Center Plaza. A decade ago, Hockensmith relocated to the much larger current location between Rite Aid and Life Time Fitness. This latest transformation brings the world’s largest bike manufacturer to University City. The “Giant” in Giant University City is Giant Bicycles. While most bike companies outsource their production, Giant makes both its own bicycles and the materials those bicycles require. What does that mean for consumers? “Simply put, lower prices and better bikes for everyone,” Hockensmith says. Bringing in a completely new line of bikes gave...
This weekend’s festivals are for our kids

This weekend’s festivals are for our kids

The kids will love two big events this weekend in University City. Healthy Kids Day on April 28 will let our children run, jump, dance and bike ride while adults learn about YMCA summer camp, fitness and swim lessons. The UNC Charlotte Science and Technology Expo on April 29 will challenge young minds with dozens of activities and displays.   Healthy Kids Day at Keith Family YMCA Start the weekend with Healthy Kids Day at the Keith Family YMCA. From 10 am to 2 pm Saturday, the kids can enjoy free games, fitness activities, a bike-safety activity and snacks. Parents can spend time with YMCA staff learning about the many programs available for youngsters this summer, including the summer day camp and swim lessons. Keith Family YMCA is at 8100 Mallard Creek Road near West W.T. Harris Boulevard. Directions. To learn more about the event and all of the Y’s programs, visit the Keith Family YMCA website and Facebook event page or call 704-716-6700.   Science and Technology Expo lets kids touch stars, science, tech The Science and Technology Expo, noon-4 pm Sunday, April 29, remains the University’s largest NCSF event and its grand finale, closing out the festival from noon to 4 p.m., Sunday, April 29. The expo includes an ever-expanding set of activities, including robotics, rocketry, virtual people, live animals, lab experiments, explosive chemistry, exotic plants, fire engines, race cars, boats, and an interactive artificial intelligence and lifelike machine or two. The event is for the science-curious of all ages, featuring 100-plus hands-on activities and presentations. Many of these offer public-friendly glimpses into some more-than-cool current research work,...