Newsletter editor Rich Haag says thanks and bye

Newsletter editor Rich Haag says thanks and bye

By Rich Haag. This newsletter marks my end of 13 years spent helping University City Partners share our community’s good news and big dreams. Like many of you, I invested my own heart and treasure in University City. I leave this post feeling satisfied with my contributions, excited about University City’s future and grateful for the tireless work done on our behalf by University City Partners’ staff and scores of volunteer board members. Reaping the rewards I’ve seen many ups and downs here since arriving in northeast Charlotte in 1979, about the time that IBM opened near UNC Charlotte and helped birth our community. I’ve written thousands of articles about University City and its people over the years since, first for The Charlotte Observer and University City Magazine, which I helped launch; and since 2009 for University City Partners. I feel honored to have been given that opportunity. I feel lucky to have spent so many years benefiting from my family’s life here. Then and now My wife, Karen, and I raised our sons here and still live in the home we built near UNC Charlotte in 1987. Our neighbors these days include two other couples from that “pioneer” time plus more recent additions from across America and around the world. In those early years, Karen and I often walked the boardwalk at University Place with our little boys. Now we walk with our little grandsons who live in the lakeside condos. We attend church near University Research Park. We walk daily at Reedy Creek Park. We waited, seemingly forever, for the coming of the LYNX Blue Line Extension...
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve expansion touches 3 schools

Reedy Creek Nature Preserve expansion touches 3 schools

Two public schools and the CPCC Cato Campus have gained important access to a great learning resource, thanks to Mecklenburg County’s recent purchase of 100 acres for the planned Reedy Creek Greenway. The new addition to Reedy Creek Nature Preserve adjoins Northeast Middle School, Grier Academy and the Cato Campus. With more than 1,000 acres and a staffed nature center, the nature preserve should eventually help students get first-hand knowledge of our local environment and wildlife. New addition creates 1,200-acre block of public land The new property creates a solid block of Charlotte and Mecklenburg land totaling nearly 1,200 acres bordered by East WT Harris Blvd, Plaza Road Extension and Grier Road. Reedy Creek Park and adjoining Reedy Creek Nature Preserve hold about 1,050 acres; the three schools comprise about 100 acres; and a city fire station and other city-owned land total about 30 acres more. Mecklenburg County bought the new addition in early May for about $2 million. The seller, Cox Media Group, paid nearly $2.3 million for the same land about 17 months earlier, when it bought the property from WSOC Television. Besides adding important land to the nature preserve, the new land will provide a path for the first phase of Reedy Creek Greenway, between Grier Road and Plaza Road Extension. The Charlotte Ledger Business Newsletter’s Tony Mecia recently told WFAE that the county has no other plans for developing the new addition to the nature preserve, other than perhaps to add a few picnic tables. Nature Center provides classrooms, displays, programs The Reedy Creek Nature Center has been closed throughout the pandemic. The facility has small...
Concerts, races, football and fans returning to University City’s big outdoor venues

Concerts, races, football and fans returning to University City’s big outdoor venues

Big crowds and fast cars and trucks all roared at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Memorial Day weekend, thanks to the statewide lifting of most COVID-19 restrictions on outdoor events. If public health stays good, expect many more big shows and crowds this year at University City’s three huge outdoor venues. PNC Music Pavilion, with nearly 19,000 seats, has 19 shows scheduled starting June 29 with Chicago – The Band. Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews, Judas Priest and the Jonas Brothers are among the many shows through early November. MORE Charlotte Motor Speedway, its dirt track and campground will host a total of seven racing events, the two-day Breakaway Music Festival, a concert by ZZ Top and the Speedway Christmas extravaganza. MORE Jerry Richardson Stadium at UNC Charlotte, with 15,300 seats, will welcome back fans on Sept. 3 and also make history by hosting its first-ever home football game against an ACC opponent: Duke University. CBS Sports Network also plans to televise this and two other 49ers home football...
Starbucks coming to NC 49 at Cross Charlotte Trail

Starbucks coming to NC 49 at Cross Charlotte Trail

A new building for a Starbucks and other businesses is rising along University City Boulevard within a few feet of the emerging Cross Charlotte Trail (XCLT). The new building at the main entrance to Town Center Plaza replaces a former O’Charley’s restaurant building. The XCLT, a joint effort of Mecklenburg County and the city of Charlotte, will connect several county greenways including Toby Creek Greenway to provide a single paved trail for cycling and hiking between Pineville and University City via NoDa and uptown Charlotte. Several connecting links are open, and the city expects to have the trail complete between Mallard Creek Greenway and Pineville in about 5 years. Plans call for funding the last two segments, between Kirk Farm Field (the current terminus of Mallard Creek Greenway) and the Cabarrus County Line by the later part of this decade. The new Starbucks – the first directly beside the trail – will provide a welcome place to rest and refresh just before the trail enters the UNC Charlotte campus. Building details Building plans show up to four spaces in the 7,600 square-foot building. Starbucks will occupy 2,200 square feet and have a  drive-through window. Marketing materials for the project say that the building should be finished this summer. The building site is at a signalized intersection that includes an entrance ramp to WT Harris Boulevard and a safe pedestrian crossing onto the UNC Charlotte campus via the greenway. Student enrollment now exceeds more than 30,000. Several on-campus and off-campus residential communities along University are within a mile of the new building. The Shopping Center Group is handling leasing. To...
Crescent Communities’ Escent Research Park completes construction

Crescent Communities’ Escent Research Park completes construction

News release courtesy of Crescent Communities.  Charlotte, N.C. – (May 13, 2021) – Today, Crescent Communities, a nationally-recognized, market-leading real estate investor, developer, and operator of mixed-use communities, announces the completion of construction at Escent Research Park, a creative office community situated in the heart of University City in Charlotte, NC. The first creative office space in the area, Escent Research Park boasts four stories and 159,000 square feet of modern, purposeful design that offers tenants an indoor and outdoor collaborative environment. Designed to spark connection and creativity, the building’s open floor plans with virtually column-free layouts provide flexible interior design for prospective employers, complete with natural light and tree-lined views. The finished space features an expansive two-story entrance with community lounges, a community terraced lawn, access to nearby walking trails, plus an abundance of on-site property amenities. “Escent Research Park marks the next chapter for Crescent Communities in University City – an important milestone for our Commercial organization,” says Brendan Pierce, Senior Managing Director at Crescent Communities. “The market’s highly attractive growth activity proves its emergence as a critical employment and technology hub and is just one of the many reasons we chose to build the area’s first creative office space.” Located near the intersection of West Mallard Creek Church Road and David Taylor Drive in Charlotte’s University submarket, Escent Research Park is situated on 21 acres of land, with ample retail located within a five minute walk and access to the light rail and I-85 each within one mile. Escent Research Park’s central location provides easy access to the airport, I-485, and I-77. “We are thrilled to...