Developer seeks OK for major reworking of University Place

Updated Dec. 13, 2018 – The new owner of several retail buildings on 30 acres of University Place has filed a rezoning for 20.6 acres beside the University Place Lake, the Charlotte Business Journal reports. EBA Crystal Real Estate’s development plan calls for up to 300,000 square feet of commercial uses, 600 residential units, 20,000 square feet of civic spaces and possibly a hotel. EB Arrow bought the property earlier this year. The Business Journal reports that the petitioner developed its site plan in line with the University City Town Center plan developed in 2017 by several property owners and University City Partners.   The vision for University City Town Center The University City Town Center plan seeks to create a densely developed, pedestrian friendly urban village of shops, housing and offices that encompasses all of the existing University Place campus including the Shoppes area near north Tryon Street and the big-box retail area between the lake and I-85 that once was dominated by Walmart, Sam’s and several other national retailers. The University City Town Center plan also includes several residential communities and the retail center directly across from UNC Charlotte’s main North Tryon Street entrance. The segment up for rezoning by EBA Crystal Real Estate covers property along the west side of the lake from The Hilton to JW Clay Boulevard.   Rezoning petition documents and BJ article The rezoning petition and supporting documents have not yet been posted on the Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Department website. Once posted, the documents will be available to the public at this webpage. Read the full Charlotte Business Journal report. View the...
Proximity Park project turns back the clock

Proximity Park project turns back the clock

By next fall, one of University City’s oldest office buildings will look like its newest. With a redesign by global architectural firm Gensler, the former office of Allstate Insurance, at 401 McCullough Drive, will have completed its transformation to Proximity Park – the single biggest available suburban office building on the 19-mile LYNX light rail line. Work will start in the next few weeks on major improvements to the building and 32-acre campus, including a visually striking new entrance and two-story glass atrium, new energy efficient windows, extensive new landscaping and an outdoor meeting area. The building already underwent several months of interior demolition, which included removal of the old mechanical, electrical and HVAC systems. The redesigned building will have all new energy-efficient systems. When the remodeling is finished next August, Proximity Park will offer nearly 200,000 square feet of space for lease in like-new condition – with room for expansion – within a 10-minute walk to light rail and a 1-mile drive to I-85.   Potential corporate campus Colliers International, which is handling the building transformation and its marketing, hopes to find a single tenant for the building. The building also can be subdivided for up to three tenants. “Given the unique design of it and the large campus setting, we feel like Proximity Park will provide a unique opportunity for a company wanting its own branded building with easy expansion potential,” said Brad Grow, a partner in Colliers’ Charlotte office. The site can accommodate an additional 100,000 square feet of office space, plus structured parking for the additional employees. That building will have great curb appeal, Grow...
Join us Dec. 6 for University City 2.0 – Building a City in the City

Join us Dec. 6 for University City 2.0 – Building a City in the City

University City is in the midst of incredible change. Guiding that change for maximum benefit to our community will require bold vision, thoughtful planning, and creative design. Urban-design expert David Dixon will share ideas for navigating the sea change on Dec. 6 at University City 2.0 – Building a City in the City. The free public event, presented by University City Partners and Charlotte Research Institute, will take place 5-7 pm Dec. 6 at UNC Charlotte’s PORTAL Innovation Hub.   About David Dixon Dixon leads the Urban Design team at Stantec, a multi-faceted company providing community planning, architectural design, engineering and related services worldwide. In Charlotte, the Urban Design team is helping master-plan and develop the $700 million Brooklyn Village mixed-use neighborhood in Second Ward. Stantec also helped create Charlotte’s South End Vision Plan. Dixon also is co-editor of “Suburban Remix: Creating the next generation of Urban Places,” and co-author of “Urban Design for an Urban Century: Placemaking for People.”   About University City 2.0 University City 2.0 is a Charlotte Research Institute and University City Partners signature reception and guest speaker event for area businesses and business partners, civic and economic development leaders, and UNC Charlotte faculty and staff. The Dec. 6 event will begin with the Charlotte Research Institute winter reception from 5-6 pm. The guest-speaker program will start at 6 with remarks by Dixon. After his remarks, Mr. Dixon will be joined by City of Charlotte Director of Planning, Design and Development Taiwo Jaiyeoba and Assistant City Manager for Economic Development Tracy Dodson for a panel discussion and open Q&A exchange.   Want to attend? The...
UCity wins big with passage of Charlotte bonds

UCity wins big with passage of Charlotte bonds

Charlotte voters gave strong approval of $223 million in general obligation bonds on Tuesday that will fund major improvements in University City as well as the rest of Charlotte. Nearly $40 million will go just to continue improvements to streets, sidewalks and intersections along the LYNX Blue Line Extension, including a new bridge linking the University Research Park to the JW Clay Boulevard light-rail station. Here is the run-down of what voters approved and how University City will benefit.   Transportation Bonds – $118.08 million – Approved 69% to 31% The bonds will fund street and intersection projects, continued development of the Cross Charlotte Trail, upgrades to Charlotte’s traffic control system, pedestrian safety improvements, and repairs or construction of bridges, sidewalks and bikeways. Northeast corridor improvements In University City, about $27 million will go to ongoing improvements of streets, sidewalks and intersections along the Northeast Corridor that includes the LYNX Blue Line Extension. Previous bond packages in 2014 and 2016, plus a planned bond package in 2020, will provide a total of $106.6 million in improvements along the Northeast Corridor from uptown to University City. Bridge and bikeway over I-85 to link University Place and Research Park Another $9.7 million in the 2018 bond package will help build a revolutionary vehicle-bike-pedestrian roadway and bridge linking University Research Park to the JW Clay Blvd Transit Station, the North Tryon Street business corridor and UNC Charlotte. The total project will cost more than $25 million, including money approved by voters in 2014 and 2016. Construction is expected to start in 2020. GET DETAILS. Cross Charlotte Trail The 30-mile Cross Charlotte Trail...
City bonds on the ballot will fund several Ucity projects

City bonds on the ballot will fund several Ucity projects

When you go to the polls over the next few weeks, be sure to vote for Charlotte’s general obligation bonds. The $223.8 million in projects that the bonds will fund include several that directly benefit University City – including a new bridge linking the research park to light rail; street improvements to make our business district more walkable; and community improvements at the I-485 Prosperity Village. Here’s a brief overview of the General Obligation Bonds   Transportation Bonds – $118.08 million The bonds will fund street and intersection projects, continued development of the Cross Charlotte Trail, upgrades to Charlotte’s traffic control system, pedestrian safety improvements, and repairs or construction of bridges, sidewalks and bikeways. In University City, more than $50 million will go to ongoing improvements of streets, sidewalks and intersections along the Northeast Corridor that includes the LYNX Blue Line Extension. The funds will also build a revolutionary vehicle-bike-pedestrian roadway and bridge linking University Research Park to the JW Clay Blvd Transit Station, the North Tryon Street business corridor and UNC Charlotte. SEE THE VIDEO More money will also go to develop the 30-mile Cross Charlotte Trail. When completed in the next decade, the paved path for pedestrians and cyclists will run from University City to Pineville via UNC Charlotte, NoDa, Uptown and southeast Charlotte. GET DETAILS   Housing Bonds – $50 million Housing bonds fund the city’s Housing Diversity Program. This money is matched with private investment dollars to provide affordable and well-maintained housing for low- and moderate-income individuals and throughout Charlotte. The Housing Diversity Program not only addresses the need for new construction; it also helps preserve existing...
Office sale indicates surging interest in Ucity submarket

Office sale indicates surging interest in Ucity submarket

Charlotte’s hot economy is heating up University City’s office market. The largest multi-tenant office building in University Research Park, Cambridge Corporate Center, just sold for 45% more than what the previous owners paid to buy it just four years ago, the Charlotte Business Journal reports. And that trend will continue, the Journal article adds. The Business Journal says that a joint venture by Arch Cos. And Lakestar Properties paid $63 million for the 339,544 square-foot office center and 53 acres at Claude Freeman Drive and West Mallard Creek Church Road. The previous investment group, Origin Capital Partners, paid $43.5 million in 2014. In 2016, Origin spent $4.2 million to add a 475-vehicle parking deck. Originally intended as a single-tenant building for a West Coast financial institution, Cambridge Corporate Center now has numerous tenants including Red Ventures, Web.com and Duke Energy.   Investors turning to suburbs The Business Journal reports that suburban office centers are becoming much more attractive to investors as central city locations in Charlotte and elsewhere soar in both rent rates and sales prices. That surge in interest is apparent to the University City Partners staff, which spends much of its time helping market office space in the University City Municipal Service District that includes University Research Park.   Prime space available in University Research Park The MSD has more than 11 million square feet of offices, including about 4.8 million square feet of leasable space. University Research Park has large tracts available for additional office buildings, including nearly 52 acres recently put on the market by Electrolux beside its North American headquarters. Mohr Partners is the exclusive...