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...
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...
University City launches Barton Creek Greenway Native Meadow

University City launches Barton Creek Greenway Native Meadow

By Azania Herron University City Partners, University of North Carolina at Charlotte Botanical Gardens and North Carolina Native Plant Society have partnered to install Barton Creek Greenway Native Meadows, a community native plant project in University City. On April 25, volunteers and Botanical Gardens staff planted native flowers and shrubs on cleared land near the greenway’s trailhead at JW Clay Boulevard in University Place. A unique addition to our greenway network Barton Creek Greenway Native Meadow is a unique addition to the natural landscape in University City and will enhance the greenway experience for users and nearby residents. Barton Creek Greenway, which opened in 2020, connects University Place to a growing network of greenways running for more than a dozen miles through UNC Charlotte, University Research Park and numerous University City neighborhoods. Those trails, in turn, are part of the 26-mile Cross Charlotte Trail, the 15-county Carolina Thread Trail and an emerging statewide network of trails. A breath of fresh air – and a place to learn “University City offers the best of both worlds in that we have a vibrant urban center, but also gorgeous tree canopy and greenways that can be accessed by neighborhoods, University Research Park, the light rail or by parking at one of several entrances,” said Darlene Heater, Executive Director of University City Partners. “The Barton Creek Greenway Native Meadow is a project that we’re excited to support as we pursue development that enhances our connected greenways. The meadow will provide a breath of fresh air for greenway users and expand their experience while visiting the gorgeous botanical gardens at UNC Charlotte.” The UNC...
Tell Charlotte how to improve transportation and our urban forest

Tell Charlotte how to improve transportation and our urban forest

Charlotte is seeking our ideas regarding two major initiatives: Protecting and expanding the city’s tree canopy, and deciding the future of transportation and mobility in Charlotte. In each case, the city invites us to complete an online survey. Here are details: Charlotte Tree Canopy Action Plan Learn about city policies to preserve trees on public and private property and share your ideas for improving those policies. The survey includes three short videos. University City Partners is part of a working stakeholder group that is helping develop the Charlotte Tree Canopy Action Plan. TAKE THE SURVEY Charlotte MOVES Mobility Plan The city is preparing the Charlotte MOVES Strategic Mobility Plan to guide the future of transportation and mobility in Charlotte. The survey seeks to learn how people currently drive, walk, bike and ride around Charlotte and get our ideas for making those choices better for all travelers. TAKE THE...

Informal community survey finds strong interest in farmers market, local businesses, greenways

In April and May, we invited University City residents and workers to complete an informal survey about programs and improvements they’d like to see in our community. More than 200 people took part. Here’s what they shared. How well do their responses match what you would say? About the people who responded Of the 209 people who took part, four-fifths say they live in University City, while the remainder say they work here. About half of the residents live in the 28269 ZIP Code, with the remainder split between 28262 and 28213. Three-fourths of the responders put their ages at between 35 and 64. Topics of interest during the pandemic The pandemic was already in full swing when we began the survey. We asked responders to rate the types of information they most wanted to receive regarding the pandemic’s impact. Their answers by level of interest, from high to low: Ways to support local businesses. Community impact stories. Physical safety and mental health tips. Food access programs and locations. Community programs We asked everyone to tell us which types of activities they would most appreciate adding in University City. Nearly 90% said they’d like a farmers market. More than half asked for movies or music, while one in five mentioned outdoor playgrounds. Greenways About two-thirds of people completing the survey say they visit greenways at least every couple of months; 25% say they walk or bike on one of the greenways at least weekly. What could make greenways better? Half of the survey-takers say the greenways need more natural beautification, and nearly as many want more places to sit....
Are we creating the University City you want? Tell us!

Are we creating the University City you want? Tell us!

University City Partners was created to support the economic development and vitality of our community. As we move forward during and following the COVID-19-pandemic, we particularly need to know from you how we are doing, and what improvements you would like to see. Please help by completing our brief survey. The survey takes just a few minutes to complete; your answers will be anonymous. Click here to complete the survey. Thanks for helping build a better University City. We encourage you to share this survey link with other University City residents. Darlene Heater Executive Director, University City...