Early voting has begun for sales-tax increase, local races

Early voting has begun for sales-tax increase, local races

Early voting has begun for the Nov. 5 election, including races for Charlotte City Council and the Mecklenburg County School Board as well as a referendum on a quarter-cent countywide sales-tax increase. If voters approve the tax increase, the county board says it will use the estimated $50 million in new annual revenue for parks, schools, and the arts. The county operates 17 early-voting locations including the former Pier 1 store at 8802 JW Clay Blvd. in University Place (directions) and the Hal Marshall Center at 618 N. Tryon St. in uptown. All early-voting locations are open daily through Nov. 1. Click here for the full list of locations and times. For more details on the election including a sample ballot and polling place, visit the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections website.   Information on proposed sales-tax increase The county board is asking voters to approve a quarter-cent sales tax increase on goods and services purchased in Mecklenburg County. The current sales tax rate in Mecklenburg County is 7.25%, including a 4.75% state sales tax, a 2% countywide sales tax and a 0.5% transit tax. “If passed, the quarter-cent sales tax (increase) would generate approximately $50 million per year and help fund an array of arts and culture programs, parks and greenways, education programs and other services for residents,” the county says on its sales-tax webpage. If the measure passes, the county website states, funding percentages are expected to be: Arts and Culture – 45% County Parks and Greenways – 34% Education (teacher supplement) – 16% Arts and Culture/Parks for the Towns – 5% The Charlotte Observer recently reported...
City rezoning seeks to raise bar for transit-oriented development

City rezoning seeks to raise bar for transit-oriented development

Scores of properties along North Tryon Street near University City’s LYNX light-rail stations could soon have new zoning that will provide for more urban development near the stations, along with higher standards regarding issues such as walkability, public space and architecture. The City of Charlotte seeks to rezone these properties and thousands more near LYNX stations to ensure that city’s vision for transit-oriented development becomes reality. A rezoning petition was recently filed by the city for 2,640 parcels totaling 1,915 acres within short walks of the Blue Line transit stations. The petition asks the city to replace a wide range of office, commercial, residential and industrial zoning categories with four variations of the recently approved Transit Oriented Development zoning. What are Transit Oriented Development Districts? The TOD zoning classifications seeks to create walkable urban neighborhoods within a half mile of each LYNX station. According to a city planning website, “The purpose of the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Districts is to encourage and enable the development of moderate to high-intensity, compact, mixed-use urban neighborhoods near transit stations where people can live, work, shop, dine, and pursue cultural and recreational opportunities while enjoying a range of mobility choices. “TOD development standards, combined with limits on auto-centric uses, are designed to create vibrant neighborhoods with a robust network of streets, sidewalks, and bicycle paths, providing safe and convenient access to transit stations. “The TOD zoning districts allow taller buildings and more building density while requiring higher standards regarding issues including walkability, public space and architecture.”   Light-rail expansion fueling a burst of redevelopment The opening of the LYNX Blue Line Extension in...
LYNX update – more riders; deck rules; LYFT expands

LYNX update – more riders; deck rules; LYFT expands

Thinking of riding the LYNX? These changes and a reminder may smooth the trip: New riders: With UNC Charlotte back in session, be prepared for many more riders. New discount: LYFT has expanded its first-mile/last-mile discounts to include the University City Blvd. station area. Parking deck reminder: You can park for free in our two LYNX decks – unless you need to leave between 3 and 6 pm weekdays. Here are the details. More 49ers aboard! Don’t be surprised by the sudden surge in riders aboard the LYNX light-trail trains, even late at night. Nearly all of UNC Charlotte’s 30,000 students get a transit pass that lets them ride all light-rail trains and CATS buses. The cost is included in the students’ mandatory fees as a way to reduce the demand for campus parking. Faculty and staff can get a big break on LYNX and bus fares, as well.   Lyft expands first-mile/last-mile ride discounts to University City Blvd station area Light-rail riders needing to reach destinations near the University City Blvd LYNX station can now take advantage of a special first-mile/last-mile discount from Lyft, the on-demand transportation service. The service, already available at the JW Clay Blvd and Parkwood stations, provides a $4 discount on Lyft rides between the stations and nearby destinations. The goal of the program is to provide affordable and reliable transportation via LYFT to busy destinations near the stations but too far away to reasonably reach by walking. Click here to learn how to access the program.   Reminder: Parking in decks will cost – if you leave 3-6 pm weekdays While most LYNX...
EB Arrow Seeks Rezoning for Waters Edge at University Place

EB Arrow Seeks Rezoning for Waters Edge at University Place

News Release – Commercial real estate development firm EB Arrow has filed a rezoning petition for 20.5 acres on the east side of J.W. Clay Boulevard in University City where the company is planning a mixed-use, walkable lakefront community called Waters Edge at University Place. Charlotte City Council has scheduled a public hearing on the zoning change for its June 17 monthly zoning meeting. The council could vote as soon as July 15 on whether to approve the request.   Office building, apartments and lakefront park in Phase I If approved, the rezoning would allow for the first-phase development of a five-story, 182,000-square-foot Class A office and civic building with ground-floor retail; NOVEL University Place, a 308-unit garden-style multifamily community developed by Crescent Communities; a 2.5-acre lakefront linear park featuring a children’s play area; and the refurbishment of a significant portion of the one-mile multiuse pedestrian trail encircling the lake at University Place. The plan is consistent with the University City Area Plan, which recommends mixed-use including residential for the site, and would meet many of the goals of University City Partners’ master plan for the J.W. Clay area, which emphasizes walkability from light rail, connectivity and civic space for people to gather near the lake. Acquired by EB Arrow late last year, Waters Edge is located less than half a mile from the J.W. Clay Boulevard Station on the Lynx Blue Line and less than one mile from the Barton Creek Greenway, providing connectivity and access to miles of existing greenway trail via the Mallard Creek and Clark’s Creek Greenways as well as access to UNC Charlotte, Atrium Health...
Under Way: Hundreds of apartments and townhomes

Under Way: Hundreds of apartments and townhomes

The crane looming over the ATAPCO apartment building on North Tryon Street is the biggest sign by far of a building boom across University City – but hardly the only one. Here’s a rundown of nearly 1,400 apartments and for-sale townhomes under way in University City, including the first for-sale townhomes in University Research Park. More “Under Way” reports: Hospitality, dining, shopping and greenway University hotel-conference center, science building and more Office building renovations and major upfits Atapco Apartments – North Tryon Street at McCullough LYNX station. Five stories, with 260 apartments, interior structured parking and ground-floor retail. More V & Three apartments – North Tryon Street near the University City Blvd LYNX Station. Leasing has started on the nearly finished community with 338 apartments and many amenities. Among the features: 10-foot ceilings, granite countertops, a “train lobby” for waiting for the LYNX, electric-car charging stations, garages and rental townhouses. V & Three and Mosby University City are components of the 62-acre University City Gateway being developed across from the University City Blvd LYNX station by McKinney Holdings. V & Three website Mosby University City – North Tryon Street near the University City Blvd LYNX station. 309 apartments in four five-story buildings. The developer bought the 14-acre site in November 2018 for $5.5 million. More Bainbridge Apartments – Mallard Creek Road just west of Mallard Creek. 315 apartments in four-story buildings bordering Mallard Creek Greenway. More Mattamy Homes townhomes – Gov. Hunt Road near Mallard Creek Road – up to 167 townhomes for sale, up to three stories, on 38 acres. Extensive open space reserved. First for-sale homes in URP....
Urgent-care center to open at Clay parking deck

Urgent-care center to open at Clay parking deck

Atrium Health plans to open an urgent-care center this summer in the parking deck at the Clay Boulevard LYNX Station. The center will meet a growing need for convenient health care in the heart of University City’s light-rail business district, says Bill Leonard, president of Atrium Health University City. “The University City area is growing, and access to walk-in urgent-care service is underserved in our market,” Leonard said. Atrium Health operates more than 30 urgent-care facilities throughout the Charlotte region. The centers provide general medical care for minor injuries, illnesses and health exams. Most centers are open 8 am-8 pm seven days a week.   Medical services for residents, students and workers The new center at the Clay Station parking deck will offer typical urgent-care services of diagnosis, treatment and testing, including X-ray and basic lab services. “With the proximity to so many jobs, we will fully support occupational health efforts in the area,” Leonard said. People with more severe illnesses and injuries are directed to hospital emergency rooms. Atrium Health University City’s emergency room is the busiest in the Atrium Health system. Leonard said that Atrium Health expects to see a slight decline in those numbers once the urgent-care center opens nearby. Atrium Health recently signed a 10-year lease for 2,325 square feet of space in the Clay Station parking deck. The deck might seem like an unlikely place for a medical facility. However, along with its 800 parking spaces, the deck includes more than 15,000 square feet of space on the ground floor for offices, shops and restaurants.   Growing regional crossroads Most important, “The access is just...