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...
See the plans for proposed police station

See the plans for proposed police station

Plans for University City’s next police station are now available online. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department hopes to replace the division’s leased station at University Executive Park with a two-story city-owned structure on North Tryon Street near the McCullough LYNX Station. Special requirements for parking, security and other issues will require the City Council’s approval of a zoning change for the proposed site.   Six new stations under development The Police Department plans to replace the University City Division facility and three others currently occupying temporary leased buildings: Westover, Hickory Grove and Independence. The CMPD also plans to build stations for the newly established South and Northwest Divisions. CMPD held its first information meeting for the University City Division station on Aug. 16.   Details of University City Division station Details in the site plan and a building rendering show the building’s main entrance at the corner of North Tryon Street and Ken Hoffman Drive, with two stories of windows clustered near the main entrance. The building exterior features manufactured stone and brick facades, “police globe” wall sconces, and a large Hornets Nest CMPD logo. Drawings on the site plan show the main police station building, accessory structures and 8-foot-tall fencing running the length of both North Tryon Street and Ken Hoffman Drive. The fencing would screen about 130 surface parking spaces.   Why a rezoning is needed The opening of the LYNX Blue Line Extension on North Tryon Street has led the city to encourage transit-oriented development within a quarter mile of each light-rail station. The police station would be within a quarter mile of the McCullough Station. A...
Website offers details of university hotel-conference center

Website offers details of university hotel-conference center

The proposed UNC Charlotte conference center and hotel have drawn plenty of interest, especially from people following the surge of development taking place near the new LYNX light-rail stations on North Tryon Street. Thanks to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department, vivid renderings and many building details are now available for public view. You can find the latest site plan and other materials on the department website, among its list of 2018 rezoning petitions, under Petition 2018-047.   Site for facility will require zoning change The UNC Charlotte Foundation, which owns the site for the proposed development, is asking the Charlotte City Council to rezone 4.42 acres near the JW Clay Boulevard Transit Station for a hotel with up to 230 rooms and a 15,000-square-foot conference center. All of the project’s required planning documents and city-staff reviews (as they are completed) are available online. As of June 15, the rezoning public hearing for this project is scheduled for the Charlotte City Council’s monthly zoning meeting on June 18. However, several petitions including possibly this one will be deferred to a later date. See below for more meeting details. Download the meeting agenda here.   What we know so far Tentatively called the UNC Charlotte Marriott, the hotel and conference center are proposed for about 4.4 acres bordered by North Tryon Street, JW Clay Boulevard, Robert D. Snyder Road and the PORTAL Building parking lot. The land is owned by the UNC Charlotte Foundation. The current site plan shows a six-story hotel fronting North Tryon Street and the conference center fronting Robert D. Snyder Drive. A second building for parking would be built...
Conference center, hotel in works near Clay Blvd Station

Conference center, hotel in works near Clay Blvd Station

Marriott is partner; hotel could open summer 2020 Just three weeks after the launch of light-rail service to University City, UNC Charlotte is moving forward on plans for a hotel and conference center beside the J.W. Clay Boulevard station. “Once completed, this full-service UNC Charlotte-branded Marriott hotel will provide 226 rooms and a 15,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art conference center,” wrote Chancellor Phil Dubois in his April “Fast Five” update to the campus community. The hotel could open by summer of 2020, The Charlotte Observer reports.   A dream dating back three decades Proposals for a university-focused conference center date back more than 30 years, to the original plans for nearby University Place. UNC Charlotte’s current Master Plan envisions a hotel and conference center near the Clay Boulevard campus entrance. The university recently submitted a request for Charlotte City Council to rezone a wooded property on North Tryon Street for the new hotel and center. The 11.4-acre site is directly across from the Clay Boulevard station and parking deck. An overhead walkway, paid for by the university and Carolinas HealthCare System University, already connects the property to the station.   Hotel could open in 2 years The Charlotte Observer reports that if the rezoning is approved, university officials hope to have construction begin in 2019, with the hotel opening in 2020. The 11.4-acre property is owned by the Foundation of UNC Charlotte, which works to support the university’s mission. Foundation President Niles Sorenson told The Observer that the launch of light-rail service to uptown Charlotte and the university’s Center City campus was key to the conference center and hotel project...
Businesses get glimpse of urban future at networking event

Businesses get glimpse of urban future at networking event

On March 20, just a short walk from the brand-new University City Blvd LYNX light-rail station, small-business leaders networked, celebrated the long-awaited opening of LYNX service and discussed plans to use light rail as an engine for change. “University City is on a growth trajectory. We saw just crazy ridership this weekend, especially on Saturday, and we are thrilled,” University City Partners Executive Director Darlene Heater told the group as she welcomed them to the networking event. “It has been a long road for our businesses and our community, and we are glad that the construction barrels are gone.” University City Partners organized Tuesday’s networking event at the Camino Community Center to start an ongoing conversation among area businesses about ways to share information and lobby effectively for improvements needed to fulfill the vision of an urban center near UNC Charlotte. Tuesday’s event included an introduction of University City Police Division’s new commander, Captain Alan Rutledge; an invitation by fellow businessman Rob Rogers to join him in sharing business resources to improve nearby public schools; and a presentation by Heater and UCP Planning Director Tobe Holmes entitled, “University City, Tomorrow’s Urban Center.”   New police station in the works Rutledge said that CMPD has purchased land for a new police station on North Tryon Street to replace the current offices on McCullough Drive in University Executive Park. The city plans to build a 15,000-square-foot facility and hopes to have it open within two years, he said. Meanwhile, crime is down 8% over last year, year to date, he said, with violent crime down 25% and property crime down 7%....
Investors buy former Allstate offices, while developers propose entertainment district

Investors buy former Allstate offices, while developers propose entertainment district

A recent property sale and new rezoning request signal continued business interest in the coming LYNX light-rail line. Arkansas investors have bought a 1970s office building and 35 acres on McCullough Drive for $12.3 million. The three-story building, vacant since longtime tenant Allstate relocated to Innovation Park, offers one of the biggest contiguous vacant office spaces in Charlotte’s suburban market, reports CPExecutive.com. That large space, totaling more than 191,000 square feet, should be of great interest to companies relocating to Charlotte or undergoing major expansions, the business website said.  MORE   Entertainment district proposed near IKEA The Charlotte Observer reports that developer Cambridge Properties is planning to create a major entertainment district just west of University City Boulevard between I-85 and the University City Boulevard transit station. The company recently filed a rezoning for parts of three properties at the end of MacFarlane Boulevard near I-85. Cambridge Properties told the Observer that it envisions the district having a movie theater, brewery, other restaurants, hotel, outdoor golf venue and other draws....