Our 2016 Annual Report chronicles a landmark year

Our 2016 Annual Report chronicles a landmark year

The dramatic changes taking place across University City can be hard to keep up with – unless you have the University City Partners annual report. Our brand new 2016 University City Partners Annual Report chronicles these changes over the past year (July 2015-June 2016) as well our public-private group’s efforts to fulfill our mission: to create a dynamic transit-oriented community, urban in scale and design, in University City’s central business and learning district. This information-packed eight-page report is available to download now. Among the report’s highlights: Major University City developments and business expansions University City Partners accomplishments How we are promoting University City through media and events Our dynamic board of directors Priorities for the coming year We invite you to view or download our Annual Report and encourage you to join us in this exciting mission for our...
University City Partners welcomes new board members

University City Partners welcomes new board members

University City Partners welcomes four new members to its board of directors, including two UNC Charlotte grads. Tracy Dodson with Lincoln Harris, John McAlister with Electrolux, Phil Nicholenko with TIAA and Jane Wu, founder of Carolina States Regional Center, have begun terms on the board.   Thanks to our outgoing board members We offer a sincere thank-you to three people who recently completed their terms: Olen Smith, former president of the University Research Park; Vickie Pennington, president and owner of EMCI Ltd., Electrical and Cabling Services; and Jeremy Drier, corporate communications senior manager for the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Dreir will continue to help UCP as a member of our Planning and Development Committee.   New board leadership The 2016-17 board also has new leaders. Chair – Stuart Parks, owner and managing principal of The Arden Group, succeeds Bob Wilhelm, vice chancellor for research and economic development at the Charlotte Research Institute of UNC Charlotte. Vice Chair – Tracy Dodson, vice president of office services for Lincoln Harris, succeeds Parks. Secretary – Michael Barnes, attorney at law, Barnes Law Office, succeeds Smith.     More about our new board members Here are brief bios of our new board members. Learn more about University City Partners and its leadership team at UniversityCityPartners.org Tracy Dodson – Vice president, brokerage and development, Lincoln Harris. Dodson assists the brokerage team with leasing office space and works with the development team on early development coordination of office and mixed-use projects, including strategic planning and entitlements. She also serves on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission and the NC Transportation Board. Dodson earned bachelors’ degrees in...
Thanks for taking our survey; we heard you!

Thanks for taking our survey; we heard you!

Our recent invitation to take a brief survey about University City Partners drew more than 100 participants and many useful responses. ”The survey was like a pulse check to make sure that what we are hearing in our meetings also represents the opinions of all of the folks who benefit from our services,” says UCP Executive Director Darlene Heater.   What the heck are UCP and MSD? University City Partners (UCP) is a nonprofit group that oversees a state-chartered, property-tax supported municipal service district (MSD) in the University City portion of Charlotte that encompasses University Research Park, University Place, UNC Charlotte and the nearby office, retail and multifamily neighborhoods. North Carolina has several dozen such districts, each created to promote a particular business district, ranging from downtown Waynesville to Charlotte’s Center City. Charlotte City Council chooses and oversees the nonprofit groups that manage our city’s two MSDs. The University City Partners staff of three, including Heater, takes its direction from a Board of Directors representing major University City businesses and property owners, plus government elected officials.   Who took the survey, and what did they say? University City Partners sent invitations to take the survey to everyone who receives our twice-monthly e-newsletter, plus key communicators, property owners within the University City Municipal Service District, University City residents who belong to the social media network Nextdoor.com and people who visit UniversityCityPartners.org. The on-line survey asked respondents to rate University City Partners in such areas as support of business growth, marketing, responsiveness to business needs and communication of community activities. The survey also attempted to determine which activities are most important to our...
University City Partners adds planning & development director

University City Partners adds planning & development director

Tobe Holmes has joined University City Partners as its planning and development director. Holmes, formerly with Center City Partners, will oversee all UCP planning and development initiatives. At Center City Partners, Holmes managed economic and community development for transit-oriented Historic South End. In his new position with UCP, Holmes will work with the city, county and state governments as well as developers, institutions, businesses, residents and special-interest groups to fulfill the vision of University City, said UCP Executive Director Darlene Heater. “University City is experiencing remarkable investment, both from the public and private sectors,” Heater said. “Bringing Tobe Holmes on board at this stage of our community development is the best investment we can make on behalf of our community and constituents.” Holmes will have an integral role in all land-use and transportation decisions, guide and influence private and public investments, and advocate for neighborhood, business and destination infrastructure and amenities, she added. Experience with transportation and community planning Prior to joining Center City Partners in 2012, Holmes spent four years focusing on transportation and long-range projects for York County, SC. Holmes also has worked in the private sector, doing retail-market analysis and community vision sessions for Arnett Muldrow & Associates in Greenville, SC. He holds a master’s degree in regional planning from Clemson University and has gained first-hand experience in running small retail businesses while operating bike shops in Charleston, S.C. Already working on UCP plans In his first month with University City Partners, Holmes has spent time learning about existing, planned and needed infrastructure projects and putting together proposals for two development plans. One plan will closely examine...
Meet our UNC Charlotte interns

Meet our UNC Charlotte interns

One benefit of having UNC Charlotte nearby is the amazing wealth of student interns. We landed three of the best this semester: Meredith Avant (Communications with PR concentration), Miguel Avila (Economics with innovation focus), and Charles Trowell (Architecture with Urban Studies minor). They’re free agents come May, so check them out and set up interviews soon! Meredith Avant mavant1@uncc.edu My name is Meredith Avant. I am a senior at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, majoring in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. My career goals are to work in entertainment media and PR upon graduation in May. I am very interested in social media, as I see where it can take us in the future as a new outlet for information and networking. I recently returned from a semester abroad at the American University of Rome, where I gained a passion for traveling and studying popular media. My experience abroad was one I will cherish and value. I will take what I learned in Europe and at my home school here in Charlotte and use that to propel me into a career I am excited to take on. I was born and raised in Charlotte, specifically the University area. I moved to south Charlotte during middle and high school, but when I returned to the University area my freshman year I was amazed at how much it had changed in the six years I was gone. I heard about this internship opportunity from a friend at school and when I realized University City Partners had a role in the improvements in this area I knew it...
UCP Annual Report: Mobilizing the New Urban Center

UCP Annual Report: Mobilizing the New Urban Center

2015 has been exceptional for University City and University City Partners, as our fresh-off-the-digital presses “2015 Annual Report” makes clear with exclamation marks! The report chronicles the opening of I-485, rapid progress on the LYNX light-rail line, strong employment growth and much more – and the critical role UCP has played to speed the transformation of Charlotte’s No. 2 employment center into the region’s New Urban Center. University City highlights for 2014-15 include: I-485 – We celebrated the long-awaited I-485 Outer Belt opening through University City, a top priority for UCP Boards since our inception. Light rail – Construction progressed rapidly on our $1.1 billion light-rail line to Center City, on schedule to open in 2017. UCP worked with North Tryon Street businesses dealing with construction concerns and shared frequent construction updates with the public. Business growth – Numerous University Research Park businesses announced major expansions and new hires. Our staff worked closely with businesses and brokers seeking information on possible locations and services, affirming University City as a preferred market for business and new development. Live-work areas – One of the region’s premier developers completed the first phase of Crescent Alexander Village, a mixed-use community within University Research Park. The project’s location was proposed in the URP Area Plan that UCP funded and Charlotte adopted in 2010. Walkable urban center – A vital update to the University City Area Plan won Charlotte City Council approval this spring. UCP funded and promoted the original 2017 area plan, which provides a blueprint for creating a walkable urban community along the North Tryon Street light-rail corridor. The update revises the original...