Have your say on transit-­oriented development in University City

Share your ideas at Dec. 10 meeting on land uses near our 3 light­rail stations The LYNX Blue Line extension to University City is likely to bring new development to our community once it opens in 2017. What kind of development do we want? City and transit planners invite you to help decide, beginning with a public meeting 4:30-6:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Oasis Shriners Center in University Place. MEETING TO FOCUS ON 3 STATIONS IN UNIVERSITY CITY The meeting will focus on current and future land-use plans around the North Tryon Street transit stations near University City Boulevard, McCullough Drive and JW Clay Boulevard. City staff will also share information about the supporting infrastructure program for the Blue Line Extension. Comments shared by participants at the Dec. 10 meeting could help shape new recommendations for the future land use of properties within the transit station planning areas. For instance, should University City have mid-rise or taller buildings near its stations? How much multifamily development do we want? The meeting may also influence revisions to the overall University City Area Plan, a land-use guide approved in 2007 for the broader business district. NOT ABLE TO ATTEND? People wishing to have a say but not able to attend the Dec. 10 meeting can take part in the process online at www.charlotteplanning.org. You can get additional information by calling 704-336-7433 or emailing bluelineextension@charlottenc.gov. DEC. 5 INFORMATIONAL MEETING The Charlotte Area Transit System staff will give a construction update on the Blue Line Extension at a separate information session, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday at Sugaw Creek Presbyterian Church fellowship hall, 101 W....

Fast growing Yodle comes to URP Cambridge Center

Online ad and marketing company targets small business If you haven’t heard the name Yodle until now, get used to it. One of the fastest growing advertising and marketing companies in the U.S. recently moved its 120-employee Charlotte operation into the Cambridge Corporate Center in University Research Park  and announced plans to quickly grow that number to 250. The NY-based company’s niche: local online marketing for the little guys. Founder Nathaniel Stevens launched Yodle just eight years ago while still in college and managing online marketing for his father’s car dealership in New England. His idea was to use emerging online tools to give small businesses a better way to connect with their potential customers. Today the company has more than 1,100 employees in six offices including New York City and Charlotte and a string of honors for its rapid rise. Among them, Inc. Magazine’s recent ranking of Yodle as the No. 1 job creator in New York State and top job creator nationwide for the advertising and marketing industry. Yodle’s Charlotte office opened in 2007. The company held a ribbon cutting of its new URP offices on Oct. 15. Most of the company’s current employees in Charlotte handle sales and client services, as will most of the new hires here. “Yodle is making this investment in Charlotte because of the availability of strong qualified talent and the friendly economic climate cultivated by the city,” CEO Court Cunningham said in a news release. “We are committed to capitalizing on a significant opportunity in the local online marketing space and our expansion in Charlotte will play a critical role in...

Run like Rudolph through the University Research Park

Fun 5K/10K on Saturday will benefit Brain Tumor Fund for the Carolinas You can win three ways at the inaugural Run Run Rudolph 5K/10K race this Saturday in University Research Park: Finish first in either race OR win the crowd’s loudest applause as “best seasonally dressed” male or female runner. Win or lose, you’ll help a great cause, the Brain Tumor Fund For the Carolinas. The event is the brainchild of Neal Boyd, who organizes many bike and running races around the Carolinas. “It’s just a fun way of keeping people active around the holidays and raising money for a good cause,” Neal says. The good cause – the Brain Tumor Fund for the Carolinas – is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of the impact of brain tumors and to providing support for the development of treatment strategies and cooperative biomedical research related to brain tumors in the Charlotte region. This weekend’s race fun includes the costume competition, with the winners receiving a $50 gift certificate from University City’s Run For Your Life store at the Arbors. Hang around after the race to enjoy hot chocolate with friends and family. There will also be vendors, festive music and the awards ceremony. Everyone who pre-registers will get a long-sleeve race T-shirt. Some shirts will also be available on a first-come first-served basis if you register on Saturday morning. Free candy canes to all finishers, too! Helping stage the event are Run For Your Life and presenting sponsor Peak 10, which is providing the event staging area at its facility at 10101 David Taylor Drive. Neal says the...

2012 Review: Big gains for transportation network

As the region’s second largest employment hub and one of its fastest growing areas, University City merits a full complement of transportation options. Luckily, announcements, plans and project completions in 2012 are paving the way for even greater accessibility. Better yet, they include not just transit and roads but also bike lanes, sidewalks and greenways. PLENTY OF GOOD NEWS FOR BLUE LINE EXTENSION There was a steady stream of good news about the Blue Line Extension (BLE), making way for an early 2017 opening. The state funding agreement, a 50- year lease with North Carolina Railroad and Norfolk Southern and approval of engineering documents were announced in quick succession. In mid October, the official nod came from the Federal Transit Administration that the rail line to University City had received their coveted Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA). That sets in motion moving utilities, acquiring land and designing the two parking decks along North Tryon. Construction will bring changes and some pain. For example, the current home to Panda Express and Nona’s Sweets will be demolished and the future rail bridge over Harris Blvd. caused McDonald’s to put a top hat on their location so it could be seen. Along the existing LYNX line that opened five years ago, a host of additional new projects are just now being built, so changes will probably arrive at a similar pace in University City. I-485 COMPLETION BY LATE 2014 The announcement concerning the rail extension onto UNC Charlotte’s campus was the biggest transportation story but by no means the only one. University City’s missing piece in the I-485 beltway between I-85 and...

Innovation Park grows and, well, innovates

Nothing ever stays the same here at Innovation Park. It’s been our home now for 15 months and we are constantly basking in the changes. As we prepare to move into another wing, we want to give you an update, especially since so many people have worked in the former IBM site over the years. AMENITY PACKAGE MAY SURPRISE YOU BECO and their team have cracked the code on how to create a place you love to work in. The amenity package here is unique for multi-tenant properties – and it keeps evolving. A gym that includes not just state of the art equipment with access to the top-notch instructors from the University YMCA is just down the hall from our current office. Blue Bikes are scattered around the campus to be checked out. Every other week we get fresh flowers and chocolates. Got an electric car? Plug it up. Dry cleaners, car detailer, a seasonal farmer’s market, food trucks and now a new bistro and 3500 of the friendliest folks are all bonus features. LOOK WHO’S COMING AND WHO’S GROWING No wonder AXA Equitable is coming here and Wells Fargo expanded its lease so they will take an entire wing including our former office space. While moving is never fun (check with us on the 30th), it offered two great opportunities. First we get a redo, a chance to fix a few things we would have done differently – like buying a conference table before we sized that room. Second, we will be adjacent to a new suite of meeting spaces from a large area that will accommodate...