Next to First Ward Park and the Blue Line light rail extension, a new parking deck is taking shape and appears to be nearing completion.
Developed by Levine Properties, the biggest property holder in First Ward, the deck will total more than 1,300 parking spaces. UNC Charlotte, which contributed $4.2 million in equity financing, will have permanent use of 300 of those spaces.
A representative of Levine Properties said last week that the company is targeting an October opening for the parking deck. The Blue Line extension is set to start carrying passengers from uptown to UNC Charlotte by March 2018.
The plan is for 264 apartments to wrap the parking deck in a mid-rise building. Levine Properties president Daniel Levine told the Observer earlier this year that he was redesigning the apartment portion of the project, which will include ground-floor retail facing the light rail.
Levine Properties plans to start construction on the First Ward apartments later this summer, as the deck gets closer to completion, the company said last week.
Levine Properties owns almost 20 acres in First Ward, much of it taken up by surface parking. The company plans to partner with more developers and sell off more of its valuable land holdings in uptown. In January, Levine Properties sold 3.5 acres between the Blue Line light rail extension and North College Street to developer Lennar Multifamily for $23 million.
First Ward Park, for which Mecklenburg County paid $8 million, opened in Dec. 2015 on a site Levine Properties owned and developed.