Around Town

How developers could be starting a trend of funding B-cycle stations

Friday, Charlotte B-cycle announced a gift it got from Crescent Communities: Its 25th B-station, which was fully funded by Crescent. The cost of such a station is normally $40,000-$50,000, said Dianna Ward, Executive Director of Charlotte B-cycle.

“In the grand scheme of things it’s a very small investment,” she said. “People that are moving to this city are moving here from places where they expect a certain set of amenities and this is one of them.”

This particular B-station has been placed at newly opened luxury-apartment complex Crescent Dilworth at 1351 E. Morehead St., just over the bridge from Midtown Park.

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Why decide to fund a project like B-cycle that is already sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina, Carolinas HealthCare System and others?

Jenny Vallimont, director of stewardship for Crescent Communities, said, “Amenities are all about understanding residents and your market and what they want … We knew that people living here would probably be connected to the bike system.”

Particularly because during the planning phase of bringing a B-station to this spot, Crescent learned that the numbers at nearby Freedom Park’s B-station were the highest of any of Charlotte B-stations.

“We knew that a lot of people were using it around here, so the bicycle just became a pretty integral part of our offerings here,” Vallimont said.

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Other Crescent Dilworth amenities include an indoor/self-serve bicycle repair shop, a one-year membership to B-cycle (worth $65) to encourage residential use, “over-the-top” workout facilities (like an outdoor yoga terrace) and a self-serve pet-grooming station.

Also worth noting is the fact that Crescent Dilworth is just across the street from Carolinas Medical Center Myers Park, so, Vallimont said, “We understand health is a key here, so (we’re) making sure that’s fully integrated.”

This is the first station fully funded by one developer, Ward said. New Bern station was also funded by developers, but by a group — Colonial Reserve, Fountains Southend, Silos South End and the South End Neighborhood Association — about four years ago.

On this theme of on-demand public transportation, Ward said, “It’s an indicator of a progressive city, along with light rail and a good transportation system and good cycling and walking infrastructure.”

What’s next: Crescent Communities also already purchased a B-cycle station for Crescent Stonewall Station, where Whole Foods will be leasing a 47,000-square-foot space, according to Will Boye at Wilbert Public Relations.

“All of our multi-familiy projects we are doing now, really we’re trying to connect them and get people focusing on walkability,” Villamont said. “Or bikeability.”

And two other developmers have caught onto the trend of funding B-stations, Ward said. She shared that Charlotte can expect two incoming B-stations on Central Avenue.

All aboard.

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