Charlotte Housing Authority plans major Cherry redevelopment

Rendering of the 200-unit apartment complex that the Charlotte Housing Authority proposes to build in the Cherry neighborhood.
Rendering of the 200-unit apartment complex that the Charlotte Housing Authority proposes to build in the Cherry neighborhood.

The Charlotte Housing Authority is planning to redevelop a half-dozen properties in the Cherry neighborhood, adding to the changes sweeping across one of Charlotte’s oldest residential areas.

The latest redevelopment will add to the area’s affordable housing instead of displacing residents, CHA chief executive Fulton Meachem said. Plans call for 81 single-family houses and 200 apartments. Residents would be required to earn a certain percentage of the area median income, or be elderly or disabled.

“This is actually what I think is an anti-gentrification strategy,” Meachem said.

The project will replace the Tall Oaks apartments, which Meachem said has “kind of outlived its useful life.” CHA will present the detailed plans to the city’s planning commission next week, Meachem said. Construction could begin by the late 2015, with a two-year timeline for completion.

The $43 million redevelopment would be funded partially with tax credits from the N.C. Housing Finance Agency and partially by private sources, Meachem said. The project could also draw from Charlotte’s housing trust fund.

The plans call for:

▪ Housing units for people making $38,000 or less. These 81 townhouse and detached units would be built on CHA-owned lots along Luther Street, Amherst Place and Baxter Street. Rent is expected to range from $600 to $1,200 a month.

▪ An apartment building with 200 units for people making $38,500 to $77,040, at the corner of Cherry and First streets. Rent for the one- to three-bedroom units is expected to be between $1,000 and $1,950 a month. Target renter groups include law enforcement professionals, and people in the education, health care and service industries.

The 50 families living in the Tall Oaks community now will have priority to move into the new development when it’s completed, Meachem said. CHA would retain ownership of the land.

The redevelopment proposal is the latest change for Cherry, which was started in 1891 as an enclave for black workers, providing them with home rental and ownership opportunities. Situated between affluent Myers Park and what is now the mixed-use Metropolitan complex, the area has drawn developer interest for years.

Other redevelopment currently underway in the area includes a plan to develop an office tower and parking garage that’s awaiting rezoning, as well as a 30-unit infill development on Baxter and Avant streets. Saussy Burbank is also building 43 single-family houses, most with sales prices of more than $500,000, in the neighborhood.

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