A new “entertainment district” in University City won approval Tuesday from Charlotte City Council, bringing a major new golf-centered venue near the Blue Line light rail extension’s northern end.
The main tenant, a “golf-related outdoor entertainment” facility, has long been rumored to be Topgolf, which opened its first Charlotte facility last year in Steele Creek. The developers, Arden Group and Cambridge Properties, haven’t confirmed the tenant’s identity, though site plans show what appears to be a Topgolf venue.
“This proposed entertainment district will create a dynamic destination and attraction for University City,” said council member Greg Phipps, who represents the area. He said Tuesday that the site will be occupied by Topgolf. City Council approved the development unanimously.
The 14.2-acre site is off University City Boulevard and Ikea Drive, at the Interstate 85 interchange. Topgolf and another developer, Charter Properties, canceled plans for a golf facility last year at the interchange of Interstate 85 and West Mallard Creek Church Road, after neighbors objected and lobbied City Council over concerns with traffic, noise and light pollution.
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The new site is currently vacant, and it’s near the University City light rail station, opening this year. The developers have said a shuttle service would connect the Topgolf location to the station a bit more than a quarter mile away.
The site was originally planned to be part of an auto mall with five dealerships, which was approved over the objections of people who said that would undermine the area’s pedestrian and transit-friendliness.
The first phase is a small part of the total 56-acre site, and developer Jay Priester said at a prior hearing that a future mixed-use development is planned on the rest of the land, which would draw uptown workers via the light rail.
“Our goal is to create a very pedestrian-friendly redevelopment,” he told City Council in November. “The golf venue has a lot of corporate events. ...Charlotte employees can hop on the light rail uptown and get up here.”