After years of negotiations, a $683 million plan to transform part of uptown took another step forward Tuesday — but there's still a long way for the proposed Brooklyn Village redevelopment to go before construction starts.
Mecklenburg County commissioners voted to approve a master redevelopment agreement for much of Second Ward, with commissioner Pat Cotham voting no.
It's been more than two years since county commissioners selected a partnership led by New York-based Peebles Corp. to redevelop a big swath of the sterile, government building-dominated Second Ward. The plan is to create a new district filled with shops, restaurants, offices, hotels and thousands of residents.
There hasn't been any work on the site since the developers were picked in June 2016, however. Peebles, along with partner Conformity Corp., has been negotiating with the county on the deal's terms since then.
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"We were negotiating it until I walked into the 5 p.m. meeting, and it's done," said Dennis LaCaria, the county staff member leading the project.
The land that will be redeveloped includes the Bob Walton Plaza south of Stonewall Street (across from the Mecklenburg Aquatic Center); the shuttered Board of Education building; and Marshall Park between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Third Street.
Brooklyn was the name of a historically African-American neighborhood in uptown that sat on land now largely occupied by local government buildings and a quiet park. The neighborhood was torn down in the 1960s and '70s as part of the federal "urban renewal" program, displacing more than 1,000 families.
The plan calls for BK Partners (the formal name of the development group) to buy the 17-acre site from the county in three phases, for a total purchase price of $33.7 million.
Ultimately, Brooklyn Village will include at least 1,243 apartments and condominiums (115 of them for lower-income residents), 252,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, 712,400 square feet of office space and 280 hotel rooms. The plans also call for a 1.6-acre park, which will replace the 5.5-acre Marshall Park.
In the first phase, the developers will be required to demolish the former Board of Education building, build more than 531,000 square feet of office space, 395 housing units, 108,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, and a 150-room hotel.
But it's still going to be a long time before the Brooklyn Village development materializes.
A timeline shared with county commissioners on Tuesday showed there could be several years of due diligence and rezoning the land before BK Partners starts construction on the first phase, which would then take three years.