Mecklenburg Co. starting negotiations for $33.7 million land sale

A rendering of Brooklyn Village and its park.
A rendering of Brooklyn Village and its park.

Mecklenburg County agreed to sell two high-profile tracts of land uptown to a developer earlier this summer. Now comes the next step: Hammering out a deal.

Mecklenburg County commissioners voted to sell 17 acres of land in Second Ward to development group BK Partners for $33.7 million. The developers have also agreed to fund $23.1 million worth of infrastructure improvements, including a proposed 1.77-acre park

Although the county commission voted this summer to select BK Partners for the redevelopment, they haven’t actually consummated the deal yet. Staff members are negotiating a contract and development agreement, and BK Partners and the county are hosting a series of public meetings to refine the plan.

“We didn't want to start the negotiation process until we were well underway with the community engagement piece,” said Dennis Lacaria, lead county staff member on the deal, at a commission meeting Tuesday. You can follow a schedule of upcoming public meetings about the redevelopment online here.

He said the formal timeline for moving forward in negotiations isn’t set, and exact terms must still be negotiated. BK Partners should soon make a $200,000 deposit to formally start the process.

“We are at the beginning of that process,” said Lacaria. “We’ll go through negotiation of key terms, BK Partners will start their due diligence.”

Womble Carlyle, which represented Mecklenburg in a series of lawsuits challenging the land swaps that eventually established Romare Bearden Park and BB&T Ballpark, is representing the county in negotiations with BK Partners.

The $683 million, 2.3-million square-foot, mixed-use redevelopment is supposed to include 107 affordable apartments in addition to upscale high-rises and condominiums. Construction is expected to take up to a decade.

The name recalls the Brooklyn neighborhood, an African-American enclave on the site demolished in the 1960s and ’70s in the name of urban renewal, displacing more than 1,000 families.

The land now is mostly sterile, occupied by government buildings and often-empty Marshall Park. The parcels that would be sold to BK Partners include Marhsall Park and the former Board of Education building on McDowell Street between Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulev ard and Third Street, and the Bob Walton Plaza building on Stonewall Street.

BK Partners is led by Peebles Corp., Stantec and Charlotte-based Conformity Corp.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo