Big plans afoot around U-City light rail

The McKinney Bros. site near University City, with Tryon Street on the left
The McKinney Bros. site near University City, with Tryon Street on the left

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Carolina States Regional Center’s plans for a 37-acre mixed use development with about 1,000 apartment units around the Lynx Blue Rail extension. Now, a separate group is marketing 60 wooded acres across Tryon Street as another potential major mixed-use site, with retail, apartments, offices and a hotel.

The development would be across Tryon Street from the University City Boulevard light rail station and parking garage. The land (map below) is owned by brothers David and Tim McKinney.

“This is the most unique real estate play in all of Charlotte currently,” said Tim McKinney. They have a website,, set up to market the property, complete with possible site plans.

David McKinney said the intense focus on neighborhoods close to uptown and major apartment develops has caused developers to neglect the University City area.

“I think even some of the developers are a little tunnel-visioned right now,” said McKinney. “(The University area) has been overlooked.”

McKinney said that’s all changing with the light rail extension, which runs right up Tryon Street next to the property. He said the brothers have been receiving a lot of interest in the site, both from local developers and some from out of town.

The land is currently zoned for business, residential and mixed-use. The brothers say it could be rezoned for transit-oriented development - the popular zoning designation that allows denser uses around mass-transit.

David McKinney said they would like to see the developed as one block, but aren’t opposed to subdividing it either.