Development

Hundreds of new apartments, more South End entertainment up for a vote in Charlotte

dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

With 2016 wrapping up, Charlotte City Council is set to consider hundreds of new apartments and a plan to convert old warehouses into a new entertainment complex in South End on Monday at its final rezoning meeting of the year.

The zoning agenda is fairly light, with several big projects seeking deferral to other meetings in the coming months as developers refine their plans. With Charlotte in the midst of a building boom, this has been a busy year for City Council: They’ve received almost twice as many requests to approve new developments as they did in the doldrums following the recession.

154Rezoning petitions filed in 2016

80Rezoning petitions filed in 2010

Here are some of the projects City Council will consider Monday:

▪ Apartments in north Charlotte: Brookline Residential is seeking approval to build up to 235 apartments on 14.2 acres of wooded land on the west side of Reames Road, between Lakeview Road and Auston Crossing Drive. That’s south of Northlake Mall, near Interstate 77. That’s down from the developer’s initial request to build 260 apartments on the site. The developers cut the number of units after planning staff raised concerns about the project’s density.

Despite the reduction, staff are still recommending City Council vote against the plan. “The requested density exceeds what is recommended by the area plan and the proposed multi-family development is out of character with the existing single family residential zoning and uses along Reames Road,” staff wrote in their analysis. The project is scheduled for a vote Monday.

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SouthPoint, a townhouse development in South End under construction.

Reusing old warehouses in South End: Another project that planning staff members have reservations about is also up for a vote. White Point Properties filed a rezoning petition for 5.1 acres at Yancey and Old Pineville roads, seeking to turn the Bowers Fiber facility into about 75,000 square feet of offices, shops and restaurants. That’s near Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, Sugar Creek Brewing Company and the Broken Spoke.

Although White Point hasn’t revealed details for the South End development, the company is involved in a similar project just north of uptown, where they’ve teamed with Atlanta-based Paces Properties to turn a century-old mill into a food court, offices and restaurants.

Planning staff aren’t supporting the plan because it doesn’t include a recommended street connection from Old Pineville Road through the proposed development. “Staff feels that the requested street connection would allow for vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian mobility through an area that is converting existing warehouse uses to an entertainment district,” they wrote in their analysis. “The connection would support the City’s policy goal of increased connectivity and a denser street network in transit station areas.”

▪ More apartments along the Blue Line extension: A boutique apartment development 40 units is planned for a small, 0.7-acre triangular parcel on the west side of North Brevard Street between Faison Avenue and East 33rd Street. Charlotte-based Gateway Communities owns the site, currently owned for industrial use, next to the Yards at NoDa and Highland Mill Lofts apartments.

The proposed building, along the planned light rail trail, would be up to five stories and would include a parking garage. Planning staff are recommending City Council vote in favor of the proposed development. Construction would start in early 2018 if the project is approved.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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