New entertainment venue approved for South End industrial buildings

Charlotte City Council voted to approve a redevelopment that will bring new entertainment and dining options to a set of industrial buildings on the edge of booming South End.

The vote in favor of the plan was unanimous, in spite of misgivings by Charlotte planning staff about the site’s road infrastructure and connectivity.

The 5.1-acre site at Yancey and Old Pineville roads is near popular venues such as Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, Sugar Creek Brewing Company and the Broken Spoke. White Point Properties is seeking to turn the Bowers Fiber facility into about 75,000 square feet of offices, shops and restaurants.

Council member LaWana Mayfield, who represents the area, said she supported the plan because it will bring redevelopment and activity to an area on the fringes of South End’s rapid growth.

“Unfortunately you haven’t seen as much development on the light rail” in that area, Mayfield said after the vote. “Here’s an opportunity to see some development in that area.”

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.

Called Tompkins Hall, that project is set to start construction next year at Parkwood Avenue and 16th Street. Like the South End facility, it’s also near a Blue Line light rail station. White Point and Paces plan to open that project in 2018.

Planning staff didn’t supporting the South End plan because it doesn’t include a recommended street connection from Old Pineville Road through the proposed development. That connection, called for in the non-binding city plan for the area, would help create a dense grid of streets and ease traffic congestion, staff said.

“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.”

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo