Development

Rents are up Charlotte. One complex would target residents who can’t afford them.

Sign for the never-built Bryant Park Drive, near Wilkinson Boulevard.
Sign for the never-built Bryant Park Drive, near Wilkinson Boulevard. mhames@charlotteobserver.com

A development that’s sat fallow for years just outside of uptown could get a second chance at life on Monday, with Charlotte City Council set to vote on a plan to build apartments on the site.

The planned development is located on Wilkinson Boulevard at Suttle Avenue, on 10 acres. Phoenix-based Alliance Residential is the developer behind the plan, which is targeting a site that’s been vacant since a planned mixed-use development stalled during the recession.

The rezoning plan filed by Alliance would allow up to 350 apartments on the site, currently zoned for industrial use, along with a clubhouse and pool. The apartments would generate about 2,250 vehicle trips per day, according to city staff, who are recommending approval of the development.

Broadstone Bryant Park, as Alliance is calling the development, will aim to have lower rents than many of the high-end apartments that have sprouted up in recent years, where a one-bedroom can top $2,000.

At Broadstone, 75 percent of the apartments would be studios or one-bedrooms, with an average rent of $1,144, about 20 percent would be two-bedrooms going for $1,515 and the rest would be three-bedrooms for $1,685. The prospective tenant, Alliance said, is someone who makes too much for subsidized housing but not enough to afford the new, luxury apartments.

“Our goal is to provide the finest Class A housing stock to this ignored band of the rent spectrum where limited options push residents further from the communities in which they work,” the company said ina community presentation earlier this year. One reason the rents could be cheaper: The plan doesn’t include an expensive-to-build parking deck, and instead relies on surface parking.

If approved, the apartments could break ground in late 2017 or early 2018.

One thing the new apartment buildings won’t have: Ground-floor retail. An Alliance executive explained during a recent community meeting that they had “looked into the possibility of ground-level retail but that the one-way travel barrier on Wilkinson and the lack of pedestrian activity along Wilkinson was prohibitive in attracting viable retail at this site.”

The site is owned by a company affiliated with MPV Properties. Before the 2008 crash and recession, the real estate development firm had planned to build a $250 million mixed-use project on the former Radiator Specialty Co.’s 40 acre site between West Morehead and Wilkinson. The plan called for 1 million square feet of buildings and up 2,000 residences.

The company developed an office building, which was leased first by the Charlotte School of Law and acquired by Mecklenburg County for its land use and environmental services division, paying $16 million in 2015. The rest of the site has sat mostly vacant since then.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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