New uses proposed for the former Jackalope Jacks site in Elizabeth neighborhood

The former Jackalope Jacks site at Seventh Street and Caswell Road, where development has been slow in coming.
The former Jackalope Jacks site at Seventh Street and Caswell Road, where development has been slow in coming.

The former Jackalope Jacks site could get new life as a mixed-use project, after a plan for apartments and retail fell through.

Charlotte developer Crescent Communities held a meeting with the Elizabeth neighborhood Tuesday night, outlining a project that would bring a 4-story office and retail building to the corner of E. 7th Street and N. Caswell Road. The plans call for three levels of office space atop a “pedestrian-scaled shopping street,” the company said in a release.

The parking deck will be open to the public at night and on weekends, Crescent said. The site is across the street from other neighborhood retail, including restaurants like The Stanley and Showmars 7th Street.

“To many of us we feel that that’s the center of Elizabeth, and we’d like something really distinctive there,” community member Clifton Settlemyer said at the meeting.

The 1.7-acre site is owned by Charlotte real estate investment firm Faison Enterprises, which purchased it in 2016 for $5 million, county records show.

After neighbors fought the developer, city council approved a plan in 2016 that would have allowed Faison to build up to 100 apartments and 30,000 square feet of shops and restaurants. That’s far less than the 200 apartments they initially proposed.

Given the design changes, Faison decided that the project wasn’t financially viable, according to Crescent’s press release.

Jackalope Jacks, a popular neighborhood bar and restaurant, moved to its current location on Commonwealth Avenue before the 7th Street building was demolished to make way for the Faison project. The site has been vacant ever since.

The former Jackalope Jacks. Joshua Komer

Crescent filed a rezoning petition for the site in February. City council members still need to approve the plans.

If approved, the company expects to start construction in the second quarter of 2020, and finish in 2022.

Reaction to the proposal was mixed — several community members expressed a desire for the project to better connect with the nearby Independence Park.

Crescent is also developing the Ally Charlotte Center in uptown, as well as the River District, a 1,400-acre mixed-use community west of Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

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