Development

Plans for homes, shops and offices along light rail in Charlotte clear major hurdle

After a decade of planning, Charlotte’s light-rail extension finally opens

Passengers cheered and clapped as Charlotte’s light-rail extension left the UNC Charlotte station at 10 a.m. Friday morning, opening the Lynx Blue line after four years of construction.
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Passengers cheered and clapped as Charlotte’s light-rail extension left the UNC Charlotte station at 10 a.m. Friday morning, opening the Lynx Blue line after four years of construction.

Charlotte’s City Council approved several big developments Monday night, paving the way for homes, retail and offices near light rail.

The projects come two months after the city revamped rules for development near transit centers that cover such things as a building’s design and the open space around it. They also cap building height but give developers “bonus height” in exchange for meeting public goals, like affordable housing or environmental sustainability.

Since the first transit-oriented zoning districts were adopted in 2003, more than 12,000 new housing units, over 3 million square feet of office and commercial space, and more than $2 billion in private investment have been added, according to a city economic analysis.

Here are more details on the projects:

  • The council approved plans to turn the former site of the Metromont concrete plant into a mixed-use development. Developer Dan Wendover, with CapRock LLC, and owner Sugar Creek Ventures LLC hope to build multifamily units, townhomes, retail and potentially office space on the site, which is 18.5 acres. The plans could enliven a largely industrial area north of uptown. Council member Larken Egleston called the development a “poster child” for the new transit-oriented development ordinance.
  • The council OK’d plans for retail and office space in Lower South End, or “LoSo,” the quickly changing area near South End. Developer Beacon Partners has said it will redevelop six single-story buildings behind Scaleybark Station, near the intersection of South Boulevard and Clanton Road. The project is next to Beacon’s planned 15-acre LoSo Station development, which will have apartments, retail, offices and a hotel.
  • The council also approved developer White Point Partners’ new plans for Dilworth Artisan Station, a 110-year-old building in South End. White Point plans to add a food and beverage concept to the ground floor of the building, which is home to dozens of local artists. The property has housed a mattress manufacturer and textile and parachute factories, and during World War II, it was used as a storage facility for soldiers’ cars, according to White Point.
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