Development

Charlotte is taking next step for uptown transit hub. Here’s what it will include.

An artist’s Concept of Graham Street looking south toward BB&T Ballpark and Bank of America Stadium.
An artist’s Concept of Graham Street looking south toward BB&T Ballpark and Bank of America Stadium. Courtesy of City of Charlotte

The city and state are officially searching for a developer to build the Gateway Station, a planned transportation hub that will bring passenger rail service back to uptown.

On Friday, the Charlotte Area Transit System released a request for developers interested in building the station, which would be part of a larger, mixed-use development. CATS started work a year ago on the tracks, signals, bridges and a rail platform.

The request, which seeks information on developers’ qualifications, is a common step government agencies take before asking bidders to submit formal proposals.

The city’s goal is to create a “multimodal” transit station that would consolidate Amtrak service, bus stations, and access to the future light rail and streetcar lines. The 13.9-acre site, near Graham and Fourth streets, is owned by the city and the N.C. Department of Transportation, and valued at around $94.4 million, according to the document.

The document lays out the following requirements for the project:

  • A 12,000-square-foot local and express bus facility
  • A 27,000-square-foot rail station, including an estimated 100 parking spaces
  • A pedestrian connection between the station and the platform
  • A minimum of 40 affordable housing units on the site
  • A multi-use path across the site, with connection to retail and businesses on Graham Street.

City officials hope the project will catalyze growth in the surrounding area, near BB&T Ballpark, which is largely parking lots. Earlier this year, developers broke ground on a nearby 29-story office tower anchored by Pittsburgh-based FNB Corporation, parent company of First National Bank.

The city will contribute between $13 million to $17.5 million to the project, according to the request, and CATS has an additional $6.5 million from a Federal Transit Administration grant that can be used toward the cost of construction of the bus facility.

Developers’ applications are due September 11. Officials are aiming to finalize the development agreement by late summer/early fall of 2020.

The problems that have delayed the Lynx Blue Line extension’s opening for up to seven months are again costing taxpayers. The Charlotte Area Transit System is asking City Council to approve Monday new light rail spending totaling $24.75 million.

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Danielle Chemtob covers economic growth and development for the Observer. She’s a 2018 graduate of the journalism school at UNC-Chapel Hill and a California transplant.
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