Development

City Council OKs plan for apartments that would displace Tommy’s Pub

ddeaton@charlotteobserver.com

The Charlotte City Council voted to approve a rezoning request from DPJ Residential Monday night, which means the building that houses Tommy’s Pub and Backstage Vintage Apparel will be demolished and replaced by a 97-unit apartment complex on the north side of Central Avenue.

On a unanimous voice vote, the City Council rezoned almost 2 acres between Nadina Street and Landis Avenue from a mixed-use and business designation to an entirely mixed-use parcel in Plaza Midwood. Site plans show the apartment units will be split between two buildings, with surface parking. Besides a ground-floor leasing office, there will be up to 4,800 square feet of commercial space.

The Tommy’s Pub rezoning debate sparked a larger discussion about whether the influx of apartments is a blight or a blessing for Charlotte. Some people in the city’s close-in neighborhoods have grown frustrated with the burgeoning infill apartments and say it pushes out local businesses and residents who can’t financially cope with the increased property values. They formed a group, Plaza Midwood Shows Up, to oppose the request.

Developers, on the other hand, say the boom is a natural part of Charlotte’s ongoing growth spurt with tangible benefits such as construction jobs and more housing. The proposed petition had the Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association’s support.

“There was a great deal of sentiment for (Tommy’s Pub), but it was unfortunately not able to be worked out,” said council member Patsy Kinsey. “I think this will be a good development, and hopefully we’ll find another location for Tommy’s Pub.”

Central Avenue is in the midst of a particularly intense apartment building boom, with four complexes and more than 1,000 units planned or under construction.

Other rezonings

Besides approving the DPJ Residential project, the City Council held a hearing on another rezoning near Plaza Midwood and deferred a decision on another until next month:

▪ Council deferred a decision on a proposal from Unique Southern Estates LLC to rezone about four and a half acres of the Vanlandingham Estate at the southeast corner of the Belvedere Avenue and the Plaza intersection until July. That proposal calls for up to 19 single-family homes and a private swim club.

▪ The council heard public comments regarding a rezoning proposal from Robert Drakeford, who wants to build two- and three-story single-family homes on McClintock Road. Neighbors have filed a protest petition seeking to block that request and showed up with signs urging council members to vote against the proposal.

Mobile produce stands

More farmers markets could be in store for Charlotte residents. The Charlotte City Council voted to add the definition of mobile produce stand to the city’s zoning ordinance. Mobile produce stands are now able to get a permit as a periodic retail sales event, which lasts for two weeks and can be renewed up to six times a year. Incorporating the definition allows the stands to operate year round like a farmers market.

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