Development

Grubb Properties looks at how to make Park Road area more urban

Six story office building at 4601 Park Road, headquarters of Grubb Properties. Grubb is planning to build a major mixed-use development on the site.
Six story office building at 4601 Park Road, headquarters of Grubb Properties. Grubb is planning to build a major mixed-use development on the site. rlahser@charlotteobserver.com

As part of its plans to build apartments and a mixed-use development on Park Road, Grubb Properties hired Urban Design Associates to help it look at the fast-growing area as a whole.

The question: How to make the area around Park and Woodlawn roads more urban? and appealing?

“The Park Woodlawn neighborhood – like Charlotte itself – is experiencing a period of rapid growth, investment, and economic development,” Urban Design Associates wrote. The city of Charlotte’s Park Woodlawn Area Plan, from 2013, called for creating more open space, greenways, pedestrian and bicycle access, mixed-use development and preservation of existing neighborhoods.

While interviewing residents and tenants, the consultants found many people are happy with the restaurants and bars on Montford, the greenway and trail access and the neighborhood’s central location and interstate access.

But they also saw challenges: It’s hard to walk on or cross Park Road, there’s little Class A office supply and the neighborhood can be overshadowed by nearby SouthPark.

Here are some of the recommendations Urban Design Associates made:

▪ Increase connectivity of streets (there are a lot of cul-de-sacs and suburban design streets in the area). Build future developments in smaller blocks, with access to public streets, rather than as large campuses of buildings on single mega-blocks.

▪ Find “a distinct identity or brand for the neighborhood.” Grubb is collecting ideas online here.

▪ Create as many connections as possible to the Cross Charlotte Trail.

▪ Use striping and signs to help designate where on-street parking is and isn’t allowed.

So, what do you think? What improvements would you like to see around Park Woodlawn? And what do you think it should be named?

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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