Cherry development plan denied; Plaza Midwood estate plans protested

A rendering of the proposed redevelopment as seen from Kings Drive. This is from the rezoning petition by Goode Properties.
A rendering of the proposed redevelopment as seen from Kings Drive. This is from the rezoning petition by Goode Properties. Charlotte

Charlotte City Council took an unusual step and denied plans for a major mixed-use development Monday in the Cherry neighborhood that would have allowed apartments, a hotel, office and retail space at South Kings Drive and Baxter Street.

Neighbors had opposed the rezoning request, made by a company affiliated with Charlotte developer Roy Goode, which they said was too large, too tall and too dense for the area.

Council member Patsy Kinsey, who represents the district, said the proposal was inconsistent with plans for the area.

“Plans are not written in stone, but this is a huge difference,” said Kinsey. She voted against the proposal.

The buildings were taller than called for in the plan, which was adopted in 2012. Part of the proposed parking deck also would have occupied an area recommended for residential use.

Other council members said rapid development means area plans must be adapted more quickly to accommodate changing conditions.

The development plan denied Monday for the nearly 2-acre parcel would have allowed:

▪ A 106-foot-tall building, with a maximum of 275,000 square feet of space.

▪ Up to 300 apartment units and 225 hotel rooms.

▪ A parking deck with up to 7,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

Cherry has been one of the hot spots of gentrification in Charlotte, with an influx of new development pushing out or alienating many longtime residents in the historically black neighborhood.

Dozens of new homes selling for more than $600,000 have been built in the area, which is desirable for its location close to the city center, the Metropolitan, the greenway and other hot neighborhoods. Across Kings Drive, Levine Properties is planning to build a 25-story, combination hotel-and-apartment tower next to the Metropolitan mixed-use center.

VanLandingham Estate plans draw opposition

Also Monday, neighbors continued to speak out against plans to redevelop part of the VanLandingham Estate, a historic property owned by Billy Maddalon.

Maddalon said the property is expensive to maintain and doesn’t turn a profit. He’s seeking a rezoning to allow 19 townhouses on part of the land at the corner of The Plaza and Belvedere Avenue. Maddalon would also lease land along Belvedere to Plaza Midwood for a neighborhood swim club.

“It’s an unsustainable business. It will go away if we don’t change it,” Maddalon said.

The Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association supports the proposal, President Phil Gussman said.

“This is a huge positive step forward,” said Gussman.

But some neighbors worry the plan would bring traffic, especially during special events such as swim meets.

“The townhomes, the pools and the special events ... will no doubt create a situation where the property becomes too busy for its own good,” said Cecil Krimminger, who lives nearby.

City Council will vote on the proposal at a later date.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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