Development

Civic by Design meeting at First Ward Park on Dec. 8

The fountain area of the new First Ward Park near UNC Charlotte's uptown building on Monday, November 23, 2015. Mecklenburg County will take ownership of the park, developed by Levine Properties, after paying the development company $8 million for the 4-acre facility.
The fountain area of the new First Ward Park near UNC Charlotte's uptown building on Monday, November 23, 2015. Mecklenburg County will take ownership of the park, developed by Levine Properties, after paying the development company $8 million for the 4-acre facility. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Civic by Design, the free bi-monthly urban design and planning forum, is meeting Tuesday at First Ward Park to tour the new park and discuss surrounding developments.

The group will meet at 5:15 at the Levine Museum of the New South on Seventh Street and walk to the park for a 5:30 holiday lighting. Civic by Design, hosted by local architect and planner Tom Low, will then tour the park and meet the design team behind First Ward Park. Parking is available at the Seventh Street garage.

First Ward Park has high hopes riding on it. Levine Properties, the developer and owner of the park site, is planning two hotels, apartments, an office tower and more development around the park. The area has thus far been largely dominated by surface parking lots and has lagged the south side of uptown’s explosive growth.

Here is the full description of the Civic by Design forum:

“One of four major park spaces in downtown Charlotte, this entirely new 4.6 acre park is well connected to Center City, the First Ward Neighborhood and the University of North Carolina Charlotte. The park also benefits from an existing on-site light rail station, restaurants, offices, the First Ward Elementary School, and ImagineON; a children’s library and performing arts center which currently attracts visitation of over 500,000 annually. Shadley Associates, a Massachusetts-based firm, won this invited national competition to design a park to attract visitors from greater Charlotte and beyond. The park design uses granite seat walls and hundreds of native trees and shrubs to frame an open central lawn. The granite walls embody the famous geology of the region and give definition to the parks many garden sub-spaces. There are numerous entrances into the park, a full walking circuit around it, and many paths through it. Park features include two major public fountains, garden structures, public art and an interpretive exhibit of the History of Charlotte. First Ward Park is also the new home of the City’s successful Jazz Concert Series which hosts events with attendances of over 4,000. The park dedication and light up is scheduled for December 8. Please gather with us at the Levine Museum at 5:15PM and walk over to First Ward Park for the 5:30PM Light Up the Park event. We will meet and chat with members of the design team.”

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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