Be heard: Town hall meeting on Second Ward project planned for Thursday

Rendering of part of the planned Brooklyn Village redevelopment, including a park.
Rendering of part of the planned Brooklyn Village redevelopment, including a park.

In a decade, Second Ward will be radically reshaped with upscale condos, affordable housing, offices, retail and a small park – if everything goes according to plan.

Mecklenburg County is holding a town hall meeting on Thursday to give the community more details about the ambitious plans. In June, county commissioners picked a partnership led by Peebles Corp. and Conformity Corp. to redevelop the sterile government quarter that was once an African-American neighborhood known as Brooklyn before it was demolished during urban renewal in the 1960s and 70s.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Room 267 at the Government Center uptown. The parcels included in the plan cover 17 acres: The Bob Walton Plaza south of Stonewall Street, across from the Mecklenburg Aquatic Center, and the shuttered Board of Education building and Marshall Park between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Third Street. (If you want to read the detailed, 189-page proposal, click here for a PDF with tons of in-depth information. I’ve posted some of the biggest numbers below.)

The Peebles/Conformity plan for Brooklyn Village, as it’s known, is big, totaling 2.3 million square feet of developed space and $683 million worth of investment over 10 years. But it’s not without criticism. The plan includes 1.77 acres of open space, but it will eliminate the 5.4-acre Marshall Park. Even though concrete-crusted Marshall Park is lightly used, many think the new development should include a larger park on par with First Ward or Romare Bearden parks.

The transformation won’t be quick. BK Partners, the joint venture that’s in charge of the redevelopment, still has to negotiate final terms with the county, a process that could take a year. Construction on the first phase won’t start until early 2019, and building would continue until 2025 under the proposed timeline.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo