Neighbors oppose Cherry mixed-use proposal, which they say is too large

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.

Residents of the Cherry neighborhood asked the Charlotte City Council to turn down a rezoning request for a major mixed-use development just southeast of uptown Monday, saying the main building is too tall for the area.

Some council members said they also have concerns about the height of the development, which would be along Kings Drive across from the Metropolitan development.

“The parking deck is mammoth. The height is an issue,” said Vi Lyles, a Democrat, at a hearing on the rezoning request Monday. The City Council will vote on the proposal at a later meeting.

Master developer Goode Properties and partner Stoney Sellars filed a petition to rezone the almost 2-acre property at the corner of Kings Drive and Baxter Street in August. The mixed-use development could include offices, a maximum of 300 multifamily units, 225 hotel rooms, street-level retail, a large parking deck, and eight single-family attached houses, according to rezoning documents. The tallest building would be 119 feet high and 275,000 square feet.

John Carmichael, a land use attorney representing the developers, said the plan would help make the Midtown area “an urbanized district where people will live, work, play and shop.”

Neighbors gathered enough signatures for a protest petition, which means the plan would need a supermajority of council members to pass when it comes up for a vote. Staff is recommending approval of the petition, which they say is pedestrian-friendly and promotes mixed-use development.

Sylvia Bittle-Patton, speaking on behalf of the Cherry Community Organization, said discussions with Goode had been friendly, but the proposed development was too tall and inconsistent with plans for the area.

“We’ve been very cooperative. But people are taking more, more and more,” said Barbara Rainey, a longtime Cherry resident.

Cherry has been the scene of several contentious rezoning disputes as the area gentrifies. Originally established in the late 1800s as an enclave for African Americans, the neighborhood has drawn extensive development, including new homes starting at over $600,000, and some longtime residents have been displaced.

Also Monday:

▪ City Council approved a petition by Crescent Communities to rezone 7 acres at North Davidson and 36th streets to allow Crescent to build an upscale mixed-use complex that could include a hotel, grocery store and apartment complex.

▪ A massive rezoning for a 194-acre mixed-use development by Lincoln Harris at Providence and Ardrey Kell roads also won approval. The development will replace the former Charlotte Golf Links course, and is across from the Waverly mixed-use development.

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