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Plans for lakefront development in University City move forward

A rendering of the Waters Edge at University Place, a development which will include retail, office, apartments and more. City Council approved the plans Monday.
A rendering of the Waters Edge at University Place, a development which will include retail, office, apartments and more. City Council approved the plans Monday.

A plan to transform a mall into a waterfront development in University City moved forward Monday, as the area sees a wave of construction along the light rail.

The Charlotte City Council unanimously approved a rezoning request at its Monday meeting for Waters Edge at University Place, a development on 20 acres along J.W. Clay Boulevard. Developer EB Arrow plans to build a five-story office and civic building with ground-floor retail.

The firm is also partnering with developer Crescent Communities to build Novel University Place, a 308-unit multifamily community. EB Arrow said it will build a 2.5-acre lakefront park and refurbish the 1-mile pedestrian trail that runs along the lake. It did not disclose the cost of the project.

The development is less than half a mile from the J.W. Clay Boulevard light rail station. EB Arrow purchased 19.5 acres of the land on the site for $9.1 million last year, according to property records.

University City Partners has kicked off an effort to plan for a new future, centered around the JW Clay Boulevard light rail station at JW Clay and North Tryon streets. The first leg of the Blue Line, which opened in 2007 running from uptown to so

That has been a flurry of developement in the first year of the $1.2 billion light rail extension from uptown to UNC Charlotte, with some $800 million worth of new projects completed or in progress.

The office building would be one of the first built in University City in over a decade, according to a June press release from EB Arrow.

There is just tremendous momentum for the J.W. Clay Station and for University City,” said Darlene Heater, executive director of University City Partners.

The site is the town center for University City, Heater said. EB Arrow also is in discussions with the University City Regional Library about potentially relocating to the planned office building.

The council approved a rezoning request for the first phase of the project. Future phases could include more residential units, office space or a hotel, EB Arrow said in the release.

Demolition of the existing buildings is set to start in the first quarter of 2020. Michaels, Office Depot and Ross Dress for Less, which are on the site, will likely move to the shopping center on the other side of J.W. Clay Boulevard, which EB Arrow also owns.

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Danielle Chemtob covers economic growth and development for the Observer. She’s a 2018 graduate of the journalism school at UNC-Chapel Hill and a California transplant.
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