A new segment of road uptown is open, improving access to an upcoming residential, retail and entertainment district developers envision will become the “SoHo of Charlotte.”
Seaboard Street, in Fourth Ward not far from the Brookshire Freeway, used to dead end after curving right over a set of railroad tracks.
The road – extended, widened and redirected – now veers left with four lanes, continuing for about a half-mile before widening to six lanes and connecting with North Graham Street. The old road has been closed.
Charlotte Department of Transportation spokeswoman Linda Durrett said closing the old road will improve safety because it eliminates the need for drivers to cross railroad tracks.
“Anytime cars and trains have the opportunity to cross the same intersection, there is always a safety risk,” she said.
The $3 million Seaboard Street extension makes it easier for drivers to reach Uptown Village, a 70-acre development to include three major parts: Silver Hammer Studios, N.C. Music Factory and a 21-acre residential/office development.
The largest part of Uptown Village is the N.C. Music Factory, a 40-acre complex of “creative” offices, restaurants and bars. Underground dance music club Garden & Gun Club opened there earlier this month.
Noah Lazes, president of developer Ark Group, said the N.C. Music Factory will also include a “boutique” amphitheater capable of seating about 7,000 people. (A full amphitheater typically seats about 20,000.)
The venue is expected to open next spring.
“We call this a city within the city,” Lazes said.
“We hope this will create a regional destination and be a regional draw that adds to the good stuff already going on uptown.”
Ark Group paid for the road extension with the understanding that the city will reimburse about $1.7 million over 10 years by steering 90 percent of the property taxes on the housing and film-studio portions of the complex back to the firm.