University City

NoDa developer changes building proposal

Sluggish condo sales have convinced a Charlotte developer to instead build apartments in the heart of the North Davidson Street arts district.

The latest plan for MercuryNoDa adds more density than initially drawn for the nearly four-acre site, at 36th and North Davidson streets.

The number of residences proposed for the space behind Neighborhood Theatre has grown from a maximum of 160 units to 260, said Tyler Foster of Mercury NoDa LLC.

Foster said all of the units could be built in one four-story building, but that idea is tentative.

He is setting up meetings with property owners in NoDa and working with the city's planning staff to get input for a design to submit to Charlotte City Council.

"We're collaborating with the neighborhood and the planning staff," he said.

The city council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the site plan change on Jan 17.

The council rezoned the land in 2008 for mixed uses, which includes the existing commercial space occupied by the Neighborhood Theatre and Boudreaux's Cajun Kitchen restaurant.

Foster had proposed building a six-story, 130-condo building.

In 2009, after real estate sales slipped dramatically nationally, Foster decided to start smaller, with 28 units in a three-story building and 16,000 square feet of street-level commercial space.

He planned to pre-sell the condos, but the market just wasn't there even for a small project.

Now Foster is asking the city to accept a plan for a four-story building with up to 65 apartments per acre and off-street parking.

Neighborhood Theatre and the other existing commercial space would remain.

He plans to host meetings with residents and business owners to hear their ideas, which he'll use to come up with a plan that has the community's support.

"We had to make some adjustments," Foster said. "The scale (height) is lower. That's going to be a better fit for the neighborhood."