Monday, September 24, 2007

South End Moving Up

In Charlotte, TOD has been sprouting like weeds. It must make the faux libertarians mad that their pet cause isn't getting all the money, and doesn't produce the changes that everyone else wants. Today there was an article in the Observer documenting the growth in the south end of Charlotte:

"There has been an increased interest in South End within the last two years," said Tim Manes, planning coordinator with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission. "We are starting to see more projects in the preliminary design stage, rezoning stage and even formal transit-oriented development approval stage.

"Light rail is definitely one of the major draws for new projects, said Ryan Willis, principal for Boxwood, a realty company that represents the new Park Avenue Plaza project and also has a project in the NoDa arts district north of uptown.Park Avenue Plaza, a four-story condominium building under construction on Park Avenue, will have 39 residential units built around a boutique hotel-style atrium.

It also will have four commercial spaces at street level and a parking garage.The developer was initially interested in that site because CATS planned a light rail stop at Park Avenue, though that stop was eventually deleted from plans, Willis said. There's still a stop at Bland Street, though, about 500 feet north of the property, he said.
And I guess its a bit of a competition between two parts of town.

"In the past two years, what I've seen is that the South End is growing faster than the NoDa area," he said. "It's almost like they're competing for the title of the arts area."

Both NoDa and South End have monthly gallery crawls. Other galleries in the South End include the Charlotte Art League, Elder Gallery, Chasen Galleries, and Hidell Brooks Gallery.

Newell doesn't see the comparison between NoDa and South End. Merrifield Partners markets toward engineers, architects and designers who want to live and work in the same area. NoDa tends to draw artists.

"It's a whole different animal than NoDa. It's just a different market. It's different buildings, more amenities, better transit," he said. "A lot of those things contribute to South End."

That's right, better transit and better access means more development and higher land values. I sure wish they would have built a freeway on that rail line. Instead of an 11 story building, we could have 11 one story buildings. Wouldn't that be swell.

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