Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sneak a peek at uptown plans

Here are some ideas to chew on:
- An "applied innovation corridor" stretching up North Tryon Street from uptown to UNC Charlotte, along the to-be-built light rail line.
- A "culinary corridor" from Johnson & Wales University to Central Piedmont Community College's new culinary building.
- Create a consortium of the higher education institutions in and near uptown, so they can pool their resources with shared facilities. CPCC, Johnson & Wales, Johnson C. Smith University, Queens University of Charlotte, even UNCC with its new uptown presence could all be players. (Sorry, Davidson College, you're just too far away.)
- With the growing numbers of college students, why not build a shared student union uptown?

That last idea came from a focus group for high school and college students.
The others came from Daniel Iacofano, one of the consultants for the ongoing Charlotte center city planning (public workshop tonight at 5:30 at the Convention Center.) I caught up with Iacofano this morning to hear where he and the consultants are headed in their thinking on the Charlotte Center City 2020 Plan.

He talked a lot about the economic underpinnings, and he offered some of the many ideas the California-based consulting group MIG (the I is for Iacofano) are tossing around. He'll talk about some of them tonight at the public workshop.

Cheryl Myers, the Charlotte Center City Partners senior veep of planning and development, said the consultants had gotten 80 ideas from Center City 2020 Plan working groups alone. (Disclosure: Observer publisher Ann Caulkins is a co-chair of the steering committee for the 2020 Plan. She doesn't know that I'm writing this, or what I'm writing. And I have been supportive of having uptown plans since I've been writing opinions for the Observer.)

Iacofano said the I-277 loop is "kind of a noose" around uptown.
I asked, "How do you tame the loop?"
Iacofano: "There's a menu of interventions." They could range from capping it - there are places where that could work - to simply enhancing the connectivity under and over it with better lighting, artwork, and so on. Other possibilities would be to put development closer to the highway, or to put things under the freeway overpasses.

Tonight, expect a lot of attention to the issue of creating "seams" rather than "dividers" between uptown and the neighborhoods that surround it.

21 comments:

Larry said...

How about an indoor amusement park?

Detroit did that!

Oh wait!

UNC'83 said...

And just how do you expect to PAY for this socialist utopia?

Sam said...

Oh Yes, they did this in Boston when Mary was at Haaavvvaaaad.

Another way to waste good hard working taxpayers money.

James said...

How about an underground like Atlanta?

Yak Rider said...

"He talked a lot about the economic underpinnings, and he offered some of the many ideas the California-based consulting group MIG (the I is for Iacofano) are tossing around."
~~~~~~~~~~~

Yea, look at how great that's working out in California. My in-laws are all out there in SoCal and the place is a cesspool.

fred said...

Sam and UNC83, Charlotte Center City Partners is a private nonprofit funded by donations from Uptown property owners and businesses. I've never heard anyone call business groups like the Chamber of Commerce or Charlotte Center City Partners socialist. Ignorance from the ideologues never ceases to amaze me.

Jason said...

Whomever wrote the headline is functionally illiterate.

Please correct 'peak' to 'peek'. One is a mountaintop and one is a quick look.

Brendan said...

As a student at the Charlotte School of Law, I am mildly miffed that you neglected to include us in your list of uptown higher education institutions! We have 400 students out on that former brownfield on the corner of Suttle and Wilkinson.

It'd be nice to have some mass transit out that way too!

James said...

I'm concerned about spending any additional money, except for education and health services.

Bob said...

The amusement park was in Flint, not Detroit.

The other lession from Detroit is that cities which move the majority of their wealth out to the burbs (and negelct to sensibly invest in the core) are destined to fail....

Christopher said...

Brilliant. the one school with any credibility, Davidson, you 'leave' out.

charlotte simply does not have any nationally reputable colleges, period.

Karina said...

Interesting that I277 is referred to as a "noose" when geographical constraints (rivers, mountains, etc) is normally considered a positive aspect to influencing high density development.

Brendan said...

Karina, last I checked, man-made constraints are not "geographical".

And people want to live near rivers and mountains, not 10 lane freeways...

James said...

APRIL FOOLS!!!!!!

Meck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meck said...

Christopher - then why am I in grad school at UNCC with so many Davidson alums in my classes?

BDWHITE0603 said...

"Sam and UNC83, Charlotte Center City Partners is a private nonprofit funded by donations from Uptown property owners and businesses. I've never heard anyone call business groups like the Chamber of Commerce or Charlotte Center City Partners socialist. Ignorance from the ideologues never ceases to amaze me."

Center City Partners is also funded to the tune of over $125,000.00 a year from the county government. I have not seen anything listed in the city budget so I don't know what if anything they contribute.

Mary Newsom said...

Center City Partners is funded through a special property tax assessment. The money passes through the county government, which collects the taxes.
Upon occasion CCCP projects also get some general taxpayer funds, for example the 2020 Plan. CCCP, the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County have all put in some money.
You may not like that use of taxpayer money and think it's an unwise political decision but I can't possibly see how it's socialist.

BDWHITE0603 said...

Center City Partners is funded through a special property tax assessment. The money passes through the county government, which collects the taxes.
"Upon occasion CCCP projects also get some general taxpayer funds, for example the 2020 Plan. CCCP, the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County have all put in some money.
You may not like that use of taxpayer money and think it's an unwise political decision but I can't possibly see how it's socialist."


I don't know if I would considerate it socialist. I was just pointing out to another poster that not all of their funding is through voluntary organizations. I don't think it is a good use of taxpayer money and in these economic times I really don't understand it. But I have no say anymore as I voted with my feet and moved out of Charlotte-Meck.

sflee said...

It's hard to see the letters "CCCP" and not think of Communism, even though it's a different alphabet, and the Soviet Union fell years ago.

consultant said...

Sorry Mary, NCers;

Uptown plans will be put on hold and then forgotten.

Take a look at the Joint Operating Environment Report (JOE) from the military. Pages 28 & 29. They say right up front that a oil crisis is inevitable because demand is going to be greater than supply-by 2012. And, the problem will only get worse.

http://www.jfcom.mil/newslink/storyarchive/2010/pa031510.html

Hopefully they will adjust those uptown plans to include a new prison to house the thousands of people at BOA who conspired to steal billions from investors, home buyers, the govt., widows and children, etc.