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2nd Ward Recommendations

A.  Land Development Strategy:
A goal of the plan is to provide a broad range of residential price points.  Private development should be implemented in concert with public land development.

  • Policies are needed that enable to land to be made available for moderately prices housing.
  • Costs of infrastructure, including parking decks are high and may preclude moderately priced housing.  This could be addressed through a partnership of the public sections to help offset costs.
  • Neighborhood services should be included with housing development.
  • The department process should leverage the significant public land base to enable the development of preferred locations and projects.

Recommendation:
Undertake studies that provide for an evaluation of:

  • The potential of public subsidies targeted for the purpose of enabling workforce housing.
  • Opportunities through which public/private ventures may afford to enable workforce housing.

B.  Creative Financing:
To encourage developers and non-profit organizations to establish processes for attractive financing, as well as creative lending options for homeowners in order to provide opportunities for workforce, affordable and assisted housing.

  • Tax credits, acquisition, development and construction financing with below-market rates and reduced fees, grants, purchase incentives or below-market consumer financing and corporate and civic project underwriting.
  • Similar increments of growth for easier financing.
  • One or no car Location Efficiency Mortgages.
  • Establish a process for attractive financing to encourage developers to provide opportunities for workforce and affordable housing.
  • Assess market potential to promote development.
  • Promote a written implementation plan that addresses phasing and infrastructure requirements.

Recommendation:
Charge the development management entity with the responsibility for evaluating and addressing potential financing opportunities and coordinating discussions with lending institutions, development community and housing authority.

C.  Convention Center Expansion: 
The Convention Center Master plan was prepared prior to the 2010 Center City Vision Plan for a neighborhood to redevelop in Second Ward.  These plans are not inconsistent and need to be reconciled.  Issues include:

  • Convention Center build-out.  Phase I (150,000 sq. ft.) to occupy the block between Brevard Street and Caldwell Street, with Phase II (150,000 sq. ft.) expanding south onto the block between Caldwell Street and into a portion of the current Metro School campus. The construction of the Hilton/Hampton Inn Hotels on that block has compromised the viability of the original Phase II plan.
  • The current Phase I expansion loading area located the corner of 2nd Street and Caldwell Street, opposite proposed mixed use. 
  • Center City 2010 Vision Plan has a bias toward residential neighborhoods in Second Ward.
  • The Second Ward Neighborhood Plan identifies the best opportunity for relocation of Metro School and the proposed high school in area of Phase II expansion.

Recommendation: 
Revise the Convention Center Master plan to limit expansion south of Caldwell Street, enabling a future high school and new Metro School to locate in this area.  Relocate Convention Center service facilities to provide commercial uses on the ground floor at the corner of Caldwell Street and Second Street.

D.  Metro School/Aquatic Center:
The Charlotte Mecklenburg School's plan for Metro School is to maintain the school on the current site.  It has funded investments ($10 million) for expansion and facility renovation.  The school is located at the very center of Second Ward, compromising the ability to achieve a unified neighborhood vision.  Issues include:

  • A significant investment into a school addition and renovation would likely preclude the consideration of a new school and relocation.
  • Center City 2010 Vision of a residential neighborhood in Second Ward is compromised without the Metro School relocation.
  • An examination of costs vs. benefits of renovation versus new school may indicate better investment into new school as existing facilities were not designed for special school populations.
  • Aquatic Center:  expansion potential (limited on Stonewall Street side) vs. long-term vision of Grady Cole complex.  Evaluate the life-cycle economics of the Aquatic Center and the appropriate timeing for construction of a new facility at Grady Cole Center or another site.  Redevelopment plans for Second Ward can adapt to long-range needs identified by Mecklenburg County for the Aquatic Center.
  • An identification of alternative funding sources may help to identify strategies for new/relocated school.

Recommendation: 
Revise the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' Master Plan and identify funding sources for a new, relocated Metro School as part of the overall Second Ward Master Plan.  Place a priority on the new school ro occur early in the neighborhood redevelopment.

 

Also See:
Vision Statement
Project Goals
Project Description
2nd Ward Team
2nd Ward History
2nd Ward Principles
Recommendations

 

 

For more information regarding the Second Ward Plan contact:
Dan Thilo
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department
600 East Fourth Street (8th Floor)
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202
(704)-336-8321