The City has selected a developer to discuss the potential for a massive Charlotte Transit Center redevelopment project in the heart of Uptown.
“Our current Center-City transit center is aging,” explained CATS CEO John Lewis. “We have the opportunity to convert the current Charlotte Transit Center (CTC) into a center of activity that supports current transit customers while meeting the City’s growing transit and development goals.”
This 2.5-acre site across the street from the Spectrum Center in Uptown is a prime location for development and valued at more than $20 million.
Currently, the CTC serves as the central hub for our city’s bus system and features 20 bus bays serving 44 routes throughout the city.
It’s in need of an update, which was so apparent to the development community that the City received an unsolicited bid to redevelop the site, thus sparking this entire process. “The market came to us with compelling redevelopment proposals at a time when we recognize a future investment in the CTC is on the horizon,” said Charlotte Assistant City Manager Tracy Dodson.
Zoom out: Uptown Charlotte is completely different than it was when the CTC opened in December 1995 — 26 skyscrapers, two urban parks, 20-mile light rail system, BB&T Ballpark, Bank of America Stadium, Spectrum Center and an endless amount of new bars and restaurants have been added since. This doesn’t even include the nine skyscrapers under construction or the explosion in growth in areas like South End and NoDa.
A joint venture between Charlotte-based White Point Partners and Dallas-based Dart Interests has been selected by the city to discuss re-development of the site.
White Point Partners should certainly be familiar to Charlotteans at this point. They are folks behind major projects such as Optimist Hall, Bowers Fiber (Brewers at Yancey, Chef Alyssa, etc.) and Queen Park Social.
“We are very pleased that CATS has selected our partnership for the redevelopment of the Charlotte Transportation Center,” said Jay Levell, co-founder of White Point. “The opportunity to create a high-density transit-focused development is unparalleled.”
It’s important to note this duo also recently purchased 1.1 acres across Fourth Street for nearly $11 million and is also looking to acquire more adjacent land. This widens their potential scope for the project and gives them the opportunity to house a temporary station while construction is underway (the bus station will remain on the site of whatever future development takes place).
Between the 2.5-acre CTC site, recently purchased 1.1 acres and nearly 2 acres adjacent to the site — the canvas for development is unmatched in Uptown.
It’s way too early for definitive plans, but using their proposal as a guide, expect a massive new office tower, hotel, apartments, urban park and a fancy new transportation terminal.
It’s also important to understand this project will complement the proposed Gateway Station further down Trade. These two major transportation hubs will essentially work together to unite transportation from all over the city into uptown.
This CTC development will be the center point for the LYNX Blue and Gold Lines as well as the critical CATS bus hub — while the Gateway station will be the center point for the proposed LYNX Silver Line (connecting Matthews and the Airport through uptown), the hub for Greyhound busses and Amtrak. In addition, the Gold Line will have a stop here as well so the CTC and Gateway will be connected by public transit.
Next steps: White Point Partners and Dart Interests will now begin the process of discussing feasibility and specifics of the project with the City. If it is determined that the project makes sense, City Council would authorize the project and the City would enter a development agreement. The timing around this is vague and frankly could take a decade.
Although it’s a ways out from becoming a reality, this massive development project provides our city the chance to create a world-class transit hub and a signature development for our urban core. It’s exciting.