Two powerhouses in Charlotte development — Crescent Communities and Lincoln Harris — announced two weeks ago that they were moving forward on developing more than 1,300 acres in west Charlotte by the Catawba River.
The companies have now filed official paperwork with the city that sheds light on their plans for Charlotte’s new “River District,” which could one day rival Ballantyne in size and scope.
Here’s what the rezoning plans tell us about this “environmentally sensitive, master planned, mixed-use community, with a variety of office, commercial, civic, residential uses with a coordinated series of open areas.” All images are via the city of Charlotte’s rezoning department.
The overall site plan
The residential districts are along the Catawba, which makes sense from a number of standpoints. If I’m buying a home over there, I’m going to want a waterfront view.
The middle of the property is the “town center,” but one bit of it runs out to the riverfront for what could be green space or what developers promise will be a waterfront gathering place.
The main commercial district will be more inland, adjacent to I-485.
A future extension of West Boulevard is going to be the main route in to the development (like Johnston Road is for Ballantyne).
On the parks and trails
- 110 acres of trees saved on the north part of the property, with a trail leading to the existing Berryhill Nature Preserve.
- A linear park through the middle of the property.
- A Beaver Dam Creek Greenway running through the middle as well.
- Connection to the Berewick Regional Park on the south side.
- The public waterfront space is called the “Catawba River Gateway” at this point. Location TBD.
- Developers have committed to one “wildlife preserve” of 75 acres or more.
- Overall 40 percent of the land area will be open space.
An extended West Boulevard will be a primary east-west corridor, but it will also have park-like elements.
A new Garrison Road and Dixie River Road (north-south) and an apparently unnamed street (east-west) would be better major roads.
Inside the “Town Center”
This would have 1 million+ square feet of office space, 300,000 square feet of retail/restaurant uses, 500 hotel rooms and 1,700 homes mostly along the edges.
Short block lengths will make the area walkable.
A few other notes
- The residential area will be primarily single-family homes (1,700 houses). There are plans for up to 300 apartments — that’s about one standard community.
- The “employment district” will have about 4.5 million square feet of office space, almost exactly the same size as the current Ballantyne Corporate Park.
- The developers commit to working with the city on workforce housing.
What comes next?
More than a dozen different landowners had to sign on to the rezoning petition. There is no public hearing scheduled at this point.
Also keep in mind, this won’t happen fast. Ballantyne was first announced in the early 1990s, and it ascendence is recent. Developers say several times this will happen over a long period of time.