Crescent Communities is spending over $500 million to turn what is currently a dreary stretch of Stonewall into a mecca for pedestrian activity and retail. Looking to break the current spell of Uptown only being alive during working and weekend drinking hours, the first project that will be let loose is the Whole Foods complex.
What is it?
Coming soon to the currently empty plot including the sketchy club and parking lot on the site, at the intersection of Stonewall and Caldwell, is a 47,000 sqft Whole Foods, 440 apartment units, 2 hotels and additional retail. By comparison the Whole Foods in South Park is 42,000 sqft, so this thing is MASSIVE.
Included as part of the Whole Foods, there will be a ‘rooftop’ café that will blend seamlessly into the Light Rail’s Stonewall Station.
The 440 apartment units will be a mix of mid-rise units wrapping the parking garage, and an approximately 200 foot tall tower with the remainder of the units. Now, before you say “Really more apartments?”…Trust me when I say we need this. A constant complain is that Uptown Charlotte has no retail and isn’t very lively outside of business hours and weekends. Well, when you look at cities that generally have all that “stuff”, they also have tons of people living on those areas. We NEED this critical mass of people (plus having a Whole Foods doesn’t hurt) to jumpstart our fledging Uptown retail scene.
As far as the hotels go, not much is known at this time. It is very possible that they may not be built right away, but as part of a second phase (personal speculation). You can see a rendering of one of the hotel buildings in this article. Nice design.
I have heard from a variety of places and sources that one of the hotel brands will be a Cambria Suites. This is not confirmed and could be speculation but I want to get that brand on people’s minds. I will say that I believe it will be the hotel brand closest to the 277 side of the site.
Why do you care?
Uh, cause it’s Whole Foods…duh. But apart from the massive boost Whole Foods will give, we have more hotel rooms (needed if we want to host more national events), more apartments (needed if we want more retail) and true integration with the light rail.
Crescent is being very meticulous when it comes to activating the street and giving a place where all Charlotte residents can come and interact with the projects. Public art, public space and impeccable design will be a big part of these projects and I can’t wait to see them come to fruition.
When can you use it?
Plans have been filed with the city, and I hope to see a ground breaking this year. No timeline has been set yet, but I would guess late 2016 (if they are aggressive) or early-ish 2017 (if Crescent is more modest with their construction timeline).
On a side note, it is also being speculated that a Janet Echelman piece is going to be incorporated into the project. For those not familiar with her work she creates these beautiful pieces of light “fishnet” art that moves with the wind. They’re amazing.
That is all for Part 1. I will continue to cover this project as more information and renderings comes out. Crescent Uptown is one project we will all be following very closely as it is truly a game changer. Speaking of game changers, in Part 2, we will take a preliminary look at Tryon Place (finally), so stay tuned.