Council QuickiesNews & Opinion

Council Quickies: Brookhill Village, Budget and Break Point

Monday, June 12, 2023

The new Charlotte City Council stands behind the dais.
Charlotte City Council discussed the FY 2024 budget, Project Break Point and Brookhill Village on Monday night. Pictured: The current Charlotte City Council is sworn in. From left: New rep Marjorie Molina, incumbent Renee Johnson, incumbent Dimple Ajmera, returning rep James ‘Smuggie’ Mitchell, incumbent Braxton Winston, returning rep LaWana Mayfield, Mayor Vi Lyles, new rep Dante Anderson, incumbent Malcolm Graham, incumbent Tariq Bokhari, incumbent Victoria Watlington, and incumbent Ed Driggs. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

Charlotte City Council kept its meeting short and sweet on Monday, unanimously approving the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, hearing an update on Brookhill Village and moving forward with a few other notable projects. 

On the Agenda:

  • Brookhill Village Update
  • Budget Adoption
  • Eastland and Project Break Point Funding
  • Affordable Housing Projects

Brookhill Village

Monday night’s meeting began with Brookhill Village, which hadn’t been discussed by council in over a year. A recommended city/county collaborative investment — $3.5 million each — would help fund extensive renovations at the site and retain housing for 78 currently occupied households.

Griffin Brothers Companies has not yet finalized the development plans for the parts of the property expected to include market-rate, mixed-use development, but city/county investment would ensure that 100 housing units remain affordable/transitional through 2049.

Seventy-eight of the 100 affordable units would be legacy housing for those currently living there, with rents currently averaging $466, and the remaining 22 would be transitional workforce housing run by The Harvest Center.

The city’s piece of the investment would come from ARPA funding.

Budget Adoption

The first order of business on Monday was to adopt the $3.3-billion FY 2024 budget. You can learn more about the details of the budget here

Although there is no property tax increase, the adopted budget does include fee increases for solid waste, storm water, and water services. Increases for the typical customer equate to: Solid Waste ($0.72 monthly increase), Storm Water ($0.43 monthly increase), and Water ($3.10 monthly increase).

“This is going to be the last budget I vote on but it will be the first budget I vote against,” said Braxton Winston. He added that the pay raises for city employees were “nominal” and won’t match inflation. “It’s going to be harder for people to live in this city this year.”

Council approved the budget in a 9-1 vote; Winston was the only dissenter and Ed Driggs was not present at the meeting.

Eastland and Project Break Point Funding

Council voted unanimously to set aside $20 million in funding to go toward whatever development is chosen for the remaining 29 unplanned acres at Eastland Yards

East-side rep Marjorie Molina jokingly raises both hands during the vote. Before the vote, she encouraged residents to take the city’s survey to provide feedback on what should go in the space. 

Council also voted unanimously to approve $65 million in funding to assist with construction costs associated with the Project Break Point campus in The River District.

Charlotte City Council approved $65 million in funding for the Break Point project on Monday. (Rendering courtesy of City of Charlotte)

The funding would come from the hospitality tax levied on hotels and food & beverage, which will have around $260 million left after the $65-million ask for Project Break Point and the $20 million that was set aside for Eastland on Monday, according to the city’s CFO, Teresa Smith.  

Renee Johnson pointed out that it may be smart to change the name of Dixie River Road before it becomes the major thoroughfare that it will be once the River District is finished. Assistant city manager Tracy Dodson said that is already under consideration and Crescent developers seem to be onboard.

Braxton Winston was at a loss for words to describe the potential impact of the development: “I wouldn’t even say this is once in a lifetime, this is more like once in your imagination.”

Affordable Housing Projects

Council approved a lease deal that will clear the way for an affordable housing development at Providence Road West and Ballancroft Parkway in Ballantyne, consisting of 60 rental units.

Council approves an $8M Housing Trust Fund allocation to the developers looking to acquire and renovate the 266-unit Charlotte Woods apartment complex on Scaleybark Road, including creating new long-term rental subsidies for households making 30% of the area median income.

Council also approved the sale of four city-owned lots on Ambassador Street and Columbus Circle for $1 to the West Side Community Land Trust for the development of four affordable, for-sale housing units. Meeting is adjourned.

Council will meet again on June 19 for a zoning meeting.

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