Council QuickiesNews & Opinion

Council Quickies: Brooklyn Coalition Opposes Midtown Development

February 19, 2024

A woman stands at the podium with fellow members of the Brooklyn Coalition speaking into a microphone
Jacqueline Stowe of the Brooklyn Coalition calls on developers to add affordable housing to a proposed development in Midtown.

Charlotte City Council met for its monthly zoning meeting on Monday night

These meetings start with decisions, during which council either approves or denies proposed rezoning petitions, followed by public hearings, which include presentations by developers and a chance for residents to speak in support of or against each petition.

Below is a look at some of the notable decisions and hearings from the meeting.

Zoning Decisions

In its first decision of the night, council unanimously approved a rezoning at the end of The Plaza next to The Julien apartments in Plaza Midwood/Commonwealth to clear the way for up to 175 multi-family residential units and up to 12,000 square feet of commercial, non-residential uses, including a drive-thru location for Charlotte Fire Credit Union.

The building is expected to be 126 feet tall, or about 12 stories, which was reduced from 150 feet as presented in the original petition.

The current adopted Silver Line route will run along the backside of this property and is projected to have a transit station, approximately a quarter-mile away from the site near the intersection of Pecan and Central avenues.

The city said the adjacency to proposed transit infrastructure and the potential for intensification on parcels not directly abutting single-family uses gave credence to the increased density on this parcel. 

The zoning committee recommended that council deny a proposed rezoning that will allow for a 14-unit townhome development on a vacant parcel between Park Road and Wintercrest Lane on Fairview Road due to pedestrian safety concerns, though a Charlotte DOT rep said he does not share those concerns. Council approved the petition.

The zoning committee and city staff were once again split over a Wells Fargo signage petition to add a sign to each side of its building on East Brooklyn Village & South Tryon Street (formerly the Duke Energy Center). 

The new Wells Fargo signs would be a maximum of 1,880 square feet each. For comparison, that’s double the Truist signs, which are 980 square feet.

Council member Malcolm Graham acknowledged that, while the sign is almost double the size of the Truist sign, the lettering will be about the same size because there are more letters in “Wells Fargo” than “Truist.”

Council unanimously approved the petition.

Zoning Hearings

A petition that aims to build a large multi-use development consisting of 35,000 square feet of commercial use, 450 residential units and 150 hotel rooms across from Pearl Street Park in Midtown faced opposition from members of the Brooklyn Coalition, who called on developers to include affordable housing in the project. 

A rendering of the proposed mixed use development in Midtown

Jacqueline Stowe, who grew up in the historically Black neighborhood of Brooklyn, said the people who will be able to live in the luxury rentals included in the development will not look like her or her displaced family. “We were erased like an error.”

Barbara Rainey with the Cherry Community Organization and Brooklyn Coalition said, “We hope that you will choose to be the city council who begins to honor the promises that were made to so many Black families, businesses and schools. Affordable housing must be a part of this plan.”

Learn more: How Redlining, Blockbusting and ‘Urban Renewal’ Victimized a Community

“They’re right, and we all know that they’re right,” council member Renee Johnson said of the community advocates who have spoken. “We all ran on affordable housing so thank you for that reminder.”

While there is no affordable housing included in this specific project, Peter Pappas of Pappas Properties has pointed out his past investments in affordable housing in the area. Pappas is providing a $250,000 contribution to the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund as part of the project.

A massive petition on Clanton Road at I-77 is proposing 760,000 square feet of office uses; 326,651 square feet of commercial uses; 290 hotel rooms; and 1,560 dwelling units on 45.7 acres. If approved, the property is expected to generate 3,835 car trips per day as opposed to the 715 trips it currently generates.

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