Big changes coming to North Tryon as Levine suspends construction

By  Will Boye, Senior Staff Writer Charlotte Business Journal

As new development materializes along the North Tryon corridor in uptown Charlotte, the city may need to raise its standards.

That’s the message that Michael Smith, CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners, delivered this morning at a Northeastern University panel about urban planning, First Ward and North Tryon. Smith participated in the panel along with Daniel Levine, president of Levine Properties, and Barry Bluestone, a professor at Northeastern and the director of the Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy. Yours truly was the moderator.

Here’s a few highlights:

North Tryon: Smith said the North Tryon Vision Plan, which Charlotte Center City Partners is leading with Foundation for the Carolinas, will be finalized in the first quarter of next year. The plan will offer ideas for how North Tryon’s development, which has lagged development on the south side of uptown, should play out.

One idea that has come up during the process is the creation of a network of “paseos,” or intentional, pedestrian alleyways that would help break up some of the blocks, which are larger than average. Smith said he would support the creation of a new overlay district that would help to raise development standards. Several years ago, he said, some out-of-town developers were wary of investing in South End because they couldn’t predict what might be built next door.

“The pushback from them was, ‘You’ve got to raise the bar,’” he said. “As communities change and grow you have to demand a little bit more. You’ve got to be a little bit more prescriptive and intentional. We’re going to have those kind of conversations about North Tryon Street.”

Read the full article here.

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