New town center near Blue Line Extension coming to NoDa.
Amended from Ashley Fahey Staff Writer, Charlotte Business Journal
Tony Kuhn, president of Charlotte-based Flywheel Group, is spearheading the Greenway District, which would redevelop 90 acres from Matheson Avenue to Craighead Road in NoDa into thousands of residential units, retail and office space, and public parks and plazas adjacent to the light-rail buildout and the greenway. Because of its scope, the Greenway District will likely take between five and 10 years to be developed.
But Kuhn is also planning another project just north of the Greenway District that could come to fruition a little earlier — a dense, mixed-use town center with primarily retail and office space off the Lynx Blue Line Sugar Creek Station at 530 and 600 E. Sugar Creek Road.
“It’ll have more office than we’ve seen developed along the light rail on the south end of town,” Kuhn said, adding the site pegged for the town center has good east-west connectivity in addition to being along the Blue Line. New construction on the 8.5-acre site is longer term, Kuhn said, with buildout likely three to four years out. He acknowledged the plan is “ambitious” but said it’s a plan that could work for the area down the road.
The first part of the town center project, ongoing now, will convert a 45,000-square-foot existing warehouse at 600 E. Sugar Creek Road, once home to Source Recycling, into new uses. Kuhn said art galleries, music venues, breweries and co-working operations are the types of users envisioned for that space, called the Station House.
At least one tenant will be finalized in the coming weeks, though Kuhn declined to give specifics. He indicated about 10,000 to 15,000 square feet of that building is already accounted for. Tenants will begin operating at the Station House, at the corner of Sugar Creek Road and Raleigh Street, by the spring, Kuhn said.
RCI Demolition is spearheading demolition efforts at 530 E. Sugar Creek Road, part of the town center site. Chris Urrutia at RCI said some asbestos abatement was needed before demo began but that only took a week or two to complete. Materials from the demolition will be separated, with the metal to be recycled and potentially the brick as well.
The rest of Flywheel’s project, the Greenway District, will commence once discussions with the city about public infrastructure projects, like extending Philemon Avenue, are finished, Kuhn said. The first phase will include multifamily development, two apartment projects by different developers who will each build about 300 “urban garden-style” units, he continued.
Kuhn declined to name those developers but said they are currently going through permitting with the city. Once some residential has been developed, other uses will be built in the Greenway District. The ground floors of the apartment buildings to come up first will have the ability to eventually be converted into live-work units or commercial space, Kuhn said.
“We’ll have space carved out for ground-floor retail in the future as the neighborhood develops,” he said.
Flywheel Group has now rezoned all of its holdings in NoDa to allow transit-oriented development, Kuhn said. The firm has gone through multiple rezonings over the past couple of years to allow TOD mixed-use development on the land, which has largely contained industrial development.