And those groups are committed to making the plan a reality, reshaping the north side of uptown into a pedestrian-friendly area with affordable housing and an “urban play” area. (The plan roughly covers the area between 11th, Sixth, Church and Caldwell.)
Seeing the plan become reality will take time, will involve a lot of public and private partnership, and will include getting developers to agree to things they normally don’t like, such as design mandates and affordable housing.
But we think it’s good that some real thought going into how Charlotte continues to grow and develop, and that pedestrians — really, anything other than cars — are a part of the thought process.
Here are five highlights from the plan, from Portillo’s article:
– A new uptown library: The vision plan calls for tearing down the uptown library at North Tryon and Sixth streets, and opening a library branch in a new, mixed-use office and retail building on the site.
– Diagonal pedestrian cut-throughs: Two blocks would be sliced in half diagonally, with new walkways between the Sixth and Tryon and Seventh and College corners, and between the light rail at 9th Street and 10th and College Streets.
– A new “urban play area” on 7th Street: Connecting Discovery Place, ImaginOn and the new First Ward Park, a “play area” running along 7th Street could attract pedestrians. Other cities have opened such “linear parks” with features such as giant chess boards, water splash areas and outdoor ping-pong tables.
– Stricter design standards: Ground-floor retail and other “active uses” could be required for new buildings in the area. Smith said it might take a special zoning district to reach that goal.
– “Extreme mixed-use”: That’s the way consultant Daniel Iacofano described plans for buildings in the area, which will be designed to house everything from below-market apartments to high-tech, light manufacturing and 3D printing.
In other headlines …
– Three Spirits Brewery, which we introduced you to a couple weeks ago, opens to the public Saturday. Charlotte’s brewery scene continues to expand, and we’re OK with this.
– If you’re going to Sunday’s Panthers game against Washington, you may want head to the stadium a little earlier than normal. Security will be heightened for the first home game since the terrorist attacks in Paris.
– Lupie’s Cafe on Monroe Road will be closed for about a week after a driver crashed into the restaurant.
– 5Church will open a Charleston location today in an old church at Market and East Bay streets.