With I-277 having a longtime choke hold on Uptown Charlotte, many developers are looking outside of the city center to expand the urban landscape here. North Tryon seems like the next area poised to boom onto the scene. Charlotte based developer Flywheel Group is doing just that with a new project called Queens Park Commons. They are in the process of transforming six properties totaling around 19 acres.
Flywheel is focusing their efforts along this corridor because it is North of NoDa, and still along the Blue Line light rail connecting Uptown with UNCC. This means that it is an easy commute to Uptown Charlotte, and can be an easy commute to the University as well. There are many major employers in both areas, so being in the middle puts them in the heart of everything.
Many of the current residents of the North Tryon area are used car dealerships and auto repair shops. These industrial uses are necessary, but with so many more residents moving to the area, they are no longer the “highest and best use” of the properties. There are many signs along North Tryon advertising these properties as available, sure to attract investors who can take advantage of tax break programs to take advantage of the “opportunity zone”.
Flywheel Group is focusing on this 19-acre tract and plans to bring residences, retail, restaurants, and green space. They plan to reuse a lot of elements from the original site to keep the project green. This means that elements of the industrial use will be incorporated as part of the design.
There are a few other projects in the area as well including Foundation Supply by Austin developer Artesia. They repurposed a former factory that used to be the home of City North Business Center.
Across the street from the site is NoDa Brewing. They are an anchor of the area and are so popular that they are expanding their tap room and beer garden.
Also in the area, Brooklyn developer Avery Hall is about to start work on a large mixed-use project with a grocery store. This project is planned to be five stories and the grocery store will be great for all of the new residences planned for the area.
Many current residents are concerned about so much development so quickly. They are worried about property values going up and getting priced out of their neighborhoods. To combat that, developers are working on getting community involvement in the planning phases.
Changing the use of many of these properties can be a lengthy process as many of them will require environmental remediation. For instance, as part of the project, there is an old gas station at 2832 N. Tryon. The old gas tanks will have to be removed safely before any construction can begin.
Queens Park Commons will hopefully be aptly named as there is a proposed large park nearby. The hope is that it will rival Central Park in New York City and could be a green anchor for the area and a great destination with light rail stations and supporting businesses.
In addition, the site would connect to the Cross Charlotte Trail. This could make the entire area more pedestrian and bike friendly further supporting the change from industrial use.