Developer plans to transform University City into urban destination

Developer plans to transform University City into urban destination

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - On Monday, Charlotte City Council approved a rezoning request for a new development that will be called Waters Edge at University Place.

The development will take over a portion of what is currently The Shoppes at University Place along J-W Clay Boulevard in University City.

“This used to be a sleepy, outskirts suburban setting for the city of Charlotte and now it’s coming into it’s own," District 4 City Council Representative Greg Phipps said.

Phipps is on the board of University City Partners, and they are re-imagining this area of Charlotte.

The extension of the Blue Line lightrail is a major catalyst for the area.

According to CATS:

“That train going 107 times a day between University City and Uptown has just created this new energy,” University City Partners Executive Director Darlene Heater said.

Heater is working with developer EB Arrow to capitalize on that energy.

The developer plans to create a 182,000 square foot office space, ground floor retail and 300 units of residential space.

Heater says that’s just the start.

“[We’re] creating a linear park at the water’s edge," she said. "We also worked on creating a plaza that could be used for farmers markets and pop up shops,” Heater said.

It’s all about attracting more people to live here and more businesses to develop here.

“We gonna have TopGolf coming in and the entertainment district not too far from here," Phipps said.

“I noticed there’s a new brewery over there so stuff like that would be good for the area,” UNC Charlotte graduate Erin Powers said.

It could be a breath of fresh air.

“It’s easy for us to get here, it’s an easy drive. You don’t have to get messed up with downtown Charlotte,” shopper Jean Blue said.

The first step will be big box stores like Michaels moving across the street to make room for what’s coming.

“If you think you know University City, I’m telling you right now you don’t know the University City that’s coming," Heater said.

The developer will break ground on the 20-acre project in March of 2020.

They’re also in talks with the University City Regional Library, which they hope will relocate into the ground floor of the office space.

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