Residents concerned over proposal to add 10-story building near Plaza Midwood

The proposed building would sit on Commonwealth Avenue near The Plaza.
The proposed tower could one day be built on Commonwealth Avenue.
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 7:19 PM EDT|Updated: May. 31, 2023 at 5:25 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Developers are seeking a rezoning change near Plaza Midwood that would potentially put a towering building in the area.

Community members fear it would change the character of Plaza Midwood and the Commonwealth Morningside neighborhoods.

“It’s going to stand out like a sore thumb because everything over here is pretty low and not as high,” Jennifer McGee, who lives in the area, said. “Just make it look more like what Plaza is, which is unique and funky, don’t make it look modern.”

The idea of a 10-story building does not sit well for some people that call Plaza Midwood their home.

“The height that they’re wanting is shocking for this particular place,” Jason Michael, executive director of the Plaza Midwood Merchants Association, said.

Details are limited, but Levine Properties originally proposed a mixed-use 150-foot-tall building on Commonwealth Avenue near The Plaza. After hearing concerns from the community, it reduced the proposed building to 126 feet tall, or about 10 stories.

Along with residential units, the building would also include the Charlotte Fire Department Credit Union, which used to be on the site.

Allen Nelson, the Past President of the Commonwealth Morningside Neighborhood Association said the proposal is out of character with the surrounding community, and according to him, doesn’t fit in with the city’s 2040 plan.

The Commonwealth Morningside Neighborhood Association realizes that taller buildings are coming to the area, but wants them to be built in moderation.

“They could do 80 feet and we might have some neighbors complain, but really we wouldn’t be really justified in complaining about 80 feet,” Nelson said.

There are also concerns the building would price out small businesses in the area and add to the lack of affordable housing in Charlotte.

According to RentCafe, the average rent for an apartment in Plaza Midwood is $1,500 per month.

“To thrive and truly be a community, we need to ensure that’s it’s affordable and accessible to as broad a demographic as possible,” Michael said.

The Charlotte Zoning Committee was scheduled to take up the matter at its meeting Wednesday, but the developer has deferred it to July.

Levine Properties said it is working to get a plan everyone supports and would be beneficial to Plaza Midwood.

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