Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Center City 2020 Vision Plan Community Workshop

The second Community Workshop for the Center City 2020 Vision Plan will take place tonight, 5:30p at the Charlotte Convention Center.  Free parking is available in The Green garage accessible from College Street.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Michael Barnes Invitation

District 4 Councilmember Michael Barnes, who attended our February meeting, is running for District Attorney.  He has sent this invitation for an April 13th campaign event.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Suspicious Vehicle Alert

Please watch for a black Honda Civic with custom wheels, North Carolina license plate YPF 3275, at times occupied by an african-american male and white/hispanic female.  According to police, the male is wanted by US Marshals, and both are wanted in connection to criminal activity.  They were spotted in a condominium parking garage this morning before hastily exiting.  If you see the vehicle, call 911 immediately.

Top Chef: The Tour Visits Charlotte April 22nd

"NEW YORK, NY – March 17, 2010 – Today, Bravo announced the official third annual kick-off for its highly anticipated and widely successful  'Top Chef: The Tour,' a 21-city tour [that] brings the No. 1 food show on cable to fans and foodies nationwide.  This year’s tour will feature an updated, restaurant-style format with table seating for 64 guests, bringing fans a fuller, more enjoyable culinary experience as they interact with their favorite chef’testants.
Visitors will have the opportunity to meet and greet with 'Top Chef' talent, sample food tastings, receive gourmet cooking tips, [and] get chef’testant autographs. Fans and affiliates will also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of on-site activities, including a Quickfire Challenge.
To sign up for free admission and learn more about 'Top Chef: The Tour,' visit www.bravotv.com/thetour."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wesley Heights Arbor Day Festival

Third Ward residents are invited to join the Wesley Heights Community Association's first-ever Arbor Day Festival on Saturday, April 24th (Rain date is May 1st.).  The event, produced in partnership with Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation, will run from 10a to 2p with pre-festival activities beginning at 8:30a.  Events will include:
  • 5K Run/Walk and Tot Trot (8:30a and 9:30a, respectively)
  • Food & Beverages
  • Student Art Contest
  • Family Amusement and Games
  • “Green” Education and Exhibitions
  • Live Music
  • Prize Giveaways
  • And more!
Participants will gather on the greenway along Litaker Street between Grandin and Walnut, accessible from Third Ward on the South side of Frazier Park.
Thanks to our neighbors in Wesley Heights for their gracious invitation.  See you there!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mexico vs. Iceland Tonight

CCCP press release, emphasis added: "Bank of America Stadium: Wednesday March 24th, 2010 @ 8:00pm: International Soccer Match (Mexico vs. Iceland): a pre-game festival is scheduled to begin at 4:00pm in front of Bank of America stadium on Mint Street. Attendance estimates for the festival are 15 to 20 thousand. The actual match begins at 8:00pm.
According to organizers tailgating should begin hours earlier (possibly as early as 9/10AM). 65,000 tickets were sold as of March 12th and it is expected that the game will be a sell out by the 24th. This is just a notice that traffic during rush hour will most likely be very heavy.
This is an exciting international event…but we want to put commuters on alert for traffic."
Remember that Stadium Parking rules are in effect.  For information on how to get parking passes, see this post.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Meeting Tuesday

A reminder that this Tuesday, March 23rd, we will have our monthly Third Ward meeting at the Doubletree Hotel.  We will host Joe Frey, manager for the City of Charlotte’s West Fourth Street/Johnson & Wales Way project.  The initiative will bring significant pedestrian enhancements to this important corridor within Third Ward.  Various key amenities are expected, including a reduction in travel lanes, improved lighting, and wider sidewalks.
Mr. Frey has commissioned an animated “flythrough,” which will be shared along with the current plans and an open Q&A.  The meeting will start at 6:00p – an hour earlier than usual.  See you there!

Rezoning Follow-up

My thanks go to Mayor Foxx and the City Council for their questions and consideration regarding Third Ward's opposition to rezoning petition 2009-074.  A project that one councilmember described as a "Las Vegas Hotel" is certainly not a fit for the Third Ward neighborhood.
For the Mayor and Council's reference, I have posted a photo album illustrating the low-rise, residential character of the area.  Past posts sharing information with residents (including our letters to the petitioner) are listed here:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Rezoning Petition / Speak Out Tonight

Tonight, representatives of the Third Ward Neighborhood Association and Friends of Fourth Ward will speak to the City Council in opposition to rezoning petition 2009-074.  

The petition seeks to allow the development of three structures of six, twelve, and twenty stories on the site bordering Irwin Avenue Elementary SchoolElmwood-Pinewood Cemetery, and Ray's Splash Planet.  Information on the petition has been posted on third-ward.org, and aerial photographs are on the Facebook page.

The Third Ward board of directors has moved to oppose the petition.  Though numerous reasons have been cited, for the sake of brevity I will share the two primary reasons:
  • First, the proposed development would be far out of scale with existing buildings and residences in the area - including historic bungalows and new townhomes - which do not exceed three stories in height.  The historic nature of the area, including the cemetery, would be threatened by such intense development.
  • Second, the proposal is inconsistent with the Planning Department's area plan, A Third Ward Future.  A Third Ward Future, co-authored by legendary planner (and former neighborhood resident) Warren Burgess, recommends that development in this part of Third Ward be limited to six stories to respect its residential character.
Please feel free to join me and other neighborhood leaders at tonight's public hearing, which will begin at 6:00p at the Government Center.  If you are unable to attend, please consider contacting our elected representatives to notify them of your opposition to rezoning petition 2009-074.  An e-mail list follows for your use:


As always, more information is available on third-ward.org, from me, or other board members.  Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Third Ward Welcomes Fifth Third to Uptown

"Fifth Third Bank announced that it is moving its North Carolina headquarters to 201 North Tryon Street in Uptown Charlotte in June of this year. After the move, the building will be named the 'Fifth Third Center'.
Fifth Third will move 250 employees to the Uptown location and initially occupy over 71,000 square feet. Fifth Third has an option to take more space in the building as the bank continues to grow.
'The state of North Carolina, particularly the Charlotte and Raleigh metro areas, represents one of the most attractive growth areas in the country. We plan to aggressively invest in the resources necessary to significantly expand our North Carolina market share', said Bob James, President and CEO of Fifth Third Bank’s North Carolina Affiliate."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Neighbors for a Safer Charlotte Survey

Please take the time to read and participate in the following:
"Dear Neighbors, As part of a grant from the Foundation For The Carolinas, Neighbors For A Safer Charlotte  is surveying Charlotteans to see how our community feels about crime; the causes and the solutions.  Our goal is to speak as a unified voice to advocate for a safer community for all adults and children.   By participating in this short survey, you can help define the dialogue about how our community responds to crime and what we expect from our criminal justice system.
Please take a moment to complete our survey.  Thank you! - responses will be posted on our site on March 30th.
http://www.surveyshare.com/survey/take/?sid=102974.
All respondent information is confidential and willnot be shared, marketed or sold."

March Meeting


On March 23rd the neighborhood association will host Joe Frey, manager for the City of Charlotte’s West Fourth Street/Johnson & Wales Way project.  The initiative will bring significant pedestrian enhancements to this important corridor within Third Ward, and toward Wesley Heights to the West.  Various key amenities are expected, including a reduction in travel lanes, improved lighting, and wider sidewalks.
Mr. Frey has commissioned an animated “flythrough,” which will be shared along with the current plans and an open Q&A.  The meeting will start at 6:00p – an hour earlier than usual – and will be held at the Doubletree Hotel (map).  See you there!

Monday, March 15, 2010

First Presbyterian Church presents Mozart’s Mass in C Major

"On Sunday, March 21st at the 9:00am and the 11:00am worship services, the Sanctuary Choir and members of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra will present W. A. Mozart’s Mass in C Major, K. 317. All are welcome. For more information contact the church office at 704.332.5123 or on-line at www.firstpres-charlotte.org.  First Presbyterian Church, 200 W. Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New Recycling Carts

The Recycle It! website offers an expanded list of materials the program will accept, and will soon show a map of projected delivery dates for the new recycling carts.  Third Ward is expected to receive the carts in April or May, though utilization of the carts will not begin until July.
Curb It! is a sister program tailored for single-family homes and multifamily complexes under 30 units.  Visit the Curb It! website for yard waste collection or bulky item pickup - or call 311.

Monday, March 8, 2010

"An Episcopal High School for Charlotte"

A steering committee has been formed to pursue a new private Episcopal high school in or near Uptown.  According to the committee's documentation:

  • The school would be located on "8 to 10 acres in close proximity to center city, accessible by public transit."  
  • Its students "will be challenged by a demanding academic program, encouraged to develop leadership skills in and out of the classroom and immersed in values that spur them to engage with the challenges that face our city, nation and world"
  • The school will attract "students and families from across the region to a place of learning that is urban in its setting and orientation and broad-minded and inclusive in its approach to faith studies"
The committee has reached out to center city neighborhood associations in order to gauge interest and support; representatives will visit the Third Ward Neighborhood Association in April.  For more information, see www.charlotteepiscopalhs.org.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Uptown Parks

An update on Romare Bearden Park is expected soon.  In the meantime, planning continues for the emerging First Ward Park. A community update meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 18th, 6:00p at 301 East Ninth Street, Suite 100.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Empty Museum Party

"The Mint Museum of Craft + Design is moving!  Join us before we close the doors of our current location
and celebrate our impending moveMINT down Tryon Street.

This is your last chance to view uptown from the rooftop at MMC+D! Grab a drink at the cash bar, hang out with friends and enjoy the sounds of The Swingin' Richards and jazz by John Alexander. Check out the pottery wheel demonstration, leave your mark on the graffiti wall, enjoy light hors d'oeuvres, and get your picture taken at the interactive photo station.

We hope you can join us as we bid a stylish farewell to our former home!

Friday, March 5, 2010
6 - 10 p.m.
Mint Museum of Craft + Design
220 North Tryon Street
$10 Members & $20 Non-members

To make reservations, contact April Young by phone (704) 337-2034 or e-mail, or for online sales visit the Web site."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Center City Vision Awards / April 29, 2010

The 2010 Center City Vision Awards recognize and celebrate the contributions of individuals, businesses and organizations that have made the Center City a more vibrant urban core.  This year, Charlotte Center City Partners is proud to honor Leon and Sandra Levine with the 2010 Center City Vision Award.

Another exciting part of the evening will be the opportunity to look into the next decade and consider the opportunities and work that lies ahead to meet this potential.  Following hundreds of hours of community input, we are half way through our 2020 Vision Plan study period. Our Plan Consultant, MIG principal, Daniel Iacofano, will provide his look into the future of Center City Charlotte based on his preliminary insights and study of building great downtowns.

Other special guests include Mayor Anthony Foxx and County Commission Chairman Jennifer Roberts.

In addition, we will recognize award winners that have had a major impact on Center City’s on-going transformation and the pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit of our businesses, institutions or retailers who have been key contributors to Center City’s quality of life.

For details on table purchases or ticket sales, contact Mark Williams at (704) 332-2227 or mwilliams@charlottecentercity.org for details.