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Daniel Levine’s First Ward ‘urban village’ project to kick off in May

FIRST WARD — Prominent Charlotte developer, property-owner and visionary Daniel Levine said Thursday that his dream project — transforming this largely empty quadrant of uptown Charlotte into an “urban village” — will begin construction by May.

When Levine announced in September that he was launching his ambitious public-private project, which could cost up to $700 million and take 15 years to complete, he said he hoped to break ground on Phase 1 in December or January.

But the red tape involved with working with his public partners — the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County — has held up the start date.

“We’re just waiting on the city to do the numbers on the tax increment financing, and doing the documentation,” Levine said. “But in terms of rezoning, we’re already fully entitled.”

The project would transform nine blocks — or 30 acres, about 23 of which belong to Levine and his family. There would be a new park, 1,500 apartments, 1.5 million square feet of offices, 350 hotel rooms, 350,000 square feet of retail, three parking decks and a new set of streets and sidewalks.

Phase 1 would comprise an $11 million county park, road work paid for almost entirely by the city, two parking decks with a total of more than 1,700 spaces and 200 apartments, 50 of which would be more affordable workforce housing.

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