Shopping centers in the University City area are facing a threat from one of their own. DDR is adding more than 100,000 square feet of retail space to Belgate, luring Hobby Lobby, Marshalls, Old Navy, PetSmart and Ulta from neighboring shopping centers. Those defectors will leave thousands of square feet of empty store space in their wake.
If every step of the process goes as planned, the Lynx Blue Line extension to the UNC-Charlotte could operate as early as 2017. Five years might seem a long ways off, but some property owners and property managers already see dollar signs.
For some in the Charlotte-area construction industry, which has been decimated by the Great Recession, spring has already arrived. The boom isn’t spread across the region. Rather, it can be found in University City, thanks to projects at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and University Research Park.
To University Investments Group, the site at University City Boulevard and Mallard Creek Road would be a good place to build 250 apartments for college students.
But to some nearby businesspeople, it’s a harebrained idea when, they say, there aren’t enough grocery stores and pharmacies nearby to service the people who would live in the apartments. Plus, critics say, the proposed 90-foot-tall tower would not fit in with the area.