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North Tryon Event Offers A Glimpse Of Neighborhood's Future

Drawing shows the concept for a redevelopment of two blocks along North Tryon Street in Charlotte.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library/DaVinci Development Collaborative
Drawing shows the concept for a redevelopment of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and two blocks along North Tryon Street in Charlotte.

Forces are at work behind the scenes on a series of projects expected to transform the 50-block North Tryon Street area in Uptown Charlotte. Developers, property owners and others involved are offering the public a look at what's to come at a free event Thursday night with food and entertainment.

Redevelopment around North Tryon Street has a lot of momentum, with some projects complete or nearly complete - like the two Skyhouse apartment towers on North Church Street and the Springhill Suites hotel near the Hornets Arena.

Bank of America executive Cathy Bessant chairs the advisory committee overseeing what’s called the "North Tryon Vision Plan."  She said the area will be further transformed by "marquee projects" -- some on vacant lots and others replacing existing buildings.

"The Carolina Theatre and the Intercontinental Hotel there, lots of great upgrades coming to Seventh Street Market," Bessant said. "I could walk you up and down the street, including the library and other collaborators project, which we now call 7th and Tryon." 

Architect's drawing of the planned InterContinental Hotel, above a renovated Carolina Theatre at Sixth and Tryon streets in Charlotte.
Credit Foundation for the Carolinas
Architect's drawing of the planned InterContinental Hotel, above a renovated Carolina Theatre at Sixth and Tryon streets in Charlotte.

The Foundation for the Carolinas is renovating the old Carolina Theatre, at North Tryon and Sixth streets, with plans for a 20-story hotel above.  On Wednesday, the foundation announced it had reached its goal of raising $51.5 million to begin construction.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library and other property owners recently began seeking a developer for two blocks of North Tryon, between Sixth and Eighth streets. Plans call for a new library, offices, shops, and apartments, including units aimed at lower-income residents.

Plans to replace and redevelop the Discovery Place science museum on North Tryon Street and the block behind it - between North Church and North Poplar streets - are still in the early stages.

Other offices, apartments, stores and restaurants are also in the planning stages along North Tryon, and on the blocks surrounding the major uptown street.

"The work that's going on here today is gorgeous," Bessant said. "If you just look at some of the architectural renderings, which you'll see a lot of on the 19th, we have the opportunity to create something very special that people love and feel a part of and that is so gorgeous it's showstopping."

All this development will change the landscape at the north end of Uptown, just as development is changing South Tryon and Stonewall streets at the other end of the city. But there could be one difference - affordable housing.

"Collectively, we've got to ensure that the North Tryon vision plan in its execution has affordable housing at its forefront," Bessant said. "We've got a huge role to play in support of the city and the county objectives on affordable housing, and you can expect that to be a very big focus of our development work."

Bessant said Thursday night's event is supposed to be a public celebration of the neighborhood and a chance for people to see its future.

Event details:

The North Tryon Advisory Committee's neighborhood food and music event runs from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 19, at the Hall Marshall Center, located on 700 N. Tryon St. More information here.

David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.