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Politics

Ballantyne Project Could Cost Taxpayers $42M. But Does It Have Enough Affordable Housing?

A rendering of the planned "Ballantyne Reimagined" project.
Northwood Office
A rendering of the planned "Ballantyne Reimagined" project.

Two Charlotte City Council members said a planned redevelopment in Ballantyne needs more affordable housing.

The Ballantyne Reimagined plan by Northwood Investors would replace parts of the golf course with a mix of shops, an amphitheater, housing and parks. Phase 1 of the project includes 100 affordable housing units out of 1,000 total units, according to a presentation by Charlotte Economic Director Tracy Dodson at the Monday night council meeting.

"I appreciate the affordable housing units. It's just not enough," said council member Malcolm Graham. "A lot of service workers are going to be working out there and we gotta find a place for them to live."

Dimple Ajmera, council member at-large, agreed. She said she would like to see the number of affordable units increase, "especially considering the public investment we are making in this development."

According to Dodson's presentation, the Ballantyne project could cost taxpayers $42.5 million.

Council member Ed Driggs, whose district includes Ballantyne, said he likes the idea of more affordable housing but said council needs to be realistic about the economics.

"We can't just prescribe, 'You've got to put that many units in there for us,' and expect the developer to absorb the cost," Driggs said. "So, I think the conversation we need to have is about what we would like to see there and how that cost is borne or how it's met."

About $17.5 million of the public money would come from the city’s capital investment plan. Another $25 million would be tied to property tax breaks. Council is expected to vote on rezoning and public financing for the project this spring. 

A public hearing on the Ballantyne plan is scheduled for March 16.