CATS Picks 2 Firms For Possible Transit Center Redevelopment

Aug 28, 2019

Updated Aug. 29, 2019
Charlotte Area Transit System has picked a partner for a potential redevelopment of the main bus station uptown.  CATS says it will begin discussions soon with a joint venture of Charlotte developer White Point Partners and Texas-based Dart Interests. 

Officials say the joint venture was chosen in part because it can provide an interim site for bus stops on land it owns across East 4th Street from the current Charlotte Transportation Center, or CTC. CATS also cited the group's "design approach and financial standing."

“Our current center city transit center is aging,” CATS CEO John Lewis said in a press release. “We have the opportunity to convert the current CTC into a center of activity that supports current transit customers while meeting the city’s growing transit and development goals.”

3 PROPOSALS

The current bus center was built in 1995. White Point and Dart were among several groups to express interest after another developer, BPR Properties of High Point, approached CATS with an unsolicited proposal to redevelop the bus center. CATS then put out a call for other proposals. 

Besides BPR and White Point/Dart, Charlotte's Crescent Communities also submitted a proposal. 

The project could include a new bus station, offices and shops. CATS says the city's contribution to the proposed development would be the 2.6-acre transit center parcel. The land is valued at about $17 million, according to county land records. 

In return, the developers would grant CATS a long-term license or lease for a new transit center on the site.

“The market came to us with compelling redevelopment proposals at a time when we recognize a future investment in the CTC is on the horizon,” Assistant City Manager Tracy Dodson said in the press release. “Through this competitive proposal process we have found a strong partnership opportunity and are excited to move forward with this development group to determine if we have a viable project.”

2 OPTIONS 

The proposal from White Point and Dart describes two options, as a "starting point," for further discussions. 

One would completely redevelop the current CTC site with a mixed-use development including a new transit center. During construction, the partners would offer their nearby property as a temporary bus station. 

The other would move the transit center over one block onto property the partnership owns or controls on Fourth Street, and an adjacent parcel owned by North Carolina Railroad. The developers would construct a mixed-use development on the current CTC site. 

Neither option includes housing, and especially affordable housing, which the partnership says would not be "economically feasible" on the site. or any housing.

Representatives of various city departments will meet with the joint venture to judge whether the project is feasible. City Council would have to authorize any plan to move forward. 

CATS offered no timetable for construction.