Commission To Vote On Land Swap Involving Parks, Housing Authority

Jan 2, 2018

Mecklenburg County Commissioners could give final approval Wednesday night to a land swap with the Charlotte Housing Authority in the Midtown area. The swap would trigger a complex series of deals that are part of a major redevelopment.

The two parcels of land sit on either side of a Housing Authority apartment building off Baxter Street.  The plan is to swap the little-used 3-acre Baxter Street Park on one side for 2 acres on the other side owned by the Housing Authority.

It's one of nine property exchanges related to a redevelopment proposed by Charlotte developer Pappas Properties to transform the area just outside I-277 south of uptown.

"This land swap is one of the key cornerstones of getting the project completed," said county economic development director Peter Zeiler. 

Pappas's plans include replacing the current Charlotte Regional Realtor Association building off Kenilworth Avenue, and building other offices, shops, apartments and possibly a hotel.  

Zeiler called the broader redevelopment "a pretty impactful project for a neighborhood in uptown Charlotte that is growing fairly rapidly." 

The county plans to expand and improve athletic fields and add a greenway section at Pearl Street Park. This is a 2016 map of the plan.
Credit Mecklenburg County

The Housing Authority land would become part of Pearl Street Park, where the county plans to improve baseball and soccer fields, and add a new greenway connection.  Because the parcels aren't the same size, the Authority also would pay the county $2 million - money that will help pay for park improvements.

The deal would let park and road construction begin. And it could mean more affordable housing, Zeiler said. 

"It's also going to, most importantly, provide an opportunity for Charlotte Housing Authority to take un-buildable land that they currently own and swap it out for land that is more buildable to be able to work on getting more affordable units into the mix in the general neighborhood," Zeiler said.

Pappas also led redevelopment of the old Midtown Square across Kenilworth, now known as the Metropolitan. The developer bought the Realtor Association property in September, and is expected to break ground on the mixed-use project within the next few months.