Center City 2020 Vision Plan

Center City 2020 Vision Plan Charlotte’s Center City has undergone dramatic growth and change over the past decade. From the development of new cultural venues and educational institutions to beautiful parks, walkable streets, new housing and retail, the evolution of Center City has been remarkable—and it has not happened by chance. These changes have come about through successful planning, collaborative partnerships, and strategic investments from the public and private sectors.The 2020 Vision Plan is a comprehensive strategic plan that provides a “big picture” framework and unifying vision for Center City’s growth and development. The plan is a cooperative effort among the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and Charlotte Center City Partners. It was adopted by Charlotte City Council on September 12, 2011. Click the links below to download by chapter:

  1. Intro
  2. Vision Framework
  3. Transformative Strategies
  4. Focus Areas
  5. Implementation

Appendix A: Community Visioning

Appendix B: Acknowledgements

Download the Executive Summary

Download the full 2020 Vision Plan

Focus Areas

Implementing the Transformative Strategies and moving the vision toward reality will be achieved in part through the physical development and enhancement of specific ”Focus Areas” in Center City. Strategic, well designed projects in key locations will dramatically transform these places and, in turn, catalyze further investment in surrounding areas. Six major Focus Areas are identified in this section. They were selected based on criteria ranging from their capacity to stimulate short-term development to their ability to foster long-term partnering opportunities that will benefit a range of public and private entities. Focus Area strategies consider land uses, infrastructure, adjacent development patterns and programmatic contexts. They also outline important connections and linkages, key development and improvement opportunities, and specific catalyst projects. Importantly, while concentrating on areas with assets to further leverage, they span several different geographies of Center City to ensure a broad distribution of resources, capital and energy.

Stonewall St & I-277

Situated along recently reclaimed land at a prominent gateway to Uptown, the Stonewall/I-277 Focus Area bridges the gap between the core of Uptown and South End. This Focus Area holds great potential to take advantage of its many nearby attractions and flourish as a walkable destination and employment center. While some development is already underway, in coming years the Stonewall/I-277 Focus Area will see dramatic change in the form of new and expanded hospitality destinations, a new Amateur Sports Cluster, a new mixed-use neighborhood, a freeway cap, and other linkages that further connect Uptown with South End. The area will feature a range of urban uses including offices, hospitality, housing, recreation venues, education facilities, parks and shops. Office workers, conference attendees, visitors, students, athletes, families and more will activate the streets and make Stonewall/I-277 an exciting corridor and principal entry into Uptown. With a foundation of significant redevelopment energy already in place along South Tryon Street and in South End, the strategy focuses on the area generally bounded by Stonewall, Brevard and 3rd streets on the north, Little Sugar Creek Greenway on the east, I-277 and Morehead Street on the south, and Tryon and Church streets on the west. Several projects that contribute to economic development include the Charlotte Convention Center expansion, NASCAR Hall of Fame, Westin Hotel and the Levine Center for the Arts. The Focus Area approach builds upon existing assets and future plans—including nearby hospitality-oriented facilities, the burgeoning South End, land uses and design guidelines of the Second Ward Village Plan, the Brevard Street Plan, and future development opportunities along Stonewall—to further establish and enhance direction for the area.

Ballpark Neighborhood

The Ballpark Neighborhood Focus Area in Third Ward will be a place like no other in Charlotte. This vibrant neighborhood will bring together a new AAA baseball
park with nearby existing sports facilities; new sport-related retail shops, restaurants and bars; fun and active park spaces; and a transit station that is on par with the finest facilities in the country.

Historically, baseball stadiums were integrated into the urban fabric and were the centerpiece of walkable neighborhoods. However, ballparks developed over the
last 50 years were usually built on the edge of cities to ensure an abundant supply of parking and inexpensive land. Recent demographic and economic trends have heralded a return of these busy, aff ordable, family friendly facilities to the urban core.

Building on the anticipated construction of Knights Stadium, Romare Bearden Park and the Charlotte Gateway Station—and capitalizing on synergies with Bank of America Stadium—the Ballpark Neighborhood strategy focuses on creating a round-the-clock, activity oriented place. The area will include high-density residential units for people who want to live near the energy of the ballpark. It will be a new employment center with mixed-use Office and commercial development located around the stadiums and the future multi-modal transit station.

The Ballpark Neighborhood Focus Area is generally bounded by Trade Street on the north, the railroad on the west, Church Street on the east, and Stonewall
Street on the south. It builds upon design principles established in the Third Ward Neighborhood Village Plan and establishes further direction for key public improvements.

North Tryon

The North Tryon Focus Area is poised to experience dramatic change in the coming years. Originally identified in the 2010 Vision Plan and strategically located along the northern part of Center City’s premier business corridor, this area has a large amount of redevelopment potential, both within Uptown and along its connection northward to the surrounding neighborhoods.

The North Tryon Focus Area will be a dense mixed use neighborhood with strong linkages that connect Uptown with North End’s newest employment centers. The area will feature a range of urban uses and spaces, including offices, high-tech laboratories, retail, housing, cultural venues, education facilities, parks and retail
shops. With this range of uses will come a diverse mix of people—including researchers, office workers, students, artists and families—that will activate the streets and spaces and make North Tryon one of Center City’s most dynamic areas.

Building upon the energy of the dense development and pedestrian-friendly streetscape of Tryon Street, the North Tryon strategy focuses on the area generally
bounded by Church Street on the north, 9th Street on the west, Brevard Street on the south, and 12th Street on the east. The strategy leverages existing assets and future plans—including UNC Charlotte’s new building, the mixed-use First Ward Village, and future development opportunities at the Hal Marshall site and in North End—while establishing further direction to “stitch together” the elements of this key area.

Charlotte Transportation Center

The world’s great cities have bustling transit stations through which trains, buses, taxis, pedestrians and bicycles all come together in an urban center. Along
with the Gateway Station, a re-envisioned, state-of-theart Charlotte Transportation Center (CTC) can provide this opportunity for Center City.

Located in the heart of Uptown, the transportation center and several adjacent blocks have significant potential to transform the current station and surrounding area. Anchored by the CTC on its intersection with Trade Street, Brevard Street will be a lively mixed-use “stroll district” with dramatic architecture and large destination facilities coupled with housing, Offices, entertainment, plazas and shops along an intimate street setting. Building upon the CTC’s untapped development potential, the area’s numerous transit connections and its close proximity to Charlotte’s most popular destinations, this Focus Area will become a nexus of people working, commuting and playing in Center City.

The Charlotte Transportation Center Focus Area is generally bounded by Trade Street on the north, 3rd Street on the south, the LYNX Blue Line light rail on the west, and Caldwell Street on the east. The strategy for this Focus Area builds upon several nearby assets including Time Warner Cable Arena, EpiCentre, Charlotte Convention Center and NASCAR Hall of Fame. It also considers existing and future projects and plans—such as the redevelopment potential associated with the CTC, recent rehabilitation of several historic properties, and improvements outlined by the Brevard Street Land Use and Urban Design Plan—while establishing further direction to strengthen the region’s transit hub.

West Trade Corridor

Situated just west of the urban core, the West Trade Corridor holds great opportunity to link to the energy of Uptown, develop a unique University-oriented village and create a focal point for the historic Five Points area.

The Focus Area strategy concentrates new uses and improvements along West Trade Street to create a critical mass of activity and economic development opportunities. The corridor will be lined with appropriately-scaled mixed-use development and strong streetscape linkages to the Uptown core. It will be anchored on either end by two of Center City’s premier educational institutions—Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) on the west and Johnson & Wales University (JWU) on the east. It will also include a wide range of urban uses and spaces including retail shops, restaurants, Offices, housing and cultural venues.

Leveraging the resources and capital of the educational institutions, the West Trade Corridor strategy focuses on an area that generally includes the Trade and 5th streets corridors, from Five Points on the west to Gateway Village and the future Gateway Station on the east. To better activate the area and make it more walkable and economically vibrant, the Focus Area approach builds upon expansions at JCSU and JWU, the West End Land Use and Pedscape Plan, the Third Ward Neighborhood Vision Plan, and a planned streetcar line along West Trade Street.

South End

Over the next 10 to 20 years, South End will flourish as the “Creative District of the Carolinas.” It will continue to grow as a dynamic urban neighborhood, enriching the lives of the entire community through its many recreational, historical and commercial offerings.

This Focus Area will continue to be home to a unique shopping experience. Nowhere else in Charlotte can one find a mix of arts, home furnishings, interior and
architectural design firms, and consumer goods shops so well-integrated into residential neighborhoods of single-family homes, townhomes and apartments. South End will be a regional destination, supported by a wide variety of visitor amenities. As the LYNX light rail system continues to expand, the area will become even more accessible. The growing transit network and the roads that accompany it will bring more people to the district.

Recommendations for South End focus on specific areas that build upon the approximately $600 million of investment already made by the public and private
sectors. The Focus Area is bounded by Bland Street to the north, South Tryon Street to the west, Tremont Avenue to the south, and South Boulevard to the east. This section builds upon design principles, concepts and policy articulated in the South End Station Area Plan, adopted in 2005, as well as supportive transit-oriented development zoning policies.