Spectrum Properties asks Charlotte City Council for more time on Brooklyn Village project

January 31, 2013 10:35 am

Jerry Reese’s recently settled legal battle that long delayed efforts to build a minor-league baseball stadium in uptown has also pushed back plans for Brooklyn Village — a mixed-used development that’s the other piece of the complicated land-swap deal involving the Charlotte Knights’ ballpark.

The series of real estate transactions that opened up property for the ballpark included the transfer of Marshall Park in uptown to Charlotte developer Spectrum Properties, which is working in partnership with MassMutual.

Spectrum was unable to close on the property by the Dec. 1 deadline in the agreement hashed out with the city and Mecklenburg County in 2007 in relation to the land swap. Spectrum’s Jim Dulin asked for a six-month extension, which was approved by City Council Monday night.

Dulin, in a letter to Mecklenburg County General Manager Bobbie Shields, placed the blame on Reese.

“For the majority of the last five years, this last piece was not achievable due to the Jerry Reese Lawsuits,” Dulin wrote. “The county simply could not deliver clean title to the property until these lawsuits were resolved. When they were resolved, we were still in a recessionary environment with negative financial services news filling the newspapers.”

Spectrum says it is still working to raise capital on Brooklyn Village, named after a predominantly black neighborhood in Second Ward that was bulldozed in the 1960s.

City Council gave Spectrum an extension to close until June 1 as part of an arrangement with the county. If the sale does not occur, the property reverts back to city. There was no conversation prior to the vote that passed unanimously.

Under the extension, council will also stipulate that an affordable-housing requirement be extended to cover any sale of the Brooklyn Village project. That provision requires the proposed development contain 30 residential units set-aside for households that earn 30 percent or less of the area’s median income, which is roughly $19,550.

“The Brooklyn Village mixed-use development is a vital project for Center City Charlotte. It includes a list of the elements we have anticipated since it was announced six years ago: a new neighborhood in Uptown with a mix of workforce, market rate and affordable housing, neighborhood retail and a well-designed park for Second Ward at the center incorporating the rich history of Second Ward. We are pleased to see the unavoidable delays behind us and believe the additional time for Spectrum Properties will be a valuable investment in a new Center City gem.”

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