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Charlotte City Council Committees Discuss Density, Adaptive Reuse Incentives

Yesterday was "First Monday," the day when Charlotte City Council holds its four regular committee meetings.  After all the discussions, they gather together in the evening to give the Council a full review and discuss any other pertinent matters.  Here are some highlights:

Transportation, Planning, & Development
 
Planning Director Alyson Craig provided a presentation containing a staff recommendation in response to a referral made by the City Council earlier last year. It's important to note that the Council adopted the 2040 Comprehensive Plan in 2021 which called for broader allowance of higher-density dwellings throughout the city.  The adoption of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) followed in 2022 and permitted the development of duplexes and triplexes in single-family neighborhoods.  After complaints from some neighborhood groups, who seem to have been deemed by the leadership as having the most influence on a plan already debated by experts, the Council directed staff to develop proposals aimed at slowing and potentially repealing these provisions.  Further discussions will take place at the next two UDO Advisory Committee meetings to be held next week and the week after.

Jobs & Economic Development

Economic Development Director Tracy Dodson provided a presentation on a potential pilot project involving the proposed conversion of one or more buildings in Uptown.  Staff will have additional discussions and come back to the Council with a menu of incentive options that may include tax increment financing, tax increment grants, and other similar related tools.

New Podcast Released! - Douglas Welton, Chair of the Charlotte/Mecklenburg Planning Commission

Originally published on January 30, 2024, by the Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition.

Thinking outside the box doesn’t aptly describe the way Douglas Welton, Chair of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Commission, approaches the idea of change. For him, he doesn’t even see a box.  He sees an open landscape of ideas, opinions, and solutions just waiting to be deconstructed and rebuilt into something new. 

After a fun lighting round that opened some entertaining personal dialog, this episode went deep into the issues Charlotte faces today.  With growth at the forefront, and policymakers searching for the best way to stay ahead of future problems, Douglas believes it will take more than just following old ideas to move us forward. It will take trust between policymakers and developers, and an atmosphere where everyone is free to ask, “why can't we do this a different way?”  

Listen Now

NAIOP Charlotte Elects 2024 Board of Directors at 2023 Annual Meeting

NAIOP Charlotte, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, held its 2023 Annual Meeting: What the Future Holds on Tuesday, December 5, 2023, at The Terrace at Cedar Hill, where we elected the 2024 Board of Directors. 

We awarded the 2023 Award of Excellence to Dale Stewart, PE, partner at LandDesign. Dale gives time and energy to NAIOP Charlotte and humbly serves others in the community without concern for recognition or compensation. He champions the commercial real estate industry on a national, state, and/or local level and passionately seeks to be a change agent, even in the face of diversity. 

­The meeting concluded with insights from The Differentiators’ Jim Blaine as he provided a pulse on what’s going on at the federal, state, and local landscape levels and the potential impacts in North Carolina and Charlotte. 

2024 Board of Directors

President - Dan Melvin, LandDesign
President-Elect - Sagar Rathie, Crescent Communities
Secretary - Nick Matus, Bank of America
Treasurer - Bobbi Jo Lazarus, Elliott Davis
Immediate Past President - Steve McClure, The Spectrum Companies
Past President - Welch Liles, Asana Partners
*For a full list of the 2024 NAIOP Board of Directors, visit http://www.naiopclt.org/board-of-directors.









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Charlotte Douglas International Airport is a Huge Economic Driver!

 

Charlotte Douglas International Airport is bracedfor the impact of more than 900,000 travelers over Thanksgiving.  To put that into context, it's nearly the population of the entire City of Charlotte.  Here are a few more interesting facts:

  • Terminal opened May 2, 1982
  • 118,000 daily passengers
  • 21,000 parking spaces
  • 6,000 acres of land
  • 2022 stats - 47,758,605 passengers, 505,589 arrivals & departures, 207,608 tons of cargo
  • 179 nonstop destinations
  • 36 international destinations

For an interesting discussion about the airport as well as the activities of American Airlines, please take a few minutes to listen to the REBIC podcast with Tracy Montross, Regional Director of Government Affairs for American Airlines.  

Listen Now

Capital Markets: Can’t We All Just Get a Loan?

Originally published on October 23, 2023, by Pamela Jew for NAIOP.

High interest rates combined with persistent inflation have created the toughest commercial real estate financing environment since the Global Financial Crisis. Post-pandemic vacancies in commercial real estate and shifts to digital retail and work have added more considerations for prospective buyers and sellers.

At NAIOP’s CRE.Converge conference this week, experts discussed the current landscape of commercial real estate loans throughout different sectors, such as multifamily, retail and office spaces. Edward Griffin, CEO, Griffin Partners, Inc., moderated a conversation with Keith Honig, senior managing director and head of commercial mortgage Lending, Pacific Life Insurance Company; and Al Pontius, national director, office & industrial division, Marcus & Millichap. 

To help illustrate the data, the speakers came equipped with charts to visualize the data from the past few years and the trends across industries and companies. 

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Community Area Planning

Community Area Plans provide community-level guidance for the built environment including land use, design, transportation, and open space within the city's 14 sub-geographies.

These plans complement the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan and are an important part of the city’s planning framework which ensures all planning efforts are aligned and aimed at implementing Charlotte’s vision for the future.

Process Overview

The Community Area Planning process includes five phases. The first four phases are scheduled to be completed from 2023 – 2024.

  • Phase 1, Setting the Stage, identified each community’s greatest needs to ensure expected growth benefits everyone. The results of Phase 1 are available in the Community Reports.
  • Phase 2, Creating Great Places, is underway. This phase will ensure future development supports each community’s priorities by reviewing and refining the Place Type designations within the Charlotte Future 2040 Policy Map. Learn more about sharing your voice in Phase 2 below!
  • Phase 3, Supporting the Vision, is scheduled to begin next Spring. Stakeholders will help identify infrastructure projects and supportive programs needed to realize the community’s vision. Be on the look out for information about virtual and in-person workshops beginning in April and ending in June. 
  • Phase 4, Planning for Action, will begin in the Fall 2024. Staff will develop a strategy for putting the plan’s recommendations into action. 
  • Phase 5, Review & Adoption, is scheduled to begin in 2025. 
Learn more about Community Area Planning

 

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CRCBR 30th Anniversary Celebration

Cheers to 30 Years!
October 26 | 3:30pm-5:30pm | Goldie’s

Get ready to celebrate with industry leaders! Celebrate CRCBR’s 30th year as one of the largest and most successful regional commercial real estate associations in the United States! We are serving great food, drinks, games, and live entertainment, with chances to win incredible door prizes. Band and festivities begin at 3:30pm. This event is open to members and non-members.

Registration and Sponsorships

Event registration is open. Congratulate CRCBR or unleash business development opportunities with an event sponsorship! Questions, please email [email protected] 

Register Here

RECAP: Candidate Forum: Primary Election for Charlotte City Council

Last week, members of Charlotte’s real estate community spoke with several Charlotte City Council candidates to learn more about their views and how they see the future of Charlotte. Thank you to our event sponsors: Canopy Realtor® AssociationCharlotte Region Commercial Board of REALTORS®NAIOP CharlotteHome Builders Association of Greater Charlotte, Inc. and the Real Estate & Building Industry Coalition (REBIC).

As a reminder, primary elections are on Tuesday, September 12.

Photo Album

Have We Forgotten What Leadership Looks Like?

Originally published on July 21, 2023, by Rob Nanfelt for REBIC.

Have We Forgotten What Leadership Looks Like? Let’s Show We Remember, This November.

It’s official. Candidate filing for the 2023 municipal elections in North Carolina has come to an end. I wish I had better news, but it looks like we will still have to choose from some of the same old tired leadership. Sure, there are bright spots but I’m wondering why we’re okay to keep electing people who are ill suited for the job. You’ll know what I mean as you read on.

We all know that many highly accomplished people, who could be good candidates, are busy doing other things. They are not drawn to public service, and we are not reaching out and recruiting them. There are the exceptions like Charlotte City Councilman Ed Driggs who retired years ago but has found a valuable niche serving the community. But he won’t be doing this forever so new leaders need to be identified, encouraged, supported, and promoted. And we need to start that process, now.

There are those that run because they see elected office as a stepping stone to other, bigger things. And some of them probably don’t care what happens to you after they leave. Although some of today’s solid elected officials started service at the local level and moved up, it was mainly because having already proved themselves leading school boards and cities, they simply wanted to test their mettle by doing other things. Beware of those seeking higher office just for the sake of going higher.

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CLT UDO Change Request Form Introduced: Use it and Become Part of the Solution

Originally published on July 20, 2023, by Rob Nanfelt for REBIC.

Charlotte's Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) has been in place for nearly two months.  As was anticipated, we are seeing challenges in the field due to some of the new requirements.  Similarly, language changes have resulted in a lack of clarity and constrained flexibility.  Each of you have an opportunity to play a direct role in assisting us in obtaining some of the necessary changes.  Take advantage of it!

In collaboration with, and at the request of City Staff, REBIC members have developed a UDO Change Request Form to assist Staff and Members of Council with reviewing suggested changes to the ordinance.  Specific examples and recommended language changes submitted along with justification for the requested amendments should result in a more efficient process for obtaining clarity where necessary, and to accelerate the process of administrative as well as legislative relief. 

Complete the Form

Forms should be sent to Laura Harmon with the City of Charlotte Planning Department at [email protected], with carbon copies to [email protected][email protected], and [email protected].

My take:  I don't know how more directly to say this - if we want to fix the problems, in a timely manner, we need to demonstrate the need and reason for those changes.  This tool also provides another layer of accountability and buttresses our needs case to adopt amendments, as rapidly as possible.  When we entered into his new era of the 2040 Plan and UDO, it was frequently mentioned by Members of the Council and Planning Staff that modifications would be necessary and would be considered on an ongoing basis.  This tool will assist in tracking our progress and obtaining a more positive outcome.  Please share this within your network so it may be utilized broadly.  

You want to build WHAT in my neighborhood?

You want to build WHAT in my neighborhood? - Council Member James Mitchell, Jr. will host a town hall to discuss various planning and development topics including UDO implementation on June 1, Community Area Planning, understanding the blue "Z" rezoning sign, and community benefits. 

Thursday, June 29, 2023 | 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center
Chamber and Room 267
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center
600 E. Fourth St.
Charlotte, NC, 28202

RSVP to Jocella Palmer

CLT Planning Department Launches 2040 Planning Academy

CLT Planning Department Launches 2040 Planning Academy - 2040 Planning Academy is a FREE educational program for those interested in learning more about the role planning plays in building communities.  The goals of the program are to EDUCATE, EMPOWER & UNITE residents so they can effectively engage in planning efforts across the city.  This year’s program will be different than previous years. The program will be FULLY VIRTUAL, FREE, & OPEN TO ALL!  The program schedule includes:
  • June 13 - History of Planning in Charlotte
  • June 27 - Comprehensive Plan & Unified Development Ordinance
  • July 11 - Mobility & Transportation
  • July 25 - Urban Design & Preservation
Click here for more information
& to register for sessions

CLT Land Development Streamlining Submittal Process

We're back with our popular "Two for Tuesday PLUS" edition providing education for you about relevant issues.  Here's our list of things YOU should know about:

  • CLT Land Development Streamlining Submittal Process - In conjunction with the implementation of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), the department is enhancing the application submittal process.  Some highlights include:
    • Accela Citizen Access (ACA) will be reduced to 9 record types from 70.
    • ACA will now be accepting UDO Administration Applications for Pre-submittal meetings, Appeals, Variances, and Interpretations.
    • Fees will be invoiced after all records are assessed in a gateway.  For fee estimation, a link on the application will go to the User Fee Section on the CLT Development Center website.
    • Charging to the Mecklenburg County account option will be eliminated due to payment options now offered by the CLT Development Center - conventional check, credit card payment, and e-checks.
    • NCDOT will be reviewing Plats and Traffic Impact Study records in Accela.  Staff is working with NCDOT to streamline the Commercial review process.

PLEASE NOTE:  The City’ s submittal portal Accela Citizen Access (ACA) will be “under construction” on Thursday, June 1st thru Sunday, June 4th.  ACA will re-open on Monday, June 5th.  CLT Development Center

Rob Nanfelt, Executive Director of REBIC, take:  Anything that can be done to smooth out the process and provide more certainty is a positive.  We appreciate staff taking the initiative on this.  The additional reviews that will come with the new stormwater and tree requirements will be where some delays are inevitable - probably as much as 5 to 7 business days.  It will take some time to get this right.

Charlotte Water to begin permitting and sanitary sewer allocations within WSACC Service Area

Charlotte Water to begin permitting and sanitary sewer allocations within WSACC Service Area - Charlotte Water will begin permitting projects within the Water & Sewer Authority of Cabarrus County (WSACC) Service Area on June 12th, 2023. Please refer to the Charlotte Water website for relevant information.  If you have questions, please reach out to Keri Cantrell or Nicholas Stanziale.  Other staff are working to prepare administrative needs for the projects under review for the June 12th release date.  As such, it is important to direct your inquiries to Keri or Nick.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Stormwater Services is currently in the process of revising the BMP (Best Management Practices) Design Manual

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Stormwater Services is currently in the process of revising the BMP (Best Management Practices) Design Manual- As part of this process, the new Stormwater Control Measure (SCM) Design Manual is open to public comment for a period of 30 days.  A summary and the revised chapters can be found at:  Stormwater Control Measure (SCM) Design Manual​ – City of Charlotte (charlottenc.gov).  Please contact Gurveer Uppal by close of business TOMORROW, May 31, 2023 with any comments or questions.

CLT Council Committees Meet Next Monday

CLT Council Committees Meet Next Monday - On June 5th, Charlotte City Council Committees will meet as they always do on the first Monday of each month.  Next week's meetings will be of particular interest as the next wave of UDO text amendments will likely be discussed in the Transportation, Planning, & Development Committee.  A final resolution on the Eastland Project may also be in the offing in the Economic Development Committee.  

Check this link later in the week to view the agendas.

Learn More About the Global Impact of CLT and American Airlines as you listen to Tracy Montross, Regional Director of Government Affairs for American Airlines

While interviewing Tracy Montross, we discovered some amazing facts about her, and the impact this pivotal airport and airline has on the health of our entire region.  For instance, did you know that at one point during the pandemic, our own Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) was the busiest terminal in the world?  It’s a testament to the airline that has helped put us on the world map in terms of attracting, maintaining, and growing business opportunities around the greater Piedmont region.

Charlotte, (or CLT which represents 5% of the entire GDP for the state of North Carolina) is fortunate to serve as America’s second-largest hub, connecting us to the world with an average of 560 daily flights, more than 170 destinations, and 23 countries, serving more than 42 million travelers in 2022.  Its regional impact on our economy, huge employment figures, and the way it supports our ability to attract world businesses; this is truly a subject REBIC wants you to know about!

Listen to this very entertaining podcast, here.

Community Area Planning (CAP) Spring Workshops Are Underway!

Community Area Planning (CAP) started its spring workshops on March 28th with the West Middle geography. Workshops will be held in 14 geographies throughout the city. Each area will have a virtual, evening, and weekend workshop option. Spring/Fall workshops are part of the two-year CAP project, and the next step in implementing the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan. Community Area Planning builds upon the vision and goals in the Comprehensive Plan. It provides more detailed guidance for development, infrastructure, transportation, and other quality-of-life factors for each part of the city.

Not sure which workshop to attend?

Click here to discover your
Community Area Planning Geography!

Ready to register?

Click here to sign up for a workshop in your area!


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CLT City Council Holds Budget Workshop, Reval, CATS, and Charlotte Water Discussed

Last Thursday the Charlotte City Council held a Budget Workshop as it works toward a May/June approval of the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget set to begin on July 1st.  To view the full meeting, click this link.  Additional inks to presentations provided can be found following here: 

New Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Commissioner Named

Erin Shaw is slated to become the newest member of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Commission as she received seven recommendations during last night's Council meeting earning her an automatic appointment.  Erin is a Managing Director with Beacon Partners, a REBIC Member, serves on the Charlotte Region Commercial Board of REALTORS®, a participant in the Urban Land Institute National Development Council, and is a member of NAIOP.  She will add a wealth of experience to the commission.  

 

 

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