Topgolf’s University City entertainment district could be joined by hundreds of apartments in accordance with a rezoning request filed by the Charlotte City Council.
Cambridge Properties, Charlotte’s property developer and brokerage, is proposing to build a four-story, 350-unit apartment building near Ikea and MacFarlane boulevards.
The hope is that the proposed 50-acre development, with a proposed mix of office, residential and commercial space, will not only attract people, but keep them there, Cambridge President Jay Priester told The Charlotte Observer.
“There was nothing in University City that allowed people to stay there,” Priester said. “If you want to have fun, you must leave.”
On Monday evening, Charlotte City Council heard a brief presentation of Cambridge’s petition for rezoning. The petition also includes a move to spin off the car dealership.
Members of the Council expressed little concern. Council member Renee Johnson asked Priester if there would be affordable housing or housing for workers. Priester said that was not in the plans.
The project is about a quarter mile from the University City Boulevard light rail station.
The petition could be voted on at next month’s zoning meeting.
Developer adjusts plans
For the past 10 years, Cambridge has been developing land in the area, Priester said. According to him, the first discussions were to build a shopping center with four car dealerships in the area. The land is located near Interstate 85.
At the moment there is only one dealer.
Around the same time, construction began on an extension of the city’s LYNX Blue Line to the university campus, prompting Cambridge to rethink what should be there.
“We said we don’t want to be short-sighted in this development,” Priester told the Observer.
Part of this redevelopment is to free up future space for development by separating the car dealership from the entertainment district. The rezoning petition calls for vehicles to be moved from surface parking to a closed garage. This garage will be further east along Ikea Boulevard, toward University City Boulevard, city planning documents show.
The developer also proposes to build a linear park with benches and other community facilities such as a dog park. It will be built next to apartments on a strip of unkempt land that runs over a power line, Priester said.
Similar development nearby
According to Priester, the golf course covers an area of about 14 acres. The popular business opened a new location in June last year and occupies three floors, he said. This is Charlotte’s second Topgolf.
Similar buildings already exist nearby, according to city documents. A large apartment building is located on the site to the south along Ikea Boulevard.
Crescent Communities is building 311 apartments about two miles north. It is part of a larger project called Waters Edge, which will include offices, shops, a lakefront park and a 1 mile walking trail. Waters Edge will be located near the intersection of JW Clay and WT Harris Boulevards.
The Cambridge website also shows the possibility of building a 122-room hotel. Priester said it’s too early to tell how big the hotel could be, but said it could be in the future.
The firm is also planning an office component in the area. Companies make decisions about returning employees to work and can look for places that offer amenities nearby.