Doug Smith of The Charlotte Observer updates what's happening at Briar Creek and Central Avenue here. The link won't last forever, so here are a few highlights, from his reporting, with some background from The Merry Oaks neighborhood newslettter and neighborhood discussions:
Ray "Rip" Farris III of Tuscan Development has come to terms with the owner of Birchcroft apartments at 3143 Central Ave. next to Tuscan's planned development on 8.5 acres on the northeast side of Central Avenue, backing up to the Merry Oaks neighborhood. The first phase of Tuscan’s $17 million development – Duo at CBC – will be 58 duplex condos. The 8.5-acre site’s second phase of condos will “push the architectural envelope," but details won’t be unveiled until duplexes sell out, he said.
Farris said it's too early to be specific about plans for the Birchcroft site, but “I can say our project is getting ready to triple in size and offer a diverse range of elements.”
Of course, a Flash website has been created for the project. It just provides a form to sign up for email alerts.
Details: two-and three-bedroom duplex condos. Five have been sold. Price: $200,000 to $240,000, Building exteriors mainly in natural wood. Extensive use of sustainable materials, “rain chains” instead of gutters, optional upgrades of bamboo floors and carpet tile from recycled materials. Architect: BB+M Architecture. Tuscan will start building a model unit in two weeks and finish it in the third quarter. Buyers are to begin occupying condos in about 12 months, Farris said. Sales: My Townhome Realty. Reservations to be taken starting June 13. Sales event planned for June 21 at The Watermark, 1355 Greenwood Cliff.
Topography: the front part of the Renfrow property is high, offering possible skyline views, as the Plummer property across Central Avenue could have done. A small branch, barely a creek, runs through part of it. Birchcroft is low, and back in the day included a pond, before the apartments were built, long-time Merry Oaks residents have said. It appears the pond was near where the apartments' swimming pool now sits. How that will affect development remains to be seen, but one could hope that if the project is "green," runoff and topography will be considerations. Briar Creek is within a mile of the development, and has been getting cleaner because of past commitments from the residents of Merry Oaks.
Interested folks can look at the area with Google Maps.
Connectivity: Questions remain about Tuscan's plans for connectivity with the Merry Oaks neighborhood. A right-of-way called "Myrtlewood" street or avenue previously went through the Renfrow property, connecting to Cosby Avenue in the Merry Oaks neighborhood. With beautiful new biking and walking trails near Merry Oaks Elementary and at the Merry Oaks Greenway, the development offers opportunity to continue that focus, so residents across Central Avenue and in the new development can access existing trail investments. In addition, safe, walkable paths for children would enhance the attractiveness of the elementary school to nearby residents. Several of the new bikers and runners of the Merry Oaks trails have been from the other side of Central Avenue or from Plaza Midwood.
Update on The Vyne, a 99-unit project priced from the $120,000s to the $180,000s, across Central Avenue: Citiline Resortline Development and Construction has sold 20 of 66 first-phase condos, said Citiline’s Tim Crawford.