Saturday, March 05, 2011

An alternative site for the Eastway police division?

At least one person has suggested the site of the old Kate's Skating Rink as an alternative for a police station for the Charlotte Eastway division. The site already has an existing building and a large, cleared parking lot with no trees.

In some ways, it fits the definition of "greyfields." Some neighbors have also suggested using cleared land at the site of the old Morningside Apartments along Commonwealth Avenue, but police have said they want locations that are on major roadways.

The image here shows a quick aerial of the site, roughly measured out to match the boundaries indicated at Mecklenburg County's Polaris real estate site. The land measures just over 2 acres, and the tax value is listed at $1,270,500 as of 2007.

The site is behind the House of Pizza on Central Avenue, and would require additional land acquisition nearby to add up to the 3 acres the police department seeks. For comparison, the city bought the site of the new Providence police station on Wendover Road in 2009 for $1.4 million, according to South Charlotte News (part of The Charlotte Observer).

Related: Some residents have created a Facebook group, "Save Central Avenue from CMPD Land Grab." It has 73 "likes" at the moment.


Nancy said...

The CMPD wants to be very visible and up to the street on main corridors. This site works except for the up to the street part. Is there a way to put it up to the street without hurting the House of Pizza, a neighborhood destination for at least 30 years?

Peggie Porter said...

What if they also took the old Waffle House, and "orphan" the House of Pizza between two entrances? It would still probably be a boost for the HOP.

Matt said...

The "Little Saigon" property (3622 Central) that is referenced here is vacant, with 24,000 sf of empty space and a very large (80+ spaces) parking lot. The building is a prefab steel warehouse with a nice new brick facade on the front. It has an enormous flagpole on the property, as well.

Site is 2.55 acres.

Incidentally, the owner (listed as living in GA) is delinquent on his property taxes, owing $17,062.

As Peggie notes, the former Waffle House is empty. The HOP is busy and occupied, and has the best street-front location of all the lots. The third property along that street-front is an old house with a Dental Lab in it. I guess they make dentures, etc.

Since the site is already developed, there would be less impact (and cost) on stormwater issues.

Getting the streetfront alignment for the building would require making some kind of relocation deal with HOP, which might be challenging.

They would also need to build up the front of the site, since it slopes pretty rapidly downwards.

In the end, the property owner(s) would need to be interested in making a deal that fits in the CMPD's budget.

Matt said...

Correction: 3646 Central.
3622 is the Dental Office.

Anonymous said...

Matt, good summary of 3622 Central site. Keep IHOP and make second entrance onto Carolyn Dr., taking the vacant lot at Carolyn/Central where Xmas trees are sold. I'm concerned shopping center will go downhill if CMPD leaves as the clinic, Walmart and P.O. are leaving. Neighborhood services disappearing. Parking lot could be on lower level without needing fill.

Matt Hickey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt Hickey said...

The street-front alignment is very possible with this site, if you acquire the right lots (not only Little Saigon). I don't think it needs to be a threat to HOP.

The building is actually small (12000 sf, about 80x140). What's big is the parking footprint.

The tree lot is actually not adjacent, so you would need to buy multiple more lots for a drive to Carolyn.

Discussion online is nice, but if we care, we should request a community siting/location workshop from CMPD. Sooner is better, since the City invests more in the present siting choice every day that passes.

I would certainly be interested in hearing from more neighbors close to the site(s) about their opinions.

Matt Hickey said...

Sorry for double-post! Andria, I appreciate your moderation...

Andria said...

Thank you, Matt, and everyone else for thoughtful comments. Moderating from afar with phone only, so I appreciate your patience.

Matt said...

This, by the way, is the rezoning application that was submitted for the Providence Station:

Providence CMPD Station Rezoning Application

There are links with site plans and general information about the station and parking lot.

The requirements for a Station for Merry Oaks and Central seem to be roughly identical, so the plan is likely to be very similar.

Location of the station on a street-corner, including a major street (like Wendover or Central) and a minor street (Ellington/Merry Oaks) seems to be a primary driver for choosing a site.