Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Harris Teeter Store No. 1 in Plaza Midwood: Details of the makeover

Architects for the makeover of the Harris Teeter at 1704 Central Avenue met Tuesday with a small group of neighbors at Green Memorial Baptist Church

The meeting was one of several community outreach efforts by Harris Teeter as the grocery chain seeks a rezoning of the store property at The Plaza and Central Avenue. The area has a pedestrian overlay zoning classification, and Harris Teeter seeks exemptions from some of those rules.

The store is the first Harris Teeter in Charlotte, opening in 1951 after the Harris Food Store moved from about half a block west, in the heart of old Plaza Midwood. Plans for the new store on the property include a display that tells about the site’s history.

A few random facts from the meeting:

Size: The current store is 28,200 square feet. The new store will be about 51,000 square feet. By comparison, the Cotswold Harris Teeter is 53,000 square feet.

Energy: Inside the store, refrigerated products like butter and cheese will be behind glass doors, rather than in refrigerated tubs, to save energy.

Green roof: The roof the the building will have a large “clear story,” or pop-up area with windows to let in light.
The green roof cover will primarily consist of plants in the sedum family, made up of fleshy, low-growing plants that require little water, withstand heat and sun, and bloom frequently in yellow. The roof will require watering, particularly June through August.
Green roofs help control temperatures in the building and are a bit fire-retardant. The Ritz Hotel in uptown Charlotte has a similar roof.

Coffee: A small coffee shop is planned near the store entrance at the corner of the Plaza and Central Avenue.

Design: The art deco elements of the new store are designed to reflect quite a bit of historical art deco near Plaza Midwood among historical buildings and some that still stand. The store sign will be lit and is one of the elements that requires rezoning approval.

Nearby Teeters: The overlap of customers between the Plaza Midwood Harris Teeter and the “tiny Teeter” at the corner of Providence Road and Queens Road, at 1015 Providence Road, is 36%, said one of the architects who designed the exterior of the Plaza Midwood store. Store leaders are planning to remake the tiny Teeter as well, staggering its renovating with the Plaza Midwood store.

Timing: The expansion will require the removal of some gas tanks at the corner of the Plaza and Central Avenue. Therefore, the earliest that demolition is likely to happen is June 2012, with completion in 2013, but those dates most likely would slide about a year to coordinate with the tiny Teeter’s makeover.

Background on the rezoning request.

Photo: Historic image from Groceteria, edited.


Gary O'Brien said...

Andria, is the historic HT image the Plaza-Midwood store?
You're doing a good job with Underoak, BTW.

Andria said...

Hey Gary,
I think I remember that facade from the mid-80s, but I could be wrong. Will likely doublecheck with Purvis. Tried the photo files at The Observer; nothing. So any others photos are likely at the main library basement, if the architects haven't already dug them up. They found one of the original Harris Food Store in the heart of Plaza Midwood.
I DID find a photo of the Plaza Midwood movie theater, and its deco marquee.

Gary O'Brien said...

Would love to see that theatre photo... I seem to remember a pharmacy in the northern end of the building in the '90s. I think HT expanded into that about the time they bought and demolished the gas station on the corner.