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.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Harris Teeter plans community meeting Tuesday for new Plaza Midwood store

A community meeting about the proposed new Harris Teeter at The Plaza and Central Avenue is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 28, at Green Memorial Baptist Church, 1324 The Plaza.

Harris Teeter has filed a rezoning request for the property to rebuild the existing store as a two-story building with a green roof and parking behind the building.

The public hearing on the rezoning is scheduled for July 18. Based on the city’s rezoning schedule, any site plan revisions would be due July 22, with a zoning committee work session on July 27 and a decision on the rezoning from the Charlotte City Council on Sept. 19.

Demolition is expected in 2012 with an opening in 2013. A Harris Teeter has been at the location for 60 years.
Background here.

Rating Charlotte neighborhoods: Measurements are changing

The city of Charlotte and partners at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte are changing the way they rate neighborhoods.
They're drawing new lines, including all of Mecklenburg County and adding more data that can help neighborhoods determine how environmentally sensitive they are, among other things.

The new survey is scheduled to be published in December 2012. In the mean time, researchers are holding meetings to share their plans with neighborhood leaders and to ask for feedback.

The survey also drops the neighborhood labels of "stable," "challenged" and "transitional."

The next two meetings are Tuesday, for the northwest slice of Charlotte, and Thursday, for the southwest slice.

The changes will likely mean eventual changes in Charlotte's housing locational policy that sites low-income housing.
"It might cause us to adjust some of the policies we have," said Tom Warshauser, community and commerce manager for the city of Charlotte, during a meeting for the southeast slice of Charlotte.

The survey also will include a "green assessment tool" that will measure factors like water usage and frequency of recycling.

Most neighborhoods, like Merry Oaks, will fall into smaller boundaries, with data that will more truly reflect the neighborhoods. The researchers hope to provide tools to the public to allow people to slice and dice the data to look at broader geographic areas.

The current survey lists Merry Oaks as "stable," with a property crime rate below the city average and access to public transportation above average. Access to basic retail, however, was way below the city average at 4.9 percent versus a city average of 17.4 percent (based on numbers a couple of years old.)

For questions or feedback, email the researchers.

For an interactive map of the current data, visit here.

Next forums:
Northwest School of the Arts, for the northwest district: Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.
415 Beatties Ford Rd, Charlotte, NC 28216
Southview Recreational Center, for the southwest district: Thursday, 6 p.m.
1720 Vilma St., Charlotte, NC, 28208


From the Charlotte Observer

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Harris Teeter files rezoning application for Central Avenue grocery store

The rezoning application for the Harris Teeter grocery store at The Plaza and Central Avenue has been filed.

Public hearing date is July 18.

The revised site plan (PDF) includes a bike rack near the building, specific space dedicated to a CATS bus pad and specific trees to be preserved.

Oh, and the rooftop seating area faces west, with a likely view of the skyline.

Here's the background.