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Intown Industrial Space


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The super ugly chicken processing plant akery at West and S Tryon really bugs me. Beyond its appearance its loading dock setup frequently blocks traffic on West blvd and is forms a huge barrier for pedestrians and bikes in Southend -- IMO it has slowed redevelopment around the intersection and prevented Wilmore from becoming more integrated with Southend.


I do realize that it provides jobs (certainly a good thing) and moving the jobs is certainly another brick in the gentrification wall. However, I wonder if its time for Charlotte to develop some thoughtful policies which would relocate intown industrial activities to better locations? I would think that the city would benefit if property tax forgiveness and perhaps some other subsidies were used to encourage them to move out to an airport area industrial park which would have better highway access and fewer neighbors complaining about smell (the requirement would be that they put their original parcels on the market as soon as they are able to relocate). The city would (presumably) gain a tax increment from the redevelopment of the original parcels and neighborhood fabric could begin to develop in these gaps.


This strategy could also be really handy in NoDa (around the current intermodal yard and also up in the Craighead / Sugar Creek area), W Morehead / Berryhill / Tuckaseege,  Graham st / Statesville ave and around Old Concord and the BLE.


I do realize that it would not be free (but a better use of incentives than many others we have seen recently) and the displacement of industrial jobs is certainly problematic. However, gentrification ain't gonna stop and I would hope that thoughtful zoning could create a larger number of service / retail jobs along with more complete neighborhoods in the reclaimed sites. Producers would benefit from better infrastructure and newer capital.


Rant over.


EDIT: and Charlotte Pipe. I suspect ADM would need a site outside the county (Davidson or McDowell) for rail access reasons.


EDIT 2: Thanks for solving the mystery of the doughnut smell for me lewy. Knowing that doesn't make it any more awful from an urban perspective.

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Given that it seems to be a bit of touchy subject, I'll just ask when does gentrification become evolution, and how long is long enough to become something else and that be acceptable?  From ~18K in 1900 to 540K one hundred years later, most of this area was something else at one time, and likely at all stages engendered negative feelings by residents and newcomers alike.  Today, we have Charlotte, and most of that past, or at least intimacy with that past, is long gone, one can only fathom that some cities in this world were completely rebuilt/re-imagined several times over thousands of years.  So I guess the world has always been gentrifying.  Pesky NIMBYs.


In theory, the industry will move out due to market forces, when appropriate according to the market, and incentives will not be necessary unless that market timetable is not acceptable.  In the case of a transit hub in downtown, however - move it.  The mill can go, and incentives to do so, begrudgingly, yes.

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It's actually a bakery that's been around since the 1930s, providing local jobs and pleasant smells:


I work right near there at 1927 S. Tryon. The smell is always nice. One of my coworkers stops by there every few Fridays before our weekly sales meeting and picks up a few boxes of sweets. Nothing like getting a honey bun or some powdered sugar donuts, still warm, in the package marked as "made on (the same day) at 8:16am and eating it at 8:35am. Talk about fresh!

Anyway, I agree that it will eventually be a barrier that might hinder the progress. But moreso, I think the check cashing place, mini-mart, and Boost mobile store are the real blights at this intersection. Every day I pass by there a few times. And every single day, there are 4-6 folks drinking 40s in paper bags across the street from the mini-mart at 8:30am. And they are there all day long, jaywalking back and forth with no sense of urgency to cross the street even though cars are headed towards them at 40mph, hence causing every car to slow down or stop to let them cross. No one wants to live beside that, so I see that as the main reason that we arent seeing expansion of gentrification in that direction.

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The Barnhardt complex has had continuous operations nestled in-between Belmont and Midwood for over 100 years. There are plenty of other underutilized properties nearby, including the former Cole Manufacturing complex.

Factories give the in-town areas character. And in the case of the mill villages, literally so.


Barnhardt was one of the last industries in that area to get rail service too.  They're still on our map that was drawn around 1996 so.

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There are tons of cases in cities around the world, around the country, even around the south where older industry lives and sometimes thrives alongside residential, new and old.  I agree with southslider that it adds character to the area.  In the case of a bakery, I think that would actually add to the area's appeal.  As for the blight in general, those are a dime a dozen and have their place in other parts of the city.  Those can go away without being missed by few more than their aforementioned patrons.

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I don't disagree that industrial activities can be a virtue (e.g. just about every textile mill in town) but in this particular case I think its tough to defend this bakery




Is it too much to ask to have _one_ window? What about a sign? Less barbed wire and chain link? What about the worker parking lot on one of the most visible corners in town?

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