Revitalization efforts in Charlotte have begun to move from concept and theory to tangible progress. The momentum is just beginning to build and already a group of local investors has announced a new project they believe will create an east side gateway into downtown Charlotte.
Working with several local investors, Precedent Properties has entered into a purchase agreement to buy the buildings located at 108 and 110 E. Lawrence Avenue (the old Carriage Cleaners building and location of a meth lab that exploded in a second story apartment a couple years ago). The plan is to turn the property over to the city, wherein the building will be razed and the property will be turned into a pocket park.
Charlotte city council voted unanimously Monday, May 23 to agree to accept assignment of the purchase agreement for the property located at 108 and 110 E. Lawrence Avenue. The motion included accepting funds necessary to complete the purchase. The deal is subject to environmental studies on the property, which Precedent Properties President Anthony Faulkner said will be covered by grant funds available through the Lansing Economic Area Partnership. The city is working to secure grant funding that will cover the cost of the demolition of the property.
“It is exciting to bring a collaborative project to fruition,” Faulkner said. “This project would not be possible without the collaboration of the City Manager, Community Development Director, City Council, business owners, and concerned citizens. It’s proof that we take pride in our downtown. This project is the next phase in revitalizing, promoting, beautifying our East Lawrence gateway.”
Faulkner, who already owns 112 E. Lawrence, is working closely with Jason and Darrell Vanderstelt, owners of 114 E. Lawrence Avenue to raise the necessary funding to complete the purchase of the property.
“We are excited to have this go public as we reach our fundraising goal,” Vanderstelt said.  “This is community collaboration at its finest.”
Faulkner, who has had interest in this project for over a year, said the park will create the perfect east gateway into the community. City of Charlotte Community Development Director Bryan Myrkle agreed.
“The building itself is not just an eyesore, it’s a sore spot in the community,” Myrkle said.
If the money is raised in time and the environmental studies don’t show cost prohibitive problems, the transfer of the property could take place in time to be included in the city’s plans to reconstruct the parking lot on that downtown block.
“That would be the ideal time to incorporate it,” Myrkle said. “If there is going to be a contractor doing stamped concrete anyway, we would get a better price through the economy of scale.”
Faulkner and Vanderstelt said this project is a prime example of coming together to revitalize the community.
“This is a project that will spark the rebirth of our downtown,” Vanderstelt said. “People want to see tangible progress and this a great one. From blighted building to a community park. This is the kind of collaboration that will grow our downtown and community.”