Neighbors, city leaders against developer’s plan to build affordable apartments

Neighbors, city leaders against developer’s plan to build affordable apartments in northeast Charlotte

CHARLOTTE — A nearly 10-acre plot of land on E. WT Harris Boulevard near District Drive and Shorthorn Street has been eyed for affordable housing. An Indianapolis workforce housing developer wants to build up to 98 units on the land.

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“We believe this development will provide additional housing to Charlotte and the Charlotte market that is definitely needed,” TWG Development Director Travis Vencel said. “Especially in the E. WT Harris corridor.”

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If approved, the apartment complex would be built inside the Back Creek Farms neighborhood. To enter and exit the proposed development, drivers will have to use Shorthorn Street, which feeds into Back Creek Farms. An entrance off E. WT Harris Boulevard is unlikely, due to time constraints and NCDOT funding. The lack of that access and the proximity to the homes have people who live nearby raising red flags.

“We are not against additional homes, said Andrea Hankins, neighbor. “What we are against a haphazard, reckless plan that implants a community within another.”

Neighbors showed a photo of the distance from the property line to the nearest home. Joining neighbors in opposition is District 4 Rep. Renee Johnson. Johnson said the opposition isn’t about (not in my backyard) but the development “is literally in their backyard.”

“We have to show the residents we are pro-citizen and not pro-developer,” Johnson said. “We cannot allow our neighborhoods to be compromised like this. Even as an affordable housing advocate, I know we need density, but this does not make any sense. It is reckless.”

Most of the units will be 60 AMI, which, depending on the size of the family, will fit the needs of residents making between $26,000 to $52,000 a year, according to Vencel. The 98 units will be split between five different structures. According to Vencel, 24 of the units will be one bedroom, 52 units will be two bedrooms and 22 units will be three bedrooms.

Charlotte City Council will hold a vote in the coming months.

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