Proposed development near Plaza Midwood receives pushback from neighbors, council

CHARLOTTE — A project on the edge of the heart of Plaza Midwood is facing pushback from neighbors and Charlotte City Council. Levine Properties is proposing an apartment and retail building that would be 150 feet tall. Plans call for up to 175 apartments with 12,000 square feet of retail, at least half of which would be on the ground floor.

The Charlotte Firefighters Credit Union would relocate its branch to the project and have a drive-thru. The land, which is on the corner of The Plaza and Commonwealth Avenue, used to be its home.

Residents representing the Commonwealth Morningside and Plaza Midwood neighborhoods spoke out against the project Monday night.

“It is quite drastically different from anything nearby,” Allen Nelson of Commonwealth Morningside said.

“We don’t agree about the height that it is at,” Tanya Wilson of Plaza Midwood said.

The attorney for the project says building height shouldn’t be a concern. He says when the Unified Development Ordinance goes into effect in June, the city’s new rules would allow building height for this property to range from 120 to 200 feet.

“We don’t seem to be fully aligned with the community, but we think we are aligned with what council has adopted as plans for this area,” attorney Collin Brown said.

He says the extra building height will result in a better-designed building. He says it won’t look cookie-cutter like many of the other apartment complexes.

But several councilmembers appeared to be siding with residents, who aren’t sold on it just yet.

“It really is out of proportion on a variety of different levels,” said Councilmember Dante Anderson, who represents the area.

“I am not happy with this,” Councilman Ed Driggs said. “I think the objections to height make a lot of sense to me.”

According to Brown, the developer likes the project because of its future proximity to the Silver Line.

The Silver Line, which lacks funding, is the city’s proposed light rail line to the airport.

The Commonwealth building, which is being constructed, is the tallest building in Plaza Midwood – 100 feet.

Charlotte City Council could vote on the project as soon as May.

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