Big triplex plans for Myers Park / APRIL FOOLS' EDITION
Plus: New drool-worthy sandwich; City proposes to protect vulnerable businesses with new zoning district; CMS schedule change; Libel lawsuit filed against newspaper chain fascinated with animals
EDITOR’S NOTE [added 4/1/21, 10:00pm]: This is an April Fools Day edition of The Charlotte Ledger. THESE ARTICLES ARE NOT REAL.
Good morning! Today is Thursday, April 1, 2021. You’re reading The Charlotte Ledger, an e-newsletter with local business-y news and insights for Charlotte.
Developer proposes transformational ‘entertainment district’ on Queens Road West: ‘Triplex Acres@MyPa’ to feature affordable residential tower, hookah bar, large Chili’s
FIRST LOOK: City leaders are buzzing about an exciting new mixed-use development proposed for Myers Park. Developers said the innovative design will allow them to stack triplexes in a 14-story building. The entertainment district will also have Mecklenburg County’s largest Chili’s.
A coalition of developers and affordable housing nonprofits are proposing what they are calling a mixed-use “entertainment district” in the heart of Myers Park designed to appeal to Charlotte residents of all income levels.
When completed in mid-2023, the site along Queens Road West is expected to include top national restaurant chains such as Chili’s as well as locally owned small businesses such as Red@28th, a hookah bar that has proved popular after an expansion this year into Dilworth.
Stacking triplexes: The centerpiece of the project, though, is a novel 14-story residential tower concept that stacks triplexes atop triplexes, which developers and housing advocates say will help ease the city’s housing crunch. Plans submitted to the city say the building, to be called “Triplex Acres@MyPa,” will complement the area’s large brick mansions with a design featuring beige vinyl siding and plastic composite latticework.
The plans set up a potential showdown with nearby homeowners. Residents close to the proposed development said they learned of it only this week, as word began to spread following soil testing on the site on Tuesday. Some have started an online petition in opposition.
Development details: Plans filed with the city show the ground level will have space for a tattoo parlor, pawn shop and check-cashing service, and developers are in lease negotiations to sign an adult establishment to be called “The Booty Loop.” The ground-level retail will open up into the site’s promenade, dog park and bus station.
“This is a transformational project for our city, and it will turn Myers Park into the front door for all of Charlotte while addressing many critical needs,” said Mayor Vi Lyles. The city will spend $27.2M in tax incentives for the project and an additional $11.7M to build dedicated electric scooter lanes to South End and Optimist Hall, as described in the secret appendix to the city’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan.
Developers said a second phase of the project will have to wait until 2025. It envisions construction of a solar-powered micro-paper mill and a state-of-the-art self-storage facility on several adjacent parcels.
1 drool-worthy thing: A new take on sandwiches 🥪
Finally, some good news for sandwich lovers: One of Charlotte’s best-known restaurateurs is getting into the sandwich game — and when they do something, they do it right. Mmm, my taste buds can’t wait! How about yours?
The new restaurant concept, Breadland, from the husband-and-wife team behind Supperdish, promises to take Charlotte sandwiches to the next level.
Here’s the idea: There’s no filling. Just the bread. Wow. We did not see this one coming. Talk about a playful take on a classic!
For just $22, you get your choice of:
100% whole wheat
It’s so reinvented that Breadland is even spelling it differently: Inside these 4 walls, it’s known as a Sandwiche.
The Sandwiche Blanc Nue, served a la carte, is one of Breadland’s most popular dishes.
And Breadland is committed to keeping your Sandwiche fresh: If Harris Teeter didn’t stock the kind of bread you want that morning, they’re not serving it. That’s how focused they are on quality. We love their minimalist approach — who needs a bunch of turkey, mayonnaise, lettuce or guava chutney anyway? Yawn. Now, we can just focus on the bread — which we all know is the most important part of any delectable sandwich … or should we say Sandwiche.
Wait, there’s more: Breadland’s hand-crafted entrees pair well with its new upscale craft tap water program🚰, which is overseen by the former head mixologist at The Crunkleton. Yep, there’s a reason you can’t spell “bartender” without the word “art” — his tap water concoctions are beautiful, and start at only $8 a glass ($12 if you want ice — splurge! It’s worth every penny.). Your parched throat has never experienced water this thirst-quenchingly satisfying. And hello, Instagram:
For something different, splurge on the house craft tap water special, the L’eau Cher with artisanal ice, served with a fresh locally grown flower and a whimsical tropical umbrella (organic shaved beet optional).
Why it matters: Charlotte is becoming known across the galaxy as a hub of culinary innovation. Breadland takes it up a notch. This is how a world-class city is built: one Sandwiche at a time.
New 2040 plan idea aims to end guilty feelings about nostalgia-inducing business closures
As Charlotte continues to grapple with its controversial 2040 Comprehensive Plan, the city’s planning department is rolling out a new proposal intended to help residents not feel bad about the closings of longtime local businesses they have failed to support.
A new zoning designation, to be called the “Hypocrisy Avoidance Overlay District,” would be established to outlaw the closings of certain longstanding businesses. That would spare Charlotte residents feelings of guilt for not having been to those businesses in more than a decade, as well as avoid overly sentimental social media posts from those people, planning director Taiwo Jaiyeoba told The Ledger.
“Unlike Union County, Charlotte has many businesses with character and history that should be preserved,” he said. “We want to avoid unfortunate situations like we had with Bill Spoon’s BBQ, the Manor Theatre and Mr. K’s, where people mourned the losses of those places on Facebook and Instagram for days without actually having set foot in any of those businesses for years.”
A related measure under consideration would enhance permitting requirements for restaurants that sell street tacos, Korean BBQ or poke bowls.
And at least one council member has lent support to the idea on Twitter:
Senior speak: Build your vocabulary
’Sup, Gen Z’ers? Impress and delight the ancient people in your life by using the words they use. The Ledger shows you how in this occasional feature.
Today’s phrase: “is that the old…?” (variation: “is that by the old…?”)
Part of speech: confused question from a local Charlotte has-been
Definition: a frame of reference for someone who hasn’t been outside of a three-mile radius from their Charlotte home or office since at least the early 2000s, before we had smartphones and Alexa.
Used in a sentence:
“Hey mom, Emma and I are going to a new brunch place in South End that really slaps; is that OK?” Mom: “Is that by the old Pewter Rose?”
“OMG, Uncle Frank — Carter and I had the ultimate bruh moment at the Camp North End food stalls.” Uncle Frank: “Is that the old Ford plant and munitions factory?”
Ledger analysis: This use of the phrase “is that the old…?” or “is that by the old…?” is one of the QC’s fastest ways to telegraph that you’re getting up there in years … and that you know what a telegraph is. You haven’t kept up with hot spots in the past 20 years — thanks, Covid — and this phrase tries to keep you relevant, but doesn’t.
—Jennifer, age 50
Class-action libel suit filed against major Carolinas newspaper chain
A lawyer representing Atlantic Ocean sharks has filed a class-action libel lawsuit against the McClatchy Co., claiming that the newspaper chain’s reporters have engaged in a “coordinated and systematic stalking and smear campaign” designed to portray the seaborne creatures as dangerous and violent predators for corporate profit.
The lawsuit, filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina, alleges that McClatchy reporters in Charlotte, Raleigh and Columbia have repeatedly invaded the privacy of sharks, who are merely going about their business at the top of the oceanic food chain as they have for 450 million years.
The suit cites more than a dozen staff-written McClatchy shark articles from the last year, including seven from the last three months:
* actual McClatchy-written articles
Smoking gun? The 94-page federal lawsuit says the newspaper chain has a bizarre fascination with sharks, as shown by this Facebook post from February. Legal experts say because sharks are private citizens, they would not have to prove McClatchy acted with actual malice.
The sharks’ lawyer, Michael B. DeMayo, said he complained to The Charlotte Observer about the “violently mate” headline, as well as a line in yesterday’s article that reported that a 338-pound shark named Charlotte is considered a “young teenager, not yet entering sexual maturity.”
DeMayo said he finds the outsized interest in his clients’ private dining preferences and sex lives to be “creepy and unhealthy.”
Asked to respond to the lawsuit, a McClatchy spokeswoman referred the request to a call center in the Philippines.
Apartment sale, not that you care: A 30-unit apartment complex that you don’t care about in a town outside Charlotte that you’ve never been to has sold for a price that seems reasonable enough, not that you would know. The apartments were owned by a local company you’re unfamiliar with and purchased by an out-of-state entity you’ve never heard of. (Biz Journal)
Diversity increasing: The number of friendships among people of different ethnicities is at an all-time high, according to numerous renderings of new Charlotte real estate developments. According to the drawings, the favorite hobbies of people of all races and ages during the middle of the day include meeting for coffee, walking dogs, strolling happily and relaxing under imaginary trees that in reality will be replaced by kiosks selling ramen. (Observer)
Real estate por … er, house for sale: A jaw-dropping 9,500-square-foot gold-encrusted neoclassical gothic Lake Norman mansion hit the market this week, according to a Realtor seeking free publicity. It has 14 7/8 bedrooms, 11 3/4 bathrooms, a diamond mine, a kitchen inspired by Leah & Louise, a stretch room powered by OrthoCarolina, a bar built by Dot Dot Dot and a garage that would accommodate 5 EchoPark SUVs and a What the Fries food truck. But it doesn’t come cheap. Asking price: the cost of an Axios sponsorship. (Axios Charlotte, with 22 photos)
Even more Covid safety urged: Mecklenburg County health director Gibbie Harris is preemptively warning against all enjoyable activities until at least mid-2023, including Kentucky Derby parties, 4th of July fireworks, quinceañeras, Labor Day cookouts, moonlit romantic walks on the beach, watching toddlers take their first steps and attending your oldest daughter’s wedding. “Now is not the time to let our guard down,” she said at a Zoom news conference attended by nobody as local residents went about their everyday lives. Repeatedly asking friends for Netflix recommendations might be safe under the right circumstances, she said, but it would be safer to sit alone in your house staring at the wall until she says it’s OK. (Observer)
CMS schedule change: The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education plans to make yet another change to student schedules “just because we are all sadistic,” board chair Elyse Dashew said. The latest back-to-class plan calls for students who are in grades of prime numbers to attend in-person on Tuesdays, alternate Friday mornings and three days after a harvest moon, while everyone else will attend Mondays at dusk and when their biorhythms’ intellectual cycle is divisible by 3. Before the vote, Jennifer De La Jara recommended using Covid money to send CMS teachers on two-week all-inclusive Caribbean vacations, while Sean Strain sang a rendition of a popular Beatles tune in claiming that CDC guidelines show students should be in class “eight days a week.” (WFAE)
Ticket deal: WSOC’s Joe Bruno has signed exclusive deals with Ticketmaster and Fandango to locate hard-to-find concert and movie tickets. “Still 4 seats left for the 1:15pm matinee of ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ at the Regal 6 Sun Square Mall in Locust!” Bruno said on Twitter. (Joe Bruno on Twitter)
I-277 lawsuit: A former N.C. Department of Transportation engineer admitted in a deposition that he and colleagues were “as high as a kite” when designing the I-277 interchanges. He said he and fellow traffic engineers were strung out on psychedelics and a variety of other mind-altering substances when drawing up the interchanges at 4th Street, Independence Boulevard and North Davidson Street. The admission came as part of a lawsuit against the NCDOT contractor on the project, Infinity’s End. (Business North Carolina)
A very happy April Fools’ Day from your friends at The Charlotte Ledger.
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