Advisory Services Panel – University Research Park, Charlotte NC

ResearchParkCover

Date: September 29–October 2, 2008

Location: Charlotte, NC

Sponsor: University City Partners

Chair: Zane Segal

Subject Area: University Development, Institutional Development, Economic Development

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Assignment

  • Redevelop an underused office park into a master-planned, mixed-use, conservation community with a business focus
  • Create a development strategy that will provide incentives and support for the desired tenants
  • Establish and enforce standards for green building and retrofitting practices on the site
  • Propose a land-use strategy that will support the desired growth of the project

Summary of Recommendations

University City Partners, a business improvement district, invited the panel to recommend revitalization strategies for the University Research Park. The panel recommended that University City Partners work with local stakeholders to redevelop the University Research Park as a mixed-use, master-planned, conservation community with a strong business focus. The reinvented park would attract new buyers and occupants who would keep the park thriving for decades to come. The panel envisioned a business park with excellent buildings and sites, stunning natural environments, and diverse uses which together would attract high-quality businesses.

The panel recommended increasing density and diversity of uses by encouraging infill development, increasing floor area ratios, and introducing residential and retail activities that complemented office use. These recommendations followed national trends that showed office and research parks transitioning from automobile-dominated environments into mixed-use communities. Increased density of employees and diverse uses would enable people to walk more and drive less. The reinvention would embrace sustainable practices that show respect for the environment and maintain its beauty. The proposed diversity of uses in the research park would compliment each other, supporting businesses and their employees/clients. The panel recommended creating a new master plan, developed with the help and input of all stakeholders, which would provide a road map for future development in this park.

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