Oct 9, 2022 - Development

A new park bigger than Romare Bearden is proposed for NoDa

Charlotte skyline uptown romare bearden

Charlotte skyline uptown romare bearden

Mecklenburg County wants to put a public park on floodplain property in NoDa in an area that’s surrounded by major new developments.

What’s happening: The NoDa Business Association got a first look last week at the proposed park during a presentation from Bert Lynn, capital planning division director for Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. The park is still in its conceptual phase, Lynn tells Axios.

Why it matters: Open green space is increasingly hard to come by in dense, popular neighborhoods like NoDa. Adding a park in this prime location will protect the property from being developed.

Details: The park would be approximately 12-14-acres, Lynn says. By comparison, another prominent urban park, Romare Bearden in Uptown, is 5.4 acres.

The NoDa park would be along Cullman Avenue and 36th Street, next to the light rail and just down the street from NoDa’s commercial center.

  • It’s just down the street from where developer Avery Hall is building apartments and a grocery store, and adjacent to where Avery Hall will also break ground on a separate apartment project this year. Across 36th, Grubb is developing a huge apartment complex on the old Herrin Ice site.
Proposed 14-acre park in NoDa
Concept plan from a presentation by Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation
A proposed 14-acre park on Cullman Avenue
Photo: Katie Peralta Soloff/Axios

The proposed park includes a mishmash of parcels the county bought using FEMA funding, Lynn says.

  • Because the money comes from FEMA, the county is limited on what it can put on the site — a park would be allowed, but something like a giant apartment building would not.
  • The infrastructure onsite would be limited.

What to expect: According to the county’s site plans, the following amenities could be included in the park.

  • A dog park
  • A skate park
  • Public art
  • A paved foot trail
  • A play area
  • A park shelter/stage area

It’s possible the county could grow the size of the park to 20 acres through future acquisitions, noted local development writer Clayton Sealey, who also wrote recently wrote recently about the county’s plans.

Of note: It’s not unusual for the county to build parks and greenways in floodplains. Plenty of its existing public green space is in a floodplain.

“That’s why we limit the types of amenities we have in the park. They’re in the areas of the park with the lowest risk of going underwater on a regular basis,” Lynn tells Axios.

The Cross Charlotte Trail greenway will run through the park along Cullman. It’ll eventually progress up through private developments (including Grubb’s planned apartment development across 36th) and up to Derita Park and Sugaw Creek Park.

Funding: This park is one of the projects the county proposed as part of its Capital Improvement Plan. It’s unfunded for now — the county will learn next spring whether this project will receive funding.

  • Timing: If this park gets approved, the earliest the design would could begin would be next summer, per Lynn.

Related Axios story: Plans for a massive central park for Charlotte quietly advance


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