Jan 28, 2024 - Development

Charlotte's Uptown train station is likely years away from completion

Gateway station in Charlotte

Phase 1 of Charlotte's Gateway Station includes infrastructure for passenger rail into Uptown. Photo: Katie Peralta Soloff/Axios

It's been more than a year since the first test trains rolled through Gateway Station, marking the end of the first phase of construction of the Uptown rail hub that'll one day replace Charlotte's outdated Amtrak station on North Tryon.

  • Now, nearly six years after the project broke ground, key questions remain, including what it'll look like and when it'll be operational for passengers.

Why it matters: Gateway Station will be a large mixed-use project, incorporating hospitality, shops, residential towers and office towers into a multimodal transit center.

  • The modern facility at Trade and Graham streets will provide access to city buses and the Gold Line, as well as Amtrak trains and ride-sharing services. The proposed Silver Line light rail and Red Line commuter train, if they move forward, could also run through the station.

Flashback: Charlotte's current Amtrak station, in the Lockwood neighborhood north of Uptown, was built in 1962. It only accommodates about 100 people and floods during severe weather due to its location, the Observer noted.

A train at Charlotte's Amtrak station on North Tryon
A train at Charlotte's Amtrak station on North Tryon. Photo: Katie Peralta Soloff/Axios

Between the lines: Gateway Station's first phase consisted of the state building out infrastructure. You can see the elevated platforms NCDOT completed if you're standing on Graham and Trade, looking away from Uptown toward Johnson & Wales.

  • Its second phase is a public-private partnership between the city and a private development partnership between Charlotte-based The Spectrum Companies and Republic Metropolitan.

What's happening: Currently, the developers are in the process of finishing up the master plan for the project, according to Joe Bender, ReMet's director of commercial development.

  • Ultimately the city would have to sign off on this plan.
  • The city will work with the developers to integrate the transit components into the overall development, per the city.

Yes, but: The city was supposed to review a master development plan for the project in late 2022, the Observer reported at the time. There's still no timeline yet for when that'll happen.

What they're saying: "It's progressing nicely and we are looking forward to getting to the point where we can share where we are with everybody," Bender told Axios.

  • Through a representative, The Spectrum Companies declined to comment.
  • "There haven't been any specific events or announcements recently, but all of the parties are satisfied that progress is being made," city councilman Ed Driggs told Axios. "My own impression is there is still a lot of work to do before Council action is required on Gateway."

Of note: NCDOT has said expanding the Charlotte Passenger Rail Facility, a massive planned industrial project in South End, is necessary to support Gateway Station.

What's next: It is unclear when the developers will break ground on the second phase of the project. Bender declined to provide further details on the project or its timeline.

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