Feb 28, 2024 - Development

Scoop: NCDOT will revise design for controversial South End train facility

Train tracks near Summit Avenue

Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

N.C. Department of Transportation says it won't displace businesses or residents with its train maintenance facility southwest of Uptown, nor will the project cross Summit Avenue.

Why it matters: Nearby property owners feared NCDOT would use eminent domain to take the property that's home to Frothy Beard Brewing, the site of a future mixed-use development and a few other buildings, some historic.

Yes, but: The revised design may not ease all neighbors' concerns about noise, air quality and their property values.

What they're saying: "(We) wanted to let concerned members of the community know we were not moving forward with the plans to cross Summit Ave. or acquire additional property as quickly as possible to be transparent in our efforts with this project," NCDOT spokesperson Liz Macam told Axios.

  • The facility footprint is reduced to fit on the property NCDOT currently owns (more than 17 acres), but it will still meet the needs identified for the project, she added.

Catch up quick: NCDOT is designing a $342.9 million facility for repairing, refueling and washing trains. The maintenance operations center will support the future Charlotte Gateway Station in Uptown.

  • Although the facility is decades in planning, some adjacent landowners only learned of NCDOT's plans last summer.
  • They described to Axios feeling blindsided after noticing NCDOT soil testing on their properties.

Between the lines: Original maps show the facility built on expansive acreage west of Summit Avenue. But NCDOT says it will not acquire that property.

  • Macam said more questions will be answered once the proposed site plans are released.

The big picture: Some planning experts suggest erecting a disruptive, industrial use along a crucial artery like Summit Avenue will have repercussions for the whole fast-growing South End area.

  • The passenger rail facility will be built close to the Iron District and Bank of America Stadium, where transformational development is in the making.

Michael Smith, Charlotte Center City Partners CEO, said the two key parts of the project NCDOT has revised "focus on many of the questions and concerns expressed during those sessions with stakeholders."

  • "We look forward to learning more details about the project in one of Charlotte's most vibrant neighborhoods," Smith said.

What's next: NCDOT will reveal the updated design during an open house on March 25, starting at 5pm, at Pritchard at South End Church.

  • Construction would start in 2026 and continue through 2028.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Charlotte.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Charlotte stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Charlotte.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more