North Tryon is on the verge of a dramatic transformation

A mostly industrial 19-acre stretch along North Tryon will soon be filled with residences, retail, restaurants and green space.

Charlotte developer Flywheel Group is still deciding what exactly the development, called Queens Park Commons, will look like, says firm president Tony Kuhn. It’s an assemblage of six properties, Kuhn says.

Why it matters: This particular portion of North Tryon — between Uptown and NoDa — has increasingly caught the attention of developers and investors. Drive down the street and you’ll see plenty of “Available” signs.

  • Currently lined with tenants like used-car dealerships and auto repair shops, the area is in an opportunity zone, a Trump-era tax break program designed to attract investment in select parts of town.
  • The corridor could become a major main street, situated between buzzy nodes of activity like Camp North End and Optimist Hall.

“It’s an important street for NoDa,” Kuhn says.

“Converting and flipping it on its head from hardcore industrial uses to something that’s mixed use and green would be the idea,” he adds.

Other major projects have already started to change the look of the area.

  • Up the street, Austin developer Artesia has rehabbed the century-old former factory that previously housed City North Business Center. The adaptive-reuse development is called Foundation Supply.
  • Adjacent to Kuhn’s assemblage, developer Avery Hall will soon begin work on a five-story mixed-use development. The Brooklyn firm plans to anchor the site with a grocery store.
  • Across the street, NoDa Brewing is expanding its tap room and beer garden.

Yes, but: New investment pouring into an area inevitably raises concerns over increasing property values and displacement of longtime residents.

City councilman Larken Egleston, whose district one includes NoDa and Uptown, says new development in that respect can be a “double-edged sword.”

  • But he added that in this instance, he appreciates that developers are engaging local community groups.

“Being able to transition away from industrial uses to things that provide uses in the community is a good thing as long as they don’t lead to mass displacement of people from the neighborhood,” Egleston says.

2832 North Tryon. Photo: Katie Peralta Soloff/Axios

Avison Young

Avison Young building on North Tryon. Photo: Katie Peralta Soloff/Axios

Timing: Last month, Flywheel filed a rezoning petition for 2832 N. Tryon, currently home to an old gas station. Next door, the group is also buying the large brick Avison Young building, which will be an adaptive reuse project to anchor the whole development, Kuhn says.

  • Site work is beginning immediately. That’ll include a lot of unglamorous work, such as environmental remediation, tank removal and road construction. 
  • “We’re not planning on just sitting on this. The plan and architecture will evolve as we go through this,” says Kuhn, whose development group is also behind the Greenway District up the street near the Sugar Creek Light Rail Station. It’s home to a number of tenants including a new nonprofit arthouse cinema opening soon.

The Queens Park Commons name is an homage to the Queen’s Park, the huge urban park proposed for the spot where the Norfolk Southern rail yard currently sits nearby.

  • “We wanted to affirm our ambition for the large central park for Charlotte and put our flag in the ground,” even if it doesn’t happen for years, Kuhn says.
  • The Flywheel development also would connect to where the Cross Charlotte Trail will go.

What he’s saying: “To convert it into something more pedestrian-friendly connecting to Sugar Creek … is something I’ve wanted for a long time,” Kuhn says. “We’re champions of green space and density.”

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