Wed, 23 July 2008
July 22, 2008
Council OKs tower on
No opposition voiced; controversy over views
By Clay Barbour
Developers are planning a 230-foot apartment tower, a 200-plus foot office tower and a 180-foot hotel on approximately 2.74 acres next to The Arlington (in background).
The Charlotte City Council Monday approved a rezoning bid for another high-rise tower along
The approval came in spite of the recent controversy over the proposal. Residents of the nearby
But on Monday no one spoke against the proposal and the council passed it unanimously.
“We are excited and a little surprised,” said Tracy Finch of the Harris Development Group. “We expected more opposition.”
Harris applied for a rezoning of the former Simpson's Lighting property. The apartment tower is part of a $200 million project that includes a 200-plus-foot-tall office building and 180-foot-tall hotel on approximately 2.74 acres.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Zoning Committee unanimously backed the $200 million project last month, with some changes.
But earlier this month some residents of The Arlington, South End's 300-foot-tall pink residential high-rise, complained that the new project would block their views and lower property values. They said they have a right to their views in the non-legally binding South End Transit Station Area Plan approved in 2005 – about two years after The Arlington opened. That plan caps building height in the area at 120 feet.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars sometimes separate condos with views of the city from those without. At The Arlington, available condos facing away from the city are larger and cost around $335 per square foot. Available uptown-facing units top out around $372 per square foot.
Finch, who spent the early part of Monday going back and forth between council members, said the idea that Harris' new project would hurt
“They will go up thanks to us, she said. The Arlington isn't without its own controversy. Some residents of the Factory South Lofts complained about their view being blocked when the tower was built.
And Counter Point:
Reporting live, from City Council: Mary Newsom of The Charlotte Observer