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Future Bar & Foundation Center Committee Update: Greenway Business Center

 

The Mecklenburg County Bar (MCB) and Mecklenburg Bar Foundation (MBF) Future Bar & Foundation Center (FBFC) Committee recommended three acres of land in the Greenway Business Center, a business park located on Rozzelles Ferry Road 0.8 miles northwest of Johnson C. Smith University, as the location for the future the Mecklenburg County Bar and Mecklenburg Bar Foundation Center.

 

The MBF Board of Directors approved this site  on June 19, 2012.  On July 26, 2012, the MCB Board voiced support for the Greenway Business Center site and asked that the full Bar membership be given an opportunity to provide input.   All MCB members were invited to submit feedback via e-mail and/or to attend a FBFC Committee meeting on August 14, 2012 to ask questions and provide input on the prospective site. 

 

On August 23, 2012, the MCB Board reviewed the input provided by Bar members and voted unanimously (with one judicial abstention) to approve the Greenway Business Center as the location for the future Bar & Foundation Center.  

 

The Future Bar & Foundation Center (FBFC) Committee, led by Pender R. McElroy and William (Bill) H. McMullen Jr., has worked diligently for many years to identify a site for a future Bar & Foundation Center.  Since 1993 when the Bar purchased its current Center, the MCB membership has increased nearly 2.5 times (1,900 members to 4,500 members). A larger, more functional Bar Center is needed to serve our Bar.  Since 2009, the FBFC Committee chairs have considered more than 50 locations; the full Committee has evaluated 30 of these locations.   The FBFC Committee feels confident that the Greenway Business Center is the best location for the Bar and Foundation to build a Center that will meet the needs of the Bar membership far into the future while using the Bar members' dues wisely.


 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

1.     How many sites did the MCB/MBF Future Bar & Foundation Center Committee evaluate before recommending the Greenway Business Center as the future location of the Bar & Foundation Center? 

·         The MCB/MBF Future Bar & Foundation Center Committee chairs evaluated more than 50 locations, 30 of which the full committee vetted.   

·         Within the I-277 circle: virtually no existing structure anywhere near the needed size exists with 150 dedicated parking spaces, and the 2.5 to 3 acres necessary for a building and 150 parking spaces would be cost prohibitive.

·         When the Committee focused in on the Greenway Business Center, they were able to negotiate a very good price for the property with the owner.  The contract price is $125,000.00 for 3 acres of land. 

 

 

2.     How does the Greenway Business Center location compare to the location of the current Bar Center at 438 Queens Road in terms of convenience/ease of getting there?

MCB Center - 438 Queens Road

Greenway Business Park -

Zebulon Ave.

 1.8 miles from Trade & Tryon

2.2 miles from Trade & Tryon

2.0 miles from the Federal Courthouse

2.0 miles from the Federal Courthouse

1.1 miles from the Mecklenburg Co. Courthouse

2.9 miles from the Mecklenburg Co. Courthouse

5.6 miles from I-85

1.2 miles from I-85

3.0 miles from I-77

1.7 miles from I-77

1.0 miles from 277

0.9  miles from 277

 

3.     How close is the Greenway Business Center to the Bar's "legal hubs"? 

MCB Center - 438 Queens Road

Greenway Business Park -

Zebulon Ave.

Located in zip 28207 -

1.6% of the Bar is located in this zip

Located in zip 28208 -

1.2% of the Bar is located in this zip

Zip codes 28202 and 28203 are located approximately equidistant between current Bar Center and Greenway Business Center.  More than 56% of the Bar work in these 2 zips.

 

 

4.     Is the Greenway Business Center located in a safe area?

MCB Center - 438 Queens Road

Greenway Business Park -

Zebulon Ave.

100 S. Tryon Street

(for comparison)

541 crimes reported from 7/1/11 - 6/30/12 within .5 mile radius

289 crimes reported from 7/1/11 - 6/30/12 within .5 mile radius 

(502 crimes reported within

.5 mile radius of Johnson C. Smith)

2,431 crimes reported from 7/1/11 - 6/30/12 within .5 mile radius

Property crimes:  301

Property crimes:  137

(.5 mile radius from Johnson C. Smith:  219)

Property crimes:  1,135

Violent crimes:  15

Violent crimes:  29 

(.5 mile radius from Johnson C. Smith:  47)

Violent crimes:  108

Security system installed with monitored door

Security system with cameras and monitored door.  The proposed budget includes a security guard that will be present as staff arrives and leaves and during off-hours events/CLEs. 

 

MCB staff spoke with the staff at the Belvedere Family Dentistry which opened in the fall of 2011 in the 1950s-era landmark theatre, which had sat empty for nearly two decades and is now part of the Greenway Business Center.  The Belvedere staff reported they have not experienced any vandalism, loitering or other property crimes.  The staff arrives around 7 a.m. and leave at 5:30 p.m., they have security cameras, but no security guards, and "feel very safe."

 

 

5.     Why does the Bar need a 20,000 square feet and 150 parking spaces?

MCB Center - 438 Queens Road

Greenway Business Park -

Zebulon Ave.

Less than 6,000 square feet with 20 parking spots and street parking

A space needs study done by Gantt Huberman Architects indicated the MCB/MBF needed 20,000 usable square feet of office and meeting space together with 150 parking spots. Dedicated parking eliminates added costs to attend MCB CLEs, events and meetings while encouraging Bar members to take advantage of their Bar Center.

The MCB had 1800 members when we moved into the current Bar Center in 1993.

The MCB membership has increased 2.5 times to 4,500 members since 1993. A larger, more functional Bar Center is needed to serve the Mecklenburg legal profession. 

6.     Does the city have any plans to help develop the Greenway Business Center?

The Greenway Business Center, the former home of the Belvedere Homes public housing complex demolished in 2004, is one of five priority business corridors within Charlotte the City Council has identified for revitalization.  

 

Opportunities identified in this corridor for 2012-2015:

·         Sale and development of 15 building sites within Greenway Business Center and the Rozzelles Ferry area.

·         Completion of the Stewart Creek Greenway as an amenity for neighborhood and commercial  redevelopment

·         Vacant buildings near Greenway Business Center offer redevelopment opportunities

 

In September 2011, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Development Corp. (CMDC) completed a full rehabilitation of the Belvedere Theatre building, which is located at 2734 Rozzelles Ferry Rd. and is part of the Greenway Business Center. The historic theatre, which was built and opened in 1955 for African Americans only, recently stood vacant for more than fifteen years and had fallen into disrepair. The old Belvedere Theatre now houses a dentist office that has signed a 10-year building lease.  The office employs three people, including one dentist. It has six exam rooms ready and space for five more.

 


 

 

 
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