Charlotte’s Commonwealth District- One of the City’s best Commercial Nodes

I included the traditional boundary for the Common Wealth district and expanded it west to include the sliver of land south of 10th St. The Commonwealth district is a historic crossroads of Charlotte where Central and Pecan Avenue meet. This district hosts lots of restaurants, bars, cafes, and neighborhood retail service along with many live music venues. The commercial district spans several blocks mixing historic and modern buildings but with mixed urban form. Also lots of new apartments, condos, and townhomes here generally with good urban form. Still many areas of historic pre WWII fabric remain comprised of pleasant 1920s-1940 single family homes.

Plenty areas to improve in the Commonwealth District from an urban perspective. Most importantly is increasing the neighborhood’s very low density, and replacing autocentric commercial. The neighborhood also has limited access to schools and affordable for sale housing.
Click here to view my Commonwealth album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Very convenient access to Dwtn (only 2 miles) across all modes.
* Decent Bike infrastructure includes a couple dedicated bike lanes and handful of bike sharing station.
* Great ADA infrastructure but areas of uncomfortable sidewalks crossing through strip walls and located too close to busy routes.
* Good middle income diversity although very limited % of residents living in poverty.
* Good amount of rentals and a nice diversity of price points. 1-bedrooms generally lease in the low $1,000s, 2-bedrooms in the high $1,000s and $2,000s, 3-bedrooms in the $3,000s.
* Nice large park (Veterans Memorial) Located in the center of the neighborhood. Includes tennis courts, ballfields and playgrounds.
* Good cultural amenities including a great array of restaurants, bars, cafes, and small breweries, lots of live music venues, and a couple art galleries.
* Quality urban amenities although some located in strip malls including a supermarket, drug store, public library, post office, a book store, many boutiques, several antiques, and several hospitals in the adjacent district.
* Overall a very safe district.
* Lot of urban in-fill and most of it is pretty good. 

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Density is very low. More similar to a suburb.
* Decent racial and economic diversity.
* For sale options are generally expensive but good diversity. Bottom of the market are small homes in the high 200Ks. Most properties selling between 300K-700K. Some larger mansions sell over 700K. Plenty of new townhomes and condos in the mix.
* Good tree canopy.
* No museums or historic sites.
* A public middle school is located in the neighborhood but little else.
* Quality urban massing in the urban biz districts (i.e. Central & Pecan Ave) is a mixed bag of auto centric strip malls & parking lots and quality form. Form falls apart further east along Centre.
 

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