CHARLOTTE – Dominion Realty Partners LLC has high hopes for the redevelopment of the Fifth-Third Bank branch on Fairview Road, across the street from SouthPark Mall.
The firm envisions a building up to 185 feet tall with 1,500 square feet of non-residential uses on the ground floor and up to 325 multi-family units. The 1.8 acres could include a four-level parking deck and 500 square feet of open space.
The South Park Small Area Plan recommends office, single-family and multi-family uses for the site, capping residential density at up to 20 units per acre. This project calls for about 177 units per acre.
The project’s proposed height is also 65 feet more than what is typically allowed for mixed-use development projects, according to Dave Pettine, of the city’s planning department.
“It is consistent with some of the existing building heights that have been developed in the area recently, so staff feels that that’s generally an appropriate request,” Pettine told the Charlotte City Council during the May 19 public hearing.
No one spoke against the rezoning during the hearing. None of the council members expressed concern over the size or density of the project either. In fact, city staff is recommending approval.
While the project exceeds density requirements, Pettine said it is consistent with the recommended mix of uses for the area.
“As we’re looking for an urban infill development in this area, staff did feel that it was within good urban form and context,” Pettine said.
Dominion Realty Partners is contributing $150,000 to the Charlotte Housing Trust Fund and $150,000 to support pedestrian improvements, including the SouthPark Loop Trail. The trail consists of a three-mile bike and pedestrian path around SouthPark that connects key destinations.
A six-foot sidewalk will be added along Fairview Drive.
Jeff Brown, an attorney representing Dominion Realty Partners, said the project helps the SouthPark area evolve from suburban office park with a mall to more of a town center.
“All of this is trying to make the walkability a real critical feature of this development,” Brown said.
Brown said his clients have worked with the SouthPark Association of Neighborhoods through the rezoning process.
Councilman Larken Egleston thanked Dominion Realty Partners for looking beyond the site to improve the neighborhood and community more broadly by investing in walkability and affordable housing.
Councilman Tariq Bokhari, who represents the SouthPark area, also thanked Dominion Realty Partners.
“We have to figure out congestion in this part of town,” Bokhari said. “This is how we make it more walkable, more livable – connecting live, work and play. We don’t have a lot of solutions other than this right now. It is something that is very exiting. I am excited about the future of SouthPark.”
The city council could vote on the rezoning as early as next month.