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The Voice of the Black Community

Local & State

Town hall meeting on Brooklyn Village’s development future
Aug. 4 forum at Government Center
Published Tuesday, August 2, 2016 8:02 pm
by Herbert L. White

What should Brooklyn Village look like?

BK Partners, developers of the Second Ward neighborhood and Mecklenburg County are hosting a town hall meeting Aug. 4 at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, Room 267 from 6-8 p.m. The forum is open to the public and parking is available in the Davidson Street parking deck.

BK Partners is redeveloping 17 acres in Second Ward that include the former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools headquarters and Bob Walton Plaza along with Marshall Park. The site includes two main parcels: One borders East Stonewall, South McDowell, and South Alexander streets and I-277. The other borders South McDowell, and East Third streets, East Martin Luther King Boulevard and First Baptist Church.

“Our vision for the new Brooklyn Village will be one that pays homage to the past while creating the prospect for a future legacy that boasts equal economic opportunity for all of charlotte's citizens,” developer Don Peebles said in June. “As we have already commenced a dialog with some affected community groups and will continue to solicit ideas through the negotiations phase in partnership with the county staff and leadership. We are attentive to the wishes and expectations of the community and look forward to a productive engagement and partnership with the citizens of Charlotte.”

BK Partners, an alliance between Conformity Corporation of Charlotte and Peebles Corporation of New York City, plans for 1,243 residential units, including 107 affordable housing apartments. Two hotels with 280 rooms would also be built along with 252,100 square feet in retail space and 680,700 square feet for offices.

Brooklyn was a pillar of African American community for much of the 20th century before it was razed in the 1960s as part of Charlotte’s push for urban renewal. Its collection of businesses and institutions included the Mother House of United House of Prayer For All People and Second Ward High School, built in 1923 as the first public campus for black students. Friendship Missionary Baptist Church and Saint Paul Baptist Church – today among Charlotte’s largest black congregations – once called Second Ward home.

“This is hallowed ground,” Henry Wallace, a 1967 Second Ward High graduate said in June at the dedication of a park bench in front of the old school gym – the school’s only remaining structure and proposed site of a Second Ward museum. “This city was built on wards, and Second Ward was predominantly black. As a result, all the villages, all the enterprises, businesses, all the schools, churches – they were right here. Everything was here in Second Ward.”

Peebles, the nation’s largest black-owned development firm at $5 billion in projects, pledged a minimum of 35 percent of construction contracts for the $630 million project – $220.5 million – will go to minority, women and small business enterprises.


2 days notice for a billion dollar project? That should show the taxpayers what the County and Roy Peebles thinks of them.
Posted on August 3, 2016

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