Manuals and Metrics
Place Types: Innovation Mixed-Use
Goal: Contribute to Charlotte’s economic viability by providing mixed-use urban places that include light manufacturing, office, residential, and retail.
Innovation Mixed-Use places are vibrant areas of mixed-use and employment, typically in older urban areas, that capitalize on Charlotte’s history and industry with uses such as light manufacturing, office, studios, research, retail, and dining.
- Typical uses include office, research and development, studios, light manufacturing, showrooms, hotels, and multi-family residential.
- Uses in this Place Type also include retail, personal services, restaurants, and bars, and limited warehouse and distribution associated with light manufacturing and fabrication.
- This Place Type is characterized by adaptively reused buildings and low to mid-rise single-use structures that are transitioning to vertically integrated uses in a pedestrian-oriented environment.
- Innovation Mixed-Use places are accessible by higher capacity facilities such as arterials and may also include access from interstates and freight rail. Streets serve all travel modes while still accommodating large trucks along primary arterial streets. The local and collector street network is well-connected to serve sites directly and to provide good access to arterials.
- Truck traffic will use routes that do not impact neighborhoods or open spaces.
- Mobility hubs with transit stations, pick-up and drop-off areas, bike parking and share, and micro-mobility options should be provided within this Place Type to accommodate employees without access to a vehicle.
- Arterial streets support walking, cycling, and transit use by providing a safe and comfortable environment to reach transit stops, jobs, or nearby destinations.
- The typical building in Innovation Mixed-Use places is an older industrial structure that has been adaptively reused.
- Newer office, residential, and mixed-use buildings typically have heights up to six stories in this Place Type.
- New buildings are designed with active ground floor uses to support a vibrant pedestrian environment. They have tall ground floors and a high degree of transparency using clear glass windows and doors.
- All buildings are designed to orient to streets, whether reused or new, with prominent entrances providing pedestrian access from the public sidewalk.
- Buildings also orient toward existing or planned on-site open spaces and abutting parks and greenways.
- This Place Type includes improved numerous open spaces such as plazas, patios, and courtyards that may include landscaping.
- Public open spaces such as small parks and greenways, and natural open spaces such as tree preservation areas, are also an important feature and should be included in Innovation Mixed-Use places.
A.Active and passive community gathering spaces
B.Adaptive reuse of light industrial or underutilized buildings, embracing unique history and form
C.Regular rail crossings
D.Increased tree canopy
Bird’s Eye Highlights
A.Infill/redevelopment (adaptive reuse when possible) including light industrial, light industrial mixed use, medium to high density residential, and commercial
B.A variety of innovation mixed-use uses which may include breweries/distilleries, office, research, light manufacturing, art/exercise studios, hotels, coworking space, etc.
C.Improved multi-modal street connections to accommodate multiple modes of transportation including freight
D.Frequent pedestrian connections to and between buildings and blocks and across rail lines
E.Small parking lots and garages located to the side and behind buildings as feasible
F.Transition to surrounding neighborhoods
- The reuse of buildings for small scale production and distribution like breweries, bakeries, and similar businesses is common and encouraged.
- Self storage coupled with ground floor commercial space integrate this use into a mixed use, walkable place.
- Creative office space often occupies buildings not originally created for office use.
- Mixed Use Residential buildings may be integrated into post industrial buildings.
- Preservation of significant industrial buildings for new uses is common in areas that want to maintain a character that honors the past.
- Small, older purpose built warehouses can become the framework for a wide range of development infill.
- New office buildings can take on the character of a transitioning industrial area and provide a mix of old and new building styles.
- Newly built, smaller scale flex buildings that house office uses in conjunction with limited distribution are common. Truck traffic is lower than Manufacturing and Logistics uses, minimizing the impacts to adjacent neighborhoods.
- Tree canopy cover is primarily provided by street trees, pocket parks, and buffer areas, supporting pleasant pedestrian experience and environmental benefits.
- Newly constructed, and redeveloped streets and sidewalks support large stature trees.
- In all parking areas, sufficient trees are planted to mitigate heat island effect and stormwater runoff.
- Greater use of innovative approaches to support tree planting and growth, such as pervious pavement and green infrastructure, are encouraged.
- Tree canopy cover ranges from 35% - 45%.
- Transitions from Innovation Mixed-Use places use site-based elements such as parking, open space, and landscape buffers to create separation from less intense Place Types.
- Building heights will be lower along edges abutting neighborhoods.
- Buildings are typically located near the back of the sidewalk on local and main streets, and on arterial streets greater separation between the building and street travel lanes is provided.
- New buildings are intended to line street frontages while existing reused buildings will provide an urban edge using urban open space and other site elements.
- Buildings are located near the side and rear property lines. When abutting neighborhoods, the buildings are further from the property line and there is room for a landscaped buffer.
- Space between the sidewalk and the face of buildings contains outdoor seating or usable open space that contributes to a lively streetscape and a robust public realm.
Parking & Loading
- Parking is provided primarily on surface parking lots but can occur in parking decks associated with new buildings.
- Surface parking is located to the side and rear of buildings.
- Parking areas and areas adjacent to buildings and destinations include accommodations for rideshare access, micro mobility options, and designated bike and scooter parking.
Block Lengths & Street Network
- The more urban/transitional nature of Innovation Mixed-Use places requires excellent internal and external connectivity.
- The street network connects to and enhances the adjoining network to provide for route and mode choice and is dense enough to provide direct and efficient access from sites to arterials, particularly to reduce truck traffic on local streets.
- The preferred block length is 500 feet and block lengths typically do not exceed 650 feet. The preferred block lengths provide the connectivity needed to support route options within and to the Innovation Mixed-Use places and surrounding destinations and arterial streets, thereby encouraging the use of other modes of transportation and helping to disperse vehicular traffic.
Pedestrian & Bicycle Facilities
- 8-foot sidewalks with planting strips or amenity zones on local, collector, and arterial streets are sufficient in most Innovation Mixed-Use places.
- 10-foot sidewalks with a hardscape amenity zone are found along Main Streets.
- Frequent pedestrian crossings are provided across site barriers such as rail lines.
- Sites include clear and direct pedestrian and bicycle access between the streets and the buildings.
- Shared use paths are provided where they are shown on the adopted Streets Map.
- Bike lanes or separated bike lanes are provided on Arterial streets, sharrows are included on Local streets. The bike network is complete, well-marked, safe, and easy to use.
- Innovation Mixed-Use places have a moderate to high level of non-auto mode trips.
- Direct access is from arterials, collectors, or local streets that do not require trucks to traverse through residential neighborhoods.
- Sites and internal networks provide cross access between parking lots to limit the need for additional access points from streets.
- Alleys are also used as part of the internal network to improve connectivity between sites.
Curb Lane Management & On-Street Parking
- On-street parking is included on local streets, collector streets, and Main Streets, and may be provided along some types of arterials.
- The curb space has moderate to high amounts of turnover and requires some curb management to accommodate multiple users.
Transportation Demand Management
- There are moderate to high opportunities for Transportation Demand Management.