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Developers and Dilworth residents discuss possible construction of pharmacy

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CHARLOTTE — A developer and Dilworth neighbors sparred Monday evening at Charlotte City Council over a proposal to build a drive-through pharmacy and office building at a busy intersection.

Lincoln Harris wants to add a Walgreens and office space at the corner of Kenilworth Avenue and East Morehead Street. It is an area that is currently zoned residential. The proposal will not be voted on until October. However, Monday night was the last chance for Dilworth neighbors and planners to make their formal argument for and against the plan in front of the city council.

Dozens of Dilworth neighbors filled the government center Monday evening in solidarity against the rezoning proposal to add the Walgreens and office buildings. The plan would demolish five buildings, built between 1900 and 1927, along Kenilworth and Morehead to add the pharmacy and office space across the street from Carolinas Medical Center.

Dilworth neighbors argue the plan does not fit the feel of the neighborhood and fear a pharmacy drive-through will bring additional traffic to an already congested area. However the developer said they've made concessions and cut down on the project's scope.

“You've all driven that area. Have you ever once thought, 'Wouldn't it be great to have a one-story suburban style retail store on that corner',” said Charlotte resident John Fryday.

“We think what we are proposing is a better scale for that portion of town. It's only about 20 percent of what can be built under the existing zoning,” said Walter Fields with Lincoln Harris.

The developer originally said the site could allow as much as a five-story parking deck, but decided against adding it to the plan after meetings with Dilworth neighbors. Around 1,100 people have signed a petition in opposition to the plan.


More from Monday night's city council meeting:

Council also voted to rezone some land in the Barclay Downs neighborhood to make way for an apartment tower.

Developers plan to build the eight-story tower on three acres at the intersection of Barclay Downs Drive and Morrison Boulevard. Some members of the Barclay Downs Swim and Racquet Club had objected to the project, but they eventually lifted their objections after working with the developers.


They also decided to delay a vote on whether to give $2 million from a federal program to rehabilitate the Mecklenburg Mills housing project in the NoDa neighborhood. Residents were forced out of the Mills in 2006 because of unsafe living conditions.

The Community Builders bought the property last year but said the rehabilitation costs would be more than expected.

Council said it wants more details and that it will consider the request again in October.

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