by Sam Hieb
Charlotte Observer headline reads:
Charlotte spent $2 million for housing project. After 11 years, it hasn’t been built.
Bad enough, right? But then the plot thickens—above-mentioned housing project is a so-called “transit-oriented development” project:
The city and the Charlotte Area Transit System bought nearly 16 acres for $9.2 million. The city helped pay for that with $2 million from the Housing Trust Fund.
In 2007, the city sold the land to Scaleybark Partners at a loss for about $5.2 million. The goal was to get affordable housing and the type of transit-oriented development leaders wanted. (The city had also cut $1.8 million from the price because of “challenging” soil conditions.)
….Having affordable housing near a light-rail station is considered important, because it’s easier for residents to get around without a car.
And it gets even better—-developer Peter Pappas claims the major stumbling block is:
“Unfortunately, the state has turned down three separate applications (2010, 2011 and 2014) for these tax credits based on the site criteria, which penalize sites that do not have a grocery store within a one-mile radius,” said Pappas. The Harris Teeter and Publix on South Boulevard are more than a mile away. Pappas said the company has been discussing options for the site with city staff for three years.
Social engineering at its best, folks. Government attempting to influence where people live, how people transport themselves, where people shop for food, while at the same time the city promotes itself to hipsters who wish to do what they want when they want via their smart phones.