Applied Innovation Corridor

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Applied Innovation Corridor (AIC)

Program overview

This program is providing infrastructure investments to spur economic growth and facilitate recruitment of high-tech industries to this area, referred to in the Center City 2020 Vision Plan  as the Applied Innovation Corridor (AIC). These investments are intended to attract both technology start-ups and expanding high-tech businesses to the area and encourage residential and commercial redevelopment. This type of growth will help strengthen collaboration between our academic research institutions and private industry which, in turn, catalyzes high-tech job growth benefiting the city’s economy.​

 Upcoming events

 

 

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​North End: Charlotte’s next chapter

Adjacent to Uptown, the North End is an emerging area of Charlotte, brimming with possibilities and is a focus area of the Applied Innovation Corridor. A counterpoint to the successful, historic South End district, the North End contains the established neighborhoods bounded by I-277, I-77, I-85 and North Davidson Street. The City of Charlotte is targeting this area for investment through many means, including the Community Investment Plan (CIP). In 2014 and 2016, Charlotte voters approved $146 million in city bonds for public improvements for housing and neighborhoods. A portion of these funds is being channeled for investment in North End through projects identified in the Applied Innovation Corridor, with a specific focus on redevelopment opportunities and jobs creation. 

A list of potential infrastructure projects was prepa​​red, shared with stakeholders and refined throughout 2015. The projects included investments in new street connections, streetscapes, sidewalk and bikeway improvements, development of key catalyst sites and improved connections for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit users.

Priority projects identified

On March 11, 2015, the potential infrastructure projects were reviewed and vetted with a gathering of 59 community members at an open house and stakeholder workshop held in the North End. In small groups using maps, participants reviewed and discussed ten large infrastructure projects, a number of small connectivity projects and other related bicycle/pedestrian improvement projects under consideration. A few additional infrastructure projects were identified for further consideration as a result of this engagement with the community. A Stakeholder Workshop Summary is available here.

Over the summer, City of Charlotte staff prepared and applied a number of criteria to further refine the list of projects to proceed into further development. The complete list of potential infrastructure projects considered is here. The criteria included:

  • Potential benefits and achievements of the project – i.e. enhancement/beautification to corridor, provide alternative transportation choices, connectivity, etc.)
  • Estimated cost
  • CIP goal – which CIP goals are achieved by the project?
  • Stakeholder input – is the community in favor of the project, how is it favored in comparison to the other projects?
  • Market analysis – is the project in vicinity of an area that has been identified with strong potential for development in the short-term?
  • Impacts and challenges – i.e. costly utility relocation and land acquisition, environmental impacts, etc.
  • Ranking score – a scoring system was developed based on the CIP goals, stakeholder input and cost feasibility

This process resulted in a list of eight prioritized projects with allocations of funding from the 2014 – 2018 CIP to potentially implement the first four prioritized projects. Funding is currently not identified for priorities beyond the fourth, the multi-use paths extending between Statesville Avenue and N. Tryon Street. 

Note: The identified allocations of the 2014, 2016 and 2018 bond funds for these projects are based on high-level conceptual cost estimates. As projects are further developed, cost estimates will be refined and allocated funding for each project will be adjusted accordingly. This prioritized list will be continuously evaluated over time and is subject to adjustments.

Program funding and cost information

Funded through Transportation Bonds ($12.5 million from bonds passed by voters in 2014, $2.7 million from bonds passed by voters in 2016 and $13.8 million proposed bonds on the ballot in 2018.)

Next steps

  • Test feasibility of prioritized projects

  • Consider potential private leveraging opportunities and return on investment

  • Facilitate focused and intentional community engagement for each project

Public involvement

Sign up here to get on the project mailing list and provide comments.

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​​Subscribe today!​​​

Sign up to receive public meeting notifications and construction updates on the Applied Innovation Corridor. ​​​Or text the phrase charmeck aic to 468-311.​​

​​​Program contacts

Jim Keenan 
Program Manager
Engineering & Property Management
704-634-4874
jkeenan@charlottenc.gov 

Leslie Bing 
Project Manager
Engineering & Property Management
704-577-8609
lbing@charlottenc.gov 

Additional resources 

Center City 2020 Vision Plan
North Tryon Plan
LYNX Blue Line Extension (CATS Website) 

Urban Land Institute (ULI) Resources

Applied Innovation Corridor Report

ULI Panel presentation for Applied Innovation Corridor, May 2014 

Video
Presentation slides 

Related Programs and projects 
Northeast Corridor Infrastructure (NECI) Program
Joint Communications Center
Cross Charlotte Trail