Charlotte North Carolina | 2017 | Concept Proposal
Belmont Agora is a community-driven mixed use development concept for Charlotte’s Belmont neighborhood. The project was developed in response to an RFP asking for teams of developers and architects to create innovative mixed-use approaches to rapidly activate two adjacent under-utilized city-owned properties.
The architectural and development strategy was to create a gentrification-resistant project. This phased-proposal includes the adaptive reuse of two existing commercial buildings, new ground-floor commercial spaces, and below-market rate housing aimed at local families.
Programmatically, leasable “incubator” units offer low cost and flexible term leasing for start-up local businesses, and community organizations, among others. Traditional brick and mortar commercial space will also be available to attract established local business owners looking to relocate or expand to Belmont. The density and size of residential units allow for below market rate rent offerings to prospective tenants.
From community rooms, services, pedestrian thoroughfares, to the “Agoras”, spaces throughout the project are shared. The Agora spaces will remain open to the public, available for markets and festivals, community gatherings and events, open and accessible to all residents of the Belmont neighborhood.
These interstitial spaces take on a vibrant character, illuminated during the evening with dynamic lighting, attracting residents and visitors to this new community hub. These interior facades undulate to spatially integrate, public, semi-public, and private zones. The ground floor plinth is a flexible open structural lattice to accommodate a mix of temporary, seasonal, and permanent commercial types.