Uptown Charlotte could be losing a little more green space to development. Plans for a large redevelopment project will reduce the size of Marshall Park by more than a third. The news comes on the heels of a Trust for Public Lands survey which ranks Charlotte 91st in its list of parks systems among the nation’s 100 largest cities. Just six percent of Charlotte’s land use is used for parks and recreation. The national average is 15 percent.
The 17-acre project around the former Brooklyn neighborhood would include new offices, shops, hotel rooms, and housing. It would also cut the size of the park to just 1.6 acres.
Brooklyn was once the largest Black neighborhood in Charlotte before much of it was demolished as part of a federal urban renewal program. The redevelopment project has a goal of spending 35% of contracting dollars with minority-owned, women-owned, and small business enterprises.
A small portion of the 1200 projected new residences in the project would be set aside for affordable housing units.
Currently, Marshall Park is five-and-a-half acres nestled among government buildings. It’s mostly just an open space with a small lake and amphitheater.
The Park has also been the site of numerous protests over the years in support of social or political views. Most recently it was the site of numerous rallies related to the George Floyd murder. Here is a list of other notable demonstrations at the park.
Continuing that spirit of activism a petition is already circulating to Save Marshall Park. More than 600 people have signed the petition to Mecklenburg County Commissioners.
Lucky for Charlotte residents, there are still 3 other large parks around Uptown to enjoy.
Romare Beardon with its unmistakable centerpiece fountain is about the same size as Marshall Park. It sits at 300 S. Church Street just across from Truist Field. It’s a well-known spot for live music and festivals. (link: )
First Ward is slightly smaller than Marshall Park. You can find First Ward Park between East 7th, 9th and Brevard Streets, just east of the light rail tracks.
Freedom Park is sometimes referred to as Charlotte’s Central Park. (The always bustling Freedom Park is huge. 98 acres huge to be exact. Along with the usual ‘park stuff’, it has tennis courts, batting cages, ball fields, and a 7-acre lake.
If you live near any of those parks you are lucky. Just 39 percent of people in Charlotte live within a 10-minute walk to a park. The national average is 55 percent.
If approved, the Brooklyn redevelopment project would be completed in 2 phases. The construction impacting Marshall Park isn’t supposed to start for several years so you still have some time to enjoy it….