Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

1Why did you seek a rezoning for Colony Apartments?
As the owners of The Colony since 1976, we long contemplated potential redevelopment of these 27 acres. Despite us attempting to take good care of the aging buildings, there are some infrastructure issues that cannot be repaired anymore, such as breaking of underground pipes and settling foundations that are not in repairable condition. We don’t feel that the current state of the property is the quality that our residents deserve or that stands up to the heritage and tradition of The Colony, so we decided to undergo a redevelopment effort and reimagining the site to better fit in to the SouthPark area and mixed-use, smart-growth practices.
2What is your vision for the redevelopment of The Colony?
When you build something to own it for future generations, you plan things differently. Synco plans for this to be a legacy project for them, and their development partners at Schlosser Development Corp. (SDC) do as well. Synco and SDC have been planning a redevelopment of this site for nearly 10 years, and with input from neighbors and others, they kept revising their vision to result in the highest and best use for the property.

In January 2016 the City of Charlotte voted unanimously to approve The Colony redevelopment plans. The conceptual plans include a mix of up to 990 new for rent or for sale attached residences, a hotel of up to 225 rooms, various retail up to 300,000 SF and office up to 250,000 SF on the 27 acre site. This mix of uses allows residents to have a place to live within walking distance of their workplace and convenient shopping at The Colony, and around the SouthPark area.

The commercial components will be concentrated along Sharon and Colony Roads and use roughly one-half of the site. The other half of the site towards Roxborough will be residential buildings developed in three phases.

Regardless of how many units are eventually built, the rezoning states that we will provide 55 units that will be at rental rates that are affordable to households earning no more than 80 percent of the area median income, which will enable people like some of our current residents, and our police officers, firefighters, teachers and nurses, to reside at The Colony. This rent control provision ensures they would remain affordable for at least 30 years.
3What is your timing for the redevelopment?
The earliest any physical redevelopment efforts would begin is early 2018. The first phase would likely include the first component of residential and the retail component. There will likely be 16-20 months of build out for retail with an opening mid 2019, along with the first phase of residential.

The second phase would include (based on market dynamics and demand) the office building, additional residential and the hotel. Additional residential units will be evaluated after that based on market conditions and demand. We envision a redevelopment of this scale would take place over a period of 5-6 years. It is possible the office and hotel components could be constructed at the same time as the first phase of residential and retail.
4Who are the developers?
Synco Properties has been in business since 1971 and currently owns or operates 4,000 multifamily units in 23 properties across the Carolinas. Led by industry veteran Tim Hose, they are a closely-held business and have owned and operated The Colony since 1976. Synco will be leading the rezoning and the redevelopment of the multifamily units. In fact, Tim Hose stated he intends to live in The Colony in the future, which takes long-term ownership and stewardship of the land to a new level.

Schlosser Development Corporation is leading the development of the commercial portion of the property and is based in Austin, Texas. They also are a closely-held company and are nationally recognized for their retail and mixed-use developments. Schlosser has developed and manages over 3.5 million square feet of commercial projects including Shoal Creek Walk, Fifth Lamar Retail, and the HomeAway corporate headquarters at 1011 W. 5th Street in Austin, Boise Park West in Idaho and more locally, The Container Store across from the Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh. Currently, the firm has another 500,000 square feet under development.

Both firms clearly share the vision to create a flagship development for Charlotte.
5What infrastructure changes do you plan?
The site plan that we are considering has intentional connectivity throughout the site for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. We also are looking to make a connection from Roxborough to Sharon Road through the middle of the site extending Rexford Road, to improve the vehicular grid and connectivity.

In addition, we are required to install new signalization at key access points to the development on Sharon and Colony Roads to facilitate better vehicular flow. In addition, the team is contributing $250,000 to Charlotte Department of Transportation. Initially these funds would be earmarked to fund a future traffic signal at Roxborough Road and Rexford Road. However, if traffic counts do not warrant such a signal within five years, those funds (at the City Council’s discretion) could be used to fund other transportation and pedestrian related improvements within 3/4 of mile of the Site to improve connectivity and safety.
6Have you adjusted the plans at all since you started?
Quite significantly- the Synco and Schlosser teams worked with various neighborhood groups and listened to public input which led to major architecture changes (see below). The most notable include: 1. A reduction in residential density from 1,100 units to 990 units. 2. A reduction in the height of the office building fronting along Colony Road from 160 feet to 120 feet. 3. A minimum setback at the office building along Colony Road of 50 linear feet to allow for a larger linear park and meandering sidewalk for runners and joggers along Colony Road. We made these and many other changes to the plan to accommodate requests from District 6 City Councilman Kenny Smith and the Deering Oaks and Barclay Downs neighborhoods on reducing heights and density as well as landscaping the median on Colony Road at our cost.
7How has the architecture changed over time?
We have changed the look and feel of the residential architecture based on the community's feedback that we have received through meetings and the website. We think the new look is timeless and will fit well into the South Park neighborhood. Here is a new view of a residential building from BB+M Architecture:

Apartment Rendering
8Why do we need more apartments in SouthPark?
Charlotte was recently named the 2nd fastest growing city in the country, so there is demand from both newcomers to the area and new households that are forming. Renters love living in a place where they can walk to restaurants and retail, as well as their workplaces, so this site fits that desire perfectly. SouthPark exists as a core neighborhood for Charlotte, but most current developments still require people to get in and out of their cars to do anything. We hope to change that through providing a variety of uses and a pedestrian and bike friendly street network.

The first phase of residential development will basically replace the same number of units that currently exist on the property. Our later residential phases will be delivered based on demand and market dynamics and could be for-sale or for-rent, so the rezoning and scale of the site allows us some flexibility.

9How will you ensure your new apartments will be affordable to former residents or those with lower-paying jobs?
We have made a commitment to reserve 55 units for workforce housing for the hardworking individuals who might not be able to afford Class A+ rent. We will give priority for former "Colonists".
10Why do we need workforce housing apartments in the SouthPark area?
Many Charlotteans, including new teachers, police officers, and firefighters earn less than the area median income. Therefore, we are reserving 55 of the units (regardless of how many are developed) at rents affordable for that workforce, and also for retired individuals on fixed incomes, some of whom reside at The Colony currently and may want to move back to The Colony upon completion of the development of the residences. This set-aside of workforce housing is a voluntary provision. Both Synco and SDC believe that quality housing and great property management should be accessible to people of all walks of life. We received positive feedback from residents, prospects, City Council and others on our choice to be a leader in workforce housing.
11What types of retail tenants are you targeting?
We are talking to a number of tenants in a variety of categories: grocers, specialty gift shops, numerous restaurants (that would likely form a “restaurant row”), furniture & home accessories, theatres, and upscale fitness options, among others.
12How many restaurants will you be able to fit in the project?
Depending on size of each operator, we could fit in 4-8 restaurants in a variety of categories.
13What do you plan to do with the existing trees?
We completed a tree survey which will enable us to identify which hardwood trees should be saved. Futhermore, the architects and site designers are working together to design building and streets in a manner that will allow many existing trees to be saved. We’re going to try and preserve a large number of trees along the perimeter of the site as well as in the center of the site where we plan a public plaza. Along Colony and Roxborough, we will provide a meandering trail type of sidewalk through the trees. We also are planning to salvage as many trees as possible along Sharon Road.
14What if SouthPark had a true park as a destination – in the heart of the Urban core?
Our concept for The Colony aims to integrate a park-like setting with the urban scale and context that makes SouthPark so exciting and vibrant. Incorporating natural elements such as native plantings and green spaces, while retaining existing tree canopy within the core of this project allows us to position this venue as a truly unique destination for SouthPark. Featuring a variety of seating areas and surfaces, comfortable streetscapes, public gathering spaces and lush gardens – the large public space in a park-like setting will maintain the flexibility to become a notable gathering place for SouthPark events.

The edges of the site will continue the existing highly treed and residential character along Colony and Roxborough Roads. The tree canopy works with the architecture to appropriately face the roadways, offering meandering paths for running and biking and shade the buildings. Along the edges of the site, we're preserving 2 acres of green space for public use.
15What will the building heights be?
Under the previous R17 zoning, buildings were permitted to be up to 100' tall. However we are planning much of the site to be lower than that. The first multi-family building will be 5 stories (65') and retail will be less than 90'. Other height limits are 120', 140' and 160'.

These building heights are necessary in order to reduce the "footprints" of the buildings. By reducing building footprints, we are able to preserve existing trees and create more public open space.

Courtesy: Bell Morrison
16Will you have enough parking?
We heard from neighbors that they want ample and user-friendly parking. Office uses will have different parking peak needs (daytimes) than the retail / residential uses (evenings and weekends). Therefore, parking areas dedicated to the office component can be used to provide overflow parking for retail/residential uses at peak times. We will far exceed the required number of spaces and parking will be dispersed into 4 different decks so it will be easy to get in / out of the decks and find spaces. Some of the parking will be underground, but the majority will be surface-level or in decks, and all decks will be screened from view. We anticipate at final build out, there will likely be around 3,500 spaces.
17Will the streets be closed to accommodate construction?
The development believes that due to the site's size, most construction activity can be staged internally, reducing the need to close adjacent streets. There may be the need to trim some of the older, large trees which may mean a tree crew might block a lane at times.
18Are there any plans to change Colony Road back to four lanes?
No. However, because we heard in several community meetings how much neighbors are passionate about the neighborhood but hate the eyesore of having a "ditch" in the middle of Colony Road, we (at our expense) will complete a makeover to key medians that now serve as ditches on Colony near Runnymede incorporating trees, shrubs, rebuilt stone headwalls, pedestrian refuge islands, etc. and the developer will agree to maintain those far above the City’s standard maintenance requirements.

19I'm a current Colony Resident and want more info.
Don't worry! Note that there's nothing to plan for 2016 and 2017, and our property management staff will keep you apprised of progress, as well as the VIP program to welcome the Colonists back first once we've made improvements and once details have been further solidified!
20I am a member of the Media. Who do I contact?
You may contact Julianne at Yellow Duck Marketing or call 704-271-9556, or 704-806-5951.
21I have additional questions/comments not addressed here. What should I do?