22 Apr ODA is panning for gold with new development
Few know of the Rudisill and St. Catherine gold mines, much less their lodes’ role in anchoring an industry that established Charlotte as an economic engine.
A group of local businesspeople — led by architect Stephen Overcash and commercial real estate broker Caren Castellaneta Wingate — want to change that by using the mines’ legacy to rebrand 13 blocks in South End.
The Rudisill gold mine operated along West Summit Avenue near South Mint Street. Its shafts have long been filled and covered with concrete. The ore dug there and at the nearby St. Catherine mine made Charlotte the gold-mining center of the country in the first half of the 19th century.
Overcash says this history should be leveraged to create a section of South End called The Gold District. The brand would be applied to a 46-acre area bordered by South Church Street, Morehead Street, West Summit Avenue and Graham Street.
A stakeholders meeting for the Gold District branding will be held Monday from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at The Unknown Brewing Co., 1327 Mint Street.
“The Gold District is a gold mine,” Overcash told the Charlotte Business Journal, grinning at the literal play on words. “I love it.”
He and Wingate started work on the idea after researching a site in the area for a client in July 2012. As the two dug into documents, they found what they felt was an important but underappreciated piece of the Queen City’s past.
The duo enlisted local branding and advertising firm BooneOakley and real estate consultant Walter Fields on crafting the district plan. Overcash says organizers are playing with different ways to apply the Gold District brand, including a shortened version of the name — “Goldistrict” or “The D.”
Fields says he’s working on zoning request for the neighborhood that would create a overlay district. The goal is to preserve the existing businesses and architecturally significant buildings while adding density and street-level retail.
“We want it to be a mix of as much as possible,” says Overcash, who adds that there are plans for a historical attraction akin to a museum about the local mining industry and the development of the former Charlotte Mint.
Article by Susan Stabley for the Charlotte Business Journal. Susan Stabley covers growth, the environment and residential real estate for the Charlotte Business Journal. The original article can be found at http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/going_green/2013/12/gold-district-mines-south-end.html?page=all