Mecklenburg Co. commissioners approve $38M in public money for Atrium Health’s Innovation district

North Carolina

CHARLOTTE (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — Mecklenburg County Commissioners approved $38 million in tax refunds in an investment to Atrium Health’s Innovation District. The district will include Charlotte’s first medical school.

The project will be built in Dilworth, where experts say the average home is selling for around $730,000.

“You’re creating these medical centers in downtown, central urban areas. So, it attracts people in those areas, which is great. The flip side of that is in areas like Cherry or Dilworth, you’re going to see some residential prices that could potentially increase,” said Jordan Keesee, Real Estate Advisor for Fagan Realty Group.

Keesee says although prices might increase, the benefits of having these types of projects come to Charlotte will outweigh the negatives. Home values will increase, and more business will come to the Queen City.

“There’s an advisory council. They’ll be able to create denser housing be able to help ease some of those issues,” Keesee said.

Commissioner Leigh Altman says although she doesn’t have any concerns about the project’s plans and public investment, she will continue to ensure Atrium follows through with these promises.

“They have commitments around the community engagement and listening to neighbors who are most directly affected such as residents living in Dilworth and Sherry and I will be watching closely and is seeking updates as to how they’re honoring those commitments,” Altman said.

But Commissioner Susan Rodriguez McDowell questioned why this amount of public investment was needed, especially when Mecklenburg County is already struggling with affordable housing.

“Our community is in an affordable housing crisis. And to invest all that money into the wedge. You know, when? Just to me, it just felt like it was out of balance,” McDowell said.

Atrium said about five percent of the housing in the innovation district will be considered “affordable housing.” But they are donating 14 acres of land near NoDa to Inlivian, so 400 affordable housing units can be built.

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