Step by Step: Catalyzing Walkable Redevelopment

APA North Carolina Chapter


Wednesday, September 27, 2017
8 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. EDT

CM | 1.25

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Step by step, a growing number of North Carolina communities are transforming suburbia.  What strategies are working well, and what aren’t?  Planners from Charlotte and Chapel Hill will present recent experiences using redevelopment to turn suburban districts into more walkable places. Participants will learn how form-based codes can create a compelling entitlements framework, the use of synthetic tax increment financing for public infrastructure investment, and how a municipality can serve as master developer.


Participants will learn:

  -Different ways that municipalities are leading redevelopment efforts, including challenges and opportunities within 

   these various approaches.

  -How land acquisition and infrastructure planning are being used to retrofit a former mall site in Charlotte.

  -How a form-based code and infrastructure investments are being used to drive transformation of an aging 

   suburban commercial district in Chapel Hill.

  -How these communities have adjusted their strategies in order to meet their goals.

  -How these examples fit into the larger context of communities that are doing this work across North Carolina. 


The overarching goal of this session will be to share experiences in a way that is transferable to other communities around the state. We are also interested to learn from experiences and questions that participants share during the question-and-answer portion of the session.


Charlotte will focus on their efforts to redevelop the former Eastland Mall. The City's initial strategy was to resell the entire 80-acre property to a developer. Because the market response did not fit with the City's goals for this area, Charlotte decided to take a more incremental approach. Today, the City is playing the role of master developer, selling off properties within a planned street network informed by design guidelines that emerged from a 3-year public engagement process. 


Chapel Hill will share its efforts to redevelop an aging suburban commercial district, bisected by a major highway. With a tax base that is heavily dependent upon residential property taxes, Chapel Hill is experimenting with its first form-based code as an economic development strategy. The Town is also using a synthetic TIF (installment financing) to pay for needed road improvements that mitigate congestion and support redevelopment.  


Todd DeLong, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

As the Redevelopment Manager for the City of Charlotte, Todd oversees the City’s redevelopment initiatives such as public private partnerships, corridor revitalization, and the City's business matching grant programs. Prior to joining the City of Charlotte in July 2014 Todd was a Senior Association for a real estate ... Read More

Benjamin Hitchings, FAICP

Confirmed Speaker

Ben Hitchings is the Director of Planning and Development Services for the Town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Past President of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association. He has more than 20 years of experience working on planning issues, and has developed award-winning plans at the ... Read More

Adam Lovelady

Confirmed Speaker

Adam Lovelady is an Assistant Professor at the UNC School of Government where he provides research, teaching, and advising on topics of zoning, land subdivision, community planning, and historic preservation. Before joining the School of Government in 2012, he practiced law with McGuireWoods LLP in Richmond, Virginia. Lovelady has authored ... Read More

John Richardson

Confirmed Speaker

Contact Info

Benjamin Howell,