Though you may not know his name, you’ve seen Daniel Levine’s handiwork along Monroe Road and beyond. If you’ve admired that 1923 barn and silos, tossed Frisbees or raced drones on what is Monroe Road’s largest, greenest piece of undeveloped land at McAlpine Business Park, shopped at the Galleria, taken your kids to swim classes in Greylyn, lived in the Crest at Greylyn, or driven along the privately built east-west connecting roads, you know Daniel.
He’s shy about calling attention to himself, but Daniel Levine deserves recognition. Charlotte Center City Partners just gave him the Vision Award for his work on the beautiful First Ward park next to UNCC’s Center City building. Talk with him about what he sees as Monroe Road’s potential and you’ll want to give him a Vision Award for this area as well.
Sitting down with him, Daniel grabs a pen and sketches out what he calls the Golden Triangle: he considers the area between 74 (Independence Blvd) and I-77 as it fans out southward from uptown to be Charlotte’s most desirable land. He pauses to emphasize that Monroe Road has the greatest potential for change of anything inside that triangle. Daniel should know, as his family has been there for 50 years. His dad (Alvin) and his uncle (Leon, of Family Dollar) built their distribution centers here because it was closer to their homes than I-85, yet provided similar access.
Daniel went to school at Rama Road Elementary, McClintock Middle School and East Mecklenburg High School. He started work here over 30 years ago when he returned from Chapel Hill. He has developed key properties like Greylyn and sold them to turn toward other projects – his most recent one being a former lumber yard that is now one of Charlotte’s premier gymnastic centers, Perfect Balance. Crosland, one of his family’s partnerships, and NCDOT came together to build Sardis Road North as well as the bridge over the railroad. As he talks, details spill out, a vision takes shape, and your appreciation for this corridor increases. “MoRA is defining an area of southeast Charlotte,” he says, “that provides some of the best opportunity and value in the city.”
Although the road from McAlpine Business Park that opened to Thermal was initially opposed by area residents, it is now widely used by many of the people who opposed it. The down-zoning of the land from Industrial-1 to mixed use created a less intensive land use that would have allowed the construction of a residential hospice. In the protracted fray, the hospice facility had to find another location — sadly to many, because the bucolic setting would have offered a nice respite for patients, staff and families.
Stay connected to MoRA. As details are finalized on several pending projects, you’ll read about them here.