‘See it as an opportunity’ | Townhomes coming to site of formerly run-down motel in Sugar Creek Corridor

Charlotte leaders are seeking solutions to the affordable housing crisis.

Monday, Charlotte City Council voted to turn over city-owned property to developers to build new townhomes on Sugar Creek Road near Interstate 85.

The land was once an Economy Inn that brought crime and people struggling to make ends meet.

It’s along Interstate 85, many people exit off Sugar Creek Road, where there are several hotels. The area has been known as a hot spot for crime.

“A lot of it is driven by an oversupply of these hotel rooms along the 85 interchange,” Erin Gillespie, the Interim Executive Manager for Corridors of Opportunity for the City of Charlotte, said.

Gillespie helps oversee the Corridors of Opportunity, an initiative targeting six key areas of Charlotte, including the Sugar Creek area, by investing in communities that have long been neglected.

Gillespie said they are working to understand what the needs of the community are, which includes reducing crime and adding more housing. The run-down Economy Inn once brought problems — but then it became a solution.

“See it as an opportunity, to have an under-performing hotel, motel low-vacancy rate and transform it,” Gilespie said.

The Economy Inn was demolished and now it’s a vacant lot. There are plans for about 39 townhomes, building more homeownership opportunities.

‌“There’s a big gap right now between renters being able to get from a rental unit to homeownership,” Warren Wooten, Assistant Director of Affordable Housing for the City of Charlotte, said.

‌The town homes would be sold to people making 80% of the area’s median income, or less, which is about $80,000 for a family of four.

‌“We have a lot of renters who are cost-burdened so for many renters who are looking at this, this may be a less expensive option than their current rental unit,” Wooten said.

‌Homeownership and creating equity are a top priority for the City of Charlotte, as they work to change areas like the Sugar Creek Corridor.

‌City leaders bought Economy Inn for about $4.2 million in 2023.

Now approved, the developers will still have some zoning to work through, but a groundbreaking is expected later this year.

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