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Zoetic Walkways ULI Urban Ideas Competition BSB Design

BSB Design with Lincoln Property Company Win Contest Seeking Bold Designs for North Charlotte Site

Walkability, green living, community, connecting — these were all themes that surfaced during the ULI Carolinas‘ first Urban Ideas Competition.

The competition was inspired by the ULI Hines competition, a national student design and development competition, and was geared toward challenging local CRE folk to get creative about redevelopment and giving back to the community. For the Charlotte version of the contest, ULI picked a 47-acre greenfield site adjacent to the University City Station on the LYNC Blue Line Extension. The LYNX Blue Line was slated to open this fall, but the timetable has been pushed back several months. While the competition did not require proposals to show financial feasibility, teams were asked to consider market realities and viability.

“We intended for the competition to lead to bold ideas and inquiry into the highest and best use of the site—ultimately arming the client organization (in this case University City Partners) with fresh thinking and usable insight into real challenges,” says Richard Cox, a senior associate with ULI Triangle.

Ten teams entered the competition, and the winner was announced at last week’s ULI’s Carolinas’ Meeting. Taking home top honors was BSB Design Inc., a Des Moines-based architectural firm that opened a Charlotte office in 2015 after acquiring Entasis Design. BSB’s Todd Meckley had founded Entasis here in 2005.

Cox said the entries represented a “diverse mix of professionals/students and experience and representation from around the Carolinas. All teams offered something unique in terms of design ideas and development/product mix concepts.”

Here are the entrants:

The Winner



Entrants:  Elizabeth Kandle – BSB Design Inc; Todd Meckley – BSB Design Inc; Duncan Slidell – Lincoln Property Company; Thomas Dinneny – BSB Design Inc; Jeremy White – BSB Design Inc; Joe Maschek – BSB Design Inc; Doug Wirth – BSB Design Inc

Concept: In designing the “Zoetic| Living City” we harnessed the inherent power of walkability, green living, community, and food culture of Charlotte. The neighborhood is built into the natural environment and unique characteristics of the city and brings together people from diverse backgrounds. By developing a center of gravity within a neighborhood focused on sustainability, urban experience, and Zero Net Energy living we were equally able to align the organic movements trending among both the baby boomers and the millennials.


Return to Nature

Return to nature

Entrants: David Crabtree – Gensler; Scott Lagstrom – Gensler; Kevin Loftus – Gensler; Ryan Olson – Gensler; Michael Wagner – Gensler; Shaun Tooley – LandDesign; Andrea James – LandDesign; Amy Eliason – LandDesign

Concept: The site strategy is an extension of broader regional influences: Reclaim the landscape of suburban Charlotte as an asset all its own, fusing smart, meaningful development with an opportunity to reconnect all the facets of human experience — life, work and play — with nature. The approach creates an environment entirely unique to the Charlotte market: an oasis of natural beauty where public spaces for retail, recreation and gathering are placed adjacent to a natural landscape programmed with public spaces, music venues, lawns, trails and other amenities that seamlessly weave together urban and suburban.


Urban Natural Topology

Urban Natural Topology

Entrants: Turan Duda – Duda|Paine Architects; Jeffrey Paine – Duda|Paine Architects; Ian McIver – Duda|Paine Architects; Andres Serpa – Duda|Paine Architects; Gary Chesson – Trinity Partners; Jeff Sheehan – Trinity Partners; George Stanziale – Stewart; Michael Batts – Stewart

Concept: Traditional, roadway-oriented development convention gives way to a cross-weaving of human occupation—dwelling, connecting and encountering—with the pathways of movement—rail, pedestrian, bicycle and automobile. Across the site’s varied landscape, these blue and green lines link together. The terrain’s bisecting dip inspires additional vertical layering of the “green line” via lush building terraces and roof gardens, while it also blankets levels of parking below.

Tryon Market

Tryon Market

Entrants: Dan Gualtieri – Leon Capital Group; Eric Lemieux – LandDesign; Patrick Tormeno – BB+M Architecture; Joshua Graham – BB+M Architecture

Concept: Tryon Market is a mixed-use transit oriented development containing retail, office, residential, entertainment, and recreational components. Designed with connectivity in mind, the project encourages walkability and community.



Entrants: Brian Vaughn – UNC Department of City & Regional Planning (Student); Sarah Parkins – UNC Department of City & Regional Planning (Student); Sen Wang – UNC Department of City & Regional Planning (Student); Christopher Bendix – UNC Department of City & Regional Planning (Student); Katy Lang – UNC Department of City & Regional Planning (Student); Gloria Liu – UNC Department of City & Regional Planning (Student); Jenna Shouse – UNC Department of City & Regional Planning (Student); Margaret Tartala – UNC Department of City & Regional Planning (Student)

Concept: We envision Open at University City Boulevard Station as a cooperative community that inspires curiosity and fosters vitality. Open surpasses the conventional urban village trend, creating an urban community that supports the full spectrum of healthy living: exercise, nourishment, learning, growth, and the human need for connection.

 Discovery Woods

Discovery Woods

Entrants: Astrid Chirinos – Latin American Economic Development Corporation; Wendy Pascual – Camino Community Center; Alex Rossinsky – Crescent Communities; Ming-Chun Lee – UNCC College of Arts & Architecture (Faculty); Shree Ganesan – Freelance Planner & Working Mom; Rachel Hamrick – Neighboring Concepts; Eric Orozco – Neighboring Concepts

Concept: With multi-use trail connections and direct access to an elementary school, our concept creates a high density, multigenerational, and mixed-use development to close the gaps that typically challenge local families in access to childcare and diverse, flexible employment resources.



Entrants: Robert Stubbs – UNCC College of Arts & Architecture (Student); Adan Granados – UNCC College of Arts & Architecture (Student); Lucas Flint – UNCC College of Arts & Architecture (Student); Frank Warren – Planner/Developer/Broker; Deb Ryan – UNCC College of Arts & Architecture (Faculty)

Concept: The hive is communal, busy, active, connected, and productive. It connects a sophisticated internal network to the Greater Charlotte area by utilizing existing infrastructure adapted to new technologies. The hive champions the community, embraces technology, enables an economy of sharing, and puts people first.

NDOR at University Station


Entrants: James Piper – UNCC College of Arts & Architecture (Student); Nicholas Wilk – UNCC College of Arts & Architecture (Student); William Buff – UNCC College of Arts & Architecture (Student); Charlie Rulick – Miller-Valentine; Deborah Ryan – UNCC College of Arts & Architecture (Faculty)

Concept: NDOR at University Station offers a mix of housing types, a series of commercial buildings along Tryon Street, and a long pedestrian plaza across Tryon Street leading deep into the site and terminating at an amphitheater.



Entrants: Ashlan Jones – UNCC College of Arts & Architecture (Student); Anna Anklin – UNCC College of Arts & Architecture (Student); Sarah Stumpin – UNCC College of Arts & Architecture (Student); Deb Ryan – UNCC College of Arts & Architecture (Faculty); Richard Petersheim – LandDesign

Concept: Plexus is a complex community network that promotes connection to people, place, and nature. Plexus provides endless opportunities for change and customization for its residents. Residents of Plexus have the ability to shape the way their lives are based on their personal preferences because of the reliance on the sharing economy and flexible spaces.

Revival of the Fit City

Revival of the fit city

Entrants: Brooke McGrath – UNCC College of Arts & Architecture (Student); Alexander Ancona – UNCC College of Arts & Architecture (Student); Matthew Moore – UNCC College of Arts & Architecture (Student); Michael Hoppa – UNCC College of Arts & Architecture (Student)

Concept: Reviving the ideals and planning strategies of medieval cities, our proposal strives to promote a simple principle: if cities are planned primarily for cars, there will be plenty of traffic. But if cities are designed primarily for pedestrians, there will be plenty of people in places.

For more information about the contest or entrants, go here.