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Cool, or What? 

Future projects show promise

Here are three projects in the works that could help kick-start Charlotte's "cool" makeover.

¨ The US National Whitewater Center is a public park that will offer a custom-made whitewater river as its centerpiece. It will be located along the Catawba River where Interstates 85 and 485 intersect approximately 10 miles from downtown. The Center will contain over 300 acres of woodlands providing steep slopes and varied terrain and offering tremendous views of the Catawba River. The site also includes a 37-acre island providing primitive camping for river paddlers. The surrounding property is comprised of farmland and riverfront acreage creating a rural buffer. Other outdoor adventure activities will include mountain biking, rock climbing, trail running and swift-water rescue training.

¨ A $250-million remake of Elizabeth Avenue was recently launched by Grubb Properties. The mixed-use project will be sandwiched between CPCC and Presbyterian Hospital in a six-block area. With favorites like Carpe Diem, Anderson's, the Double Door and the Visulite already in place, the project calls for adding a movie theater, more restaurants, retail, apartments and condominiums. Construction is scheduled to start this summer

¨ Noah Lazes's ARK Management is planning a project tentatively dubbed the Charlotte Music Factory along a 30-acre site near Graham Street that will become a broad arts and cultural destination. Lazes says the project will contain everything from band rehearsal and recording studios to record labels, production facilities, small and large live music clubs, nightclubs, martini bars, cafes and art galleries.

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