Proposed Olympic center; gold medal idea? Or eyesore?

- Neighbors say traffic is a nightmare on Ballantyne Commons Parkway between Rea and Providence in South Charlotte during peak travel times.

“We have 412 homes within a half a mile of this intersection and no light,” said Linda Kapernis who lives in the area.

The current congestion is one concern folks living in Raintree and Quail Acres have about a big sports complex moving in across the street. It would take the place of Jay M Robinson Middle School's athletic fields.

“You’re talking about putting in a structure overlooking this neighborhood? I want it moved. I would like to see it relocated,” said Tim Sawyers who lives in the area.

While there is pushback from some neighbors, the man behind it all says the youth athletic training center will set Charlotte apart from the rest of the country.

“We’ve been working with the Olympics to become the first and only designated ‘Youth Development Site’ which will designate us as a true site for the development of all sports,” said David Koerner, partner at the U.S. Performance Center.

The proposed site plan has two buildings. One is 60 feet tall. The other is a two-story building with a dome that reaches 90 feet. The existing cell tower, made to resemble a tree, would undergo a major makeover to look like an Olympic torch. Also, there would be a LED sign and another monument styled after the Olympic symbol.

“We have different skill-specific fields that will be spread throughout the site for tennis, sand volleyball, basketball… We’ll also have indoor wrestling, boxing, judo…” said Koerner.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools signed a lease allowing the U.S. Performance Center to use the property for 50 years. The athletic training center would be open to school children, the public, and elite athletes.

The rezoning petition is in the planning stages. There will be a public hearing in a few months.

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