NoDa residents welcome new Crescent development project

In an effort to bring more locally-flavored apartments and retail spaces to NoDa, Crescent Development broke ground Wednesday on a new mixed-use project in the neighborhood's art and entertainment district. While some residents have been skeptical about it, most are welcoming the growth with open arms.

"The growth has just been phenomenal,” said NoDa resident John Roberts.

Roberts has lived in NoDa for 25 years. He describes the area then compared to now as night and day.

“Of course, with growth comes growing pains,” said Roberts. “It's a little bit more crowded; there's a little bit more traffic. But you have to expand your local economy, if you're going to grow as a city."

Frances Jones agreed. Jones lives and works in NoDa as a mixologist at Davidson Street Public House. During her time in the area she's seen the neighborhood's evolution take on a new face.

"The scene's changed a little bit,” said Jones. “It's brought a lot more people into neighborhood."

and Crescent’s new mixed-use project will bring even more.

"It's a massive parcel and, I think as you heard today, it’s one of our key gateways into the neighborhood, which is integral to the growth of this neighborhood,” said Hollis Nixon with the NoDa Neighborhood Group.

The project at E. 36th and N. Davidson streets will be conveniently located along the light-rail line extension and will offer apartments, retail, and flexible open plazas.

But Jones says not everyone is thrilled about the new development.

"I think that they're just worried about maybe losing the more artistic side of NoDa, because that's changed a lot,” said Jones.

To make up for that change, Crescent says it intends to commission local artists to create interior and exterior artwork and sculptures, and incorporate design elements that compliment the area's historic and eclectic feel. 

Roberts believes it will be a project all residents will eventually learn to appreciate.

"I don't think we actually know how good it's going to be,” he said.

construction has already started on the project. It’s expected to open in 2017. Crescent NoDa is the second major light-rail connected project Crescent is starting this month. In early January, the company broke ground on Crescent Stonewall in Uptown.