|The Google Earth View of Gleneagles and Park Roads|
As far back as 1989 when the property was originally re-zoned it caused controversy with more than 1,500 Park Road homeowners signing a petition to deny the rezoning request. But, after much hand wringing, Charlotte City Council approved the request.
But it would sit idle until another request was made in 2004 and then finally earthmovers took over and it looked as if something "grand" was indeed on the horizon.
Holes were dug for a massive underground parking lot, trees were cut down and dirt piled more than 100 feet in the air. Then financial end of the deal, collapsed and Ritz and Saks backed out.
4 years later the recession hit and then the rains came.
Over the years Harris has skated around city and county ordinances that would have landed most property owners in superior court. She has used her name to thumb her nose at fellow property owners and environmentalists for nearly 3 decades.
The Harris Land Company at one point put up a fence and the added the now frayed green fabric screen to "hush" the complaints.
|Trash and a rusting trailer with small tent just visible past the brush|
From the local paper in November of 2014:
The Charlotte City Council had few questions for developer Dee Dee Harris during the public hearing Monday night for her proposed Quail Hollow Village.
Harris is seeking a site-plan change for the 19-acre development, which would include apartments, a hotel, restaurants and office space.
The project would be built on the southeast corner of Park Road and Gleneagles Road. The site has been fenced off for nearly a decade, after a proposed development from 2004 fell through. The property has several large craters, which were going to be underground parking.
No one spoke in opposition to the project, which could be approved by council members in December or January.
Harris told council members she has lined up a developer to build the apartments as well as an owner and management company for the hotel.
The city staff has recommended the project be approved.
Among the requests are for two drive-thru windows, one of which can be used for an “eating/drinking/entertainment establishment,” according to the city agenda.
It turns out that her promises of development and continued "we have investors" was nothing more than a pipe dream. Now with the PGA Championship is less than six months away, the property that Harris once said would be home to a much needed hotel built in time for the event, finally has it's first long term tenants. A rumored homeless encampment.
|How many homeless people can say they have a Gleneagles Address?|
|Homeless Camp Along I-77|
And why not, the "gated community" has a pond, access to McDonalds and CATS Buses, several churches in the area provide warming shelters and hot meals on cold nights.
Look over the fence along Park Road you'll find tires and appliances. The pond which was once the excavation for the underground parking deck is now home to ducks, geese and Great Blue Herons.
With Dee Dee's luck it has gained, Piping Plovers, Heelspliter mussels, Ridley turtles and Pondberry plants all endangered species.
Maybe it is now time for the Charlotte City Council to take action, time to stop looking the other way, literally we need to drain the swamp now and toss the homeless out. After all the PGA Championship buses will pass the eyesore everyday. Sure from your car you see nothing, but on the bus to the tournament? Its pretty bad.
Note: CP has been talking to a bearded homeless guy named Marvin. You might have seen him around SouthPark. Long gray ZZ-Top beard a tall man about 50 maybe younger, since living on the street will age you pretty quick. Marvin first alerted CP to the homeless camp, telling me he used to live at Gleneagles but "got run out" by the rough crowd down there. Intrigued CP had a look around last week and didn't find anyone. A lot of trash cardboard boxes signs of life by hard to say homeless or just kids.
May just have to take Marvin down there for a tour. I'll let you know.