By Collin Cunningham
(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) Happy Hump Day, QCR readers! Today's Roundup is out with the old and in with the new, as the Panthers may be getting a new stadium in Uptown after City Council voted to rezone land near Bank of America Stadium beside another plot that team owner David Tepper recently bought.
Charlotte's assistant manager has a new job in Greensboro, ditching the assistant title after leading several development initiatives in the Queen City. We'll tell you what he accomplished and how the Panthers will benefit from their new kicker. And readers can have a new experience by eating out on Christmas and Christmas Eve. Today's Roundup ends with a list of eateries that will be open for reservations and takeouut on the holidays.
It is Wednesday, Dec. 22, and here's what every Charlottean needs to know until tomorrow.
1. New Panthers stadium? City council votes to rezone land after nearby patch purchased by team owner
What happened: The Panthers could be in line to get a new stadium after Charlotte City Council unanimously voted to rezone a 55-acre piece of land currently owned by Charlotte Pipe & Foundry during their meeting on Monday. Council first held a public hearing for the West Morehead Street property back in October to consider if the industrial-zoned land should be transitioned to mixed-use.
Why it matters: The news came the same day that Tepper purchased 4.6 acres of land directly across the street from the Pipe & Foundry parcel for $15 million through his company, GT Real Estate Holdings LLC, per FOX46. The recently purchased and rezoned sites are located less than a mile from the current stadium, which has stood since 1996. That makes it one of the oldest NFL stadiums still in use.
"At some point that building will fall down," Tepper told WCNC in June, adding that he would not build a stadium "alone."
Bank of America Stadium will also host the Charlotte FC, a Tepper-owned soccer team that will begin playing in 2022. WCNC reported that Tepper invested $50 million to upgrade the stadium for the new club in April.
2. Going to Greensboro: Charlotte planning director leaves post for new city
What happened: Charlotte Assistant City Manager Taiwo Jaiyeoba will serve as the next city manager of Greensboro after spending four years leading development efforts in the city to the south. Jaiyeoba is also Charlotte's director of planning, design & mobility and Deputy Planning Director Alyson Craig will fill that role while the city conducts a national search.
Jaiyeoba comes in on the heels of former Greensboro City Manager David Parrish, who resigned on June 30, per a Greensboro press release.
Why it matters: During his time in Charlotte, Axios reports Jaiyeoba envisioned the Charlotte Future 2040 Plan, a general initiative to expand development and introduce a slate of new ordinances in the Queen City. The city approved the plan in June, and now the ordinances are set to go through four stages of public comments and revisions.
“While my family and I are excited about this new opportunity in Greensboro, we appreciate the years spent with the City of Charlotte,” Jaiyeoba said in a statement after announcing his new job on Tuesday. “I want to thank City Manager Marcus Jones for his leadership and friendship, and along with the Mayor and Council, for the roles they all have played in helping to prepare me for my new role in Greensboro."
3. Panthers Roundup: Team adds kicker, but should they ditch Cam Newton?
New kicker: The Carolina Panthers have a new dedicated kicker after signing Lirim Hajrullahu over from the Washington Football Team's practice squad on Tuesday. The new hire follows starting kicker Zane Gonzalez's right quad injury ahead of the team's 31-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Gonzalez is expected to enter injured reserve and sit out the Cardiac Cats' remaining games. They face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home on Sunday, the New Orleans Saints on Jan. 2 and then visit the Buccaneers in Florida on Jan. 9.
Old Newton: Any lineup changes tend to fuel speculation for further developments in sports, and several outlets are wondering if it's Cam Newton's time to exit the limelight after rejoining Carolina this year. Deadspin declared "The end is here for Cam" in an article posted yesterday, while ESPN suggests a failed play by Newton during the Bills game may have given the Panthers an "opening" to get injured QB Sam Darnold back in the pocket. Darnold has not played since Week 9 due to a shoulder injury but was cleared to return to practice on Monday.
4. Where to dine on Christmas Eve and Christmas in Charlotte
Our Charlotte Gift Guide may be done recommending presents, but what about dining? Here are a few restaurants and organizations that will be doling out dishes in Metrolina during this weekend's holidays. If you find yourself in a hurry, Kiss 95.1 has a list of chain restaurants that will be serving their usual fare in the Old North State on Saturday.
Charlotteans willing to spend $60 can treat themselves to a tea party in the lobby of the historic Ballantyne Hotel, which will also be serving loose-leaf selections and sandwiches, pastries and other tea time snacks on New Year's Eve and the first day of 2022. Guest under 12 get in for $25, but they won't be able to try the glass of sparkling glass that comes with adult meals. Call 704-248-4004 to secure a spot.
- 5Church in Uptown for Christmas Eve dinner, 3-9 p.m.
Despite the name, Charlotteans won't be able to visit this restaurant at 127 N. Tryon STreet for an evening mass, but they will be able to grab a three-course Christmas Eve meal. Items like the duck confit and arctic char are available a la carte, or guests can pay $70 for the full decadent dinner.
- Bocado in South End for Christmas takeout
Bocado is currently accepting online preorders for a pair of menu items that can also be picked up on Dec. 25 by calling 704-248-4848 in advance. A Brasstown beef tenderloin will be served with a blue cheese wedge, bacon, roasted potatoes, cheese fondue, broccoli and apple pie for $39 per plate. Or, for $33, Charlotteans can sample a roaster chicken marsala with Brussels sprouts, kale salad, some of that cheese fondue, a warm loaf of country-style bread and, again, apple pie.
Below the Fold
City Council, continued: Developers who had proposed 100 new senior living units on Steele Creek road will have to return to the drawing board after the group voted to deny their rezoning request. The decision boiled down to a nearby NCDOT road-widening project, which is held up due to funding in the state transportation department, according to WSOC.
2040 Plan, continued: While an initial draft of Charlotte's Unified Development Ordinance is still accepting public comments through Jan. 14, readers can see how city residents responded to a first draft of the 2040 plan's policy map here.