NY developer opens up on Brooklyn Village project’s long road to completion

The development of Brooklyn Village is finally moving forward. And Don Peebles isn’t backing down.

READ MORE: Brooklyn Village construction to start in the fall

The New York developer, who landed a deal with Mecklenburg County in 2016 to lead the massive uptown project, detailed his plans — and discussed the long delays — in a recent interview with the Charlotte Business Journal.

That discussion followed a months-long effort by CBJ to reach Peebles or any representative of the Brooklyn Village development team called BK Partners after the group failed to meet a contractual start date in February. Calls and emails to county officials and county commissioners to gather information about any movement on the development went unreturned. An open records request for communication between the county and BK Partners filed on April 28 remains unfulfilled.

Then suddenly, on July 24, Peebles, executive vice president of The Peebles Corp., reached out and agreed to schedule an interview. A few days before that discussion would take place, the county — late in the afternoon on July 31, a Friday — issued a media release announcing BK Partners had closed on the $10.3 million purchase of a 5.7-acre tract for the first phase of Brooklyn Village. The site is currently home to the Walton Plaza building and adjoining parking lot. Construction is slated to begin this fall.

So Brooklyn Village is moving forward — seven years after Mecklenburg County selected BK Partners for the job.

Peebles says the timeline may have shifted, but his commitment hasn’t waned. His vision for what is expected to eventually be a $700 million community, stretching across several uptown blocks totaling 17 acres, remains focused on the site’s heritage as the former heart of Charlotte’s Black community.

“Brooklyn was a vibrant, Black neighborhood that was destroyed as a consequence of urban renewal,” he said. “You can never, I think, bring that history back to its former glory, but we can make sure, as we redevelop there, that it’s attentive to its history and that it does justice to the cultural epicenter that historic Brooklyn was.”

Peebles said BK Partners has planned the project with those aspects in mind from the start. This includes refurbishing Myers Passage, an older roadway, into a multimodal path to connect Brooklyn Village’s north and south phases.

“We think a lot about the significance of a minority-owned firm planning and developing a formerly Black neighborhood,” he said. “We care deeply and are committed to minority- and women-owned businesses throughout all phases of development.”

Peebles talked at length about plans for the development, with other real estate professionals weighing in as well. Read the full story here.

VIDEO: Brooklyn Village construction to start in the fall