Mecklenburg County leaders question using taxpayer dollars to build Atrium Health's 'Innovation District'

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CHARLOTTE (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — Atrium Health’s prepared Innovation District faced pushback for the 1st time in front of some Mecklenburg County leaders.

“When you are equipped to pay out for it oneself, why do you have to appear to us?” requested Commissioner Susan Rodriguez-McDowell.

“I adore the challenge,” said Commissioner Laura Meier, “I do issue why we’re utilizing taxpayer pounds.”

Tuesday, Atrium CEO produced his presentation in front of the board as the clinic seeks $38 million from the county. The health care large has teamed up with Wake Forest College of Drugs to establish a clinical university in Charlotte.

The Queen Town is the most significant metropolis in The us without a 4-yr professional medical university. In addition to the school, Atrium wants to build a so-named “Innovation District” at the web site, which sits at the intersection of Baxter and McDowell Streets.

“The innovation district that we are building will diversify the field landscape in fundamental ways space in multiple means,” explained Atrium CEO Gene Woods.

The proposal features 4 exploration towers, an instruction constructing, inexpensive housing, and a hotel. Woods estimates the district would create 11,000 new jobs and build an financial influence of $800 million.

“The jobs we are developing in the innovation district will be a crucial lever in driving financial mobility,” mentioned Woods.

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But the proposal also will come with a big value tag. Atrium is inquiring for $75 million in taxpayer funds to be split among the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.

“I love the undertaking. I definitely do enjoy the venture,” stated Rodriguez-McDowell. “But I wanna know why do we will need county income?”

Rodriguez-McDowell explained she wasn’t yet prepared to sign off on the deal. Commissioner Pat Cotham expressed guidance for the prepare.

“I think (the county’s) portion is sensible,” Cotham explained.

Wednesday evening, Essential Ardrey stood with his small children in the shadow of the proposed district. The Charlotte realtor believes the district is a worthwhile financial commitment.

“It’s an expense for the people today of Charlotte,” Ardrey said. “When you search at Charlotte, we want a hub for clinical help.”

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