Ask Dr. Carter

Mosaic Village is a wonderful facility with state-of-the-art student apartments and retail space, but I was led to believe that it was about 60 percent full in the spring 2013 semester and most of the business/retail space is underutilized.

Additionally, the property was acquired through a long-term lease agreement. How can the University spend so much time and money on leased property when dorms on campus are in dire need of renovation?

Our plan for student residential accommodations, both inside and outside our gates was outlined in a major assessment of the campus experience that was commissioned in 2009. The assessment, “Creating A Distinctive Environment Inside the Gate,” resulted in two major recommendations:  

  • Reinvent the physical spaces in which people interact and the nature of how people interact on campus by creating social center hot spots in residential areas.
  • Create differentiated features on campus to position JCSU as a destination and a progressive University through new construction and renovation of current residence halls. 

A Trustee-appointed committee looked at our needs and possibilities, recommending a schedule to renovate all residence halls, create more modern suite-style living units and demolish residence halls deemed too cost-prohibitive to renovate. I am pleased to announce that we are on schedule with this campus-wide plan. The first phase of the project includes the Duke Hall renovation. This $5.5 million renovation is funded by The Duke Endowment and will open to 70 students in January 2014. Berry Hall is scheduled to be razed because renovation would be cost-prohibitive.

Looking beyond our gates, the Trustees agreed on Mosaic Village as a point of destination on Beatties Ford Road that ties with our Mission-in-Vision as a new urban university meeting the needs of the surrounding community as well as our own students. We worked with private developers and the city of Charlotte to open this facility in October 2012 at near capacity.  Mosaic Village, which can house 300 tenants, has since become a viable solution to off-campus housing needs for our own students, many of whom had commuted to campus from farther distances, as well as students from other institutions in the area including Charlotte School of Law, Davidson College and Central Piedmont Community College. In addition to housing students who attend several higher education institutions in the Charlotte area, Mosaic Village also houses new teachers who participate in Teach for America, and it is available for members of the community to lease apartments. The facility had 69% occupancy in fall 2012 and 73% occupancy in spring 2013.

Not only does Mosaic Village meet our off-campus residential housing needs, the entire 7,200 square-feet of retail space at the bottom of the facility has been leased to offer healthy food options and lifestyle amenities that have been sorely lacking in the Northwest Corridor. The first retail tenant, No Grease (barber shop), opened last spring, with other establishments including Red Mango Frozen Yogurt, Salad Works and Blu Bayou, all owned by Perkins Management Services, to open in November 2013.

This answer was posted on: 7/25/2013 3:07 pm