Although the firm will not formally unveil its plan untilJanuary, some of the highlights include consolidating variousgovernment buildings along East Trade and Fourth streets, addingstreet-level retail and restaurants to the nine-block area,incorporating more green space with trees and benches and makingEast Trade a grand thoroughfare with emphasis on its historicarchitecture.

The plan emphasizes the old city hall building as its focalpoint and suggests opening the three-story granite and marblelandmark to private enterprise. There would be places to shop andeat and even nightly entertainment areas that would blend with thenearby North Tryon cultural district. At present, there are 9,000workers in the area and only one place to have lunch.

Although everything in the new plan is under scrutiny andsubject to change, the new buildings that are specified in themakeover account for most of the cost. These include a headquartersfor Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools; a new Federal courthouse, anadditional county courthouse, and a city/county office tower.

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