A focus on commerical hardscape projects has helped Metrolina Landscape keep pace with Charlotte’s growth. Light rail has played a role in the city’s expansion and Metrolina has been there with clay paver solutions. (Photo above: LYNX Station on the UNC Charlotte campus. All photos here courtesy Taylor McKillop, Metrolina Landscape.)
Charlotte keeps growing, one hardscape at a time.
That’s the story if you’re on the Metrolina Landscape team, anyway. The firm has been a top landscaping contractor in the city for nearly four decades.
Residential patios and walkways were always a big part of the business, then eight years ago, Eddie Holland and Lisa Bonda joined Metrolina to help develop and expand a commercial hardscape line.
In a booming metro like Charlotte, this really paid off. Metrolina has won major contracts all around the Charlotte area, including UNC Charlotte, Queens University, Central Piedmont Community College and a light rail transit station.
The LYNX Blue Line Extension light rail station at UNC Charlotte is a main highlight on the campus. It incorporates this walkway and plaza that showcases public artwork by Mikyoung Kim, called “The Nexus Project”. Metrolina installed 6,710 SF of English Edge Full Range and 1,760 SF of English Edge Red pavers for this portion of the project.
“There are two other companies we compete with pretty regularly,” said Holland. “We’re in that top three and there’s enough work to go around.”
“Quality and consistency…Pine Hall Brick is good at that,” said Holland. “Others’ colors can be a little skewed, from lot to lot. But Pine Hall is on the money.”
Above, 10,200 SF of English Edge Heavy Duty Full Range pavers were installed for the Fire Lane at Central Piedmont Community College Uptown. The goal was to create a dual purpose walkway that can be used daily for pedestrian traffic but could also be utilized in emergency situations to support the load of a fire truck and give them access to the building.
From expansive concourses with vehicular pavers to accommodate emergency vehicles to mixed use residential plazas, Pine Hall Brick clay pavers are defining the metro’s growing public spaces.
Light rail has been part of the boom and expansion of it, reaching across the city and beyond, has proven to be a catalyst for Metrolina Landscape work.
“Wherever the light rail goes, more apartment communities just follow along,” said Holland. “Everybody tries to outdo the next guy to get residents, so they’re doing some really amazing stuff with their rooftops and amenity decks…useful space that used to just collect water. As light rail continues on, you’re going to see a lot of growth.”
A hardscape goldmine
On the north side of the city, the UNC Charlotte sports mascot is a 49er prospector. And its campus is a goldmine for hardscape jobs.
“Pine Hall Brick is all over the campus,” said Holland. “Any place that your feet touch is pavers. They don’t have any concrete, really.”
Metrolina’s commercial hardscape expansion has succeeded in part with greater vertical integration in its services and approach. They manage a wider range of the landscaping contract.
“From the general contractor’s perspective it’s a one-stop shop,” says Bonda, who handles estimating and works closely with Pine Hall Brick’s Charlotte showroom.
Above: Metrolina Landscape installed 6,710 SF of English Edge Full Range and 1,210 SF of English Edge Red pavers for the new Marriott Hotel & Conference Center at the UNC Charlotte. The facility is for future students and families to have a place to stay while visiting the campus, as well as be utilized to host meetings and conferences related to the school’s activities.
Below: UNC Charlotte Science Center. Metrolina installed 22,770 SF English Edge Full Range and 3,850 SF English Edge Red pavers for this project.
Holland agrees this whole site full-service approach is a value to the client.
“We built it out over a year,” said Holland. “Lisa came over with a strong estimating background and contacts. When we do the resident halls at Charlotte, we’re able to manage the whole site with one source.”
A custom blended paver fit for Queens
Elsewhere in Charlotte, Metrolina Landscape helped the private Queens University get its own specially formulated color of paver, the Pine Hall Brick when its earlier brick source stopped making pavers.
“Queens started out with a company that doesn’t make pavers anymore and so I teamed up with Amy Morgan at the Charlotte store to get samples,” said Bonda. “And they converted the Queens campus from the old pavers to Pine Hall Brick by helping us create a custom blend, called Queens Paver. It’s a little deeper red than Full Range.”
Below, 4,400 SF of custom blended English Edge Queens Red installed at the “Sarah Belk Gambrell Center for the Arts and Civic Engagement.”
You can see Metrolina Landscape’s residential expertise come through at commercial projects, too. A mixed-use development in the South Park Mall area relies on Rumbled Cocoa pavers to create its upscale plaza entrance. And at Southminster Senior Living Facility, the company created a relaxing patio space for patient and family gatherings.
Below – The Hazel mixed use community in the South Park district of Charlotte. Used are 8,910 SF of Rumbled Pavers Cocoa for the plaza amenity areas and for the walkways.
If you’re walking on pavers in the Charlotte metro, there’s a good chance Metrolina Landscape laid them, and the company is optimistic about continuing hardscape business in the area.
Below – A 712 SF of English Edge Full Range and Dark Accent paver courtyard for Southminster Senior Living Facility. Southmister expanded their campus to include a Hospice center where this new courtyard is located, providing a peaceful outdoor environment for their residents, family and friends.