Economic development

South End: From mills to millennials

Imagine it’s 2030 and Charlotte’s popular South End has grown up like other neighborhoods in an increasingly urban and transit-friendly city. What does this area, just on the outskirts of uptown’s skyscrapers, look like? And most importantly, who is living there?

Charlotte homes in on new Eastland Mall project

A failing Eastland Mall in 2008, before the city bought, demolished it. Photo: Nancy Pierce In recent years, many residents in east Charlotte grew weary and frustrated with the city’s unsuccessful efforts to attract a showpiece development to replace the once-popular Eastland Mall.

Study: Charlotte region lags in food economy, farmers markets

A new report finds Charlotte and its region are underperforming in many measurements of its local food economy. 

More self-storage can mean more abandoned goods

As the number of self-storage facilities increases across the Charlotte region, renters can’t always keep up payments. When that happens, their belongings can be auctioned to the highest bidder.

Four proposals emerge to rebuild Eastland Mall site

Eastland Mall skating rink in 2002. Photo: Nancy Pierce What’s next for the old Eastland Mall site? A Charlotte City Council committee heard four proposals from development groups. Here are the proposals.

Institute will examine urban-rural economic linkages

Bridge over the Pee Dee River on N.C. 109 connects Anson County to Richmond County. Photo: Nancy Pierce In today’s knowledge-based economy, how can rural communities in the Charlotte area use and strengthen the traditional regional linkages? With a grant from The Duke Endowment, the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute will explore that question.

9 ways (and more) Charlotte could be a better city

Group seated at parklet on North Tryon St. in 2014 What would famous urban observer Jane Jacobs advise Charlotte in 2017? We asked local planners and city thinkers.

When downtowns come alive again

Uptown Shelby alley that a Boy Scout restored. Photo: Mary Newsom If you’re thinking downtowns are dead, you haven’t been paying attention. I recently got an earful of downtown success stories from across the state. Commentary.

Mending the rips in our rural-suburban-urban fabric

Rubble pile marks the remains of a now-demolished Cannon Mills textile plant that once dominated downtown Kannapolis. In the background are buildings of the N.C. Research Campus, which today occupies the mill site. Photo: Mary Newsom Over our 50-year history at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, we’ve been committed to looking at the whole Charlotte region. So a growing divide – real or perceived – among urban, suburban and rural areas is something we take seriously.

The Charlotte streetcar: Y’all have got it wrong

Charlotte streetcar is launched July 14. Photo: Erin Chantry Since I celebrated the launch of Charlotte’s streetcar I’ve cringed as the news media got it wrong and people made fun of it. If more people understood its value to neglected areas and to the whole city’s future, more people would support it. Commentary.