ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Feb 12, 2014
Charlotte leaders cite Crystal City, outside Washington, as a model for new development they envision west of the airport. But this vision misses what makes Crystal City work: mass transit. (Photo: Mariana Gil/EMBARQ Brasil)
Jan 15, 2014
Just northeast of uptown Charlotte, in a previously abandoned and cluttered warehouse, is Lila's Garden. It's more than a for-profit hydroponic garden. The owners hope it could be a key to revitalizing a struggling neighborhood. (Photo: Selena Skorman)
Oct 30, 2013
Oct 08, 2013
An artists’ colony in downtown Gastonia? That may sound far-fetched to those who remember Gastonia's textile mill past. But the Community Foundation of Gaston County is working with the nonprofit Artspace to build a project in Gastonia by 2016. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Jun 24, 2013
With tornado and storm season on us, what lessons were learned in the year since a sudden tornado blew through Harrisburg and eastern Mecklenburg County, injuring four people and destroying six homes? And what’s been rebuilt? (Photo: Melissa Currie)
May 31, 2013
Aided by a $5 million federal grant, residents and businesses throughout the 14-county Charlotte region are engaged in a process to envision the region's best future and create a roadmap for getting there. This interactive article describes the process, plans and players for CONNECT Our Future. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Apr 09, 2013
A new study of access to jobs via automobile, across the United States, ranks the Charlotte metro area near the bottom. Unlike simple congestion studies, this one looks at land use as well as the transportation system.  
Apr 02, 2013
In January, Charlotte had 1.8 million people. Today it has 2.3 million people. And no, there was no airlift of half a million residents from the Rust Belt or anywhere else. How can a city gain a half-million people almost overnight? (Staff photo)
Feb 28, 2013
Huntersville Town Hall was the setting for Wednesday afternoon’s public information meeting about HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lanes proposed on I-77. HOT lanes are a red-hot topic, and citizens were vocal about their concerns. Is the region ready to accept pay-as-you-go highways? (Photo: Melissa Currie)
Feb 27, 2013
In at least a half-dozen older Charlotte neighborhoods many white, middle-income families avoided sending their children to neighborhood schools with a majority of low-income, minority students.  Some parents are now taking a closer look at those nearby schools. (Photo: Keihly Moore)
Feb 14, 2013
Times have been tough in the local economy, but it looks as if we’ve finally turned the corner. If growth is starting to make a comeback, exactly where will it be? Is your county ready? (Photo:  U.S. Census Bureau, Public Information Office)
Feb 07, 2013
Since Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx gave his State of the City speech Monday, most publicity has focused on his remarks about the proposed streetcar and about a proposal in the legislature to remove Charlotte/Douglas International Airport from city control. Those are important issues. But another one may well trump those, and it’s not getting much publicity:The way Charlotte used to grow is over.
Feb 06, 2013
As breweries sprout across the Charlotte region, an industry group of local brewers and beer lovers is working with Charlotte planners to make city zoning more beer-friendly. (Photo: NoDa Brewing)
Feb 04, 2013
New single-family residential building permits in Mecklenburg County have been on a roller coaster ride since 2003. But preliminary numbers show a promising upswing heading into 2013. Using U.S. Census Bureau data1 to examine the previous decade's trends tracking back to 2003, what can we expect for new construction as we move forward in 2013?
Jan 15, 2013
Are urban growth boundaries effective tools for curbing sprawl, or an infringement of property rights?
Oct 31, 2012
The big picture may have gotten buried Tuesday as Charlotte City Council members chewed on, and chewed and chewed on, different alternative revenue strategies that might enable the city to build the second leg of its proposed streetcar.
Oct 05, 2012
In any other time, the request might not have been so hard. But a nonprofit developer’s plea for $2.3 million in city money from federal grants to restore a historic NoDa textile mill came after a lingering economic downturn, and after the city had already put $6.7 million into the property. Why is it so hard to restore an important piece of city history? Well, it’s complicated ...
Aug 16, 2012
Charlotte city officials are pushing two groups with competing visions for the future of the Carolina Theatre to work together to help save the history-rich venue that’s been vacant, on a prominent uptown corner, for more than 30 years.
Aug 01, 2012
Looking at where some upscale retail companies locate provides a way of highlighting income and demographic disparities. Charlotte's Starbucks-free, Panera-free and Harris Teeter-free zones coincide with the city's highest-poverty neighborhoods. The same holds true, by and large, for much of the state.
Jul 31, 2012
The city of Charlotte decided last month to buy Eastland Mall, which had fallen on hard times. So, what are the possibilities?  What should happen at the site? How can the 80 acres be used to improve the area, connect neighborhoods and serve the people who live nearby? We offer examples from other cities.
Jul 18, 2012
In response to news that the City of Charlotte is considering buying Eastland Mall in an effort to make the site attractive to an outside developer, PlanCharlotte.org sought opinions from civic and business leaders about the idea. Results: a split vote.
Jul 18, 2012
Take a look at the geography of manufacturing in the Carolinas. What sectors are important in today's economy?
Jun 27, 2012
How did this happen? How did a Charlotte City Council – with all 11 members willing to vote for a small property tax hike to pay for an ambitious, five-year plan of neighborhood improvements – wind up killing that five-year plan?
Jun 07, 2012
This article supports plans to build a new ballpark for the Charlotte Knights uptown. Read architect Murray Whisnant's article opposing the idea here. A new Charlotte Knights stadium uptown will be a catalyst for urban development, add to the character of the cityscape and let families and...
Jun 05, 2012
Missing from recent discussion about granting more public money for a privately developed baseball park in Third Ward is any talk about the potential advantages of using the land for public purposes year-round. Architect Murray Whisnant would save the Virginia Paper Co. building and build an Energy Park.
Jun 05, 2012
What does uptown Charlotte need more: a baseball stadium or a large public park dedicated to showcase energy technology and local food? As the Charlotte City Council prepares to vote on using $7.25 million in city money to help the Charlotte Knights build a ballpark, Charlotte architects Murray Whisnant and Marley Carroll take opposing positions.  
May 22, 2012
After decades of decline, manufacturing jobs across the country have seen a modest uptick. This long period of industry restructuring has left a strikingly different geography of manufacturing in the Carolinas; we still make furniture and textiles, but that’s not the whole story anymore.
May 17, 2012
Tom Hanchett, staff historian at Levine Museum of the New South, contends that the most urban corner in the city is Central Avenue at Rosehaven Drive. For weeks I have respectfully declined to agree. By virtually any standard of city form, nothing at that corner is urban. But as Hanchett led 20 Charlotteans on a recent “munching tour” at the corner, his thesis began to sink in.
May 08, 2012
At a rural crossroads 30 miles from Charlotte, an experiment is under way that could reshape the national retail landscape. Walmart, famous for its ubiquitous supercenters averaging 185,000 square feet, is testing a much smaller, 15,000-square-foot format called a Walmart Express Store in the Stanly County town of Richfield, population 516. 
Apr 19, 2012
Explore. Notice. Treat a city as a living system, with intricacies of place, economy and culture. That’s the philosophy behind the Jane Jacobs Walk movement. PlanCharlotte.org and Levine Museum of the New South will sponsor Charlotte's first Jane Jacobs Walk, on May 5. Here's how you can register.
Mar 09, 2012
Is it prescient and forward-thinking for the city to encourage subsidized housing at rapid transit stations in coming decades? Or would that kill any near-term chance to halt a pattern of sinking property values near some of those stations, especially in east and northeast Charlotte?
Mar 05, 2012
Architect, planner and author Stephen Mouzon, did more than just give some lectures from his book, Original Green: Unlocking the Mystery of True Sustainability, when he was in town recently. He also took a look at a section of south Charlotte that he thinks might be ripe for a different kind of long-range plan: the Park Road-Woodlawn Avenue neighborhood.
Feb 29, 2012
A railroading resurgence is rolling into the Charlotte region – and through some people's back yards. From Davidson to Harrisburg to Gaston County, efforts to capture some of a national increase in freight rail traffic have upset some residents. And the possibility of freight NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) might create another obstacle for commuter rail from Charlotte to Iredell County.
Feb 24, 2012
Around the Charlotte region, many downtowns share similar histories: A long-ago heyday followed by decay as dollars and foot traffic flowed to suburban malls and interstate eateries.