Economic development

From Ballantyne to SouthPark to University City, the suburbs want to be more like the city

"Ballantyne Reimagined" seeks to redevelop an office park into a mixed-use hub of activity. It’s happening across Charlotte: Apartments, office buildings and restaurants are popping up in parking lots, as dense, mixed-use developments, connected by bicycle paths and walking trails, invade suburbia. What’s driving the shift at some of the city’s most iconic suburban centers?

Hoping to rebuild their downtowns, more NC cities are turning to baseball

Kannapolis is hoping that a new baseball stadium will help spark a downtown revival, more than 15 years after the closure of Cannon Mills' textile plant changed the city forever. Rendering courtesy city of Kannapolis. Smaller cities and towns across North Carolina are hoping an old, familiar sound will spark new life in their downtowns: The crack of a bat. Four new downtown ballparks with capacity for about 5,000 fans are popping up in the state, and officials are counting on them to draw new residents, breweries, restaurants and vitality. 

Regional transit gets another ‘symbolic’ boost near Charlotte

Photo by Nancy Pierce Three counties outside Mecklenburg have now expressed formal - though nonbinding - support for bringing a regional rail system of some kind across the border. That would be a first for Charlotte, where rail-based mass transit has so far been confined to within the city limits.

Charlotte is ‘on the cusp’ of its first true regional transit plan

The Charlotte region is taking concrete steps towards building a regional transit system, and, in a local first, the proposed Silver Line could run through three counties. But plenty of big questions remain. Chief among them: Who will pay?

People assume transit causes displacement. Does it really?

It’s a familiar story: A new transit line opens, spurring gentrification in nearby neighborhoods and pushing out long-time residents.  But is that always what happens? New research from UNC Charlotte suggests the story is more complicated. 

Offices in South End, apartments in Ballantyne? Lines are blurring.

Is Ballantyne about to become South End, or vice versa? Probably not - but lines in Charlotte that were once razor-sharp are starting to get a lot blurrier.

Charlotte looks ahead two decades to plan growth

What will Charlotte look like in 2040? Charlotte is like a teenager in a growth spurt, with development transforming chunks of the city and new buildings popping up on what feels like every corner in some neighborhoods. Can an ambitious new comprehensive plan guide its growth over the next two decades? 

Here’s what Charlotte really, really needs from its 2040 plan

Charlotte's 2040 plan is coming. What will be in it? We asked a dozen Charlotte community leaders from different walks of life one question: What does the city need more than anything in its new vision for growth? From designing for people instead of cars to building more equitably to not imposing too many regulations, here’s what they had to say. 

Don’t design the church for Easter Sunday - and other ways to reduce our impact

Growth and development continue in Charlotte Responsible and thoughtful design entails understanding the relationship between the built environment and its impact on ecological systems.  With 6.7 billion people projected to live in urban areas worldwide by 2050, there are many achievable strategies that should resonate with architects, developers and local governments to sustain the natural environment even as growth and development continue. 

Charlotte arts institutions seek out more diverse voices

As Charlotte has become more urban and cosmopolitan, grassroots artists and organizations have energized the visual and performing arts. But some say there have largely been two separate arts scenes in Charlotte: One shaped by established arts institutions and the other by a more diverse group of artists and arts organizations emerging outside the establishment.