Charlotte Rising is a figurative slogan, an aspirational goal and an inspiring idea – but as of Summer 2018 it’s also an objective reality. Charlotte is seeing an obvious wave of development and redevelopment, investment and reinvestment. Charlotte is rising, right before our very eyes.
In a town our size, projects don’t go unnoticed. I am sure everyone is aware of the activity, but when considered all together, it’s obvious these developments will make an impact.
CharlotteRising, the organization, is focused on downtown Charlotte where numerous projects will take place this year. Five downtown buildings are getting facelifts with help from CharlotteRising façade grants, and that doesn’t even count Dutch Brothers’ ambitious project that completely rebuilt the façade of 119 S. Cochran. In addition to these building projects, more public art and placemaking will be coming to downtown this year, with the construction of a new pocket park on Lawrence Avenue. That project is attracting regional attention and significant outside money is being provided in the form of grants and donations.
Nearly an entire block of the city’s central business district is being redeveloped into high quality and affordable housing with the Edmond Senior Apartments, which will open about this time next year. TWG Development of Indianapolis has a big portfolio of amazing projects throughout the Midwest, and Charlotte is fortunate to be one of their first Michigan locations. It’s the biggest downtown Charlotte project in decades and will benefit every downtown business.
In addition to the Edmond Apartments, there are new houses and condominiums being built on both the north and south sides of the community. Many of these will be designed and priced to attract the sort of young, middle-class families every city needs to ensure a bright future.
Just outside of downtown, Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital is enlarging its surgical area so it can bring even better, more modern medicine to our community. At the same time it is remaking the view from Lansing Road to meet the very high standard HGB has set for itself with all its recent projects. The hospital is a regional leader in community development and Charlotte is better off because of it.
Speedway Corporation is making a huge reinvestment in our community. While a new gas station isn’t the kind of project that gets a lot of attention, it actually is the type that improves our quality of life in important ways. Many of our residents travel to work, and making their commute easier and more convenient makes Charlotte more livable. Furthermore, many people visit Charlotte for the first time when passing through on I-69. If more people stop here because it’s easier than ever to fill up, there is a good chance those same folks will continue stopping, and may eventually explore the other great things we have to offer.
The City of Charlotte will be completely reconstructing State Street this summer, which is an important gateway to our community. As the main road to our Charlotte Public Schools, both residents and visitors are using State Street many times a day. This project will improve our quality of life, and present a better face to those visiting from out of town. Speaking of Charlotte Public Schools, the re-opening of Galewood School signals the continued growth and development of the school district itself.
New eating and drinking options keep coming-up, too. Have you eaten at The Thirsty Bird, yet? Bought a cone at the all-new Dairy Queen? Had one of the great new steaks at Big Time Steakhouse on Lansing Road? Are you looking forward to the expansion of Charlotte Brewing Company? Can’t wait to sit outside at Don Tequila’s new patio? I expect you will be answering ‘yes’ to all of those questions before the summer is over.
From my office at City Hall, the sound of new construction is heard in every direction, and it tells me that Charlotte is Rising.
Bryan Myrkle is the Community Development Director for the City of Charlotte, and a boardmember of CharlotteRising.