There was a time in Charlotte when the bricks on the buildings weren’t crumbling and the windows on the top floor of our downtown area weren’t smeared with musty grime. Front doors were welcoming and inviting, and parking spots were seldom empty. The busy hustle of our main street filled the corridor’s atmosphere with vibrancy.
Charlotte was a place to be, to live, to thrive.
Yet over time we veered off that path and now far too many of those parking spots see the light of day and the welcome mats don’t feel the footprints of as many newcomers. Our vibrant main street is too often vacant.
But, there is a distinct new “buzz about town” beginning to echo with a powerful message at its core.
The busyness at the Farmers Market, the sounds of soaring pride at Charlotte High School, the bang of hammers renovating our main street area, and the vibrancy of assets like AL!VE are building an energy and momentum for our community. Soon a new art sculpture will adorn Cochran from Peter’s Circle, awash with harmony of hand-painted pianos of The Keys of the City. Downtown’s windows will have a creative glow provided by local students’ art projects. And, new affordable living places will attract newcomers to the very heart of our downtown.
The signs are so many, but one clear and unmistakable message is in the air — Charlotte is rising.
Charlotte is moving forward with a collaborative force unique to our community. With the recent selection by our Governor as a place of great potential, it is time to harness the resources made available to us and embrace #CharlotteRising. This initiative, coordinated by community members, is dedicated to revitalizing Charlotte’s economic development and vitality, with two areas of initial focus: Project Rising Tide and Michigan Main Street. Both programs offer an open door of resources and support that unleash numerous growth opportunities for Charlotte by leveraging local assets, such as the cultural and architectural heritage, local enterprises, and community pride.
Now we ask … how do you envision our community? It is time to be better — not to simply move on from our current state — but rather move forward with conviction and motivation. We must invigorate this community with the hope that the top floor windows will glisten with cleanliness once again and storefront doors will swing open for newcomers every day. We must rise to the occasion together for our community. The time is now to get involved. Attend the next general meeting about all that is happening at Charlotte Public Schools Administration Office at 4 p.m. on June 2. Don’t just witness the transformation; instead be part of it. Experience #CharlotteRising.
More information about #CharlotteRising, Project Rising Tide, and Michigan Main Street Program can be found at: CharlotteRising.com; MichiganBusiness.org; MichiganMainStreetCenter.com.
Article submitted by #CharlotteRising.